TWO PROMINENT COMMUNITY MEMBERS PASS
The former president of Allegany College of Maryland, Dr. Don Alexander has passed away. He had been at the college for 35 years, and President of the institution for 28. Dr. Alexander retired in 2008. Funeral arrangements have not been announced. And, the former owner of Steve's Pharmacy in Bel Air, Steve Hospodavis passed away Thursday at the age of 72. The Scarpelli Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements, which are incomplete at this time.
NUMEROUS CHARGES FILED AGAINST FSU STUDENT
A total of 16 charges have been filed against Frostburg State University student Zakiyy Asi Jacobs, following a knife incident during a party in Frostburg last Sunday. Jacobs is accused of cutting a 21-year old Cumberland man, causing minor injuries. The party took place in the 100-block of Bowery Street. He was charged, and jailed until Wednesday of this week, when he posted $20,000 for his pretrial release. The incident was investigated by Frostburg Police.
HAGERSTOWN MAN ARRESTED IN SOUTH CUMBERLAND
Hagerstown resident Antonio Rodney was held on $2500 bond, following his arrest in the 300-block of Arch Street Wednesday. Rodney's vehicle was stopped, and officers discovered there were problems with the registration. A search of his car yielded suspected crack cocaine, and a pipe. He was charged with one count each of possession of CDS and paraphernalia. He was to have had a bond review yesterday.
THREE ENTER PLEAS IN GARRETT COUNTY COURT
An Oakland man, and two from out of the area, have entered guilty pleas on various charges in Garrett County. Pocomoke resident Kavon Candre Rowley was sentenced to three years, with all but 30 days suspended for second-degree burglary. Oakland resident Jeffrey Corby pleaded guilty to various drug charges, and sentencing was postponed to a later date. And, Richard Cunningham of Virginia Beach pleaded guilty to possession of alprazolam and was sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence, and placed on two years probation.
PIEDMONT STREET REOPENED
Second Street in Piedmont has been re-opened, eight months after a fire which destroyed several buildings there. The buildings continued to collapse after the fire, aided by high winds this past spring. Some of those buildings were leveled this past weekend, after Piedmont resident Joe Amoroso did some demolition work. Town officials are still looking for money to continue demolishing the buildings.
WHEELS FOR HAPPINESS RESCHEDULED
The new date for the annual Wheels for Happiness event will be Saturday, September 27th from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the event is being held at the Festival Grounds at Canal Place. Anything on wheels is eligible to participate in the show. There'll be an awards presentation, where over a dozen participants will be recognized. Loudon Baker will be recognized as the "Rodder of the Year," based on his perseverance in overcoming physical obstacles to enjoy his chosen activity.
LEADERSHIP SERIES TO BE PRESENTED
"The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Leadership Team" will be presented by the Greater Cumberland Committee next Wednesday, September 24th at Garrett College. Presenting the introductory session will be Jeannette Rudy Fitzwater, a registered corporate coach and human resources director. Following the 12 noon presentation, there will be a luncheon, along with an overview of Deep Creek 2014. The event will be held in Room 205 of the Continuing Education Building.
ASCI COULD HOST OLYMPIC EVENTS
The Adventure Sports Institute in Garrett County could host a portion of the 2024 Olympics. Connie Yingling of the Maryland Office of Tourism says the District of Columbia is putting in a bid to host the event in 2024. Some Olympic officials will be on hand today, to "scout" the location, should the District be approved to host the games.
PICKETING AT NEW PRESTON HOSPITAL
There is an ongoing picket at the site of the new Preston Memorial Hospital, with members of a carpenter's union claiming a subcontractor is not paying the prevailing wage. The private project is exempt from the prevailing wage law, and the general contractor can hire workers from anywhere and pay any rate. However, the West Virginia Division of Labor is trying to determine whether the prevailing wage is applicable in this situation.
RESIDENT REQUESTS SAFER BUS STOP
Mineral County resident Brenda Keating has requested the Board of Education take action on moving a bus stop in the Potomac Heights area to what she feels would be a safer location. She is asking the board to move the stop to Ridge Street, where there is more room for the children to wait for the bus. There are no sidewalks and very little room to get around at the present stop.
MARIJUANA COMMISSION WORKING ON REGULATIONS
A Maryland commission, dealing with medical marijuana regulations will meet again on Tuesday, even though there had been a Monday deadline to finish drafting regulations for review by state officials. One of the issues is to decide how many dispensaries will be allowed under the law.
HEIGHTENED AWARENESS FOR STATE POLICE
The Pennsylvania State Police in Somerset are in a heightened state of awareness since the recent shooting at the Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania barracks that left one trooper dead, and one hospitalized. All of the barracks in the Blooming Grove region have tightened security, and in Somerset, police say their thoughts and prayers are with their brothers and sisters in northeastern Pennsylvania.
SOMERSET PRIEST PUT ON LEAVE
Father Joseph Maurizio of Somerset County has agreed to step away from his parish duties, after a search was conducted at Our Lady, Queen of Angels rectory. Federal investigators would not say what they were there for, but acknowledged it was part of an ongoing investigation. The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese says it wasn't aware of the search, and is not aware if any charges have been filed.
INMATE DEATH RULED HOMICIDE
Western Correctional Institution inmate John Wyatt died last Friday, and investigators are saying the death is a homicide. Wyatt, who had been serving a 20-year sentence for sexual assault charges, was found dead in his cell around 9 a.m.; it was first thought he had died from natural causes. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, along with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services are investigating. One of those to be interviewed will be Wyatt's cellmate.
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS AT AN IMPASSE
Current contract negotiations between the city and the Cumberland Police Department have been declared at an impasse. While the city and union are currently in the middle of a three-year contract, which expires next June 30th, it does allow for a "reopener" clause whereby wages and other benefits can be discussed this fall. According to a representative for the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994, the officers have not had a raise in four years, and are working with a minimum staff.
RKG ASSOCIATES PRESENTS MORE FINDINGS
RKG Associates have determined that targeting the development of small business in Cumberland may be the key to economic revival for the city of Cumberland. The group says that attracting numerous small businesses, rather than one major employer, could be a better use of the city's efforts. Small business and home-based businesses could be a part of the solution.
MISSING KIDS CASE HAS LOCAL CONNECTION
As police begin to build a homicide case against Catherine Hoggle, whose children have gone missing in Montgomery County, the children's aunt-Robyn Turner of Frostburg-is holding out hope the children can be found and returned safely. Ms. Turner is the sister of the children's father, Troy Turner. Ms. Hoggle remains in police custody, and has so far continued to, as police describe it, "obstruct and hinder the investigation."
KEYSER WASTEWATER SUPERVISOR RESIGNS
Keyser wastewater treatment plant supervisor Mike Kesecker has resigned, the second staff member to resign recently. City Clerk Carol Kiggins has left that position as well. Kesecker had been a key employee in the day-to-day operations of the plant, as Keyser prepares to begin construction on a new, $30 million wastewater treatment plant; it is due to go online next year, but the resignation may mean the project could be delayed for up to a year. Kesecker has accepted a position in the private sector, and his resignation is effective at the end of the month.
CUMBERLAND MAN HELD ON TRAFFIC, DRUG CHARGES
Cumberland resident John Stanford Rickenberg was being held on $4,000 bond, after he was arrested on Virginia Avenue late Monday afternoon. A traffic stop, and check of his license revealed he had been driving on a suspended driver's license. A K-9 scan of his car yielded a positive alert for narcotics, and a small amount of marijuana and prescription pills were found. Following a bond hearing at District Court, he was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center.
POLICE SEARCH FOR VEHICLE OWNER
The McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police is asking for the public's help in finding the owner of a 2007 Ford Fusion, which was found on the Squire Fike Road this past weekend. The car has Pennsylvania registration and was seen along the road between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (301)-387-1101.
ADVISORY COMMISSION TO MEET
The Cumberland Neighborhood Advisory Commission will meet on Monday, September 29th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The meeting, which is held on a monthly basis, will be held at City Hall. It is open to the public. For more information, call City Hall at (301)-759-6424.
PRESTON COUNTY MAN SENTENCED FOR ARSON
Preston County, West Virginia resident David Allen Ridenour has been sentenced to ten years in prison for an October, 2012 arson fire in Terra Alta. The fire destroyed an outbuilding and damaged the side of a mobile home. He had been indicted on two arson charges, and pleaded guilty to one, while the other was dismissed. Ridenour also will have to pay court costs and restitution for each of the two properties he set on fire.
POLICE LOOKING FOR PICKU P TRUCK IN FATAL ACCIDENT
Hagerstown City Police are looking for a white "older model" pickup truck that may have been involved in a fatal vehicle-motorcycle collision this past weekend at the intersection of West Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue. Eyewitnesses say the truck is a 1980's or early 1990's truck, either a Ford or Chevrolet full-sized pickup.
HEALTH EXCHANGE WEBSITE HITTING TARGET DATES
Following last year's crash of the Maryland Health Exchange website, a new one will be online as an "anonymous browsing tool" on November 9th. Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says residents will be able to be able to browse policies, without having to actually enroll. The Secretary of the Department of Information Technology, Isabel FitzGerald, is saying the project is hitting its target dates, according to Dr. Sharfstein. Combinations of many different scenarios are being considered, according to Dr. Sharfstein."User testing" is going on now, and the initial development is complete. On November 9th, users will be able to investigate new policies.
W. VA. LEADS NATION IN SMOKING DURING PREGNANCY
Twenty-six per cent of West Virginia's expectant mothers smoke, and that statistic leads the country. A survey by West Virginia Kids Count released a report this week that nearly one in four continue to smoke, even after learning they are expecting, and that statistic hasn't changed that much in the past 20 years. Some of the adverse effects of smoking during pregnancy include sudden infant death syndrome, low birth rate, premature births, asthma, and attention deficit disorder.
CPPDA NAMES DEVELOPER
The Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority has named Michael Joy of Washington, D.C., as the exclusive developer of the Footer Dye Works building. The contract was announced during the CPPDA meeting yesterday. Plans are for the structure to be developed into a multi-use building. Along with Joy, there will be two equal partners in the development of the building, including Bruce Firlie of Cumberland, and Eric Wishneff , of Brian and Wishneff Associates, a tax credit specialist in Arlington, Virginia.
FIREFIGHTERS CONTRACT RATIFIED
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council voted unanimously last night, to ratify a new, three-year contract with firefighters. The vote ends two years of negotiations with the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715. The contract, between the city and 61 members of the paid fire department, was ratified by the union last week.
DRUG CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST SOME RESIDENTS
Charges against five people, indicted earlier this year in connection with a drug distribution ring in Keyser have been dropped. Four people have pleaded guilty to taking part in the operation, while Samaria Alice Clifford and Dixie Cherylann Layman of Keyser, Tequila Smith, of Ranson, West Virginia, Sheena Collins of Oakland and Travis Sinclair Howard of Florida had charges dismissed. A total of 73 indictments were handed down in March, and of the 13 persons in the area who were charged, four have so far entered guilty pleas, and are awaiting sentencing.
LOAN SECURED FOR MAPLEHURST
A new loan has been secured by Maplehurst Country Club, which provides for the payment of all back taxes and the delinquent mortgage. DLR Southwest Investments of Las Vegas will finance the loans and taxes. First United Bank and Trust had foreclosed on the club , but public auctions in both July and August were postponed, in order to secure a new loan.
CANAL BASIN TESTED
A rented pump has been placed in the Canal Place basin, to test it for leaks that have happened in recent months. One of the pumps has been sent to Hancock for repairs, but it was necessary to refill the basin to study where the leaks are occurring. During a visit to the area earlier this month, Senator Ben Cardin said he was concerned about the leaks; a total of $30,000 in grants was secured to fund the canal basin repairs.
PLEA WITHDRAWL DENIED FOR GERHOLT
John Lewis Gerholt of Bedford County, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife in 2008, has had a request to withdraw his guilty plea, denied. He had maintained he did not understand the terms of a plea agreement. Gerholt had entered a no contest plea to first-degree murder, in exchange for having the death penalty "taken off the table." The court denied the plea change near the end of August, and State's Attorney Bill Higgins says he has no doubt Gerholt will appeal that decision.
MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
Twenty-four year old Daniel Penrod is being charged with second-degree assault, following an incident in the 500-block of Warren Street Monday evening. He is accused of waking a female victim, arguing with her, and grabbing her by the neck, attempting to choke her. The victim's injuries did not require medical attention. After an initial appearance in District Court, he was released on personal recognizance.
CUMBERLAND MAN HELD ON $45,000 BOND
Cumberland resident Chad Izat was held on $45,000 bond, after he was accused of assaulting another person with a baseball bat. He also is accused of throwing a vacuum, striking a juvenile in the shoulder area. The alleged assault took place on South Waverly Terrace, and Izat was found a short distance away. He faces various assault charges and a count of reckless endangerment. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment; the juvenile did not require treatment.
ROUTE 219 INFORMATIONAL WORKSHOP SCHEDULED
The Maryland State Highway Administration, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is holding an informational workshop for the U.S. 219 Project Planning Study. The meeting will be held next Tuesday, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. No formal presentation will be given, and you may arrive at any time during workshop hours. The workshop is being held at the Grantsville Elementary School Cafeteria on Grant Street.
MOTORCYCLIST IN FATAL COLLISION IDENTIFIED
Police have identified 33-year old Darren Reeder as the victim of Sunday's fatal hit and run crash on Wilson Boulevard at Virginia Avenue. Reeder was pronounced dead at Meritus Medical Center shortly after the 11:37 p.m. accident, which involved another vehicle that did not remain at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (301)-790-3700.
MISSING MONTGOMERY COUNTY KIDS BELIEVED DEAD
Police are pursuing a double-homicide case against Catherine Hoggle, who still is refusing to tell them where her children are. Montgomery County law enforcement authorities are searching parks and wooded areas for 3-year old Sarah and 2-year old Jacob Hoggle, who were last seen September 7th. An unusual plea has been made for homeowners to search their properties for any sign of the children's bodies.
STATE OFFERING HELP FOR THOSE REPRESENTING THEMSELVES
The Maryland Judiciary is helping those who want to represent themselves in court. Pam Ortiz, the head of the Access to Justice Department says the program is aimed at civil cases, where often, people represent themselves. When navigating the court system, Ms. Ortiz says people may need to know what first steps they should take.Some of the resources are already in place; she says you should go to the Maryland Court System website for that information.
POLITICAL ATTACK ADS ON THE RISE
The top campaign priority for Governor is voter turnout, but attack ads seem to be the order of the day as Election Day gets closer. An Anthony Brown ad claims that Larry Hogan is "the wrong direction for Maryland," while Hogan counters with "Anthony Brown: just not ready to be Governor." One of Hogan's ads discredits Brown's leadership, using the health care rollout as an example. And, a Brown ad accuses Hogan of putting corporations before kids. One survey shows that attack ads claim to be less effective, but are used to "muddy the water" in advance of the election.
COMPLAINT FILED IN ALLEGED ASSAULT
Two Cumberland men have been arrested in connection with an alleged assault incident on August 18th. Both Michael Paul Wigfield and Roger Russell Miller are accused of assaulting another person, resulting in severe facial and head injuries, which required treatment. Both were charged with two counts of second-degree assault. They were processed and released on $10,000 unsecured bonds.
EVERETT TEEN CHARGED WITH DESECRATION
In a case that has garnered national attention, a 14-year old Everett boy has been charged by police, with desecrating a statue of Jesus, then posting pictures online in July. While he has been charged, the American Civil Liberties Union has expressed interest in the case, stating he was expressing his freedom of speech. The owner of the statue, "Love in the Name of Christ Ministry Center," has not pressed charges; however, they told District Attorney Bill Higgins they would welcome the idea of him performing community service at the center.
SEVERANCE FACES THREE MURDER COUNTS
In a story reported last week, former Cumberland resident Charles Severance was indicted on three murder charges, stemming from a series of murders in northern Virgina. He is being charged with the 2003 murder of Nancy Dunning, wife of then-Sheriff James Dunning; the fatal shooting of transportation planner Ronald Kirby last November; and, the February, 2014 shooting of music teacher Ruthanne Lodato. Two of the three murders carry a potential death sentence, but prosecutors have indicated they won't seek his execution.
ANIMAL DEATHS REPORTED IN HAMPSHIRE COUNTY AREA
Two animal deaths over the weekend, with one of the cases resulting in charges. In the first, a Yorkshire Terrier was killed by another dog in the Whipporwill Drive area. No charges have been brought against the owner of the dog that attached the 11-year old Yorkie. In the second incident, Robert Davis was charged with animal cruelty, after he killed a cat in the parking lot of the Romney Rite-Aid./ Davis was released on $2500 bond on Saturday.
"PUSH POLLS" DRAW COOKMAN COMPLAINT
Donald Cookman of Romney, who is running as the Democratic candidate for the 15th District State Senate seat, is filing a complaint with West Virginia Secretary of State. The complaint alleges that his opponent, Berkeley Springs lawyer Charles Trump, or the state Republican party arranged for so-called "push polls," which are illegal in West Virginia. The poll supposedly gathers information, but asks questions in a way that persuades those receiving the calls, to deliver an opinion, usually negative.
MARTIRANO OFFICIALLY W. VA. SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
Michael Martirano, formerly of this area, officially became the 30th West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools yesterday. He came to Charleston from St. Mary's County, Maryland, and it is generally felt that Martirano will have a positive impact on the state and its students. According to the most recent figures, 79.3 per cent of high school seniors graduated during the 2013-2014 school year, up from 70.8 per cent in 2008-2009. Martirano was sworn in during ceremonies held yesterday at the state Culture Center.
CHILD SAFETY SEAT INSPECTION THIS WEEK
An event this Thursday will address the correct installation of child safety seats. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says the safety check will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Frostburg State University parking lot, across from Beall Elementary School. The event is being done through the cooperation of the Judy Center, United Way, and the Family Junction.
SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED BY AREA RESIDENT
Area resident Dennis Bittinger has established a scholarship in honor of his late brother, Corporal Robert Bittinger. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Allegany County Board of Education, says Corporal Bittinger was an Army veteran, having served in the Vietnam War. He passed away in April of this year.
FATAL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT MAY HAVE BEEN HIT AND RUN
An unidentified motorcyclist was killed late Sunday evening at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown. Police say his motorcycle may have made contact with a second, unknown vehicle that did not remain on the scene. The victim was taken to Meritus Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. Anyone with information on the crash should contact Hagerstown Police at (301)-790-3700 or visit the website, "www.hagerstownmd.org."
DERECHO HEARINGS HELD BY P.S.C.
A hearing on the response time of the 2012 derecho weather event was held by the state Public Service Commission. Officials from several power companies testified on what steps they have taken to improve the way service is restored after severe storms. The PSC wants power restored faster, as some customers were without power for as long as two weeks. The commission will use information gathered from the hearings to come up with new standards for utilities to restore power.
MOTHER REFUSES TO COOPERATE WITH AUTHORITIES
A Montgomery County woman, who was missing for a time last week, is refusing to tell police where her children are, and police believe the children may be dead. Catherine Hoggle has been arrested in connection with the case, while the search for three-year old Sarah, and two-year old Jacob Hoggle is continuing. Catherine Hoggle was found in Germantown, and so far, has been charged with child neglect; police are continuing to build a murder case against her.
GAS PRICES SHOULD DROP THIS MONTH
Switching to less expensive, winter-blend gasoline should drive the prices down sometime this month. Ahead of the change-over, the national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $3.41, as of late last week. Prices traditionally decline after the Labor Day holiday, as the summer driving season ends. The average price in the state of Maryland last week was $3.37.
RESIDENT REMAINS JAILED WITHOUT BOND
Cumberland resident Jakeenan Corderay Jennings of Memorial Avenue remains jailed without bond on a charge of attempted second-degree murder, following an early Saturday morning incident at a North Mechanic Street business. Jennings is accused of stabbing another person, who was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Jennings fled the scene, but was later located on Henderson Avenue. Police found a knife on him. Information was received that further evidence could be found at a residence on Bond Street. As police arrived, they could smell a strong odor of marijuana. Taken into custody in that case was Devin Montem Griffin of Baltimore, who also interfered with the officers' investigation. He was later release on his own recognizance.
ONE ARRESTED IN BURGLARY ASSAULT
Twenty-seven year old Shane Christopher Combs was arrested early yesterday evening, following a burglary and assault incident on Grand Avenue. Combs and another person are accused of forcing their way into a residence, armed with a knife, making threats, and demanding property. While Combs was arrested, the second suspect became the subject of a search by city police and the Trooper Five helicopter. He was not located, but similar charges against him and Combs are pending in District Court. Combs was charged with burglary, malcious destruction of property, and assault.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING TEEN
A search is underway for a missing 17-year old girl, who ran away from the Burlington United Family Services Children's' Home Friday. Sadie Kendall is described as a white female, 5-feet, 2-inches tall, weighing 120 pounds. She has brown hair, green eyes, and wearing black, wire-framed glasses. She also has two streaks shaved into her hair on the right side, near her ear. She left the home early Friday evening, and is believed to have family in the Allegany County, Maryland area, and in Monongalia County, West Virginia.
CUMBERLAND WOMAN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY
Cumberland resident Candice Marie Hockman was arrested Friday for burglarizing a home on Dogwood Hill Road in Barton. Deputies say a person breaking into an unoccupied residence there; as she was attempting to leave, she was stopped by deputies from the Allegany County Sheriff's Department. Money, along with other evidence related to the crime was found. She was ordered held without bail, and additional charges are pending against other individuals.
KEYSER "MYSTERY MAN" FOUND
A man, who had been yelling for help in the woods near Keyser, has been found. The man, who is originally from Connecticut, is homeless and had been living in a tent on New Creek Mountain. He does have money, and would come down from the mountain to patronize the local restaurants. He had been camping on private property, and will be moved to a local shelter in Cumberland, when space becomes available.
SOUTH END ROAD WORK CONTINUES THIS WEEK
Milling and patching work will be continuing today through Thursday, weather permitting, in the areas of Louisiana Avenue, from Kent Avenue to Oldtown Road and on Winifred Road, from Oldtown Road to White Avenue. Work will take place nightly from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Flaggers will be on the scene, and drivers are urged to use caution when traveling in those areas.
WOMAN ARRESTED FOR CDS POSSESSION
Fifty-two year old Shelva Shipley was arrested Saturday evening in the 300-block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Ms. Shipley had been going door to door of different homes for unknown reasons. An active bench warrant was found for failing to follow probation conditions. Police also found a quantity of Oxycodone on her. She was taken to the Cumberland City Police Department, where she was processed and served.
MAN HELD ON $10,000 BOND
Corriganville resident Joshua Aaron Pifer was arrested over the weekend, first on an outstanding warrant, and then for various drug charges. Police found large quantities of prescription medication on him, along with suspected heroin, needles and assorted drug paraphernalia. He was held on a $10,000 bond for the CDS related charges, and $5,000 bond for the warrant.
A.R.C. AWARDS GRANT TO BOARD OF EDUCAITON
The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced a grant of $34,375 to the Allegany County Board of Education for the Bel Air Fiber Extension project. The grant will help fund the extension of fiber optic cable for internet access to the Bel Air Elementary School. In addition to the ARC funds, the Allegany County Commissioners are providing over $17,000; the Board of Education is providing the same amount, bringing total amount to $68,750.
"PITCH ACROS MARYLAND" TO MAKE LOCAL STOP
Startup Maryland's annual "Pitch Across Maryland project will make a stop in Cumberland next Monday, September 22nd. From 9 to 11, entrepreneurs who hope to start or expand a business in Allegany County will be able to record a 2 to 3 minute "pitch" that will be posted on www. startupmaryland.org, as a means to expose those residents to venture capitalists and angel investors. For more information on the project, contact Shawn Hershberger, Economic Development Coordinator at (301)-722-4156.
FORT HILL CITED FOR "BEATING THE ODDS"
Fort Hill High School was recently ranked 438th out of 500 schools in the "Beating the Odds" category of Newsweek magazine's edition of top high schools. This year, Newsweek sought to recognize schools that beat the odds, performing better than statistically expected for their level of poverty. Fort Hill was listed in a category that ranked schools on how well they prepare their students for college, taking students' socio-economic background into account. More than 14,000 schools were considered for the rankings.
CARDIN, MIKULSKI PROMOTE STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING
Maryland's United States Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin visited two universities in the state last week, to listen to concerns about the federal student loan program. Senator Mikulski says she is surprised how complicated the government makes the process for Pell grants, student loans and certain debt forgiveness programs. Senator Mikulski called for the reform of the Pell grant programs to enable the ability to refinance student loans they have with the government. She says she receives calls daily, from constituents, asking about college affordability. Senator Mikulski claims this will be one of the most significant issues of the upcoming election.
BALTIMORE MAN HELD ON DRUG CHARGES
Baltimore resident Dario Darnell Thornton is in the Allegany County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, following an incident on Gulf War Memorial Drive late Wednesday afternoon. Thornton had tried to maneuver around a parked police cruiser, and strruck it. He fled the scene, but was stopped. A clear plastic baggie, containing two individually wrapped baggies of heroin and two, containing crack cocaine were found in the car. Also, Cumberland resident Megan Bone was found to be in possession of heroin and paraphernalia. Both were arrested. Ms. Bone, of Frostburg, was released on personal recognizance.
FIREFIGHTERS RATIFY CONTRACT
The International Association of Firefighters, Local 1715, ratified their contract this week, after nearly two years of negotiations. Two stipulations of the contract are that there may be possible use of part-time and volunteer help in the department; the fire chief will also decide how many employees will work each shift. All fire department workers will be retained, including those hired in 2010 through a grant. The department has an annual budget, totaling nearly $5 million annually.
STUDENT APPREHENDED IN BOMB THREAT
A threatening message on a bathroom wall at Fort Hill High School yesterday, led to the arrest of a 10th grade student there. The investigation concluded the message was not a credible threat, before evacuation procedures began. The student will be charged with making a bomb threat and related counts, and will also be disciplined in accordance with school board policy.
POSSIBLE WATER PROJECT TO BE DISCUSSED
The Allegany County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting on a possible future water project for the Barrelville/Sunnyside area of the county. That meeting will be held Wednesday, September 24th at 7 p.m. at the Barrelville Presbyterian Church. Residents of the area, and all citizens, are encouraged to attend. The meeting will include Department of Public Works officials, who will be on hand to discuss details and answer questions about the project.
THREE REGIONAL EMPLOYERS MAKE LIST
WorkForce West Virginia has relased its llist of the 100 largest private employers in the state, and three regional companies are on it. Pilgrim's Pride ranked number 18 on the list. B.B. & T Bank is at 35, and Alliant TechSystems came in at 37. The number one private employer in the Mountain State is WalMart, and has held that title since 1998. The list ranks companies by numbers of employees and contains businesses with both single and multiple locations.
WHEELS FOR HAPPINESS SHOW TOMORROW
The 2014 Wheels for Happiness Auto Show will be held tomorrow at Canal Place, and will honor Loudon Baker of Bowling Green as its "Rodder of the Year." Green has overcome a number of obstacles, while participating in his automotive hobby. The show begins at 10 a.m. on the festival grounds at Canal Place. The entry fee for participants and spectators is either $5.00, or a new, unwrapped toy or gift for a young boy or girl up to age 15.
BISHOP WALSH SEEKING ALUMNI MEMBERS
Bishop Walsh is seeking graduates from its school, as well as alumni from LaSalle, St. Peter's, St. Mary's, Ursuline Academy, and Girls' Central Catholic High Schools, who would be interested in participating in alumni activities. An organizational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 30th at 5:30 p.m. in the Bishop Walsh school cafeteria. Any graduate who is interested in serving on a committee is invited to attend and share their thoughts. For more information, contact the BW Director of Development Wendy Herker at (301)-724-5360, extension 107.
FIRST ENERGY HELPING TO SPONSOR SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The First Energy Foundation has donated $10,000 to help sponsor the 2014 International Canoe Federation's Canoe Slalom World Championships, to be held next week on a unique, manmade whitewater course in McHenry, Maryland. The Championships will be held September 17th through the 21st, and is expected to draw up to 8,000 spectators and competitors from 45 countries. "Deep Creek 2014" anticipates the event will generate millions of dollars in economic impact for Garrett County and western Maryland. It is also expected to attract an international television audience of more than 21 million viewers.
FATHER OF SLAIN CHILDREN TRIED TO GET CUSTODY
The father of two children, found murdered this week, had fought for visitation and custody of the children. Three year old Kayla Renee Thompson and one year old Ayden Jonathan Spoon are dead, and their mother, Sonya Spoon, has admitted to killing them. She is being held without bond, and the children's father has not been named. According to Spoon's mother, she told police her daughter had suicidal thoughts, and had said she wanted to kill her daughter. Police say since there was no abuse or neglect, and just a verbal comment, Ms. Spoon was allowed to return home to her children.
DEMOCRATS FILE COMPLAINT AGAINST HOGAN
The Maryland Democratic Party has filed a complaint against Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan, says Hogan improperly paid for his campaign bus, and tried to "go around" public financing rules. Democrats say Hogan cut himself a deal, when he bought a recreational vehicle with personal funds, and then leased it back to the campaign for less than $700 a month. They say it violates campaign finance laws, because Hogan charged the campaign less than fair market value for the bus, and that he did not report the purchase as a contribution to his campaign.
WHAT TEENS MAY NOT LEARN IN DRIVER'S ED CLASS
Auto accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths, and of 2.2 million total accidents each year among inexperienced drivers, 12 per cent can be attributed to low tire pressure and insufficient tread. Stephanie Tarbet, a spokesperson for Michelin tires, says that only 23 of 50 states actually require any classroom time for driver education. Ms. Tarbet says Maryland is one state that does not inlcude any instruction on tire pressure. Fifty-two per cent of teens do not check tire pressure, at least monthly; 27 per cent never check tire pressure. Checking tire pressure and tread wear are simple steps to saving lives; 38 per cent of parents consider themselves knowledgeable about tire maintenance.
For further information, visit Michelin's companion site, "Beyond the Driving Test-dot-com."
CAUSE OF GARRETT COUNTY FIRE DETERMINED
The cause of a 12:57 a.m. fire yesterday on Table Rock Road has been traced to an overheated dryer vent. The home, which is now uninhabitable, is owned by Zackariah and Jennifer Stemple. The fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage. Smoke detectors were present and activated at the time of the fire. The Stemple family is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
KEYSER MAN REMAINS JAILED
Keyser resident Gregory Denton remains in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, after he was accused of assaulting two city police officers there. Denton suffered facial injuries after being tazered by officers. City Police there say there were reports of an altercation among four men; as they tried to intervene, Denton assaulted both officers, striking one in the head, and pushing the second one back. He was initially taken to Potomac Valley Hospital, then to Ruby Memorial. Following his release, he was taken to the jail, and held on $2500 bond.
CUMBERLAND MAN ARRESTED IN HAGERSTOWN
Cumberland resident Ernest Mack, along with Lowell Tolliver of Washington, D.C.,were arrested early yesterday morning, and charged with having over 100 grams of marijuana in their vehicle. Tolliver's car was initially stopped in Washington County, for speeding on I-70, near Route 66. Both were taken before a Washington County District Court Commissioner.
MAN CHARGED WITH SECOND-DEGREE ASSAULT
A Cumberland man is being held on $20,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, following an assault incident on West Oldtown Road Tuesday. Javon Murphy allegedly pinned his victim against a wall, and had choked her. A friend intervened to stop the attack. He was charged with second-degree assault. The victim didn't require medical attention.
STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETINGS SET
The Cumberland Mayor and City Council will participate in an economic development strategic planning meeting on Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. in the second-floor conference room at City Hall. The meeting will be held by consultant, RKG and Associates. That same evening, two separate public presentations will be provided by RKG and Associates, one beginning at 5:30 p.m. and one beginning at 7 p.m. at the Allegany County Museum on Pershing Street. Each presentation will detail the next steps in the strategic planning process.
CHAMBER ANNOUNCES BUSINESS WINNERS
The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 27th annual Business Recognition Dinner, which will be held on October 2nd at Frostburg State University. The Business of the Year is Hunter-Douglas Fabrication; the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner is Barbara Buehl; and, the Community Service Award winners are Dr. Matthew and Kelli Allaway. The dinner will begin at 7 p.m.
FROSTBURG RECEIVES SAFE ROUTES GRANT
The city of Frostburg has received a grant of over $61,000, as part of a larger grant to the state for the Safe Routes to School Program. Frostburg will use its portion to complete ADA compliant sidewalks, ramps, and crossings. The Safe Routes to School Program is managed by the Maryland State Highway Administration, utilizing federal Transportation Alternatives Program funds.
PARK SERVICE WANTS TO EXPAND ANTIETAM
The National Park Service wants to expand the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg to include about 500 acres in nearby West Virginia, where the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought. A meeting will be held Tuesday to consider the proposal, which would require Congressional approval. The Battle of Sharpsburg was fought September 19th and 20th of 1862, resulting in more than 675 casualties.
STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM DEADLINE APPROACHING
Time is running out for some Maryland farmers who want to continue receiving federal assistance to improve soil, water, air, and habitat quality on their land. Sophia Kruszewski with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition says the Conservation Stewardship Program is unique in that it isn't about helping farmers avoid environmental harm, but rather enhancing and improving what conservation-minded farmers are already doing.
WORKFORCE W.VA. WARNS OF SCAM
WorkForce West Virginia is alerting employers in the Mountain State about a potential scam, where people claim to represent the agency and ask for financial information. An email sent to an employer, from a private email address, had asked for canceled checks for unemployment tax contributions. The agency notes that electronic correspondence is sent only from a "wv.gov" address. Employers who may be suspicious should contact WorkForce West Virginia.
CHARGES AGAINST OFFICER PLACED ON STET DOCKET
Charges against a former Frostburg State University police officer, Jarrett Warnick, have been placed on the stet docket, and no further action will be taken in the case. Warnick had been charged with various sex offenses with a then-18 year old student, but pleaded not guilty at a hearing this summer. The student has since graduated. Warnick has agreed to participate in a state police investigation of possible misconduct by another FSU officer. He resigned from the FSU police force yesterday afternoon.
CUMBERLAND MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
Cumberland resident David Sines has been sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison for two separate criminal acts, one involving the abduction of a child under 12, and a second degree sex offense. The mandatory sentence will be served without the possibility of parole. He will also be on five years supervised probation, with conditions that he register as a sex offender for life, complete a sexual offender treatment evaluation, and several other stipulations. Sines was accused of trying to abduct two small children from Oldtown Manor; during questioning, Sines also admitted that he had sexually assaulted an infant in the past.
WESTERNPORT WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO COCAINE CHARGE
Thirty-four year old Patrice Dominique Stephens of Westernport has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg. She was indicted in March as part of what authorities called a large drug trafficking organization, operating out of Keyser. Several area residents were also implicated. The lead defendant in the case is Cedrick Malachi Jones of Palm Coast, Florida. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
MAN SENTENCED FOR HEROIN DISTRIBUTION
Twenty-eight year old Cumberland resident Erik Baker has been sentenced to a net total of seven years in prison, after pleading guilty to a charge of possession with intent to distribute heroin. Seven years of a 14-year sentence were suspended. Upon his release from prison, Baker will be on three years supervised probation.
TEN TICKETED FOR ILLEGALLY OPERATING ATV's
A total of ten people, from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, were ticketed this past Saturday for illegally operating ATV's in the Youghiogheny Natural Resources Management area. The maximum fine for the violation is $500, and all of those ticketed are scheduled to appear in Garrett District Court on December 11th.
FORMER RESIDENT INDICTED ON MURDER CHARGES
Former Cumberland resident Charles Severance, who is in Loudon County, Virginia jail, awaiting trial on a gun possession charge, has been indicted for three high-profile murder cases in Alexandria, Virginia. Severance, who had resided on Browning Street, had several brushes with local law enforcement in 2003 and 2005, on various charges ranging from assault to a fourth degree sex offense, to indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. All of those cases were placed on the stet docket. Severance had been represented by local attorney G.V. McKinley. In the murder cases, the state does not intend to seek the death penalty. The maximum sentence, should he be convicted on any of the murder charges, is life in prison.
TRAILER FIRE UNDER INVESTIGATION
A trailer, on Marsh Manor Court in Westernport, sustained $1500 worth of damage in an early Tuesday morning fire. The cause of the 3:10 a.m. fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office. A neighbor awoke to notice the fire in the home, occupied by Steven Baker, who used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. It was out by the time fire departments arrived. The blaze was confined to the exterior of the building. Smoke detectors were present and activated.
WARRANTS SERVED ON CUMBERLAND RESIDENTS
Two bench warrants were served on Cumberland residents on Monday. In the first case, Kerrie Bohrer was served a warrant for failure to appear in court for a previous theft arrest. In the second, 21-year old Demetrius Taylor was also served a warrant for failure to appear on a previous CDS charge. Both were released on personal recognizance, pending trial.
THEFT SUMMONS SERVED
Twenty-four year old Cody Feaster was served with a criminal summons Monday, as the result of a theft investigation that occurred at a Park Street business on August 15th. He allegedly stole some store-owned merchandise and left without paying. He was served and released pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
GREEN SPRING UNDER BOIL WATER ADVISORY
Residents of Green Spring have been under a boil water advisory since Monday, when a water leak was discovered in the Arnold Stickley Road and Route 28 areas. The general manager of the Central Hampshire Public Service District, Jim Hoffman, says water testing may take some time, but residents will be notified when the advisory is lifted.
SOMERSET AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN
Somerset County authorities are looking for a Holsopple man, who went into the woods Sunday night, but never returned. Dan Thomas was checking trail cams for hunting, but never came back. Both dogs and sheriff's deputies on horseback searched for Thomas in the area of Route 601, near Paint Township. About 75 volunteers on ATV's searched a three-mile radius in the area on Monday.
WVU BAND TO MAKE LOCAL STOP
"The Pride of West Virginia," the Mountaineer Marching Band, will make a stop Friday, on their way to College Park for Saturday's game against the Maryland Terrapins. The 375-member band will perform for students at Frankfort High School and Frankfort Middle School, as well as music students from Keyser Middle School and Hampshire High School. Four Frankfort graduates help make up the Mountaineer Band. The band will perform at Frankfort Stadium at 1 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.
CAMPAIGN MIXES WATER WITH WINE
A bi-coastal partnership is mixing water with fine wines to benefit projects to restore the Chesapeake Bay. B.V. Wine, from California's coastal region, is donating a portion of profits from sales in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. to the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Trust, which funds about five million dollars in projects and programs to improve the bay each year. Trust spokesperson Molly Mullins says everyone wins in this kind of partnership.
MORE STUDENTS TRANSFERRING TO MD. UNIVERSITIES
Four year colleges in Maryland are experiencing a surge in transfer students from community colleges. Three years ago, Frostburg State University, for example, began offering scholarships for graduates of any community college in the state who earns a GPA of 3.0. FSU officials say they enrolled their largest transfer class ever last fall. Maryland's four-year schools are working more closely with community colleges, and establishing pipelines to allow students to transfer more easily.
PRISON PLANNED FOR CRESAPTOWN
Maryland Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Gregg Hershberger, is asking for support from local legislators, in planning a 140-bed minimum security prison in Cresaptown, between the current NBCI and WCI facilities. Hershberger says the prison is expected to cost $15 million, and would eliminate a problem, he says, of minimum security inmates going in and out of the maximum security facility at WCI, when working on road and other public works projects. Such a proposal would need approval from the Maryland General Assembly.
BEDFORD WOMAN STRUCK, KILLED BY TRACTOR TRAILER
Bedford resident Tracy Bishop was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer, when she tried to cross Route 30 at Mile Level early yesterday morning. She was pronounced dead at UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital. The driver of the truck was identified as 57-year old Russell Wayne Oldham of New Paris, Pennsylvania, according to State Police there.
SEARCH SUSPENDED FOR MAN
The search for a man who had been heard yelling in the woods near the Mineral County Health Department has been suspended. The man was heard cursing and yelling the word, "hey," but he wasn't located. The Mineral County Sheriff's Department determined he wasn't in great need, because he was mobile. A further search was conducted yesterday morning, before being suspended. The man reportedly had been yelling for three days. Law enforcement authorities advise that if he becomes stationary or sounds distressed, residents should call 911.
DEPARTMENT CHECKS NATURAL GAS ODOR
There were no injuries Sunday night, when the Cumberland Fire Department responded to an odor of natural gas at 112 North Allegany Street. Two fire engines and an ambulance stood by as the situation was investigated. The call was received before 9 p.m. Sunday, and units remained on the scene until about 9:10 p.m.
GATTO FILES AS WRITE-IN CANDIDATE
Garrett County Commissioner Robert Gatto, who was defeated in the primary election this past June, has filed as a write-in candidate for the District 3 Commissioners' seat. Three other residents-Dave Beard, Dan Duggan and Paul McIntyre-have filed as write-in candidates for the Orphan's Court judicial position.
RALEY APPOINTED DIRECTOR
Garrett County Commissioner Jim Raley, who recently lost to Paul Edwards in the primary election, has been appointed the executive director of the Office of Consumer Advocates. The non-profit organization has locations in Hagerstown, Cumberland, and Oakland, and provides mental health and wellness programs, and has recently partnered with the Maryland Food Bank to provide food distribution services.
SCHELLSBURG MAN BEATEN, ROBBED
A Schellsburg man says he was assaulted and robbed in late August, while walking along Route 30. Thirty-five year old Justin Suffecool says he was walking between the Schellsburg VFW and Route 96, when four men got out of a dark pickup truck, held him to the ground and kicked him in the head. He was robbed of $300. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bedford barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at (814)-623-6133.
CUMBERLAND 9TH BEST TO RAISE A FAMILY
Cumberland ranks 9 out of the Top Ten cities in Maryland, in which to raise a family, according to the website, "Credit Donkey.com." The survey took a number of factors into consideration, including education, commute time, household type, residency and housing costs. Cumberland has an 87.5 per cent or higher graduation rate, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. The comments noted that kids can soak up the local history at places like the Allegany Museum or get an up-close view of the birds at Rocky Gap State Park. And, one of the most eye-catching natural attractions is the Narrows. The top city in which to raise a family, according to the article is Bowie.
HUNDREDS VISIT FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL
Hundreds of people have visited the Flight 93 Memorial this past weekend, in advance of the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks this Thursday. Crews are continuing to add to the site, as the Flight 93 Visitor and Learning Center and Wetland Bridge is slated to open next year.
WOMAN CITED FOR HARASSMENT
A criminal summons was served on 34-year old Tammy Lynn Porter, charging her with harassment, telephone misuse, and electronic mail harassment. The charges stemmed from an incident on Virginia Avenue that took place early in September. She was served with the criminal summons and released, pending trial.
GRIM COMMENTS ON CITY IMPROVEMENTS
A number of street improvements are being done in the city this week. Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says there are additional infrastructure improvements planned for the city. On the subject of the 19 Frederick Street property, businessman Philip Walter Smith presented a proposal last week to buy the property. If accepted, the "Liberty Trail Inn" hopes to be open by next spring. Plans call for 18 rooms, and a two room suite. The Inn would pay approximately $57,000 annually, and provide 8 full time jobs. Discussions are in the preliminary stages at this point, according to Mayor Grim.
MARIJUANA-RELATED BILL IN EFFECT OCTOBER 1ST
A bill, decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, will go into effect on October 1st. The bill would make the possession of less than 10 grams of the drug a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100. For a second offense, the fine would be $250.00. Governor O'Malley signed the bill on April 7th.
TWO CHILDREN DEAD IN CHEVERLY
Two young children were killed in a home, just two blocks from the town's police headquarters, and their mother, 24-year old Sonya Spoon, has been identified as the suspect. Police were called to the home on Forest Road, just after 2 a.m. Sunday. The children, ages 3 and one, were taken to Children's Hospital in Washington, where they died. The children were identified as Kayla Thompson and Ayden Spoon. Investigators are still investigating the motive for the murders.
WVU SURPASSES FUNDRAISING GOAL BY $22 MILLION
West Virginia University's Foundation has announced their "A State of Minds" campaign, which goes toward student scholarships as well as upgrades to the facilities at the school, surpassed it original goal by $22 million. The largest chunk of the money has come from individuals looking to help and give back to the university.
METH LAB BUSTED IN SHAFT
Fifty-two year old James McMillian, of no fixed address, was arrested over the weekend, after the C3I Narcotics Unit, the Allegany County Sheriff's Office, and Maryland State Police executed a search warrant on a property in Shaft. What was discovered were ingredients used to make methamphetamine, housed in a number of tents on the site. Although more arrests are anticipated, McMillian was held on $5,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. The agencies involved are encouraging citizens to continue to contact them with drug tips; the information can remain anonymous.
TEACHER'S BOND SET AT $20,000
Mountain Ridge High School teacher, Bart Alan Mazer's bond was set at $20,000, following his arrest at the school on Friday. Mazer is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact last October and November with a then-17 year old student at the school. The alleged incidents occurred at Mazer's home, and none of the sexual contact happened at Mountain Ridge. The investigation is continuing with the cooperation of the school board and the administration at the school. For its part, the school board issued a statement, which noted the "very serious allegations," and that Mazer has been placed on leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
CUMBERLAND MAN INDICTED IN WVU STUDENT DEATH
Cumberland resident Robert Hernandez has been indicted by a Monongalia County grand jury, in connection with the death of WVU student Devante Waites. Hernandez is being held without bail, and will be arraigned in the next few days. Hernandez is accused of stabbing Waites outside a bar, near the WVU downtown campus on August 14th.
TRIAL DATE SET FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE
Twenty-eight year old Christopher Adam Preston will go on trial October 24th, in connection with the deaths of nine dogs in a Bel Air home. He is facing 18 animal cruelty charges, with penalties including a jail term of up to 90 days and a fine not to exceed $1,000. Psychological counseling may be ordered for an offender, and they could be banned from owning an animal in the future. His wife, Rachael, has not been charged in the case.
PUBLIC WORKS APPROVES PROJECTS
The Maryland Board of Public Works approved two local projects during its most recent meeting. The Board approved a $4.3 million contract to Carl Belt, Incorporated to do water treatment work at Rocky Gap State Park. Also approved was a separate loan for a new tanker for the Bedford Road Volunteer Fire Department.
FOUNDATION ADDRESSING ANIMAL CONTROL ISSUES
The Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation continues to address issues, such as the neglect, and ultimate death, of nine dogs in Bel Air last month. Becky McClarran, president of the Foundation, says they have taken responsbility for what happened, and are conducting a review to improve animal control issues. One of the first items addressed was the phone system; a new one has now been ordered. The Allegany County Commissioners have allocated approximately $360,000 for animal control. Ms. McClarran notes that amount is less than has been provided in the past. According to a summary from the Foundation, Huber-Michaels' accounting firm provided accounting and control services for the shelter operating account, at a cost of $8400. McClarran and Williams provided graphic design, event development and coordination, web site content management, and brochure and literature production supporting adoption, foster, spay/neuter and public education programs at a cost of $8100.
MILLING AND PATCHING PROJECTS ANNOUNCED
Milling and patching work will take place on Greene Street, in the area of the Dingle. On Thursday, work starts on Beall Street, from Lee Street to Allegany Street. No parking will be permitted on Beall Street, during working hours, which will be from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., weather permitting. Please use caution, but expect delays during those hours. Flaggers will be in place. For questions, contact the city's Engineering Department at (301)-759-6600.
SOMERSET WOMAN INJURED IN OXYGEN-RELATED FIRE
A Somerset County woman was burned when she lit a cigarette, near an oxygen tank, causing a fire at her Catherine Street home. The un-named 80-year old woman was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center with burn injuries.
APPALACHIAN FESTIVAL SCHEDULED THIS MONTH
Frostburg State University will host its annual Appalachian Festival September 18th through the 20th. The festival kicks off on Thursday evening, September 18th with the screening of "Triple Divide," a film about fracking in Pennsylvania. The festival continues with various activities Friday and Saturday.
O'MALLEY TO ADDRESS N.C. DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will address a gathering of the North Carolina Democratic Party on Saturday, October 18th in Asheville. This will mark the 11th state where O'Malley has given a keynote address. His term ends in January, and he says he has given serious consideration to a Presidential run in 2016. In advance of the North Carolina date, O'Malley will address the Portsmouth City, New Hampshire Democrats on September 26th.
CVS PHARMACY PULLS TOBACCO PRODUCTS
CVS Pharmacies nationwide have stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco-related products, affecting 7700 retail outlets. And, even though some have said smokers will just find another place to buy cigarettes and tobacco products, statistics show that in Boston and San Francisco, there has been a 13 per cent decrease in overall tobacco utilization. CVS has also launched a nationwide cessation program for smokers. In West Virginia, there are 47 stores in 24 different counties.
TEACHER ARRESTED AT MOUNTAIN RIDGE
The Allegany County C3I unit has arrested Mountain Ridge High School teacher Bart Alan Mazer of Frostburg. Mazer is being accused of two counts of 4th degree sex offense, and was the result of an investigation into allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact last October and November with a then-17 year old female, who was a student at the school. The alleged incidents occurred at Mazer's home, and none of the sexual contact occurred at the school. The student has since graduated. He is currently being held on $20,000 bond. The investigation is continuing with the cooperation of the school board and the administration at Mountain Ridge High School.
MISSING SCIENTIST'S BODY FOUND
The body of Martin "John" Rogers, a National Institute of Health scientist who had been missing since August 21st, was found yesterday off the M.V. Smith Road. Rogers, of Gaithersburg, was last seen at the Super 8 Motel on National Highway. Passersby located Rogers' vehicle over an embankment, with his body near the car. Although no foul play is suspected, Rogers' body was taken to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for positive identification.
TWO INDICTED BY GRAND JURY
Donald Fishel of Oldtown and Hampshire County, West Virginia resident Bradford Frye have been indicted by an Allegany County grand jury, in connection with a series of burglaries and thefts from homes in Oldtown and commercial businesses throughout Allegany County. Much of the property was located at a scrap yard in Paw Paw. Both are being held on bond.
MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH FATAL ACCIDENT
Twenty-six year old Jerold Lee Sisler of Terra Alta, West Virginia has been charged with driving under the influence, in conection with a fatal head-on collision in mid-August. Killed in the crash was 34-year old Saunya Regina Sines. The crash occurred on Route 7 (Veteran's Memorial Highway) on August 14th. Sisler is currently in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
FIREFIGHTERS EXPECTED TO VOTE ON CONTRACT
City of Cumberland representatives and members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1715 are putting the finishing touches on an agreement, and a vote on the contract is expected Tuesday of next week. One of the main stumbling blocks in the contract was staffing levels. It was decided that the fire chief, who is management and not union, to decide the number of staff members who will be on duty.
WORLD WAR II MONUMENT IN BEDFORD COMPLETED
An independently funded memorial to Bedford County World War II veterans will be dedicated tomorrow. A grassroots organization, "The League of Pretty Good Guys" stepped up raise the $200,000 needed for the statue, which includes the names of 170 Bedford County servicemen who were killed in the war. More than 100 veterans have placed their thumb prints into the base of the monument. Dedication ceremonies are set for11 a.m.
HAMPSHIRE GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENTS
Numerous indictments have been handed down by a Hampshire County Grand Jury. Arraignments for those named will be conducted today. Charges in the indictments range from driving under the influence and DUI causing a death, embezzlement, burglary, and substance abuse counts.
MAN ARRESTED FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT
Thirty-four year old Perry Nelson Hamilton was arrested for disorderly conduct, following a Wednesday evening incident in the 300-block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Hamilton allegedly threw a beer at a female victim, but stated he threw it toward the street. He was issued a criminal citation and released pending trial in District Court.
JOB STATUS DEBATE AT WVSDB RESOLVED
About 35 child care workers at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind will be required to obtain an Associate's Degree by June 30, 2020. Many of the workers do not have an advanced degree, which caused some friction between the staff and workers. The employees will retain their jobs, and will not have to re-apply for them.
THREE ARRESTED FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION
A Morgan County, West Virginia grand jury has returned indictments against a total of five residents, stemming from a long-term drug investigation. Three residents-27 year old Matthew Merki and 33-year old Jessica Estes of Berkeley Springs, along with Hedgesville resident Michael Miller-were taken into custody, while two more have not yet been located. They face a variety of counts, involving the delivery of controlled dangerous substances, including percoset, heroin, hydrocodone, and marijuana. The three are in the Eastern Regional Jail.
POLICE SEEK ASSISTANCE IN SOLVING MURDERS
Hagerstown law enforcement authorities are asking for the public's help, concerning two unsolved homicide cases. One case stems from March of 2012 at 1002 Linwood Road, in which Alfarad Aquil Evans was murdered in his home, after armed assailants broke in and shot him several times. The second happened in December of last year, when Everette Wade, also known as Dontae Marvus, was shot as he was walking in the 200-block of Locust Street. Information can be shared by calling (301)-790-3700, or by email, at "firstname.lastname@example.org."
WATERS "MUDDIED" OVER STORMWATER FEES
Stormwater has become a more visible political issue in the state. Opponents of the stormwater laws call the fees charged to treat or naturally filtered runoff, are calling it a "rain tax." Bill Stack at the Center for Watershed Protection says stormwater fees have been supported in other states for years, without controversy as a more transparent and equitable way to pay for treatment.
PROSECUTOR PREPARING CASE AGAINST OHIO MAN
Whether or not an Ohio man will face the death penalty will be up to prosecutors. Twenty-six year old Ernest Roach has been charged with, and has admitted to, the murder of 16-year old Ericka Brown of Cross Lanes, West Virginia. Ohio does have the death penalty, but a decision on whether to try him in Ohio or West Virginia will be made within the next several months. Roach and Brown met, after she had posted a personal ad on Craigslist, looking for relationships with men.
FOUR INDICTED IN OVERDOSE DEATH
Four people have been indicted in connection with the May 8th drug overdose death of Bobbie Jean Blacka of Keyser. John Henry Davis III, Melissa May Stewart, and Christian Nicole Pierce face first-degree murder counts in the case. Thirty-one year old Daisy Marie Stewart is also charged. West Virginia law allows for first-degree murder charges, if the delivery of narcotics results in death.
THEATER DIRECTOR CHARGED IN ALLEGED ABUSE CASE
The director of the Apple Alley Players, Alex Mc Donald, has been charged with the alleged sexual abuse of a minor. Mineral County Sheriff Jeremy Taylor says McDonald, of Fort Ashby, West Virginia, says the incidents allegedly occurred during Apple Alley's plays and events. Mc Donald has posted a $10,000 bond; he could face one to five years in prison on the first-degree sexual abuse charge, and 10 to 20 years for sexual abuse by a custodian in charge.
MAN ARRESTED ON BALTIMORE WARRANT
Twenty-three year old Jarrett Antonio McBurroughs was arrested in Cumberland on an outstanding warrant from Baltimore. McBurroughs was charged there with second-degree assault and use of a dangerous weapon, with intent to injure. He was taken to a District Court Commissioner, where he was held on $10,000 bond.
CASINO GARNERS GAMING AWARDS
The Rocky Gap Casino has won 26 awards in the Maryland category of Casino Player Magazine's 19th annual Best of Gaming awards. In addition to 14 second-place awards, Rocky Gap won eight first-place awards, including Best Hotel, Best Golf Course, and Favorite Casino Resort for a Vacation. Winners were determined by written ballots, which were submitted by readers of the magazine.
M.S.P. CONTINUES TO INVESTIGATE THEFT
The Maryland State Police barrack at McHenry continue to investigate the theft of fishing equipment, including a 9-foot inflatable boat, along with a mini-Kota trolling motor and fishing gear, which were taken from a Savage River Road residence. Anyone with information is urged to contact the McHenry barrack at (301)-387-1101.
CARDIN CONCLUDES W.MD. VISIT
Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin spent Tuesday and yesterday in Western Maryland, touring the Simon Pearce production plant in Mountain Lake Park, visiting with the team participating in the International Canoe Federation Slalom World Championships, and biking the Great Allegheny Passage. Another reason for his visit was to discuss, with local leaders, how to work as a team to bring jobs to Allegany County. He says that includes infrastructure improvements and to explore which strategies work for Cumberland. Cardin also says he wants the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the water pump issue at the Canal Place basin, which he says is presently an "eyesore." On the plus side, Senator Cardin notes the area has great health and educational facilities.
SOMERSET RESIDENTS FALL VICTIM TO I.R.S. SCAM
Residents in the region continue to fall victim of a scam, in which a caller, purporting to be from the Internal Revenue Service, telling callers they owe money to the agency. The caller says if they don't pay, they'll be arrested that day. Several calls to one Somerset, Pennsylvania residence came from a "202" area code, directing the people to purchase a "Green Dot" money card for the amount they owed. Police say the IRS will never call, asking for money.
CHARITABLE FUNDS REMAIN STEADY IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
Despite a drop in revenues, more than $1 million has been provided to local non-profits through the Washington County Gaming Fund. That's money that comes from proceeds from tip jars and small games of chance in Washington County. Half of the money goes to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, with the remaining half going to non-profit organizations who apply for funding that is, in turn, allocated by the Gaming Commission.
OHIO MAN CHARGED WITH TEEN'S DEATH
Ohio resident Ernest Michael Roach is being charged with murder, in the death of 16-year old Nitro high school student Ericka Brown. Roach reportedly met the teen on "Craigslist." Her body was found along the Ohio River near Portland, wrapped in a plastic tarp, with a cement block tied to it. Roach has since admitted to killing Ms. Brown, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia.
COMPANIES ANNOUNCE ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE PROJECT
Four major energy companies have announced a major project, in which a new gas pipeline with run 550 miles, from Harrison County, West Virginia to North Carolina. The project is a joint effort among Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. Natural gas will be delivered to customers along the route. The pipeline will be built at a cost of five billion dollars and at least another billion investment on the back end to get the gas to market.
AGREEMENT REACHED IN DANDO CASE
The Allegany County State's Attorney's office has announced that criminal charges against Dr. William Thomas Dando were dismissed, as part of an agreement requiring that he permanently surrender his license to practice medicine. The decision was made after a review of the evidence, consultation with the victim, and the Maryland Board of Medicine, and possible pending civil litigation stemming from the allegations. Dando had been charged with two misdemeanor offenses, a 4th degree sexual offense and perverted practice, stemming from a complaint of inappropriate touching made by a female patient. He was scheduled to go on trial tomorrow in Allegany County Circuit Court.
LEADERS URGE USE OF LOCAL LABOR
State Senator George Edwards and Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay have written a letter to Thomas Love, the CEO of Love's Travel Stop and Country Stores, urging the use of local labor in the construction of the new Love's Truck Stop in Cumberland. The letter noted that many local people travel great distances to work, and the new project would allow highly skilled local workers the opportunity to have an assignment close to their homes and families. The letter, which was also sent to the local IBEW, concluded with the statement that "when given the chance, they (the local workers) will not let you down."
CAMPAIGN SPENDING REPORTED
Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County, spent $31,000 on his campaign during the latest reporting period. Mike McKay, who is looking to replace Delegate LeRoy Myers in District 1-C, reportedly spent $5,077, while raising $4,985. His cash balance at the end of the period was $75. Nick Scarpelli raised just over $27,000, and spent $9,186. His bank balance was $17,505. Scarpelli pulled in the maximum amount of cash for any State House candidate in the Washington County area. State Senator George Edwards, who is running unopposed, reported a bank balance of $40,084.
MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER
Keyser resident Scott Demond Kittrell is being held in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, after being charged with attempted first-degree murder. Kittrell allegedly stabbed a woman in the back in the 500-block of Ward Avenue Monday evening. She was taken to the hospital; she was conscious and able to name the suspect. Kittrell also had a knife wound to the chin, and was also treated at the hospital. In all, he was charged with first-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted sexual assault and one count of malicious wounding.
RESIDENTS SPEAK ON ANIMAL CONTROL ISSUE
Several residents expressed concerns at the first meeting of the Animal Control Advisory Board since nine dead dogs were found at a home on McGill Drive. Some of the residents claimed that their expression of concerns and questions led to comments being deleted, and that they were allegedly banned from Facebook. At the meeting, Jo Wilson was nominated as chairperson of the Board. The Allegany County Commissioners did not attend the meeting.
SHOPLIFTING SUSPECT ASSAULTS MANAGER, CUSTOMER
Cresaptown resident Phillip Glenn Potter has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault, destruction of property and theft, after being confronted by the manager of the Martin's Market on Park Street in Cumberland. Potter is alleged to have punched the manager in the chest, and grabbing the customer by the neck and breaking a gold necklace around his neck. He is being held in the Allegany County Jail on $3,000 bond.
TRUCK FIRE BEING INVESTIGATED
A truck fire, in the 15,000-block of Barnes Drive, is being investigated by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. The 1988 Ford F-150 pickup truck is owned by Richard Kimmel; the fire originated inside the vehicle, and caused about $2,000 damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (301)-766-3888.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING MAN
The search is continuing for 54-year old John Rogers, a scientist at the National Institute of Health, who was last seen August 21st at the Super 8 Motel in LaVale. That was the last he used his credit card, and the last time anyone has seen him. The family has no connection to this area, but do have family in Arkansas and have come through the area on their way there before.
CARDIN TOURING WESTERN MARYLAND
Maryland United States Senator Ben Cardin is in Western Maryland, and today will be biking the Great Allegheny Passage, beginning at 10 a.m. Following that, he will hold a discussion with local elected officials at Cafe Mark in Downtown Cumberland at 11:30 a.m. Scheduled to attend the discussion are Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay and Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim.
PARKING GUIDELINE REMINDER FROM MOUNTAIN RIDGE
As the fall sports season kicks off, the administration of Mountain Ridge High School would like to remind visitors about the stadium parking policy. The stadium parking lot is reserved for visiting team buses, administration, event workers and officials. All extra parking spots are reserved for handicapped drivers. Parking along the stadium access road is prohibited, as the curb is painted red and "No Parking" signs are posted. Violators will be ticketed by the Frostburg Police Department.
VACCINATION CLINIC SET FOR TODAY
The Allegany County Health Department has scheduled its final vaccination clinic today for students in the 7th grade. Mia Perlozzo-Cross, of the Board of Education, says the "T-DAP" and meningitis vaccinations will be administered, and that questions should be directed to (301)-759-5082. Ms. Cross also reminding parents that student accident insurance is being offered once again this year. This is something that has been offered before to students, faculty and administration.
MAN CHARGED IN TEEN'S DEATH
Thirty-six year old Ernest Michael Roach is being charged in connection with the death of a 16-year old girl, Ericka Brown, whose body was found along the Ohio River this past weekend. Roach has admitted to investigators that he killed Brown, who was originally from Cross Lanes, West Virginia. Law enforcement officials were not ready to release a motive in the killing. Brown was a sophomore at Nitro High School.
AGREEMENT REACHED IN DANDO CASE
The Allegany County State's Attorney's office has announced that criminal charges against Dr. William Thomas Dando were dismissed, as part of an agreement requiring that he permanently surrender his license to practice medicine. The decision was made after a review of the evidence, consultation with the victim, and the Maryland Board of Medicine, an possible pending civil litigation stemming from the allegations. Dando had been charged with two misdemeanor offenses, a 4th degree sexual offense and perverted practice, stemming from a complaint of inappropriate touching made by a female patient. He was scheduled to go on trial tomorrow in Allegany County Circuit Court.
DANDO TRIAL BEGINS TOMORROW
The trial for former Med Express physician Dr. William Dando begins tomorrow in Allegany County Circuit Court. A weekend article in the Baltimore Sun traced the career of Dr. Dando, who is accused of sexual assault. And, the story doesn't end there. Sexual assault allegations have been made against Dando by at least three Med Express patients in the past year. Dando also faces a June 2015 wrongful death lawsuit, as he is alleged to have prescribed Percocet and Oxycodone to a Dundalk woman, Grace Elliott.
MAN CHARGED WITH VIOLATING PROTECTIVE ORDER
Cumberland resident Eric Wayne Whetstone was charged with violation of a protective order, following an incident on Sunday in the400-block of Maryland Avenue. A female victim told police that, even though she had obtained a protective order against him, he approached her and began to argue with her. He was arrested, charged, taken to a District Court Commissioner and released on personal recognizance.
KEYSER RECEIVES WATER LINE BREAK REPORT
It was called one of the worst water line breaks the city of Keyser has expereienced, with a recent rupture spilling 1.5 million gallons of treated water, before the valves could be shut down and the leak brought under control. The break happened about a week ago under the southbound lane of Route 220, near the Keyser Moose Lodge. The pipe itself was installed in 1981, and city officials suspect a manufacturer's flaw for causing the break.
SHERIFF'S OFFICE TO BE COMPLETED BY NOVEMBER
The new Allegany County Sheriff's Office, adjacent to the County Office Building on Kelly Road, should be completed by November. That's according to Sheriff Craig Robertson, who says much of the work was done by county maintenance employees, who installed the air conditioning, painted the walls, and put ceilings in at the building. Sheriff Robertson noted that the county employees did the work on their "down time," to complete the building.
FSU BLOCK PARTY SET FOR TOMORROW
Frostburg State University and the city of Frostburg Parks and Recreation Department will hold its annual Block Party tomorrow evening from 6 to 10 p.m. The rain date is Thursday. The Block Party is a way to bring together the campus and city communities, and to familiarize FSU's students with the businesses in Frostburg.
TGCC SETS MEMBERSHIP MEETING
The Greater Cumberland Committee will hold its monthly meeting of regional representatives on Thursday at the Cumberland Country Club, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Chief Executive Officer of the Sage Policy Group, Anirban Basu, will be the special guest speaker. He had previously addressed the TGCC, and will be sharing the regional economic outlook on Thursday.
FUNERAL HELD FOR CONGRESSMAN'S WIFE
A funeral service was held yesterday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for Sylvia "Cookie" Harris, wife of Congressman Andy Harris. She passed away last Thursday, from an apparent heart attack. She had been active in the Maryland Right To Life organization. Services were officiated by Archbishop William Lori.
W.VA. LOTTERY REVENUE BOOSTED
Table game revenues increased 148 per cent in July at The Greenbrier, one of West Virginia's gambling establishments. That helped boost the state's lottery revnue to $101 million, up from less than $100 million in June. Competition from neighboring states continues to affect the state's four racetrack casinos. Despite the improvement, the Lottery's July revenue was down about 4 per cent, when compared to July of last year.
WOMAN DIES IN BEDFORD COUNTY CRASH
A New Paris woman died in a two-vehicle accident at Allegheny Road and Milligan's Cove Road in Bedford County. Charlene Martin, a passenger in a car driven by Adam Gonsman of New Paris, died of her injuries. The crash occurred as Gonsman's vehicle was hit by one, driven by Donald Rose of Schellsburg, as Rose was crossing Allegheny Road from Watson Road, and had attempted to continue onto Milligan's Cove Road.
TWO CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH FATAL ACCIDENT
Two Garrett County residents have been charged, for allegedly buying alcohol for a person under the age of 21. Fifty-three year old Terry Wayne Sharpless of Swanton and Oakland resident John Ronald Large were charged with obtaining and purchasing alcohol for an underage person. Charles Allen Frazee was killed in a single vehicle accident on June 1st of this year, after attending a campsite graduation party. Sharpless and Large allegedly purchased the alcohol at several establishments and then furnished to family members who were less than 21 years old.
MAN ARRESTED FOR CARRYING GUN AT WAL MART
A Pennsylvania man, 36-year old Angelo Cavallero, was arrested at Wal Mart in the Country Club Mall Friday evening, after he was seen walking into the store wearing a handgun holster on his hip. Police found two handguns on him, and he told authorities that he was on a road trip, and didn't realize he was in Maryland. He does have a gun permit from Pennsylvania. Additionally, State Police said he was in possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
LARGE MARIJUANA CROP FOUND IN LITTLE ORLEANS
The C3I Narcotics Unit, Maryland State Police Eradication Unit and the Maryland Army National Guard have discovered a large marijuana growing operation in Little Orleans. The discovery yielded a large number of "mature" marijuana plants, which could have yielded over 20 pounds of marijuana with a street value of over $20,000. The suspects in the operation have been identified as being from the Baltimore area. Several arrests are anticipated in the near future, and the investigation is continuing.
FATHER ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH ASSAULT
Harold Ivan Morris of the 500-block of Fayette Street, was arrested and charged with first and second-degree assault, along with reckless endangerment, following a weekend incident. Morris allegedly pointed a handgun at his son, and later grabbed him by the wrist. Police discovered a loaded handgun in the house, and it was seized as evidence. Morris was held at the Allegany County Detention Center, until he can be represented by his attorney.
JUVENILE ARRESTED ON NUMEROUS CHARGES
A 16-year old was arrested on Saturday afternoon, for setting fire to a cross tie on the tracks of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad bridge. He ran from the scene, but was stopped a short distance away. The tie was actually burning when the train, which was occupied by five employees, traveled on the track. The youth was charged with-among other counts-first degree malicious burning, arson, and disorderly conduct-and later released to the custody of Juvenile Services.
PARTY DISTURBANCE COMPLAINT RESULTS IN TWO ARRESTS
A party early yesterday morning in the 100-block of Grand Avenue, resulted in drug arrests for two men. Eighteen year old Matthew Ryan Thomas was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and was given a civil citation for possession of alcohol under 21. Grantsville resident Adam James Beitzel was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Both were released, pending further action in District Court.
VALENTINE JOINS MACo BOARD OF DIRECTORS
First term Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine has joined the MACo Board of Directors, replacing Garrett County Commissioner Gregan Crawford, who resigned his seat on August 1st. The MACo Board of Directors officially filled the vacancy during its August meeting. Valentine was first elected as a County Commissioner in 2010, and had previously served on the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as well as a number of other committees.
FRANCHOT ADVOCATING POST-LABOR DAY SCHOOL START
Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot is advocating the start of school after the Labor Day holiday. Franchot believes it makes good economic sense, in that Maryland showed a zero percent Gross Domestic Product in 2013; he says the economy is not doing "what we are accustomed to have it do." Beginning school after Labor Day would simply have a good economic impact on the state. A commission, authorized by the Maryland Legislature, has voted 11 to 4 to propose the start of school after Labor Day. The next step, according to Comptroller Franchot, is to send the recommendation to the legislature in January of next year.
MDOT TERMINATES CSX AGREEMENT
The Maryland Department of Transportation has terminated its agreement with CSX, and has pulled the funding for a proposed location of the Baltimore Rail Intermodal Facility at Morrell Park in Baltimore. MDOT's commitment of $30 million in capital funding and the remaining $1.45 million will not be included in the draft six-year budget, which is expected to be released tomorrow. For two years, residential and business communities had voiced concerns over the potential impacts the project would have on their community. CSX was unable to address the concerns to the satisfaction of the community, MDOT, and the city of Baltimore.
MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO NATIONAL TIME-SHARE SCHEME
Charleston, West Virginia resident David Andrew Glynn has pleaded guilty in federal court on charges of conspiring to defraud time-share owners throughout the country, and will be sentenced on November 24th. Glynn admitted to setting up a company, called Mountain State Resales, LLC; time-share owners were told the company had buyers for their properties and were asked to send fees and expenses necessary to complete the sales. In all, Glynn admitted to receiving more than $86,000 from the scheme.
MAN INDICTED IN ALLEGANY HIGH INCIDENT
Cumberland resident Brandon Simpson has been indicted in connection with an incident at Allegany High School earlier this month. Simpson disrupted band practice there by yelling and cursing, and, at one point brandishing a knife. Staff members directed the band to exit the athletic field, and one of the staff took a picture of the suspect. It was determined the staff members were placed in danger by his actions. He faces numerous charges, including assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
"SAFE STREETS OPERATION" NETS 28 ARRESTS
The arrest warrant initiative, known as "Operation Safe Streets," has resulted in 28 arrests over a week. Several of those were taken into custody for failure to appear in court, violation of probation, failure to pay child support. There was one suspect, who was a fugitive from Pennsylvania, who was arrested for violation of probation. The operation was conducted by the Cumberland City Police and members of the Allegany County Sheriff's Department.
OUTAGE AFFECTS 2,000 CUSTOMERS
A power outage yesterday morning affected about 2,000 customers in lower LaVale. The outage, reported around 8:15, brought out Potomac Edison personnel, and disrupted power at Parkside Elementary and Cash Valley Elementary Schools. Power was restored about an hour later. Customers in the lower LaVale area and parts of the Haystack Mountain area were affected.
BASIN AT CANAL PLACE EMPTIED BY PUMP FAILURE
Two pumps have failed at Canal Place, causing the basin to drain, with vegetation taking over the water that is still there. The National Park Service and Canal Place officials are evaluating the situation, and will check the pumps and pipes for leaks, in an effort to restore the attraction. It may take some time to repair the pumps and pipes.
CASINO COMPANY LOOKS AT OPTIONS
Lakes Entertainment, owner of Rocky Gap Casino Resort, has hired a financial advisor on what they are calling "strategic alternatives." Macquarie Capital, based in Australia, will help the owners look at a variety of options for the company's future, including "potential acquisitions, joint ventures, and recapitalization." And, while that may sound vague, that is all the company is willing to say about future intentions.
ROUTE 219 EXPANSION PROJECT CONTINUES
It's been a year since ground was broken for the Route 219 expansion project in Somerset County. The project is making major headway, in that about four million cubic yards of earth has been moved; of the $110 million set aside for the project, about $41 million has been spent. The project will result in the paving of another 11-1/2 miles from Route 219 in Somerset to the Meyersdale bypass. The project should be completed by October of 2017.
ROOFER DIES AS THE RESULT OF HEAD INJURIES
An Everett, Pennsylvania man who had fallen off of a roof in Somerset County earlier this month, has died. Thirty-year old Gregory Beckett died as the result of a severe head injury. He had been working on a roof in Davidsville, when he lost his footing and fell to the ground. He was taken to the Somerset County Memorial Medical Center.
WOMAN ARRESTED IN DOMESTIC ASSAULT INCIDENT
Thirty-nine year old Cumberland resident Arika McMillan was charged with a count of second-degree assault, following an incident in the 200-block of Gay Street Wednesday evening. She had been arguing with a resident there, when it then turned physical. The victim sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention, but she was arrested and taken for an initial appearance in District Court. She was released on personal recognizance.
HEARING ON KEYSER ANNEXATION SET
The Mineral County Commission has scheduled a public meeting on annexing just over 90 acres of land in the south end of town. The meeting will be held on September 23rd at 6:30 p.m. A West Virginia state regulation states the county may approve "minor boundary adjustments" without the city taking the proposal to the public for a vote. Commissioner Richard Lechliter says the city of Keyser's petition was "deficient in two areas," but did not say what those were. Additonal information should be submitted on the annexation by next Friday.
DEPUTY ARRESTS SUSPENDED DRIVER
The Allegany County Sheriff's Department arrested a driver, whose license was suspended. A traffic stop on McMullen Highway resulted in the arrest of Charles Trent Thomas of LaVale. He was taken to a District Court Commissioner and later released on his own recognizance.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION MAY MISS DEADLINE
The final regulations from Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission are due in less than three weeks, but a public hearing held this week in Annapolis, was the group's first. Panel members were told the proposed rules are too burdensome and too vague for the program to work; advocates for medical marijuana say the rules and regulations could cause months of setbacks to a program that has already been delayed.
CONSERVATION CORPS BEGINS WORK
Thirty-two young people began work this week, volunteering for a year under the 2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps program. More than 100 had applied for the position, where they will work with organizations on environmental projects that benefit the Chesapeake Bay. The trust's executive director Jana Davis says the experience is coveted, whether participants recently graduated from high school or college.
JUVENILE JUSTICE STUDY UNDERWAY
While West Virginia nearly doubled the rate at which youths were sent to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, there have been decreases, nationwide, in that practice. The West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force is working with Pew Charitable Trusts to recommend improvements to the juvenile justice system, and will issue a report by December. The panel will draw from best practices from other states.
POSSIBLE FRAUD UNCOVERED BY AUDIT
"Additional instances of possible fraud or abuse" have been found during the final 18 months of former state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass' tenure. The Department of Agriculture released an audit, which included questionable spending of nearly $662,000 of federal stimulus money in June of 2011 to install new refrigeration units at the Inwood Farmer's Market in Berkeley County. Auditors say it was a bad investment, in that the market lost an average of $100,000 per year for six years in a row.
RIVER ACCESS DISCUSSED
Officials from several agencies were on hand for a meeting yesterday, in which boater access to the Potomac River was discussed. Representatives from the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DNR, and other local officials discussed the possibility of an approach site, with the DNR objecting to the proposed site near the Merling Building on Beall Street. Lisa Gutierrez of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources says her group has concerns over safety issues. For his part, local businessman George Merling says he could have a site up and running within two months.
ESCAPEE SENTENCED IN GARRETT CASE
Washington, D.C. resident DeAndre Kelly has been sntenced to 19 years in prison in connection to a Garrett County case from 2011. Kelly was sentenced on charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, escape and for carrying and using a firearm in the relation to a drug trafficking crime. Following his release, he will be on five years of supervised probation.
COUNTY COULD HIRE VETERANS' "OMBUDSMAN"
Allegany County could adopt a program, similar to one in Carroll County, that would help veterans work through paperwork and bureaucracy to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay called the potential position a "veteran's ombudsman," and would be a part-time, two-day-per-week position.
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MAN LAST SEEN IN LAVALE
The search is continuing for a Gaithersburg man, who was last seen at the Super 8 Motel on National Highway in LaVale. Fifty-four year old Martin Rogers, a scientist with the National Institute of Health, was last seen August 22nd. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information, leading to his whereabouts.
MAN CHARGED IN SOMERSET STABBING
Nineteen-year old Anthony Tyler Campbell of Somerset County has been charged with attempted homicide, after he allegedly stabbed another man four times in the face on August 15th. Campbell was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment, along with counts of burglary, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment.
DRUG COUNTS AGAINST TWO PITTSBURGH AREA MEN
Felony drug charges have been brought in Somerset County against two Allegheny County residents. Twenty-year old Darrell Jeffrey Mar or Verona, and Daleron Kameron Stewart of Wilkinsburg are charged with selling heroin and conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in Somerset.
NEARLY ONE-THIRD PARTICIPATE IN RECYCLING
About 30 per cent of households are participating in curbside recycling, according to a recent survey by Burgmeier's Hauling, Incorporated. Recycling is done on about 6 to 9 tons of co-mingled materials per week and four tons of paper per week, and Cumberland is on track to keep 61 tons of recycling out of the landfill by the end of this month. Recycling occurs on the first trash day of each week, running on an alternating week schedule of co-mingled products one week and mixed papers the following week.
SUMMONS SERVED ON CUMBERLAND RESIDENT
A criminal summons was served on 34-year old Timothy Adam Spiker of Cumberland. A private citizen applied for charges at District Court, and charges him with a fourth-degree sex offense.
MAN CHARGED IN DISTURBANCE
Cumberland resident Thomas Michael Marvin has been charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, stemming from a disturbance in mid-August. The incident happened in the 500-block of Hill Street; during the investigation, it was learned he had the weapon. The summons was issued after charges were filed in District Court.
MRHS "MEET THE SQUAD" NIGHT
Mountain Ridge High School will host its annual "Meet the Squad" night on Tuesday, September 2nd at 7 p.m. in the stadium. In the event of bad weather, the program will be moved into the main gym. Members of the fall athletic teams will be introduced, and there will be performances by the Diamonds, the cheerleaders, the band, and the color guard. There is no admission charge for the event.
SUBPOENAS ISSED IN HEALTH EXCHANGE INVESTIGATION
A federal audit of Maryland's flawed health care exchange website has developed into what is being called a "full blown investigation." Representative Andy Harris, Maryland's sole Republican Congressman, says the subpoenas have been issued to unknown people involved in the probe. He says he doesn't know if some people are not forthcoming with information, or if the Inspector General has come up with something that could yield criminal charges.
HOGAN HAS MONEY ADVANTAGE OVER BROWN
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has a better than 3 to 1 fundraising advantage over his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Hogan is reporting $2.4 million to Brown's $760,000, although Hogan's fundraising for the general election campaign is essentially frozen; Brown can continue to raise money through the November 4th general election. Hogan received a $2.6 million lump sum payment from the state's public financing fund, after the June 24th primary.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY LAWYER APPOINTED JUDGE
In a series of appointments this week, Governor Martin O'Malley named the lawyer who defends the General Assembly to a seat on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Friedman, an assistant attorney general, will replace Judge Albert J. Matricciani, who resigned earlier this year. In his role, Friedman also dispensed legal advice to state lawmakers and public officials.