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Local News

Cumberland’s Police Department will get funding for new protective body armor. According to officials with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention has announced that 8 local police departments in 7 counties will receive grants totaling $49,014 to purchase the armor. Cumberland Police will get $2,700. Law enforcement agencies in Caroll, Cecil, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Wicomico and Worcester also received funding.

Cumberland’s Mayor and City Council are looking for nominees to be recognized as City Stars. Cumberland City officials want to recognize those in the community who are making a difference and inspiring others by offering the “City Star Award”.  Please submit a name and contact information for your nominee and yourself, along with a few words, or a lot of words, telling us of their special achievement or deed.You can submit your nomination in writing to the Mayor’s Office, 57 N. Liberty Street, Cumberland, MD 21502, by email tomwoodring@allconet.org, or by using the online form in the left hand column of this page.  The awards are open to everyone, but the emphasis will be placed on stars of the Cumberland community.For more information, contact City Hall at 301-759-6447 or log on to http://ci.cumberland.md.us/new_site/index.php/contents/view/941

The Corridor H Authority is asking the US Congress to work together on a solution for transportation funding. Monday the Corridor H Authority sent a resolution asking for Congress to immediately find a way to fix the insolvency facing the federal Highway Trust Fund. The resolution calls on Congress to create a traditional six year transportation bill. Construction continues on Corridor H including the latest portion from Davis to Moorefield. So far about 75 percent of the project is either complete or under construction.

The Culinare Café in Cumberland will remain closed until at least September. Allegany College of Maryland Hospitality Management Director Deb Frank says the air conditioning unit in the building that houses the café is in need of repair and in order to maintain the comfort of their customers and their students they had to close their doors. She says the café is typically closed in August and she hopes the needed repairs can be made by September and the beginning of the next semester.  The café gives ACM students hands on experience working in a resturant environment. For updates log on to https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Culinaire-Cafe

A South Carolina man wanted for murder is arrested in the Eastern Panhandle. Monday 26 year old Blake Parrish was arrested in Martinsburg by the US Marshals Service Mountain State Fugitive Task Force. Officials in South Carolina learned Parrish was living in the Eastern Panhandle possibly with family.  Parrish was also wanted by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office for Wanton Endangerment with a firearm. Task Force Officers were conducting surveillance when Parrish was spotted. When officers attempted an arrest Parrish fled on foot and was tasered.  Parrish was charged by the Martinsburg Police Department for obstruction and fleeing and will be charged as a fugitive from justice. Parrish currently remains in Eastern Regional Jail.

A new local business wants to share profits with community groups and organizations. In April Wheeler Stewart and Jeff Orr began Kona Ice Mountain Maryland a new business that includes a truck offering unique Hawaiian Shaved Ice. Stewart and Orr say they are looking to bring the business to schools, churches, sports leagues and non-profit organization fundraising events. To find out more log on to  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kona-Ice-Mountain-MD/318270014978949?sk=info

An Emergency water main break at Furnace Acres is prompting a boil water notice for  Frankfort PSD customers in the Moutainaire Village and Hillcrest Estates and North Frederck Street areas. After repair customers will be on a boil water notice until we receive confirmation back form the health department stating sample sent in after repair is safe for consumption. Paper notice will be posted on all customers doors when boil water notice has been rescinded. Any questions or concerns please contact the FPSD office Monday through Friday 9:00Am til 4:00PM.

A motorcycle crash in Garrett County is under investigation. At about 6:30 Saturday evening John Hanna of Greensburg, Pennsylvania was heading northbound on Route 219 near Archie’s BBQ north of Deep Creek Drive when he made a left turn into the path of a motorcycle heading southbound. The motorcyclist was thrown from the vehicle and flown by helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital for life threatening injuries. The name of the motorcyclist was not released by law enforcement officials. Hanna sustained minor injuries and could face charges.

A Virginia man is sentenced to spend two years behind bars on charges of sexual solicitation of a minor. 23 year old Rory Frank was sentenced in Garrett County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to  sexual solicitation of a minor and to displaying obscene material in February Frank was placed on two years of probation and assessed fines and costs of $1145.  He will also be subject to sex offender registry requirements.  Frank was indicted by the September term of the grand jury following an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office of a report by an Oakland-area family that their daughter was in contact with a man in Virginia through various forms of electronic media.  During those contacts, he exchanged photos and videos with the juvenile and requested they meet for illicit purposes.  In August, Det. Pfaff of the Sheriff’s Office worked with Prince William County, Virginia, officers to obtain a search warrant of Frank’s residence for evidence corroborating him as the sender of the messages and videos.  When Frank was arrested that date on the outstanding warrant Pfaff had obtained in Garrett County, he was interviewed and admitted he was the person who had been in communication with the juvenile, had sent videos to her and had traveled to Garrett County with the intent to meet with her.

Maryland State Police are investigating a crash on I-70. Sunday at about 2pm Maryland State Police responded to a single vehicle collision on eastbound I-70 ramp to N/B I-81 collector lane. A tractor trailer hauling 2,000 lbs of cracker food products took the ramp at speed greater than reasonable and rolled onto its side. The driver was able to exit the vehicle without injuries. The driver and vehicle are from Texas.

A local family needs your help. 6 year old Gracie was born three months premature causing her to have brain damage. She was also diagnosed with a debilitating type of cerebral palsy. A cash bash will be held at the Frostburg Moose Lodge Sept 13th to help raise the 20 thousand dollars needed for a major surgery for Gracie. According to family members the only specialist is pediatric orthopedic surgeon located in St. Louis and they do not accept the family’s insurance. Her family is forced to raise the entire 20,000 for a surgery that Grace needs urgently. Continued delay of surgery will result in permanent bone deformities, continued pain, worsening contractures, and the need for hip surgery. Grace’s family is reaching out for help via donations of services or items that can be raffled off to raise money for the surgery. In exchange they will gratefully advertise your business and proudly sport your logo at Grace’s cash bash and upcoming fundraising events You can view graces pictures, story, updates and events at her facebook page: Graces Facebook page: Www.Facebook.com/graceswishGrace’s wish is to be able to go to school without a walker and to be on the cheer leading & soccer team Cash bash tickets are also available for purchase at the Frostburg moose and by contacting her parents at 301-723-0016 They will also be selling tickets at the Garrett County Fair.

Kids at Energy Express in West Virginia are enjoying kale chips. About 40 to 50 children who attend the Preston County Energy Express summer reading and nutrition program were given the kale chips sourced from the Vested Heirs Farm. According to Americorps officials the children enjoyed the new nutritious snack. To make kale chips sprinkle  olive oil and salt over kale - preferably "curly" kale such as lacinato, spread out on a baking sheet, and put it in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.

 

Pennsylvania State Police are encouraging residents to lock their vehicles and secure their possessions following a series of vehicle thefts. Several cars have been broken into around Bedford County over the past several days. Pennsylvania State Police officials say it is important for residents to lock their cars and make sure any items of value are either hidden or taken to a secure location. 

Phone lines open beginning Friday, July 25 for public appointments for dental, vision, pain management, and general health screenings. The Appalachian Mountain Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) will take place at the Allegany County Fairgrounds from August 13 – 21. . Appointments can be scheduled by calling 301-783-1775 Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Beginning today a scheduling hotline will be open to the public to make appointments for general health screenings, basic adult dental services (cleanings, sealants, extractions, and fillings), eye exams and single vision eyeglasses (for both adults and children), and drug-free recommendations for managing chronic pain. There are no residency or income restrictions, and all services are being offered at no cost. However, because there are a limited number of slots available each day, an appointment is required and will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis until all slots are filled. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 301-783-1775 Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Earlier in the month, the veterinary clinic appointments for spay/neuter services were announced, and those appointments quickly filled up. However, the hotline staff is maintaining a wait list in the event that there are cancellations. Rabies vaccinations are also being offered and do not require an appointment, but instead will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis during regular clinic hours each day. Rabies vaccine clients should be prepared to wait or return on another day depending on the volume of pets receiving vaccines each day.

Centre Street and westbound I-68 ramp access from northbound MD 51 will be closed starting Friday, July 25, at approximately 4 a.m. Traffic will be detoured along Queen City Drive to Harrison Street to Centre Street and the westbound I-68 ramp. This closure and detour are tentatively scheduled to continue until Monday, July 28. The closure will allow crews to blast and paint structural steel girders on the I-68 bridge ramps over Centre Street.

Two people are behind bars following a drug bust in Garrett County. Yesterday just after 6pm Garrett County Narcotics Task Force members were called in after a traffic stop by Maryland State Police. Troopers pulled over Vaughn Winters of Oakland on Weber Road. A canine scan alerted officers to the possibility of drugs in the vehicle. Officers found cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Winters was arrested and officers then searched his home on North 8th Street in Oakland. Inside the home Sheila Hyde was arrested. Winters faces various gun and drug charges and is being held at the Garrett County Detention Center on 50 thousand dollars bond. Hyde faces drug charges as well and is being held at the Garrett County Detention Center on 20 thousand dollars bond.

A Cumberland man is convicted of arson charges and sentenced to spend eight years behind bars. According to the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office 38 year old James Flohr pleaded guilty to the charge of second degree arson. On October 26th 2013 Flohr had been living in an apartment on Altamont Terrace and set fire to a mattress in a bedroom following an argument with his girlfriend.

Following an investigation there are no signs of animal cruelty at a pet shop in Keyser. Mineral County Animal Control officer Melissa Kidwell says she received several complaints about Daddio’s Exotic Pet Shop. Kidwell says she has made several visits to the pet shop since it opened and she says following her visit this week she sees no evidence of any animal mistreatment.

To hear part 1 of the interview click here

To hear part 2 of the interview click here

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To hear part 5 of the interview click here

1309 one of the biggest steam locomotives in the US is now at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad shop in Ridgeley. The locomotive arrived at the shop yesterday afternoon. It was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1949 and was the last commercially built steam locomotive for use by a railroad in the US. 1309 will be on display during the Steel Wheels festival Sept.26th through the 28th.

The Allegany County Historical Society will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of The Battle of Folck’s Mill on Saturday, July 26, from 10AM - 2PM at The Gordon-Roberts House at 218 Washington Street.  This free event will feature Civil War Reenactors, a question and answer session, and an exhibit of photographs and period artifacts. Guests will have the opportunity to visit with Union and Confederate reenactors. Representatives from the Civil War Round Table of Allegany County will bePete Peugh, James Klipstine, and George Fletcher (President of Roundtable). Leah Myerswill also be in attendance portrayingRose O’Neal Greenhow, a female Confederate spy from Washington D.C. Children as well as adults are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to learn first-hand about The Civil War Battle that took place in Allegany County. The estimated number of casualties totaled 38 for this August 1st Battle that lasted for five hours.

A couple arrested in Monongalia County after allegedly stealing a car is now charged in connection with the death of their infant son. West Virginia State Police have charged 32 year old  Joseph Christy and 26 year old Summer McDaniel with child neglect resulting in death, concealment of a dead body and conspiracy to commit a felony. The baby’s body was found in a remote part of the George Washington National Forest near Wardensville in Hardy County. The couple’s four other children ages 11,7,4 and 2 are in the custody of the WV DHHR. The couple  is  currently being held at the North Central Regional Jail.

Two women lost in the Shenandoah National Park are found and believed to be ok. A search began yesterday after the women were heard yelling for help. A US Park Police helicopter was called in for the rescue.

Cumberland Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman and candidate for Cumberland City Council has died. Mark Fisher passed away yesterday. Fisher also owned Allegany Inspection Service.

An accidental electrical short is the cause of a fire at a home in Mt. Savage. Tuesday at about 3:30 a short in an electrical outlet ignited nearby combustibles in a second floor bedroom of the home on Iron Rail Street.The fire caused about 30 thousand dollars in damage and took 30 firefighters about 20 minutes to control. The fire was contained to two rooms. The occupants are being helped by family.

Old explosives found in Kitzmiller are all safely disarmed. According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office  at about 11am on Monday Herbert Meyers found old TNT and blasting caps he had from the 1960’s. He used them to blast tree stumps. They were found in an old bus used for storage on North Hill Road in Kitzmiller. Members of the bomb squad were on the scene for more than three and a half hours. They determined the explosives had deteriorated and needed to be disposed of immediately. All the explosives were destroyed without incident.

The suspects accused of firing a gun in Altoona are arrested. Just before 4pm yesterday an argument began near the Logan Valley Mall. No one was hurt in the shooting. The men were arrested a short time later.

A contest could benefit the Lucky 33 the dogs found in a hoarder’s home on Greene Street in Cumberland and other animals at the Allegany County Animal Shelter . The Allegany County Animal Shelter is a finalist in an online contest. Becky McClarran Allegany County Animal Shelter Management Foundation President says they need your help. According to the facebook contest post “ Howard was one of 33 dogs rescued from a hoarding situation on Friday, June 13, 2014. His hair was terribly matted. It took volunteers over 3 hours to shave him. The good news is, one of our shelter's board members immediately fell in love with Howard and has adopted him. Every day Howard's mom can see him starting to blossom into the sweet, wonderful boy we all know he is!” To vote go online to https://www.facebook.com/WahlHome?v=app_503936566404548&app_data=entry_id%3D62752869%26gaReferrerOverride%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.facebook.com%252F  The winner of the contest receives five thousand dollars from Wahl. So far nine puppies have been born to the Lucky 33 and some have been adopted or fostered. You can vote once a day and voting ends July 31st

Motorists are advised that I-70 westbound is closed from the Crystal Springs exit (# 151) to the US 30 West Exit (# 149) due to a crash.The roadway will be re-opened once any debris is cleaned up and the roadway is checked for any damages.Motorists are advised there will be delays in this area.

No word yet what sparked a blaze inside a home in Mt. Savage. Crews were called out to the fire at about 3pm yesterday afternoon on Iron Rail St. The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

 

The Boil water emergency for Fountain PSD customers has been lifted as of today, Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

The Cumberland Police are investigating a hit and run. Cumberland Police Dept took a report of a hit and run that occurred in the 600 block of Kelly Rd. The victim advised that an unknown vehicle struck the driver side rear of their vehicle, a 2013 Nissan Truck. There are no suspects or witnesses at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cumberland Police Dept at 301-777-1600

Gas prices are on the decline. Christine Delise says “Prices now have been on a slide for over 25 days and we are seeing prices that have not been this low since April. Looking ahead this trend could continue into the coming weeks should crude oil prices stabilize.”  Right now the average price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline nationally is $3.55 in Maryland it is $3.59 in West Virginia it is $3.66 and in Cumberland it is $3.66.

The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority meeting tonight will include a variety of topics. Among the items on the agenda are discussion of a public relations position and information on an economic impact study. The PHAA will meet in executive session to discuss the manager’s employment status and board procedure including open meetings law. The meeting is set for tonight at 6pm in the Cohongaronta Room.

 

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today named Sam England as the chief of the Parks and Recreation section and Jerry Jenkins as the chief of the Law Enforcement section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Jenkins was sworn in this afternoon, and England will assume his post Friday, July 25.   England and Jenkins fill the positions left by the recent retirements of State Parks Chief Ken Caplinger and Col. David Murphy. England started working for West Virginia State Parks as a recreation programs coordinator at North Bend State Park in 1984. Since then he has served as park superintendent at Moncove Lake State Park, assistant superintendent at Greenbrier State Forest and superintendent at Stonewall Resort State Park. Since Stonewall Resort became operated by private contract in 2002, his responsibilities were extended to a statewide basis, and he became one of the leaders in bringing electronic reservations, updated computer systems and wireless customer technology to state parks' lodges. He holds a wildlife biology degree and a MBA, both from West Virginia University. Col. Jenkins joined DNR's Law Enforcement Section in 1976 as a conservation officer (now known as natural resources police officer). He was promoted to the ranks of sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2004, major in 2006 and has served as lieutenant colonel since 2007. During his career, he has been chosen district Conservation Officer of the Year three times and State Conservation Officer of the Year in 1989. He also has been named a Distinguished West Virginian and was awarded a Certificate of Honor for Heroism for his efforts during the 1985 flood. Jenkins holds an associate degree in Forestry from Potomac State College and a BS degree from West Virginia University.

A Pennsylvania man is dead following an ATV accident. At about 9:30 in the morning on Sunday 69 year old Wayne Krause of Meysersdale was having mechanical problems with his ATV near Sand Spring Road. A 16 year old male was towing the ATV. Krause then lost his brakes and ran into the rear of the towing ATV which caused him to be thrown from his ATV. Krause was flown by helicopter to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries.

No word yet what caused a crash that tied up Route 220 last night. The accident happened around 5pm in Rawlings.

Stop by the Evergreen Heritage Center for a Summer's Day Out! Teachers will experience the fun, learning, and opportunities for students that only a day on the farm can offer. Bring your own picnic lunch and have fun learning how farm-based education can enhance classroom learning in social studies, science, environmental education, and so much more. Email the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation for more information: peppig@maefonline.com

A very special group is expected to be flying into the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport this weekend. Katie Kight with the Experimental Aircraft AssociationChapter 426 says it will all be part of their monthly breakfast at the airport. “Wings of Appreciation have asked to partner with us. They go to the Walter Reed hospital and they are going to fly veterans out here for an outing for the day to have breakfast for us. This will be an outing through September. They want to get these gentleman out of the hospital and give them something to do.”  Kight says she is very honored and excited they chose the EAA Chapter 426 to partner with. The money raised from the breakfast is used to send a child to Oshkosh, Wis. for a week long space camp. They hold a breakfast once a month April thru October the last Sunday of the month. The all you can eat Fly-In- Drive-In breakfast on July 27th, at the Greater Cumberland  Regional Airport Club Hangar Wiley Ford, W. Va., from 9:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. The menu will consist of hotcakes, french toast, sausage, home fries, eggs, orange juice and coffee. The cost of the meal will be adults $7.00 and under 12 $ 4.00. For more information call 301-268-2624.

Reports are in following an audit of two Mineral County elementary schools. In April officials with the West Virginia Education Performance Audit looked at Burlington and Fountain Primary Schools. Several issues for improvement were identified at both schools. Both schools have 30 days to correct the issues. A follow up investigation was also conducted at Fort Ashby Primary School and all the issues brought up in an audit last year have been resolved.

http://oepa.state.wv.us/reports.htm#Mineral

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announced that four watershed management projects in four West Virginia communities will receive a total of $14,200,099 through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) assistance program for planning, design and/or construction of watershed structures. The funds will be used to make critical improvements to dams and watershed structures that protect public health and safety. 

West Virginia projects awarded funding include:

•           Upper Deckers Creek Site 1 (Preston County) — $10,250,000
•           Brush Creek Site 14 (Mercer County) — $2,476,728
•           New Creek Site 14 (Grant County) — $1,000,000
•           Wheeling Creek Site 25 (Marshall County) — $473,371

 

85 students enrolled in Allegany County Public Schools have earned Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP exams.  The College Board’s AP Program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level course while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP exams.

A Cumberland Police officer is recovering after a crash Saturday morning. At about 8:17 am, Cumberland City Police Officers were called out to the scene of a motor vehicle accident on eastbound Interstate 68 near the Johnson Street exit.  Spilled diesel fuel from an unknown vehicle was the partial cause of the accident along with wet road conditions.  A tow service removed one of the vehicles involved in the initial crash from the interstate.   As one of the officers cleared the scene, his vehicle came upon spilled diesel fuel causing the officer to lose operational control of his police vehicle and subsequently struck the center median wall.  The officer was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Center where he was treated for minor injuries.  Members of the Maryland State Highway Administration responded to treat the diesel spill.  The interstate was closed for approximately two hours.

A Wiley Ford man is behind bars on $5,000 following an incident at the hospital. 27 year old Michael Cawell Junior was arrest on second degree assault. The warrant was issued after the Cumberland City Police Department responded to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on July 11, 2014 for an assault complaint. An investigation into the matter revealed that Caswell spit in the face of a female victim while he was a patient at the hospital. Caswell was processed, served and taken before the District Court Commissioner for his initial appearance. Caswell was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond

A boil water notice remains in place for residents of Fountain in Mineral County. Crews are working on the motor and well pump.

The Berekely County Sheriff’s office is asking for help following shooting. In the early evening hours of Saturday a Hedgesville teen was shot outside his Paxton Cut Drive home. A witness reported a blue Ford Explorer with two white males inside in their late teens to early 20’s. They fled the area following the shooting. The vehicle had vanity license plates reading “Bite Me”. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department at 304-267-7000.

West Virginia State Senator Donald Cookman is working to draft legislation to protect the jobs of the current child care workers of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind.The proposed legislation sets forth a method of transitioning current child care workers from their current “Child Care Worker” position to the new “Residential Care Specialist” position.  The bill would provide that the current workers’ years of service must be considered as part of the hiring for the new position. 

 

We4st Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging state residents looking for a job to be cautious of scams. While browsing online job postings, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be suspicious of ads that contain phrases like “work from home,” or “no experience needed.” While there are many legitimate home-based businesses, scammers use these phrases to entice a wide range of applicants.
  • Look to see if the advertised job is available on the company’s website, or call the company directly. Don’t rely on the website or telephone number listed in the ad, as it may be a fake.
  • Put the job ad’s title into a search engine to see what comes up. If you see the exact same listing in several different cities, the odds are good it’s a scam.

If you have been the victim of a fraudulent job posting, or want to report a suspicious listing, call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.

A Cumberland Police officer is recovering after a crash Saturday morning. At about 8:17 am, Cumberland City Police Officers were called out to the scene of a motor vehicle accident on eastbound Interstate 68 near the Johnson Street exit.  Spilled diesel fuel from an unknown vehicle was the partial cause of the accident along with wet road conditions.  A tow service removed one of the vehicles involved in the initial crash from the interstate.   As one of the officers cleared the scene, his vehicle came upon spilled diesel fuel causing the officer to lose operational control of his police vehicle and subsequently struck the center median wall.  The officer was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Center where he was treated for minor injuries.  Members of the Maryland State Highway Administration responded to treat the diesel spill.  The interstate was closed for approximately two hours.

A Wiley Ford man is behind bars on $5,000 following an incident at the hospital. 27 year old Michael Cawell Junior was arrest on second degree assault. The warrant was issued after the Cumberland City Police Department responded to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on July 11, 2014 for an assault complaint. An investigation into the matter revealed that Caswell spit in the face of a female victim while he was a patient at the hospital. Caswell was processed, served and taken before the District Court Commissioner for his initial appearance. Caswell was held in the Allegany County Detention Center on $5,000 bond

A boil water notice remains in place for residents of Fountain in Mineral County. Crews are working on the motor and well pump.

The Berekely County Sheriff’s office is asking for help following shooting. In the early evening hours of Saturday a Hedgesville teen was shot outside his Paxton Cut Drive home. A witness reported a blue Ford Explorer with two white males inside in their late teens to early 20’s. They fled the area following the shooting. The vehicle had vanity license plates reading “Bite Me”. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department at 304-267-7000.

West Virginia State Senator Donald Cookman is working to draft legislation to protect the jobs of the current child care workers of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind.The proposed legislation sets forth a method of transitioning current child care workers from their current “Child Care Worker” position to the new “Residential Care Specialist” position.  The bill would provide that the current workers’ years of service must be considered as part of the hiring for the new position. 

 

We4st Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging state residents looking for a job to be cautious of scams. While browsing online job postings, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be suspicious of ads that contain phrases like “work from home,” or “no experience needed.” While there are many legitimate home-based businesses, scammers use these phrases to entice a wide range of applicants.
  • Look to see if the advertised job is available on the company’s website, or call the company directly. Don’t rely on the website or telephone number listed in the ad, as it may be a fake.
  • Put the job ad’s title into a search engine to see what comes up. If you see the exact same listing in several different cities, the odds are good it’s a scam.

If you have been the victim of a fraudulent job posting, or want to report a suspicious listing, call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.

Cumberland Police are looking for information following a breaking and entering. Yesterday officers were called out to 572 Cromwell Terrace. Sometime between 7:00Am and 3:38pm, unknown suspect or suspects entered the Cromwell Terrace home by kicking in the rear door and then took an Apple IPAD and a significant amount of jewelry.  At this time the Cumberland City Police are asking for the assistance from the public on any possible leads in this investigation.   The total amount of property taken in this incident is approximately $10,000.   Anyone with information is urged to contact the Cumberland City Police Department at 301-777-1600.

 

Congratulations go out to the members of the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigative Unit (C3I). They were recently recognized with a “Commander’s Award” and luncheon for their accomplishments during 2013. Last year C3I investigated a wide range of crimes from theft, burglary, child abuse, and sex offenses to rape, assault, robbery and homicide.  They conducted 1,510 total investigations which resulted in 650 total arrests. The case closure rate for the unit was 92.6%.  The investigative unit authored and served 70 search and seizure warrants, Forensic Crime Scene Technicians responded to and processed 90 crime scenes, 195 sex offenders were registered in conjunction with 714 successful re-registrations, and 152 polygraph examinations were conducted.C3I worked on several high profile cases to include two armed bank robberies which occurred a short distance from the Cumberland Barrack.  After a vehicle pursuit by patrol personnel and a tireless investigation by C3I, two suspects were arrested and charged in the crimes.  Another case was that of the armed robbery of a local pharmacy.  A suspect entered the store and demanded money and medications at gunpoint.  A quick response by law enforcement lead to the development of suspects and their direction of travel.  Combined investigative efforts resulted in the arrest and charging of two suspects.  The height of C3I’s efforts were displayed during a murder investigation of a female victim at the hands of her boyfriend. Initial investigation led to a mountain of circumstantial evidence against the subject despite the fact that the victim’s body had not been discovered.  After persistent investigation and interviews, the suspect elected to cooperate and ultimately led investigators to the victim’s body which was buried in a shallow grave.  Further investigation into the 2010 disappearance and suspicious death of the suspect’s previous girlfriend in Washington County, resulted in his confession to that murder as well; a case previously classified as a suicide.Members of C3I work diligently toward the common goal of delivering the highest level of law enforcement investigative services possible and set the standard for such units.  They routinely go above and beyond the call of duty, often at great personal sacrifice.  It was for these reasons the C3I unit was recognized.  The “Commander’s Award” plaques and luncheon were provided by Lt. H.B. Martz, Cumberland Barrack Commander – Maryland State Police, Chief Charles Hinnant, Cumberland City Police Department, Sheriff Craig Robertson, Allegany County Sheriff’s Department and FOP Lodge 40. 

 

Lawmakers are weighing in on the Senate’s vote on the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act.  U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a cosponsor of legislation, expressed his frustration after the Senate was blocked through a procedural vote from considering this bill to restore women’s rights. A response to the recent Hobby Lobby decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the bill would restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and protect coverage of other health services from companies that want to deny benefits to their employees. “We cannot allow partisan gridlock to jeopardize the health of millions of women across the country. Congress has an opportunity to restore the rights and protections taken away from American women by the Supreme Court. We have a responsibility to act,” said Senator Cardin. “Religious protections are meant for people and not corporations.  We should not be complicit in jeopardizing the health of American women while opening the door for private companies that are looking for a reason not to comply with the law.  The Affordable Care Act guarantees the majority of women coverage for comprehensive preventive health services, including contraception. Imposing additional financial burdens on a woman because the company she works for claims to hold certain beliefs contrary to the law sets a dangerous precedent.”U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)  issued the following statement on voting on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Protect Women's Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014, whichoverturns the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling to require all for-profit companies to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. The Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that closely-held corporations and individuals have similar religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in the early 1990s. Cloture was not invoked on the motion to proceed by a Senate vote of 56-43.“Today, I voted in support of overturning the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision that ruled for-profit companies can opt out of providing contraceptives to their employees because of religious beliefs. As Governor and U.S. Senator, I have always fought to protect the sincerely-held religious views of non-profit organizations, like soup kitchens, colleges, hospitals and similar non-profit organizations. However, for-profit corporations do not have the same legal privileges as non-profits, and therefore they should not have the same protections as non-profits recognized by law as being a religious organization. This legislation strikes a balance between allowing non-profit organizations to hold onto their religious views while ensuring that Americans have access to safe, affordable and reliable preventative health benefits.”

Athletes from around the world will be in Garrett County this week as Deep Creek 2014 invites the public to attend SummerFest on Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI). Canoe Slalom athletes from around the world will train for the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships to be held September 17 – 21, 2014 at ASCI. This event is exactly 2 months out from the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.  As part of Summerfest on July 18, Team USA will be on the course at 8:00am and 6:00pm. France, Slovakia and Great Britain will also train on the course during the day. Commercial Rafting for the public will be open from 11:00am-3:30pm. Participate in the Ducky Race, watch Garrett County Gives dancing, and buy a dinner. Enjoy the Sponsor Mascot Dance Contest, Sponsor Raft Race, Live Music, and more. There is no cost to attend.  Canoe Slalom is an Olympic Sport and canoe slalom athletes from around the globe are at ASCI through July 26, 2014 to train on the world championship course.

A Pennsylvania man is behind bars on attempted murder charges. According to Pennsylvania State Police at about 2pm yesterday 45 year old William Maenner and 24 year old Jeffrey Sheeder both of Everett were involved in a verbal argument. Maenner then got a loaded shotgun from his apartment and fired one shot away from the residence then Sheeder wrestled the shotgun away from him. Maenner then retrieved a loaded handgun from his apartment and kicked the door of the Sheeder’s apartment in and shot at him several times. One of the bullets struck Sheeder in the hand. Maenner is being held on $250 thousand dollars bail.

Cumberland Police are searching for information in a series of attempted breaking and enterings. On July 13, 2014, officers from the Cumberland City Police Department responded to 201 Washington Street for a breaking and entering complaint. Upon the officers arrival they made contact with the victim who is a tenant in a lower level apartment below the law offices of Rozas, Friend and Kelly. Officers were informed by the victim that he was awoken to the sound of glass breaking. Before calling the police, the victim observed his kitchen window was busted out and the screen window had been removed. The suspect or suspects did not gain entry and fled the area. Officers checked the remaining portion of the building and found two additional windows that were busted out in the rear of the law office. It appeared as if the suspect or suspects busted both windows out using a brick but did not gain entry. Anyone with information into this matter is urged to contact the Cumberland City Police at 301-777-1600

Allegany County is the site of the first bridge in the State of Maryland which utilizes two emerging technologies: Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil and Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS), a hybrid composite superstructure. A new, 2 lane,  27 foot long bridge is now under construction on Potomac Hollow Road over Moores Run, replacing an existing structurally deficient bridge. The Allegany County Department of Public Works is administering this project. The bridge was designed by WBCM Construction Services, LLC, Baltimore, and now is under construction by Carl Belt, Inc. of Allegany County. According to Adam Patterson, P.E., County Engineer, Allegany County Department of Public Works, an informational workshop to showcase the bridge during the construction phase will be held on Thursday, July 17, 2014 for engineers and other construction industry personnel. Interested individuals are to pre-register for this training session with the Maryland Transportation Technology Center by calling Carly Keane at 240-304-9627. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the US Department of Transportation that supports state and local government projects involving roads, bridges, and highways.  Every fiscal year the FHWA provides funds to the State of Maryland. In turn as the administrator, the State allocates a specific amount of funds to Allegany County for bridge projects.  The total construction cost is $880,000. Allegany County received a $210,000 grant from FHWA’s Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Funds. Additional funding for the project comes from the Federal bridge funding that Allegany County receives and the local share, 20%, necessary for the project match. The IBRD grant is approximately 20% of the annual Federal bridge allotment for Allegany County.

Maryland Emergency Management Agency officials say Allegany and Washington Counties do not qualify for federal assistance to help pay for the cleanup from last month’s flooding. Allegany County saw 1.7 million dollars in damage with 1.4 in Washington County. Those costs include emergency work and repairs following the massive flooding. MEMA is working with county officials and the Small Business Administration on a physical disaster declaration which could provide low interest loans for home and business owners that sustained damages that are not covered by their insurance. Those SBA applications have to be submitted within two months of the incident or by early August.

U.S. Army veteran David Clark, age 67, of Hydes, Maryland, the former Deputy Chief of Veterans Claims in the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, pleaded guilty to extortion in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain over $1.4 million in veterans benefits.  In January 2011, Clark retired from the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) as the Deputy Chief for Veterans Claims. Clark’s duties included submitting claims and documentation on behalf of veterans in Maryland who appointed the MDVA to represent them in obtaining federal benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Clark also submitted documents to the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) in support of veterans’ applications for property tax waivers.According to his plea agreement, while serving at Deputy Chief of Claims, Clark fraudulently obtained VA compensation for himself and at least 17 others, by submitting false documents to the VA purporting to show that the claimants had been diagnosed with diabetes, and in some cases that the claimant had served in Vietnam when they had not.  The claimants paid Clark half of the retroactive lump sum payment they received in cash, or some other amount of cash. These payments to Clark were made in unmarked envelopes, at MDVA offices in Bel Air, Maryland; at the Fallon Federal Building in Baltimore; and at other locations.

 

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) announced three fire departments and one Emergency Medical Services company in Western Maryland have been awarded a total of $553,707 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to purchase life-saving firefighting equipment. The grants include $207,176 for the Shaft Volunteer Fire Department in Allegany County, $195,579 for the Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. in Washington County, $119,792 for the New Market Volunteer Fire Company in Frederick County, and $31,160 for the Frostburg Area Ambulance, Inc. in Allegany County. As the Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski fights each year to increase federal funding for the fire grants program. Senator Cardin is a member of the Finance Committee. The Shaft Volunteer Fire Department will use the $207,176 grant to purchase 32 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and 24 additional face masks. SCBA enable firefighters to breath in smoke-filled rooms to keep them safe in the line of duty. The Shaft Volunteer Fire Department will share this award with the Ridgely Volunteer Fire Department in West Virginia. Each Department will receive 16 SCBA and 12 face masks. The Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. will use the $195,579 grant to purchase 24 sets of SCBA.  The New Market Volunteer Fire Company will use the $119,792 grant to purchase 26 new sets of turn out gear to replace gear that is no longer usable. The funds will also purchase life-saving rescue equipment including three Pulse CO/Oximeters to test victims for carbon monoxide poisoning and two thermal imagers that enable fire fighters to search for victims in smoke-filled rooms.  The Frostburg Area Ambulance, Inc. will use the $31,160 grant to purchase two automatic chest compression systems to assist with emergency resuscitations.

 

Garrett County law enforcement officials are asking for information after a sign is stolen from a business. Yesterday at approximately 5:50pm the Maryland State Police in McHenry received a complaint from Property Management Services, located at 22491 Garrett Highway McHenry, MD reporting a sign stolen from the front yard of the business. The sign displayed the words “We have renters, Homes needed.” and had the business phone number listed at the bottom. The sign was described as a black metal frame sign approximately 4 ft. tall by 2 ft. wide. The sign was stolen sometime between 7/2/14 at 9:00 am and 7/3/2014 at 3:00 pm. Anyone with information is asked to call Cpl. Arnold at 301-387-1101

 

Cumberland Police have released the details of the truck fire that snarled traffic around the city for several hours. Yesterday at 4:04 pm, the Cumberland Fire Department was alerted to a report of a tractor and trailer with the brakes on fire in the area of Interstate 68 eastbound just east of the Johnson Street exit. The Cumberland Police Department also responded to the area to assist with traffic control. Upon units arrival they found the trailer to be fully engulfed in flames. The fire caused the trailer tires to explode. The tractor trailer was hauling cantaloupes  which also burst due to the heat of the fire. The Cumberland Fire Department worked on the blaze for approximately 45 minutes. The Cumberland Police Department along with the assistance of the Maryland State Police shut down both east and westbound 68. Westbound 68 was reopened at 5:20pm. Eastbound 68 remained closed for approximately 5 ½ hours while Furlow's Towing and Winter's Towing began removing burnt debris from within the trailer. One lane of traffic was opened at roughly 10:30pm until the debris and remains of the trailer were removed. Assistance was provided by the Allegany County Fire Police, Allegany County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Highway Administration and the Maryland State Police. Several local contracting companies also responded to the scene to assist with the removal of the contents of the trailer which contained cantaloupes. Traffic was detoured off Interstate 68 at Johnson Street and traffic remained heavy throughout the city during most of the incident. The driver, Nana Amoako, age 58 of Duluth, Georgia was not injured. No charges were filed.
 
A Pennsylvania man is dead following a crash in Bedford County. Just before 9 pm on Friday night 57 year old Rick Vanmeter of Saxton was heading northbound on Mosquito Hollow Road when he lost control around a curve and hit a tree. He was flown to Altoona Hospital where he was pronounced dead from injuries he sustained in the crash. 
 
Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a fatal crash. At about 2pm Saturday emergency crews were called out to I-81 just south of exit 12. Traffic was shut down until about 6pm. The first vehicle involved in the crash was heading southbound when an intense rain began and the vehicle crossed the grass median and into the northbound lane where it was hit by another vehicle heading northbound. Both vehicles came to rest on the right hand shoulder. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, another was flown to a nearby hospital and a third was transported to a hospital via an ambulance.  The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office at 304-267-7000. 
 
Pennsylvania State Police are searching for the suspects who put an ATM machine in a pond. The ATM machine was located in a pond on French Creek Road in Bedford County. Anyone with any details is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police Bedford at 814-623-6133. 
 
There will be a Morgan County Commission emergency meeting Monday, July 14 at 8 am, in the County Commission Meeting Room regarding the Community Center.
 
U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $250,000 in federal funding to The Garrett County Board of County Commissioners for the HART Center Phase II Workforce Training Program. The grant will allow for HART for Animals, a McHenry nonprofit, to finish the construction of a new center that will support 10 full-time jobs and provide clinical space for 30 students from Garrett Community College’s veterinary assistance program. HART for Animals is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to animal welfare in Western Maryland. The completed HART Center will allow Garrett College to offer more hands on clinical training hours than another program in Maryland. The Center will also provide work experience for graduates seeking future employment in the veterinary field. Garrett College expanded its veterinary program in response to an unmet need for this kind of specialized training.  In addition to ARC funding, Garrett County will provide $250,000, bringing the total project funding to 500,000.  
 
Today West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will campaign with Senator Elizabeth Warren in Shepherdstown. Tennant is running for senate against Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito. 
 

Potomac Edison customers around the region remain without power this morning. According to officials here is the number of customers without power as of this hour:

Allegany County, MD 3,000

Garrett County, MD  1,000

Grant County, WV  21

Hampshire County, WV  450

Hardy County, WV  250

Mineral County , WV 200

Morgan County , WV 1,000

Bedford County, PA 170

 

Potomac Edison is offering free water and ice up to 20 lbs of ice and 3 gallons of water per day to customers impacted by power outages for the Free Water and Ice program at Martins Cumberland Allegany 739 Park Street Extended, Cumberland, MD 21501 and Martins Lavale Allegany 12101 Winchester Road, LaVale, MD 21502

Westernport residents of 100 and 200 blocks of Walnut Street the water will be shut off at about 7am today in order to repair a water leak.

The Maryland Transportation Authority is warning the public  that several phony emails are circulating requesting E-ZPass Maryland customers to pay their toll debt online. This is a "phishing" email seeking to obtain personal information and should be ignored and deleted.
Under no circumstance does E-ZPass Maryland ever request personal information via email. While E-ZPass Maryland periodically sends marketing emails for upcoming events, projects or surveys, the agency will never send an unsolicited email demanding payment or requesting sensitive personal information such as credit card information, social security numbers, user names, passwords, etc.If contacted via email by anyone stating that they are from E-ZPass Maryland and they are seeking personal information, E-ZPass Maryland advises the public not to open or respond to the message. The safest thing to do is delete the email. The public is urged to call the E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Center at 1-888-321-6824 to report if they have been contacted by someone attempting to obtain personal information, or if they have any questions about their account information.

On Wednesday, July 09, 2014 the Cumberland Police Department arrested Nathan Ray Frye, age 30, Cumberland, MD.  One warrant stems from an investigation of a breaking and entering which was reported to the Cumberland Police Department on June 19, 2014.  On that date officers responded to a residence located in the 400 block of Arch Street where the breaking and entering took place.  Officers made contact with the female victim who advised that Nathan Frye kicked the door in and then took off running.  The victim stated that Frye did enter her residence but did not steal anything.  Once Frye saw the victim he took off running.  Charges were applied for against Frye which resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for him.  This warrant charges Frye with fourth degree burglary.The second warrant charges Frye with failing to following conditions of his probation.   Frye was served with both warrants and then taken to District Court for his initial appearance and was held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

 

Hagerstown- Law enforcement in Washington County is actively searching for a reported missing juvenile and a person of interest in several crimes in our area. Troopers from the Hagerstown Barrack responded for a traffic collision on I-70 eastbound in the area of the 27 mile marker. A 1996 Jeep Cherokee struck the rear of a State Highway Administration mowing tractor that was working on the shoulder near that area. According to witnesses the driver of the Jeep fled the scene just prior to Troopers arriving on scene. That Jeep was later reported stolen from Allegany County, MD. Troopers and a tracking K9’s were used to attempt to locate the driver. The MSP helicopter, Trooper 3 also responded to assist in the search. As law enforcement was arriving in the area the driver, who was identified by evidence left behind, fled on foot in the Van Lear neighborhood of Williamsport. Troopers and Sheriff’s deputies continued to actively search for the juvenile for nearly 5 hours. The juvenile is also a person of interest in an attempted burglary of an occupied residence. The owner of the home was able to chase the suspect from the home prior to law enforcements arrival. At this time the juvenile is still at large. The missing juvenile is identified as Leandro Ovalles, Silver Spring MD. He is described as a Hispanic male, 5’10” wearing a green and blue stripped polo type shirt. The juvenile is not being considered dangerous, however is a flight risk. Citizens are asked to please be alert and lock vehicles and doors. If sighted do not approach but contact 911 or MSP Hagerstown, 301-766-3810.

The Allegany County Commissioners have reached an agreement with a longtime employee who has been on leave since last year. The Commissioners and employee Kevin Shaffer reached an agreement for his retirement from employment with the county. As part of the agreement neither party will comment on the situation. Kevin Shaffer was placed on paid leave after he used profanity during a County Commission meeting where he was addressing the commissioners as a private citizen. Shaffer is running as a candidate for County Commissioner.

 

Tens of thousands remain without power in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania this morning. Todd Meyers with Potomac Edison says " powerful squall lines moved west to east across West Virginia and Maryland, causing significant damage to our distribution infrastructure. There are many reports of downed trees and wires virtually across both states. We'll be working to assess the storm damage and restore power to as many customers as possible. This will be a multi-day restoration effort, meaning some customers will be out of power for several days. We can't pinpoint it any more accurately at this point. This appears to be the worst storm Potomac Edison and Mon Power has experienced in the last two years. Our top priority is safety. Stay clear of downed wires because they may be energized power lines. Report downed lines and wires to 911 or to the company at 1-888-LIGHTSS. Also report your outages at 1-888-LIGHTSS. Remember that you can check the status of outages, report outages, view maps, etc. using the app on your mobile phone."

You can also log on to http://outages.firstenergycorp.com/mdwv_m.html?x=-78.6433603125&y=39.52443640427698&zoom=7 for Maryland and West Virginia or http://outages.firstenergycorp.com/pa_m.html?x=-78.80366763383913&y=39.77834370623893&zoom=10 for Pennsylvania.

 

Widespread power outages, downed power lines and poles along with transformer fires and downed trees are the majority of the damage caused by last night’s storms. According to Potomac Edison officials In Allegany County 35 percent of the county is without power in Garrett County 14 percent, In Grant County about 1 percent is without power in Hampshire it is about 20 percent in Hardy it is about 22 percent in Mineral about 8 percent are without power in all more than 51 thousand throughout WV and more than 21 thousand in MD remain without power this morning. In Pennsylvania there are about 33 thousand customers without power. In Bedford County right now there are about 1000 without power or about 6 percent of the customers. In Somerset County there are about 130 or less than one percent without power

Potomac Edison officials are working in storm mode meaning they are working around the clock to restore power but there is no estimated time for the power to be restored. Customers have been flooding emergency centers with calls asking about when the power will be back on and emergency officials have no estimated time of restoration because Potomac Edison crews are still assessing the damage and working to get power back on as soon as possible.

 

According Mineral County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security/911Director Bill HentoshMost communities in Mineral County were impacted by the storm. The areas of Piedmont, Fort Ashby, Carpendale  & Wiley Ford had power line poles either damaged or snapped in two with numerous lines down. The areas of  Keyser, Short Gap, Fountain, New Creek,  Elk Garden and Ridgeley dealt with trees on power lines and wires down. Numerous roads were also closed due to trees. DOH and the volunteer fire companies assisted with clearing the these conditions. The Royal Aire company in the City of Keyser lost part of their roof on the business.   Also received a call in Fort Ashby on Dermer Rd. where an individual was hit by swing set due to the high winds and received trauma type injuries. Fort Ashby EMS was able to respond and transport the individual to Western Maryland  Regional Medical Center.  

 

In Hardy County state roads cleaning up all roads are passable more

In Hampshire trees and power lines down

 

According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian LaSorsa wind speeds from last night's storms reached about 60 miles per hour. He says the amount of widespread damage from this storm has not been seen since the derecho of 2012. There are more thunderstorms in the forecast of this weekend. LaSorsa says be sure to pay attention to the forecast and please heed all watches and warnings.

The couple charged with child neglect in Monongalia County and whose baby was found in a shallow grave in Hardy County is behind bars. 32 year old Joseph Christy and 26 year old Summer McDaniel are being held at the North Central Regional Jail on $60,000 bail a piece. According to Colorado law enforcement officials Christy was wanted on escape charges following a variety of incidents. Christy was arrested initially in Colorado Springs on November 3, 2013 by members of the Colorado Springs Police Department. He was booked into the El Paso County Jail on the following charges at that time on charges of Attempt to Influence a Public Official, a Class 4 Felony, Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 Drug Felony, Possession of Burglary Tools, a Class 5 Felony, Driving under restraint, an unclassified misdemeanor, Off Highway Vehicle operated on street, a Class 2 Petty Offense, Unregistered Vehicle, a Class B traffic infraction. On 12/04/13, he received a sentence of 2 years probation on a lesser charge of C.R.S. Criminal Impersonation, a Class 6 Felony. He was released with orders to report to the probation department.On 01/16/14, a warrant was issued for his arrest for failure to comply with the terms of that probation.On 04/07/14 he was arrested on that warrant and held in jail until 06/11/14, when he was sentenced to Community Corrections for 16 months. COMCOR is a halfway house for work release inmates. They live in a facility and go to work during the day, but it is not a secure facility like a jail. He was released on 06/17/14 to a representative of COMCOR.On 06/18/14 a warrant was issued for his arrest for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of his sentence to COMCOR.On 07/01/14, a warrant was issued for his arrest for Escape from COMCOR.

One man is dead and a woman is injured following a motorcycle crash in Hampshire County. Just before 7 pm on Friday emergency crews were called out to a crash on Clarence Taylor Road near Springfield, WV. 35 year old Ryan Smith and his sidecar passenger 31 year old Sarah Taylor were heading southbound when it is believe Smith lost control negotiating a curve. Smith then traveled off an embankment and over the roadway edge. Both were thrown from the motorcycle and landed on a rocky area off the bank of the South Branch of the Potomac River. Smith died as a result of his injuries. Taylor is being treated. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

Charges are expected following a police chase in Hardy County. Sunday at about 6:15 pm West Virginia State Police trooper B.W. Thorn was attempting a traffic stop in Moorefield but the driver failed to yield and fled onto US Route 48 heading eastbound before exiting onto WV Rt. 259 in Baker in Hardy County. During the pursuit the vehicle collided with a Hardy County Sheriff's Department Cruiser causing the suspect vehicle to lose control and crash.  The driver fled on foot and after a brief foot pursuit with the use of a WVSP K-9 he was apprehended.  The driver was identified as Terry Morris from Mathias, WV.  He was transported to Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, VA for injuries sustained during the crash. 

West Virginia State Police have released the name of a motorcyclist killed in a crash in Hardy County. At 12:42pm June 30 emergency crews were called out to Route 220 South in Hardy County near Baker Rocks General Store in Moorefield following a crash involving two motorcycles and a truck. 77 year old Larry Warren Box of Mount Jackson, Virginia died as a result of injuries he sustained in the crash  Another biker was flown by helicopter to Winchester Memorial Hospital and was treated and released. The truck driver was not injured in the crash.

The Allegany County Sheriff’s office is investigating a Destruction of Property at the ARTMOR plastics warehouse located on Wills Mountain Cumberland, Maryland. Over the past several weeks unknown individuals has busted out numerous windows. Estimated damage is approximately $6000. As a result, a reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for the damage. This property has been posted for no Trespassing. Therefore, any individual that is caught on the property will be charged. Anyone with any information on this incident Please call the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office at 301-777-1585 or 301-777-5959

A Maryland man remains hospitalized after falling more than 80 feet. On June 28, 2014 Hampshire County Deputy Sheriff Chris Carroll responded to a report of a person falling from a cliff along South Branch River near Maple’s Landing in Springfield, WV. The person who fell was participating in the annual “Redneck Float.” 39 year old Kevin W. Stottlemyer, fell approximately 80 feet down a cliff and struck a rock ledge about half way during the fall. Stottlemyer received serious injuries and was transported to Western Maryland Health Systems. There is no foul play suspected at this time in our investigation.

The B&O Museum of Baltimore, MD, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and WMSR Foundation will transfer C&O steam locomotive 1309 (2-6-6-2) one of the largest steam locomotives in the US to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad of Cumberland, MD. The Baldwin Locomotive Works built #1309 in September of 1949 as its last commercially built steam locomotive for use by a railroad in the USA. Right now the engine is at the B&O Railroad Museum's restoration facility and will be shipped via rail to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad shops by specialized flat cars pulled by CSX. If you would like to donate to the restoration of C&O #1309 you may contact the WMSR rail preservation group, WMSR Foundation, the where you can join, volunteer and donate to rail preservation projects. For more information call 301-759-4400 Ext 130 or 800 TRAIN50 Ext 130

A couple will face animal cruelty charges following the discovery of 33 dogs inside a Greene Street home. Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigations Unit officials have charges 71 year old Robert Lee Detrick and 61 year old Carol Jean Detrick following an investigation. Allegany County Animal Control was first alerted to the situation by the owner of the property who was in the process of trying to evict the Detricks from the residence. When the owner entered the property on Friday, 06/13/2014, she discovered that the Detricks had vacated the property, but noticed that they had left numerous dogs behind that were uncared for. There was no food or water available and dog feces throughout the entire house. Contact was made with Animal Control who responded and removed a total of 33 dogs from the residence.As a result of the conditions encountered, Animal Control contacted the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office, and an investigation was initiated by C3I. After consulting with Animal Control and the vets caring for the dogs, Investigators applied for charges with the District Court Commissioner’s Office. Criminal summonses, with a total of 65 charges of varying degrees dealing with animal cruelty, were issued for both Robert and Carol Detrick.The Detricks were served the criminal summonses and are free pending their next court appearance.

Two Garrett County residents are recovering after a motorcycle accident with a bear . On July 1st at about 11:15 59 year old William Wantz of Westminster, Maryland was driving a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle southbound on Herrington Manor Road when a bear entered the southbound lane and he was unable to avoid hitting the bear. Wantz and his passenger 58 year old Debra Wantz also of Westminster were thrown from the bike. Both were taken to the hospital by Southern Garrett Rescue Squad.

A Hagerstown man is hospitalized following a fall in Hampshire County. On June 28th, 2014 Deputies C.P. Carroll and J.M. Kesner were dispatched to the South Branch River near Maple Landing in Springfield to assist fire and ems with a victim that had fallen from a cliff. The victim later identified as Kevin W. Stottlemyer was participating in the annual “Redneck Float” on the South Branch River. Stottlemyer was flown to Western MD Health System. Witnesses stated Stottlemyer climbed the cliff and lost his footing and fell. No foul play is suspected. As of June 30th, Stottlemyer was listed in critical condition

As many are planning their July 4th weekend Hurriance Arthur is moving along the east coast. National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian LaSorsa says the storm should not have much of a direct impact on Western Maryland and the Potomac Highlands. He says we could see some showers and thunderstorms with some gusty winds and locally heavy rain. As for July 4th he says it looks like we should see dry conditions much less humid and cooler but a little breezy. If you do have plans to head to the east coast this weekend LaSorsa says be sure to pay attention to the latest weather forecast and all watches and warnings.

West Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal accident in Hardy County. At 12:42pm emergency crews were called out to Route 220 South in Hardy County near Baker Rocks General Store in Moorefield following a crash involving two motorcycles and a pick up truck. One of the bikers was killed in the crash. Another biker was flown by helicopter to the hospital. The pick up truck driver was not injured in the crash.

A Pennsylvania man now faces additional charges after the death of a three week old newborn. 25 year old Denver Blough faces charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and simple assault. Blough is also charged with shooting and killing his 23 year old girlfriend Caressa Kovalick. She was nine months pregnant when he allegedly shot her in their apartment on 19th Street in Windber Borough in Somerset County, PA in May. Doctor’s tried to save the life of Abrianna Kovalcik through an emergency c-section following her mother’s death. The couples son was also in the apartment at the time of the shooting. Blough’s preliminary hearing is set of July 31st.

 

A Keyser man is sentenced to spend a year behind bars. 33 year old Timothy Imperio tested positive for using amphetamine, marijuana, suboxone and loracet (not prescribed to him); admitted use of xanax (not prescribed to him); charges of failure to display license and no seatbelt; two charges for shoplifting; failure to notify probation officer of new charges; and charges of DUI-2nd offense, no proof of insurance and no operator’s. Imperio was originally sentenced on July 13, 2009, to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for perjury before a grand jury. On January 7, 2013, Imperio’s supervised release was revoked and he was sentenced to six months in prison and 30 months of supervised release for failure to maintain employment; failure to notify probation officer of change in employment status; failure to file monthly report form; and, failure to be truthful with probation officer. Imperio was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a Federal institution and will receive credit for time served since June 2, 2014.

 

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.)is working to help combat the growing heroin crisis. As Chairwoman of the of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee Mikulski announced her plans to provide funding for a new anti-heroin task force and for rehabilitation.  and after a meeting with U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein in Baltimore she’s leading to combat According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, heroin use rose 79 percent nationwide between 2007-2012. In Maryland, deaths from heroin use rose 88 percent between 2011-2013.  Baltimore has the highest rate of heroin addiction in the country with an estimated 60,000 addicts – one in ten residents. Mikulski’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 CJS funding bill helps crack down on the crisis of heroin use and abuse. The legislation provides $10 million to create new state anti-heroin task forces. This federal grant funding would be used by states for drug enforcement, including investigations and activities related to the distribution of heroin or the unlawful diversion and illegal distribution of prescription medication. Mikulski’s legislation also provides $12 million in federal funds for residential drug treatment. This will provide a continuum of care from treatment programs in correctional and detention facilities to aftercare services that prevent relapse. The bill also improves data sharing by including $7 million for prescription drug monitoring. The legislation has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and is pending a vote by the full Senate.

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the shooting death of an Ohio man. Yesterday 33 year old Antwan Dash of Akron was found near a drainage pond along the south berm of the PA Turnpike near mile marker 108 in Somerset County.  According to State Police his cause of death was traumatic shock due to a gunshot wound to the head. State Police believe the shooting happened sometime between 2:30 and 7 in the morning.

If you are heading to the Carolinas this holiday weekend pay attention to updates on what is now Tropical Storm Arthur. The Federal Emergency Management Agency along with the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center are monitoring the conditions of Tropical Storm Arthur off the east coast of Florida.Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to move northwest today and then north on Wednesday. Arthur is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday near the coast of the Carolinas. Visit Hurricanes.gov  and Weather.gov for the latest storm track and local forecasts.

Columbia Gas of Maryland, Inc., is asking for a rate increase. Yesterday company officials filed a limited base rate adjustment with the Maryland Public Service Commission to recover infrastructure investments and operation and maintenance expenses.  Since 2007, Columbia Gas has invested approximately $57 million to modernize and expand its distribution system in Maryland. Of that amount, approximately $35 million was dedicated to replacing more than 42 miles of aging pipe. Over the course of 2014, the Company will invest approximately $9 million in aging infrastructure replacement work. The proposed limited base rate adjustment, if approved as filed, would provide Columbia Gas with an additional $1.3 million in annual revenues, allowing the Company to earn a fair return on its investments.    Approval of the Company’s proposal would result in the average total bill for a residential customer who purchases 70 therms of gas per month to increase from $81.65 to $83.86 (2.71 percent), the average total bill for a commercial/industrial customer who purchases 240 therms of gas per month to increase from $272.43 to $279.54 (2.61 percent) and the average total bill for a commercial/industrial customer who purchases 3,680 therms of gas per month to increase from $3,405.69 to $3,470.45 (1.9 percent).  Gas costs generally represent about half of a residential customer’s total bill. Columbia Gas purchases its gas on the wholesale market, and under Maryland law, passes these costs on to its customers without mark-up or profit. The gas cost portion of a residential customer’s monthly bill is based entirely on their home’s monthly gas consumption.  Columbia Gas also continues to provide a number of bill payment options and customer programs to provide the tools and resources for customers to use energy wisely and safely.  Under Maryland law, certain utilities are permitted to make limited “make whole” filings to adjust their rates to account for changes in capital investments, revenues and expenses since the utility’s last base rate case. Today’s filing will enable Columbia Gas to update its rates to reflect changes since the Commission last approved rates in 2013.  The proposed effective date of the adjustment is September 29, 2014 and is contingent upon PSC approval. Customers with questions regarding the Company’s proposal may call 1-888-460-4332 or visit www.ColumbiaGasMD.com for more information.

 

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, in publicly owned or operated facilities, in employment and union membership and in the registration of voters.

If you are planning on traveling this holiday weekend you won’t be alone. Christine Delise with Triple A says more people will be traveling 50 miles or more for the 4th of July. “Despite higher gas prices we are seeing an uptick in motorists that will be driving for their holiday getaway. We are looking at 718 thousand Marylanders that is nearly a two percent increase over last year. Overall we are seeing the fifth consecutive year that more Marylanders are traveling for the 4th of July holiday. Over 828 thousand people that is a 1.6 percent increase. And this is the highest volume that we have on record for the holiday. I think what we are seeing now is that steady improvement in the economy that has spurred consumer confidence.” Following the steady increases over the past few weeks gas prices are somewhat standing still. Right now the average retail price for a gallon of regular grade gasoline nationally is $3.67

A Cumberland man wanted in West Virginia is behind bars. Yesterday Cumberland Police arrested 38 year old John Blowe who is wanted on a warrant from Mineral County. He is being held without bail at the Allegany County Detention Center awaiting extradition back to Mineral County.

 

Good news for homebuyers who are also veterans. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced new initiatives for Maryland Mortgage Program that will make homeownership more affordable – and more accessible - to borrowers who are veterans or active-duty military members. Through Maryland Homefront, homebuyers are eligible for a reduced interest rate on a Maryland Mortgage Program loan and a discount on fees associated with the Maryland HomeCredit federal tax credit.  The program is open to active duty military, including Reserves and National Guard, as well as honorably discharged veterans and honorably discharged disabled veterans. Maryland Homefront borrowers will receive a 0.25 % interest rate reduction on the current Maryland Mortgage Program interest rate for the program’s conventional and government-insured loans.  The Maryland Mortgage Program has been the state’s flagship mortgage purchase program for more than 30 years.  Program loans are administered by a network of more than 60 private lending institutions across the state.  Additional benefits of the program include pre-purchase home buyer education and significant down payment assistance.  A list of participating lenders and current interest rates are available at the Maryland Mortgage Program website: http://mmp.maryland.govVeterans and military families using Maryland Homefront to purchase a home before December 15, 2015 can use the Maryland HomeCredit to claim 25 percent of the annual mortgage interest paid as a federal tax credit up to $2,000 for every year the mortgage is outstanding and they live in the home.  As part of the Homefront initiative, DHCD will waive its fee for the tax credit, providing additional savings to eligible military homebuyers; however, any fees charged by private lending institutions may still apply.  The homebuyer must get the Maryland HomeCredit at the time they close on their mortgage, and refinances are not eligible.In addition to the tax credit, Maryland Homefront homebuyers are also eligible for up to $5,000 in basic down payment assistance.  Additional assistance is available through Partner Match Programs.  Through these programs, DHCD agrees to match any down payment assistance up to $3,500 offered by participating employers, builders and developers, and community organizations.  Partner Match funds can be combined with the basic down payment assistance.

A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey claims Appalachian streams are seeing less fish because of mountaintop mining. According to the study  streams impacted by mountaintop mining have less than half as many fish species and about a third fewer fish as non-impacted streams. The original fish data were collected by a team from Pennsylvania State University between 1999-2001, and USGS collected additional data from 2010-2011 from the Guyandotte River Basin in West Virginia. Prior research has linked water quality deterioration from mountaintop mining to the degradation of stream insect communities.  The new USGS paper is the first to evaluate this issue for stream fish communities.

Moving to protect more children from the health risks associated with lead paint poisoning, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) today began accepting registration applications for rental properties built prior to 1978.Maryland’s existing lead law requires owners of rental properties built before 1950 to register their properties with MDE and comply with a lead paint risk reduction standard. Because a significant percentage of new childhood lead poisoning cases are linked to homes built after 1949, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill in 2012 that Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law, House Bill 644, that expands the universe of properties covered under the law to include rental properties built before 1978, when the use of lead paint was prohibited nationally. That change is effective January 1, 2015. Owners of the later-built properties affected by the change in law can now register these properties with MDE online at www.mde.maryland.gov/LeadRegistration.

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