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The Maryland State Police are investigating a vehicle collision that resulted in two fatalities. At about 12:16 this morning Troopers along with Washington County Deputies, local Fire and EMS companies, responded to I-70 eastbound in the area of the 18 mile marker for a reported serious motor vehicle collision.  The initial investigation revealed that44 year old Christopher Crites of Little Orleans, MD was driving his2001Buick Century westbound in the eastbound fast lane of I-70.  While traveling in the wrong direction, Crites struck a 2005 Buick Lacrosse head-on.  The driver of the 2005 Buick Lacrosse was Marcy Kauffman of Williamsport, MD.   The drivers of both vehicles, Christopher Crites and Marcy Kauffman were both pronounced deceased on the scene.  There were no other occupants in either vehicle and no other injuries.  It is unknown at this time what caused Crites to travel in the wrong direction of I-70.  The investigation is ongoing.   The initial investigation is being conducted by TFC J.  Schmidt of the Hagerstown Barrack.  Maryland State Police reconstructionist,Cpl D. Zanoni is also assisting with the investigation.

An investigation is underway following a fire in Cumberland yesterday morning. The blaze broke out at about 8am yesterday morning in a home on Maplewood Lane. Emergency crews were on the scene for about an hour and a half.

The month of April is National Distracted Driving Month. The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office has pledged its support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road. 

·         Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2013 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

·         In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed and an estimated additional 424,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

·         Ten percent of all drivers age 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.

·         In 2013, there were 480 non-occupants killed in distraction-affected crashes.

·         Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to be involved in a serious crash.

While those numbers may sound like just statistics, they’re anything but. They could be parents, children, neighbors and friends from right here in Allegany County. There are too many sad tales of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else.  While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual, and cognitive. So, why do so many people participate in this dangerous behavior?  With more technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented levels.  We live in a world where people expect instant, real-time information 24 hours a day, and those desires don’t stop just because they get behind the wheel.  Drivers simply do not realize, or choose to ignore the danger they create when they take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their focus off driving. For those who think they can do two things at once, think about this: According to a study by Carnegie Mellon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. Can you really afford to lose that much brainpower?  Driving is an activity that requires your full attention and focus in order to keep yourself and others safe. The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.   The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping-up enforcement on the roadways throughout the month of April in an attempt to educate drivers of the dangers of distracted driving.  Every driver in Allegany County has a role in this effort. However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because it is known that statistically, the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.  The message is simple – “One Text or Call Could Wreck it All”.

A 19 year old man is alive following an aerial rescue in Mineral County. According to Maryland State Police at about 7pm on Tuesday night the MSP medevac helicopter team known as Trooper 5 was called out to the Lakewood housing development near the Potomac River after a 19 year old man fell about 200 feet off the face of a cliff. Wiley Ford and Short Gap Volunteer Fire Department crews were also on the scene. The helicopter team located the victim on a rock at the base of the cliff but the terrain was too rugged for teams to reach him on foot. Because of the victim’s injuries the helicopter team used an aerial hoist rescue and was able to pull him to safety. He was then flown to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries.

For now the fire whistle in Romney will not sound between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Romney Fire Chief GT Parsons says the decision to silence the whistle was made following complaints and threats of a lawsuit from a citizen. Parsons says instead of using taxpayers money to fight the situation they would concede to the situation. Parsons says he posted an announcement on facebook in order to make sure the community would be aware of the change. With the fire whistle off it will not blow for fire emergencies, tornadoes, flooding or other natural disasters. Parsons says he has been amazed by the outpouring of support from the community online. He says they will be meeting with the Hampshire County Prosecuting Attorney today in order to get legal advice on the situation. Parsons says the fire company is entirely volunteer and budgets are tight. He says the whistle has been vital when pagers or phones don’t work to alert firefighters to an emergency call. Parsons says it is important for people to realize when that fire whistle goes off it is because someone is in need of help and they are having the worst day of their lives. Parsons says he is truly thankful for all the support and they hope to have this issue resolved soon.

The following message was posted online yesterday: Public Information Announcement: Due to legal actions filed against the Romney Fire Company, the fire whistle has been shut off from 2200-0600hrs. With this said, it will not blow for fire emergencies as well as tornados, flooding or any other natural disaster between those hours. The 45 trained members at RFC have more important things to deal with than a court battle and to spend your tax dollars retaining lawyers. Let's just hope that our pagers and phones go off when we have a call. Not even a year ago RFC had a call in the middle of the night and the only guys who responded did so from the whistle because the paging system was down. Again, on behalf of the membership, we apologize for the inconvenience and hope that no person's safety is compromised. G.T. Parsons
Chief Romney Fire Company

 

An Oakland man is sentenced for burning down his own home. 41 year old Dayton Alexander Bolyard, II, Oakland, was sentenced by Judge Ray Strubin to 12 years in the Division of Correction for first degree arson.  Six years of the sentence was suspended and Bolyard will be on supervised probation for five years upon his release. Bolyard was arrested and charged by the State Fire Marshal Jamie Rodeheaver who investigated the April 20 fire at the residence of the Bolyard family in Nest Lick Acres, Oakland.  Rodeheaver concluded the fire was incendiary in nature, with flammable liquid poured throughout the main floor of the residence and then set ablaze.  The house was entirely destroyed despite the immediate notification and response of numerous fire companies. While his spouse, Julie Bolyard, was at the Sheriff’s Office waiting for a Court Commissioner, to apply for a protective order from events earlier in the night, she received calls from Bolyard and a message with a photo attached, showing the residence on fire.  Neighbors reported Bolyard was located behind the residence, sitting in his vehicle, drinking a beer and watching the house burn.  It was at this location where deputies found him and took him into custody after a brief stand-off.  Deputies noted the strong smell of gasoline coming from Bolyard and his clothing. Additional investigation revealed full gas cans missing from the shed at the Bolyard residence and from Mrs. Bolyard’s nearby business.  The Fire Marshal also obtained video of Bolyard purchasing gas and diesel fuel at Arrowhead Market less than a half hour prior to the fire being reported.  None of the fuel containers were found and were presumed to have fully burned in the fire. Bolyard pled guilty to the crime in January and the Court ordered a pre-sentence investigation report be completed prior to sentencing.

An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institute in Cumberland has been extradited to Bedford County to face charges on two separate incidents. 27-year-old Garrett Gene Sherlock is being charged with robbery, simple assault and theft in connection with an incident at the SK Express Gas Station on January 21, 2013. He is also being charged with theft, arson and tampering with evidence in connection with an incident at Saxton Outdoor Supply just six days later. Bail was set at $75,000 for one case and $50,000 for the other.

The Romney City Council on Monday passed a weekly $1 tax to people who work in the city but live outside of the city limits. Businesses will have to keep track of out-of-city employees, and part-timers who work less than 24 hours a week are exempt from paying the fee. One business said it would likely give a check to cover its employees each year.

A Cumberland man was sentenced to 6 years in prison after being convicted in Allegany County Circuit Court. 28-year-old Christopher Lee Linn was convicted of theft between $10,000 and $100,000 after he procured a loan on a vehicle under someone else’s name in August. While living in North Carolina, Linn obtained personal information of the victim, including a passport, which he used to get a West Virginia ID card. Linn then used the card to get the loan at a credit union. Linn was captured several months later in Pennsylvania, still using the information to gain employment and housing. Once Linn completes his sentence in Maryland, he will face additional charges in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

After 55 years in business, The Bowler in LaVale will be closing in doors in May. Employee Bambi Ramos says about 2 weeks ago they began letting leagues and regular customers know about the closure due to the economy. The Bowler will officially close May 10th. Ramos says it has been hard for the long-time employees, and she says they are grateful to all of the customers they have come to know over the years.

The Maryland House of Delegates passed a measure on Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol. The measure, which now goes to the senate, would prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol from June 1 of this year to June 1, 2016. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently approved several labels for a powdered form of alcohol that can be dissolved in a beverage. Several states have recently passed legislation banning it. Concerns have included abuse by minors and the potential to snort the powder.

Allegany College of Maryland will host the Mid-Atlantic Woodsmen Meet and the Stihl Timbersports Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Qualifier this Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Both events will feature classic lumberjack skills as climbing, rolling, tossing, sawing, chopping and felling. Admission is free and open to the public. The Stihl Timbersports competition, which is a preliminary event leading up to the U.S. Collegiate Championships in June,will be filmed and aired on ESPNU.

Members of the Maryland Senate have passed a bill which would put a two year hold on hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking. In a vote of 45 to 2 the Maryland Senate passed Senate Bill 409 which would allow the Department of the Environment to adopt fracking regulations on or before October 1st 2016. If the regulations are adopted then officials could begin allowing permits on October 1st 2017. The bill now moves on to the House of Delegates.

Officials with the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office have ruled a fire in Garrett County as accidental electrical. The blaze broke out in a two story single family home on New Germany Road in Grantsville on April 3rd at about 2:30pm. A passerby noticed the fire which began inside the home in a living room. 30 firefighters battled the blaze for about 20 minutes. The fire caused about 100 thousand dollars in damage.

US Congressman John Delaney is encouraging veterans to participate in a workshop focused on health care and other services. The Veterans Constituent Services Workshop will be held tomorrow April 8th from 9:30 until 11am at the Washington County Free Library, Conference Room 334, 100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown. Delaney says  If someone serves our country the way these veterans have then they should be free to walk around and get health care whenever they can wherever they need it. Health care for our veterans is something that we clearly owe them.” Caseworkers from Delaney’s office will be available to assist veterans with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issues, including health care, claims for compensation or pensions, replacement of medals, receipt of discharge papers and other veterans’ services. Caseworkers can also assist with other federal government agencies, including Social Security and Medicare. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP with Delaney’s Hagerstown office, by calling 301-733-2900 or emailing Diana.Modelski@mail.house.gov. Veterans who cannot attend can also contact the Hagerstown office to set up an individual appointment.

A new report from SmartAsset lists Frostburg State University as number out of the 10 colleges providing the best value in Maryland.  In-state undergraduate tuition at FSU totals $5,916. According to SmartAsset, average scholarships and grants amount to $6,343, student living costs average $10,606, the student retention rate is 77 percent and the average starting salary of a recent graduate is $40,100. In addition to its state rank, FSU ranked 154th nationally. To learn more about the best value colleges in Maryland, visit https://smartasset.com/student-loans/student-loan-calculator#maryland/value. Zoom between state maps and the national map to see the top schools in the country or by state.

The City of Cumberland announces that there will be a lane closure on Frederick Street for about two week beginning on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The affected area will be between Warren Street to Fectig Avenue. The right travel lane will be closed to traffic. Parking will continue to be permitted on the far right side, but travelers are asked not to drive in the right travel lane, except to get to driveways, parking or to make a right turn. Please use caution while traveling in this area.

From Maryland State Highways: With the arrival of spring weather, drivers on I-68 should be prepared for lane closures in the Cumberland area as highway crews tackle bridge sweeping and resume milling and paving work over the coming weeks to bring motorists a smoother, safer ride. On the I-68 Crosstown Bridge in Cumberland, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will be cleaning winter debris from the bridge and its drains. Weather permitting, lane closures on the Crosstown Bridge are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, April 7: Eastbound I-68 left lane closed 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday, April 8 and 9: Eastbound I-68 right lane closed 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monday, April 13: Westbound I-68 left lane closed 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14 and 15: Westbound I-68 right lane closed 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ramps will remain open during the cleaning operations with travel lanes narrowed.

Meanwhile to the west, milling and paving will be underway as crews polish off the new driving surfaces on the approaches to the I-68 bridges over Kelly Boulevard and Patterson Avenue, completing a $10 million bridge rehabilitation project that began in 2013. The completed bridges have been open to traffic over the winter, but the final paving was delayed until warmer temperatures. SHA has coordinated the lane closures for the Crosstown Bridge cleaning with the milling and paving work to minimize traffic impacts. However, drivers should plan for extra travel time and use caution in the work areas. The spring and summer construction season is getting into high gear. For a statewide listing of most SHA projects, click here for e-Road Ready 2015. SHA reminds drivers to always expect the unexpected, pay extra close attention and drive slowly through any work zone. Whether it’s a tree trimming operation or a bridge project, be aware when orange is there: Think Orange (the color of construction equipment and signs), stay alert and slow down. Everyone is at risk. In four out of five work zone-related crashes, it is the driver or passenger who is injured or killed. In 2014, nine people lost their lives in Maryland work zone crashe

From Maryland State Police: Although Maryland State Police Aviation Command flight paramedics usually help save lives while airborne, they are just as quick to respond on the ground when their help is needed, as it was last night by a child not far from the Cumberland Section hangar of Trooper 5.  It was about 7:00 p.m., when the 12-hour shift for one helicopter crew was ending and the one for the next crew was beginning. Flight paramedic Sergeant Alex Kelly was walking from the Trooper 5 hangar when he heard a medical call for an unconscious two-year-old with difficulty breathing, in Mineral County, West Virginia. The location was less than a mile from the helicopter hangar.  The call sounded serious, so Sgt. Kelly alerted Trooper First Class Rick DeVore and Trooper First Class Chris Michael, the flight paramedics who relieved him. They quickly gathered their critical intervention medical equipment, jumped into a patrol car, and headed down the hill from the hangar.  When they arrived, emergency medical technicians from the Wiley Ford Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene. The State Police flight paramedics were able to immediately begin advanced life support care for the child. They could tell he was seriously ill and time was of the essence, so the flight paramedics transported the child to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, less than ten minutes away, while continuing to provide advanced life support care.  Sgt. Kelly checked with the hospital late last night and learned the child was responding well to treatment and was expected to make a full recovery. “While we are known for our aerial trauma care, it is nice to be able to use our expanded crew compliment and medical training to be able to help a child in a dire medical situation,” Sgt. Kelly said. “Due to our routine work as teams and training in our continuing education, the three of us each set about to a different aspect of the child’s care, all working toward a common goal of saving a life.”  The Maryland State Police Aviation Command flight paramedics are back on duty today, ready for the next call for lifesaving care, regardless of whether it is in the air, or on the ground.

Former New York City Police Commissioner and nominee to be head of the Department of Homeland Security Bernard Kerik talks about his time behind bars in the federal prison in Cumberland and his new book From Jailer to Jailed. Kerik says he put a lot of people in prison who tried to kill him and men he worked with men who were really bad people and he says he was under the assumption that is what prison was a place for bad people. He says the people he met in Cumberland at the Federal Correctional Institution were people like a fisherman who caught to many fish or someone with low level drug offenses and he feels those people could have been better served in a different sentencing program.

One firefighter is injured and two barns are destroyed after a brush fire in Mineral County. At about 4pm yesterday afternoon emergency crews were called out to Waxler Road for the large brush fire. Crews remained on the scene until just after 7:30 pm.

A medical condition is believed to be the reason a tractor trailer driver crashed into gas tanks Friday morning. On 04/03/2015 at approximately 8:08am, Deputies responded to the Fair Price Market in Westernport for the report of a motor vehicle crash involving a tractor trailer. Upon the Deputies arrival, it was determined a total of 4 vehicles were involved with one person trapped in the wreckage. A preliminary investigation determined the Smith Transport tractor trailer operated by David Kahl, ran off the roadway and struck a parked Frito Lay's delivery truck which was occupied at the time. After initial impact, the tractor trailer continued and struck two additional vehicles and a fuel pump before stopping. In the course of the accident, a Westernport woman, which was pumping fuel into her vehicle, became trapped by the tractor trailer, fuel pump and vehicles.  Three people were transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for non life threatening injuries. A crane truck also responded to remove the gas pump roof due to the support columns being damaged in the accident. It is believed the operator of the tractor trailer had a medical emergency which caused him to lose consciousness and run off the roadway.  The Allegany County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Maryland State Police, Potomac Fire Company, Tri-Towns Fire Company, Tri-Towns EMS, George's Creek Ambulance, Keyser EMS and Maryland State Highway.

Cumberland Police are searching for the suspect involved in a breaking and entering. Officers responded to the Flea Market located at 1 Bennett Lane for a reported breaking and entering that occurred there the previous night. Upon their arrival they contacted the victim who advised that someone overnight had broken into the flea market area that she owns. During the time that the suspects were inside they destroyed some property along with stealing some items from the flea market. The scene was processed by CPD crime scene techs where evidence was collected. If anyone has any information concerning this crime please call CPD at 301-777-1600.

Officers responded to a business on Henderson Ave. for a report of a Breaking and entering. Upon their arrival they contacted the victim who advised them that someone had entered their business and stole several items. Video surveillance was checked and a possible suspect was identified as Joshua James Connell. Officers responded to the residence of the suspect and were able to locate him as he was walking out carrying a bag of items. Connell was stopped and several itemsthat had been stolen were located on his person. He was then placed under arrest and transported to PH. At PH the bag that he was carrying was searched and several other items that had been reported stolen were located. A consent to search his residence was signed by Connell. During the search of his apartment several other items that had been stolen were located. With all the items located during the searches officers were able to link Connell to 4 other breaking and entering. Connell was interviewed and admitted to the breaking and enterings. Joshua James Connell Age: 20 Columbia St., Cumberland, MD.
Charges: 3 cts Burglary 2nd degree, 2 cts Theft $1000-$10000, 3 cts Burglary 4th degree, Theft under $1000 Connell was taken for a Bond Hearing and held in the ACDC on a $40,000 Bond.

 

 

A Bedford woman is dead following a crash Friday. According to Pennsylvania State Police on Friday 37 year old Jessica Deremer was heading northbound on State Route 220 and lost control. Her vehicle then started to spin and rolled over about four times. While the vehicle was rolling Deremer was thrown from the car. She was pronounced dead at Bedford Hospital.  An investigation is ongoing.

On 4/3/2015, Troopers from the Frederick Barrack responded to a single vehicle collision in the median of east bound Interstate 70 near Hollow Road.  When the first Trooper arrived he found a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer completely engulfed in flames.  The driver and only occupant died from his injuries in the collision.  The driver has been identified as Kenneth J. OConnor,  1/21/1959 from Glen Mills, PA.  Witnesses of the collision stated that the driver made no attempt to stop or control the vehicle as it left the roadway into the median.  It is believed that the operator may had suffered a medical emergency while driving.  Cpl Shaffer from the Hagerstown Barrack responded as a collision reconstructionist and his investigation is on going.

 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today warned consumers to be cautious of tax-season scams circulating through the state, including reports that some citizens’ tax returns have already been filed by someone else.  Scammers will use common tax-preparation software to submit fake returns. According to Krebs Security website, krebsonsecurity.com, scammers will use a modest salary and average refund amount in order to not raise suspicions. They have the refunds deposited on a unique pre-paid debit card or store gift card for each fake filing made. Krebs said scammers are hitting both the IRS and state tax departments. The IRS said taxpayers should be aware of these warning signs of possible identity theft:

  • More than one tax return was filed using the taxpayer’s Social Security number.
  • The taxpayer owes additional tax, refund offset or have had a collection action taken against him or her for a year he or she did not file taxes.
  • IRS records indicate the taxpayer received wages from an employer the taxpayer hasn’t worked for in the past.

Consumers who believe they have been victims of tax-related identity theft should report the incident to the following agencies:

  • Local law enforcement.
  • The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or online at www.wvago.gov;
  • The West Virginia Tax Department Office of Taxpayer Services at 800-982-8297 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The IRS Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-800-829-0433;
  • The Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or by calling 877-438-4338.
  • One of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion — to place a fraud alert on the consumer’s credit records.
  • Your financial institutions and close any accounts that were opened without your permission or have been tampered with.
  • Check your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually. Taxpayers can create an account online at www.ssa.gov.

 
If you believe you have been the victim of tax-related identity theft, call the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division by calling 800-368-8808 or the Eastern Panhandle field office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239. To file a report online, go to www.wvago.gov

A Barton man charged with child abuse is sentenced to spend 15 years behind bars. Thursday, April 2, 2015, 35 year old Chad Lucas Custer of Barton, Maryland  was sentenced in the Circuit Court for Allegany County, Maryland to twenty (20) years, five of which were suspended. The sentence was the result of a plea entered on November 5, 2014, to Child Abuse in the First Degree. Upon release from custody Custer will be on supervised probation for a period ofthree years. The conditions of his probation are as follows: abstain from alcohol and abusive use of drugs; submit to alcohol and drug evaluation testing and treatment; attend counseling for psychiatric and psychological treatment; have no contact with the victim or her family; do not be found near victims home or school; and have no unsupervised contact with minors other than his own children. The case was prosecuted by Jacqueline R. Brandlen, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney. Mr. Custer was represented by David Schram of the Office of the Public Defender. The Honorable Gary Leasure, Judge of the Circuit Court for Allegany County, presided over the matter.

Two Maryland men face drug charges following a traffic stop. On April 1, 2015 at approximately 4:30 pm, troopers from the Maryland State Police Cumberland Barrack were conducting traffic enforcement on W/B Interstate 68 in LaVale. A Dodge Ram pick-up truck operated by Charles Clayton Yeager of Manchester, Maryland was stopped for exceeding the posted maximum speed limit. The vehicle was occupied by one passenger, Adam James Hall of New Windsor, Maryland. Upon contact with the operator, troopers detected a strong odor of suspected raw marijuana coming from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. A probable cause search was conducted resulting in the seizure of a large quantity of controlled dangerous substances along with a digital scale, packaging materials and smoking devices. Approximately 1.25 pounds of marijuana and 28 grams of hashish were seized along with cash and other drug paraphernalia. Yeager and Hall were both transported to the Cumberland barrack for processing before appearing before a District Court commissioner and are being held on bond. The suspects are charged with possession, and distribution of CDS.

This arrest and interdiction is part of an ongoing law enforcement and Allegany County State’s Attorney’s T.A.C. Initiative (Together Against Crime) to remove drugs and drug dealers from the highways and communities of Allegany County. Citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activities to police at one of the following numbers: Maryland State Police – Cumberland Barrack at 301-729-2101, Allegany County Sheriff’s Department at 301-777-5959, Cumberland City Police at 301-777-1600, Frostburg City Police at 301-689-3000 and the C3I Narcotics Task Force at 301-759-4660.  Anonymous complaints for narcotics and other suspicious activities can be reported to the Allegany- Mineral County Crime Solvers at 301-722-4300

A Cumberland man faces assault and disorderly conduct charges. Yesterday afternoon, Cumberland City Police officers were dispatched to a Columbia Street address in order to check on the well being of a subject lying on the sidewalk.  Upon arrival to the scene officers contacted the subject involved who identified himself with a false name.  A back-up officer arrived on the scene and recognized the subject involved as Anthony Rondell Lucky, 23, of Cumberland.  During the investigation it was learned that there was an open arrest warrant for Lucky in Cecil County Maryland for failure to appear on Assault, CDS, and Dangerous-Concealed Weapon charges.  Lucky was placed under arrest and began resisting officers and refusing to get into the police vehicle.  Lucky was transported to the Cumberland City Police Department where upon arrival he began attempting to cause damage to the police vehicle and was assaulting the arresting officers.  Once removed from the vehicle, Lucky allegedly began spitting on officers.  Lucky was processed for the warrant and the following charges:False Identity to Avoid Prosecution – 1 count, Obstructing and Hindering Police – 1 count, Disorderly Conduct – 1 count, Assault 2nd Degree – 3 counts Lucky was transported to the Allegany County District Court for a bond hearing.  Lucky was held at the Allegany County Detention Center on a $25,000.00 bond.

On Wednesday April 1, 2015 during the early afternoon hours, a Cumberland Police officer on routine patrol conducted a traffic stop in an alley off of Maryland Avenue which resulted in an arrest for possession of narcotics.  The officer stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and contacted the operator and two passengers in the vehicle.  A Cumberland City Police K-9 Officer was requested to the scene and conducted a free air sniff of the vehicle which resulted in a positive alert for the presence of CDS.  A search of the operator identified as Tara Rene Rice, 28, of Cumberland resulted in officers locating a quantity of suspected heroin on Rice’s person.  As a result Rice was arrested and charged with the following:CDS Possession: Other than Marijuana – 1 Count Rice was processed and transported to the Allegany County District Court for a bond hearing.  Rice was held on a $7,500.00 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

The 70th Annual J. Edward Kelley Awards Ceremony winner is Hunter Kasmier. Congressman David McKinley was the  keynote speaker for the event. He stressed the importance of young people understand Ed Kelley was a real hero not a made up movie character. He says he was truly impressed by the ceremony and he will be taking about it in Congress.. Congratulations to David Reid Bowden, Hunter Boyd Kasmier and Ryan Daniel Streets

Congratulations to this year's Keyser High School Katharine Church nominees Faith Nelson, Brooke Staggers and Katie Wiltison

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is barring all visitors from the Western Correctional Institute while authorities look into an undisclosed security issue. The agency announced on its Web site and on Twitter Wednesday morning that all visits are cancelled until further notice. Spokesman Mark Vernarelli said through an email that based on intelligence gathered by the staff, the decision was made to lock down WCI for a thorough security check. The agency hopes to restore visitor access by the weekend.

 

A fourth man has been convicted in the 2007 shooting death of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor during a botched burglary attempt at Taylor’s home. 25-year-old Charles Wardlow pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was immediately sentenced to 30 years in prison. One other defendant awaits trial. Taylor would have celebrated his 32nd birthday on Wednesday.

 

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a plan Wednesday to replace aging oil and fuel storage tanks at two area state police barracks. The cost of the two projects is more than $900,000, with work at Barrack C in LaVale to run around $830,000. The project at Barrack W in McHenry will cost nearly $110,000. The projects are part of a statewide effort to replace storage tanks at all Maryland State Police barracks.

 

A Cumberland woman was arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop. 32-year-old Krista Whiteman was taken into custody after a controlled dangerous substance was found inside her vehicle by Allegany County Sheriff’s Deputies. The deputies had been searching for Whiteman on an unrelated theft charge when they located her vehicle and pulled her over. She was taken to the Allegany County Detention Center and ordered held on $5,000 bond. The original investigation, in which Whiteman allegedly stole and forged checks from a family member, is ongoing.

 

Hubert Smith, the leader of the Berkeley County NAACP, is calling for a full-scale independent investigation into the shooting death of a black man by Martinsburg police a little more than 2 years ago. Wayne Arnold Jones was shot 23 times by five Martinsburg Police Officers after Jones was tased and refused to give up. Police claimed Jones pulled a knife during his apprehension and one of the officers was stabbed. A Berkeley County grand jury refused to indict the officers. Smith said justice won’t be served until the officers are removed, and claims there have been other incidents since Jones’ death that have created problems.

 

A Hagerstown man was killed Wednesday morning when the dump truck he was driving ran off of I-70. 73-year-old James Edward Kendle was thrown from the truck after it went off the right side of the interstate, struck and embankment, and overturned. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing.

A Cumberland man is behind bars on sex offense charges. According to C3I officials on Friday, 03/27/2015, 29 year old Joshua Mathew Sheets, of Cumberland, was arrested by the Cumberland Police after a warrant, related to a sex offense investigation, had been issued for his arrest. On 03/09/2015 the Cumberland Police responded to a complaint alleging that Sheets had engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with a 14 year old female victim from Cumberland. Investigators with the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit (C3I) conducted the follow-up investigation. After Investigators conducted interviews of the victim and additional witnesses, they obtained a warrant for Sheets’ arrest, charging him with 3rd Degree Sex Offense, 2nd Degree Assault, and Perverted Practice. Sheets was taken before a District Court Commissioner for an initial appearance. He is currently being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on bond pending his next court appearance.

The cause of a fire at a guard shack at the Western Maryland Correctional Institute is ruled accidental. According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office the fire broke out just before noon on Saturday in a six by six guard shack. 10 firefighters were called to the scene and had the fire under control in about five minutes. The fire started inside the shack in the ceiling and was discovered by a guard. An electrical malfunction is believed to be the cause. The fire caused about one thousand dollars in damage.

The North West Virginia Regional Drug Task Force is working jointly with the United States Postal Services Inspectors Office to crack down on drugs coming into the area by mail. On March 19, 2015 Drug Task Force agents intercepted a package containing 16 pounds of high grade marijuana addressed to 400 Pin Oak Lane in Winchester.  Agents with the Task Force and USPS Postal Inspectors Office arranged for a controlled delivery to occur at this location.  After the package was delivered agents executed a search warrant and seized the 16 pounds of marijuana with a street value of approximately $64,000.  Jeffrey Alan McCoy, 33, of Winchester was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. On March 24, 2015 Drug Task Force agents and the USPS Postal Inspectors Office intercepted a package containing about 10 pounds of high grade marijuana.  The package was being sent to an individual at 2491-30 Martinsburg Pike in Stephenson.  Agents arranged for a controlled delivery, executed a search warrant, and recovered 10 pounds of marijuana.  Juan Pablo Flores, Jr., 25, of Stephens City and Barbara Lynn Foley, 49, of Stephenson were arrested.  Flores, Jr. is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and Foley is charged with possession with intent to sell more than five pounds of marijuana.  A further investigation led agents to an address where Flores resides at 301 Sherando Circle in Stephens City where an additional search warrant was executed and agents discovered $19,000.  On March 26, 2015 Drug Task Force agents including representatives from the Winchester and Shenandoah County Offices initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle on Route 37 just prior to the Route 11/Interstate 81 interchange in Kernstown.  Agents discovered about three pounds of marijuana in the vehicle with an estimated street value of $12,000.  David Allen McDaniel, 26, of Woodstock was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  A further investigation led agents to 1040 Dicks Hollow Road in Frederick County.  Agents, along with deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at the residence and located about one pound of marijuana and $10,000.  Travis Bryant Newcome, 24, of Frederick County was arrested and charged with distribution of more than ½ ounce of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  All of these cases remain under investigation by Drug Task Force agents.   

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joined Senate President Mike Miller, Speaker of the House Mike Busch, Secretary of Veterans Affairs George Owings, and local veterans at a bill signing for Senate Bill 80 and House Bill 1118, establishing March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Attached are pictures from the bill signing.

The US Marshals Service and the West Virginia State Police joined forces and resources to conduct sex offender compliance checks in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Operation Rolling Rock was an operation funded by the US Marshals Sex Offender Investigations Branch. The operation provided $21,600 in overtime funds to the West Virginia State Police to conduct sex offender compliance checks. The operation began March 22, 2015 and ended March 29, 2015. The operation focused on Berkeley, Jefferson, Hampshire and Mineral Counties.  In West Virginia, the State Police is tasked with registering and monitoring persons who have been convicted of sex crimes. These four counties have approximately 700 offenders who are required to register. Offenders in West Virginia are required to update their registration annually, and the State Police verifies this information through compliance checks. Any offender found in non compliance of the registry may face criminal charges. During Operation Roling Rock, 585 complince checks were attempted. Out of these checks, 342 offenders were found in compliance and 48 offenders were non compliant. The 48 non compliant offenders are being investigated, 19 arrests have been made, and 28 arrests are pending. One offender is being investigated for possible federal violations of the Sex Offender and Registration Notification Act. The US Marshals Sex Offender Invstigations Branch partners with local and state goverments to increase tracking of sexual offenders This partnership enhances monitoring of potentially dangerous predators. For more information, please visit www.usmarshals.gov.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced he joined 32 other states and the District of Columbia in objecting to RadioShack’s plan to sell customers’ personal, private information as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. On March 20, the Texas Attorney General’s Office filed a limited objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to RadioShack’s plan to sell personally identifiable information of 117 million customers. Since then, numerous other states have sent letters supporting Texas’ objection. Additionally, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee filed separate objections. In a letter to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Morrisey said RadioShack’s desire to sell customer data runs counter to the company’s privacy policies and would violate the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act’s provisions against unfair or deceptive acts. RadioShack has 27 stores in West Virginia, according to its corporate website. West Virginia joins Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin in voicing opposition to the sale.
 

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today announced his strong opposition to drilling in the Atlantic Region’s Outer Continental Shelf, and called on the federal government to halt the plan that would open coastal waters to oil and gas exploration. In written comments submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Frosh said that Maryland’s natural resources would be degraded at every step in what he called an unnecessary and unwise process of exploring for oil and gas. Each phase of oil and gas exploration carries needless risks, Frosh said, from the testing and drilling needed to locate deposits, to the damage done during extraction and transport of the fuels, to the inevitable spills that occur. Frosh’s comments to the Interior Department noted that many segments of Maryland’s economy would be placed at risk from the proposal – from the $4 billion mid-Atlantic fisheries to the $1 billion in tourism spending in Ocean City and Worcester County. “There is just no way to eliminate the risks of spills and blowouts. The cumulative effect of small leaks can be as damaging as huge disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. Maryland’s tourism economy, fishing economy and natural resources would all be at risk if this unnecessary plan moves forward.” The leasing plan was announced in January, as part of Washington’s effort to set boundaries for federal oil development through 2022. The draft plan envisions an oil lease that would include rigs starting as close as 50 miles offshore along the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. “The BP Deepwater Horizon spill showed that disasters know no state boundaries,” Frosh said. “Our nation has never allowed drilling in the Atlantic’s Outer Continental Shelf for a good reason: it’s a horrible idea. Let’s not start now.” As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Frosh noted that the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for enforcing the Maryland Coastal Zone Management Act, the Coastal Facilities Review Act, the state Critical Area law and other environmental laws which could be impacted by drilling operations offshore.

One man is dead after a stand off with West Virginia State Police On March 27, 2015, at approximately 11:00pm, the Keyser Detachment of the West Virginia State Police responded to a call concerning a man 42 year old Harvey E. Oates, who was distraught and in possession of a gun. Troopers were familiar with Mr. Oates and aware that outstanding warrants existed for him for trespassing and driving revoked DUI. While responding to the call, a Trooper observed him driving on Horseshoe Run Road. When the Trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Oates fled. After a short pursuit, he ran his vehicle off the road. He then exited the vehicle with a gun and made threats to shoot officers and himself. Troopers negotiated with him for approximately 90 minutes before he became extremely agitated. At that point, Oates began moving toward the Troopers in defiance of their repeated commands to stop and drop the weapon. As he continued to move closer to the Troopers, he aimed his weapon at one of the Troopers. The Trooper was forced to use his department issued firearm in response. Oates died as a result of his wounds

A Barton man charged with child abuse is scheduled for sentencing. Friday morning 35 year old Chad Custer appeared in Allegany County Circuit Court. In November of last year Custer pleaded guilty to first degree child abuse after allegedly seriously injuring his girlfriend’s infant daughter  Danika in April 2014.  The case was initiated when a referral was made from officials with the  Western Maryland Regional Medical Center to Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement in Allegany County based on suspicion of child abuse.  The eleven month old infant presented to the emergency room unresponsive and results of a CT scan identified subdural hemorrhaging and seizures that are indicative of abusive head trauma. The baby was then transported to West Virginia University Hospital to the pediatric critical care unit to undergo medical procedures to remove a portion of her skull to relieve the pressure the blood was having on her brain.  An investigation was conducted by the Combined County Criminal Investigation Unit, headed by Detective Roger Plummer who identified care giver Custer as the suspect and was subsequently arrested. Since his arrest, he has been housed at the Allegany County Detention Center. A group of protestors including the family members of Danika stood outside the courthouse before the hearing.  Danika’s godfather Jordan Kline explains what the crowd was shouting as Custer’s family walked into the courthouse. “We were chanting your son is a monster. It is still a very sad case and this isn’t going to fix anything but it will give a little justice to the family and hopefully to her.”   Sentencingis setfor April 2 at 3 p.m. Custer faces up to 20 years in prison.

No word yet what sparked an apartment fire in Mineral County. The blaze broke out in an apartment building on North Water Street Saturday night.

A Cumberland faces burglary and possession of paraphernalia charges. According to Cumberland Police Officials Sunday, at 1:39 pm officers were called out to  Elm Street for a Burglary.  Officers arrived and observed an open window to a vacant residence.  A check of the premises was conducted and upon doing so officers located 50 year old John Clair wearing a facial disguise inside the house.  Clair was placed in custody and upon conducting a search incident to arrest; officers located a suspected crack cocaine smoking device in his possession.  A result of the investigation it was learned that Clair had stolen household items from the residence.  Clair was transported to the Cumberland City Police Department where he was processed and served.  He was later taken to the Allegany County District Court Commissioner’s Office for a bond hearing and was held on a $20,000.00 dollar bond at the Allegany County Detention Center. 

 

A Cumberland man is charged with assault. According to Cumberland Police Saturday during the early evening hours, Cumberland City Police officers were called to a Browning Street residence in reference to an alleged assault.  Upon arrival to the scene officers conducted an investigation into the incident and interviewed a witness and the victim in this case.  During this investigation, officers found that a juvenile had been assaulted during this incident and had sustained injuries.  The suspect in this case was identified as 50 year old  Ron Claggett Sr of Cumberland, who had left the scene prior to the officer’s arrival.  Officers were able to locate Claggett a short time later and he was placed under arrest and charged with the following:Assault 2nd Degree – 1 count.Claggett was processed at Cumberland Police headquarters and then taken to the Allegany County District Court for a bond hearing.  Claggett was released on a $5000.00 unsecured bond. 

Artists around the region will have the opportunity to showcase their talents at the Heritage Area Market. Officials with Canal Place are looking for craft vendors to set up tables in front of the Western

In an effort to attract more visitors to Canal Place and the Downtown area, Canal Place officials are looking for craft vendors to set up tables in front of the Western Maryland Railway Station on Saturdays, May through October. The vendors would be in the same general area as the Farmer’s Market vendors which set up in front of the station on those same days. The Heritage Area Market would allow local artisans and crafters to inexpensively introduce their work to the local residents and visitors alike. Potential craft vendors would need to submit an application, including prices and photos of their craft, to Canal Place to be allowed to vend on the property. The booth hours would be 9am-5pm Saturdays from May through October and vendors would need to have a Maryland Tax ID number. Booth rates would be $25 per month or $125 for the season. For those vendors who apply and are approved before April 15, a season rate would be $100. Canal Place would only be supplying the space for the booth, the vendor would need to supply their own booths, tables, chairs, signage and vending equipment.
For those interested in being a craft vendor, a downloadable application can be found on the Canal Place website: www.canalplace.org or stop by the offices on the third floor of the Western Maryland Railway Station to pick up an application. For those interested in vending for the Farmer’s Market you are encouraged to email Jeanette Rinehart at walnutridgefarm@yahoo.com or call her at 301-876-0728.

A social media campaign is underway as residents and business owners are using ‪#‎DontFrackMD sharing pictures and videos of their families/Businesses in support of a three year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking a practice used in extracting natural gas deposits from shale formations deep underground. Marcellus Shale runs through Garrett and a portion of Allegany Counties.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan applauds the State passage of the fiscal year 2016 budget. In a statement released by the Hogan Administration the Governor says “I want to thank President Miller, Chairman Kasemeyer and every member of the Maryland Senate for their hard work on this budget and for the unanimous vote. Putting Maryland on sound financial footing is a shared responsibility and today’s vote shows leadership as we work together in a bi-partisan fashion toward a common goal.”  Meanwhile at a swearing-in ceremony for Colonel William M. Pallozzi as superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Governor Hogan announced the administration’s plan to introduce a second supplemental budget, which, in part, will add funding for 100 new Maryland State Police troopers and reopen the barrack in Annapolis. 

A Cumberland woman faces burglary and destruction of property charges. According to Cumberland Police 52 year old Lynda Kasecamp was arrested following an incident early Thursday morning on Springdale Street. The Cumberland Police Department had responded to a residence on Springdale Street in reference to a burglary complaint.  Investigation determined forced entry had been made into the residence  and Kasecamp was identified as the suspect.  Kasecamp was served with the criminal summons and released pending trial in District Court.

A  litter of five bear cubs was found for the first time in Maryland. The average is three cubs per sow. The cubs were found in Western Maryland during an annual den survey by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Sportsmen & Women's Marketing Initiative (SMI) has launched www.fishandhuntmaryland.com to provide consumers with an in-depth resource for discovering Maryland's outdoor recreational product for fishing, hunting and shooting sports.

Maryland State Police investigators continue seeking help from citizens who may have information about the shooting of a Frederick man found injured in his car.  Gerald Campbell, 42, of Frederick, Md., was found shot at about 9:30 p.m. on January 22, 2015. Campbell was found in a silver Hyundai Tiburon, parked behind a retail store in the 8000-block of Woodsboro Pike in Walkersville, minutes after troopers had been dispatched there in response to a report of shots fired. A $2,000 cash reward is being offered by the family of Mr. Campbell for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this shooting. Callers may remain anonymous. Anyone with information is urged to contact Master Trooper Ronald Mullen at the Maryland State Police Frederick Barrack at 301-600-4172.  Maryland State Police investigators have received some leads and information from the public, but are hoping others with information come forward to help police bring the person or persons responsible for this shooting to justice. Investigators believe there are citizens in the Walkersville area who have important information that would be of great assistance to their investigation.

Lawmakers are working to reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. Roger Wicker, (R-Miss.), Shelley Moore Capito, (R-W.Va.), and Kristen Gillibrand, (D-N.Y.)  introduced a bill that would  authorize $100 million annually over the next five years, including $10 million a year to improve rural broadband services.

The Maryland State Highway (SHA) is cleaning and painting nine bridges in Allegany and Garrett counties, a project that will continue through the end of 2015. SHA  awarded a $1.4 million areawide bridge cleaning and painting contract to Titan Industrial Service of Baltimore. This work is part of SHA’s bridge system preservation program and will help extend the service life of the bridges.Bridges included in the project are:

Allegany County:

  • MD 935 (Lower Georges Creek Road) over Georges Creek near Barton
  • Orleans Rd over I-68 in eastern Allegany County
  • I-68 over MD 658 (Vocke Road) in LaVale

Garrett County:

  • MD 546 (Beall School Road) over US 40 Alternate (National Pike)
  • Eastbound I-68 over Lower New Germany Road
  • Westbound I-68 over Lower New Germany Rd
  • Green Lantern Road over I-68
  • Old Morgantown Road over I-68 near Friendsville
  • MD 42 (Friendsville Road) over the Youghiogheny River in Friendsville

Motorists traveling in these areas  may encounter temporary lane closures during off-peak hours while crews install work platforms, but the majority of the work will not impact traffic. The project  includes blasting old paint and repainting the bridge beams.  SHA expects the work to be completed by late fall. While SHA and its partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert – look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. Slow down and don't follow too closely. Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For everyone!

Deputy State Fire Marshals have charged three juveniles with arson of a park pavilion. The investigation revealed that the juveniles set fire to a trash container under the pavilion. They then kicked the container over spreading the fire to the structure after which they fled the area on foot. The three juveniles were identified as two thirteen and a fourteen year old males from the Williamsport area. The Tuesday evening incident was reported just after 4 P.M. by a passerby who observed the fire at W.D. Byron Memorial Park. The structure is described as a 100’ x 40’ pavilion owned by the Town of Williamsport. Twenty firefighters from Williamsport, Halfway, and Clear Spring responded to the fire and controlled it in thirty five minutes. The pavilion is considered a total loss and damage is estimated to exceed $25,000. The juveniles have been charged with arson second degree, first degree malicious burning, burning of a trash container, and malicious destruction of property. The juveniles were released back to their parents pending further action by the Department of Juvenile Services. A motive for the fire was not established.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today joined representatives from the West Virginia Division of Highways and the Federal Highway Administration's West Virginia Division Office to award over $5.6 million in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants to 42 projects across West Virginia.  In Hampshire County  the city of Romney Sidewalk & Streetscape 2014 received  $214,720

 

The Allegany County Commissioners, William R. Valentine, Creade V. Brodie, Jr., and Jacob C. Shade, will publicly recognize Bobby Robertson, a native son who played professional baseball for 11 years. The Commissioners will proclaim the opening day of the 2015 baseball season, Monday, April 6, as Bobby Robertson Day in Allegany County. What was it like to play in the World Series - - - and win? Come and listen to Bobby Robertson’s personal memories and ask this baseball great your own questions! Robertson scored three home runs in the 1971 World Series. As a Pittsburgh Pirate, he played with three Hall of Famers: Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell, and Bill Mazeroski. The general public is invited to attend the recognition of Bobby Robertson at the public business meeting on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the Allegany County Government Office Building, 701 Kelly Road – Room 100, Cumberland. Last year the Allegany County Commissioners began a new tradition in our community and recognized the late Lefty Grove, a Lonaconing native and National Baseball Hall of Fame member. Individuals with ties to Allegany County who have contributed to this national pastime are honored now on the opening day of the baseball season.

On Saturday, March 28, 2015, at approximately 1:45 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Park Street will be closed to vehicular traffic. This closure is needed so the accident reconstructionist, from the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, can complete the investigation into the March 20, 2015 accident which resulted in the death of a pedestrian. Park Street and all access streets will be closed to prevent any motorist from traveling through the area while the deputy and officers from the Cumberland Police Department complete the investigation. The following streets will be affected during this time: Cecelia Street at Maryland Avenue, Williams Street at Maryland Avenue, Park Street at Williams along with a right turn only when exiting the plaza at Williams Street, Baltimore Street at Park and Altamont Terrace at Baltimore Street.

The March of Dimes announced that Kevin Turley, Vice President of Operations at Western Maryland Health System, is serving as the 2015 March for Babies Chair in Western Maryland. He is playing an integral role in raising awareness and funds to advance the lifesaving research, education and programs at the core of the March of Dimes effort to find causes and preventions for preterm birth, birth defects and infant mortality.The March of Dimes is working hard to help women have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. March for Babies is their largest annual fundraising event. It gives hope to nearly half a million babies born too soon each year in the United States. Last year, more than 400 people attended March for Babies in Western Maryland and raised over $74,000. Turley has committed to raising approximately $22,000 in new revenue as part of this year’s March for Babies goal of $78,000. He will also focus on recruiting new companies to participate and lead the community in making a difference for the health of moms and babies.March for Babies will be held on Saturday, May 2, at Canal Place in Cumberland. Visit www.marchforbabies.org to start a team with co-workers, family and friends or to make a donation.

The Frederick Police Department is pleased to announce the arrest of two subjects in the February 4, 2015, shooting at Frederick High School. Detectives Jorge Garcia and Gene Alston were assigned as co-lead investigators. These detectives, assisted by every member of the Frederick Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, have worked extremely hard over this past month and a half to establish probable cause on two individuals. Detectives interviewed well over 300 persons during the course of this investigation, and executed over a dozen search and seizure warrants. On Friday March 20, 2015, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office presented information before a Frederick County Grand Jury where 2 indictments were delivered, ordering the arrest of Brandon Earl Tyler, (age 21) and Chandler Tristian Davenport, (age 19), both of Frederick County. Both individuals have been charged with the following crimes related to the events that occurred outside the Frederick High School basketball gym at 8:11 pm on February 4, 2015.

4 Counts 1st Degree Assault
1 Count Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Assault
4 Counts Use of a Handgun in a Felony / Violent Crime
4 Counts of Reckless Endangerment

The shooting occurred outside the gymnasium, during a school basketball game, between local high schools. Two juvenile victims were struck by the gunfire, and two school employees were forced to run and seek cover from the gunman, to avoid being struck One juvenile male sustained a gunshot wound to his leg; a second juvenile male sustained a gunshot wound to his back. Both victims were flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD for treatment of non-life threatening wounds, and both have since been released. This case remains an open and active investigation as there is still additional work to be completed, and additional follow-up interviews to be conducted. If anyone has any additional information they would like to provide to detectives, we are asking them to contact us via the Frederick Police Department’s smart phone app or on our tip line at 301-600-TIPS.

April 6th, 2015: In the battle to fight hunger Western Maryland food Bank presents the 10th Annual Chefs of Steel. Located at the Culinaire Café 112 Baltimore Street Cumberland Maryland. Cost: $50 per person, $35 for students with a valid ACM ID. Doors open at 5:30pm, buffet starts at 6:00pm, live cooking competition at 7:00pm

 

Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has signed on as an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was reintroduced today by Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3). The Paycheck Fairness Act is designed to address the wage gap between men and women and strengthen the Equal Pay Act so that women receive equal pay for equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens the Equal Pay Act signed into law in 1963 by President Kennedy. The bill would require employers to show pay disparity is truly related to job performance, not gender, and prohibits employer retaliation against workers who share salary information with coworkers. The Paycheck Fairness Act also strengthens remedies for pay discrimination by increasing the compensation women can seek, allowing them to seek both back pay and punitive damages for pay discrimination. The legislation also requires the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities.

Despite all efforts the Cumberland Police Department has been unable to identify and make contact with the next of kin for the victim of the Park St. fatal pedestrian M/V Crash that occurred on 3-19-15. The victim is identified as Warren Howard Prunier, 61 YOA, from Mason School Rd., Oakland MD. Investigation into the crash is still on-going at this time with the assistance of the ACSO crash reconstructionist. If anyone has any information regarding this crash or information about Mr. Prunier please call CPD at 301-777-1600.

Charges are pending following a crash in Garrett County.  Sunday evening at about 5:30PM  36 year old Ronald Johnston of Latrobe PA was driving eastbound along National Pike east of Meyersdale Road when he lost control and his car overturned. Both Johnston and passenger, Kristin Roberts were transported to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for their injuries. The driver is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.  The investigation into the crash is continuing and charges are pending against the driver for DUI. National Pike was closed for approximately 45 minutes.

 

An Oldtown man is arrested on breaking and entering and drug charges. On March 22, 2015 Cumberland City Police served a Grand Jury Indictment warrant on Kody Bronson Smith, age 22 of Oldtown, Maryland.  The warrant charges Smith with several breaking and entering charges, theft charges and CDS related charges.  Smith was processed, served and taken to the Allegany County Detention Center where he was held without bail.

Verso Corporation (has named Allen Sandersas manager of the Luke Mill in Luke, Md. With nearly 30 years in the pulp and paper industry, Sanders started his career with Boise Cascade Company in DeRidder, La., before moving to Bowater Inc in 1987. During his 25 years with Bowater, Sanders worked in various locations and roles, rising to vice president, U.S. Operations. He also worked for RockTenn prior to becoming a consultant to Verso in November 2014, his most recent assignment. “I am pleased to be a part of the Luke Mill and look forward to getting to know the employees and the community,” said Sanders. “The Luke Mill has made great progress in improving its competitive position over the past couple of years, and it is obvious that there is a lot of employee pride at this mill,” Sanders commented. “Now we must build on that momentum to help the Luke Mill become a

sustainable operation and an even more valuable asset to the Verso organization.”

 

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is celebrating the completion of its highly-anticipated, 15-month long, $30 million renovation. The property-wide transformation is the largest project of its kind in the resort’s 28-year history and features dramatic floor-to-ceiling upgrades spread across three phases, including four of the resort’s six lodging options, the 32,000 square foot Executive Conference Center and public spaces. The 2,000 acre luxury resort located southeast of Pittsburgh also opened a Holistic Healing Center, Holistic Garden and a 3,000’ long dueling zip line at the resort’s Adventure Center.

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the discovery of a meth lab. The lab was discovered on March 10th on Cooper Saw Mill Road. Anyone with information about the lab is asked to contact the Bedford Detachment of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Another suspected meth lab was found on March 12th. According to Pennsylvania State Police the lab was found along Cave Road. Troopers found drug paraphernalia associated with the production of meth.

The Allegany County Commissioners, William R. Valentine, Creade V. Brodie, Jr., and Jacob C. Shade, will publicly recognize the Allegany County Health Department’s national accreditation achievement by the Public Health Accreditation Board.This recognition will be on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Allegany County Government Office Building, 701 Kelly Road – Room 100, Cumberland after the conclusion of the budget hearings. The expected starting time is 2:30 p.m. The general public is invited to attend.  The building is handicapped accessible and there is ample, free parking at the door.

A truck driver faces charges following a crash that tied up traffic on I-68 for several hours last night. At about 9:20pm Maryland State Police troopers were called out to I-68 westbound near mile marker 59 for a crash involving two tractor trailers. One of the tractor trailers had broken down on westbound I-68 in lane 3 and signal markers were displayed. The second tractor trailer driven by Eric Justice of West Virginia hit the broken down tractor trailer. According to State Police no one was seriously injured. The vehicles were hauling dog food and light bulbs which littered the interstate with debris. Maryland State Highway Administration crews were called in to clean up the scene.

A Cumberland man wanted on a bench warrant is arrested after he is found hiding in a garage. Cumberland Police received information that 22 year old Brady Twigg was hiding in the South Cumberland area. As a part of the Safe Streets initiative several officers were called out to the Arch Street area. He was wanted on a bench warrant for failure to obey on an original burglary charge. After checking several locations Twigg was found hiding in a garage.  Twigg arrested without incident and he is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center on $20,000 bond.

A Cumberland man wanted on an outstanding bench warrant is arrested. 57 year old Louis Brown was wanted for failing to follow conditions of probation on an original second degree assault charge. He was arrested without incident and he is being held at the Allegany County Detention Center without bond.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh releases a report on same sex marriage. In the report Frosh provides an argument as to why the US Supreme Court should recognize marriage equality. The report looks at the origins of state laws prohibiting same sex marriage and finds those laws have been driven by fear, prejudice and hate. In a press release from his office, Attorney General Frosh said. “Maryland has been a leader in advancing marriage equality. We must continue to play a role in making sure that everyone in the nation can enjoy the benefits of marriage regardless of sexual orientation,” Attorney General Frosh said. “It is a matter of fundamental fairness.

Hampshire High Band will be having a McTeacher night at the Romney McDonalds on March 10, 2015 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. 20% of each order gets donated by McDonalds to help them get closer to getting their desperately needed uniforms. Brian Bowers (Band Director) will be there as well as some of the band members so come out say hi and show them some support.

A temperatures begin to rise so do gas prices. According to Christine Delise with AAA paying $2 for gas will seem like a distant memory for most drivers in the coming weeks.  Gas prices across the country have seen significant jumps in the past few weeks, primarily due to refinery outages and issues.  The national average has moved higher for 39 consecutive days, the longest streak of increases since February 2013.Delise says AAA believes gas prices will likely rise higher in March as refineries continue to conduct seasonal maintenance.  The good news is that most U.S. drivers should still pay less than $3 per gallon to fill up their cars this year. AAA officials believe the national average price of gas could rise by 20 cents per gallon or more in March.  Right now the average price for a gallon of regular grade gasoline nationally is $2.44. In Maryland and West Virginia it is $2.46.

Union Educational Complex in Grant County will be closed on Mon. Feb. 23, 2015.

West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind will be closed tomorrow

All schools in Preston County will be on a 2-hour delay on Mon. Feb. 23, 2015 due to winter weather conditions. Custodians, mechanics,& maintenance employees report on a regular schedule; Bus drivers are to inspect buses on a regular schedule & report any issues to the transportation supervisor; central office staff reports on a 1-hour delay, & all other faculty and staff report on a 2-hour delay.

District Court in Allegany County will be closed today due to a water main break causing a loss of water. Any cases scheduled will be rescheduled for a later date.

Two people face charges in connection with a breaking and entering. According to Allegany County Sheriff's officials Sunday at about 1230hrs the Allegany County Sheriff's Office responded to a Breaking and Entering to a residence in the Barton area that was in progress. Initial reports indicated that the home owner had both suspects detained and was waiting for law enforcement to arrive. Deputies arrived on scene and secured both suspects and after completing the initial investigation, the Sheriff’s Office determined that the two suspects detained, were the suspects that broke into the residence. Deputies determined that the home owners returned home from church and observed that the rear basement door to their residence had been kicked in. While the owner of the residence entered the basement, a family member went around the house to check the remaining doors. The son of the victim was walking around front of the residence, when two younger male suspects fled from inside the residence and out across the front lawn. The family member gave chase on foot and was able to detain one of the male subjects while the other male initially got away but he did recognize the suspect and knew where he lived. Other family members arrived at the victim’s residence and located the other male suspect a short distance away. The second male suspect was detained by the victims family and they waited for law enforcement to arrive. Both male suspects were arrested, Trent Lee Muir, 20 yr old was charged with 1st Degree Burglary, Theft less than $1000.00, malicious destruction of property, contributing to a delinquency of a minor, and transported to a District Court commissioner where he was held on $25,000.00 bond. The second male suspect, a 15yrs old male was charged through Juvenile Services and released to a legal guardian.

The fire at 233 Henderson Avenue has been ruled accidental. The blaze broke out at 5:30 Sunday evening. According to Cumberland Fire Marshal Shannon Adams no injuries or deaths reported. The single alarm fire brought units from Cumberland Fire Department with a total of 13 firefighters on the scene.Cumberl and Police assisted at the scene. The fire has been ruled accidental. The cause was determined to be sparks from a torch that was being used to thaw out frozen water lines that ignited the wood ceiling in the basement. Damages are estimated to be about $5,000 to the structure and $1,000 to the contents.First arriving units found smoke throughout the first floor and basement. The fire was found in the basement ceiling. The fire was under control in about 15 minutes with extensive overhaul of the basement ceiling. There were no operating smoke alarms at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by the occupants as the house filled up with smoke and they called 911. Fire operations were under the direction of Captain Sam Wilson. Investigation was conducted by Fire Marshal Shannon Adams for the Cumberland Fire Department.

 

A McHenry man is charged with stealing from his employer. According to the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office a month long investigation into employee theft at the Oakland 7-11 resulted in the arrest of 25 year old Christopher Lynch. From October 2014 through January 2015 Lynch allegedly stole food, beverages, gas cards, cash, cigarettes and other items from the store totaling more than $3,300. He was arrested and charged with theft and he is being held at the Garrett County Jail.

An emergency evacuation plan is what the Miller’s claim helped saved their lives after a fire destroyed their home. Last Wednesday the accidental electrical fire began upstairs in the family’s house on West Third Street. Jeanne Miller was working when she says her husband called and said their home was burning down. When Miller arrived she says she was relieved to see her husband and her children safe in the meeting place they had discussed. Miller says she began talking about an emergency evacuation plan with her family following a fatal fire in Cumberland just a few years ago and she wants to remind families to make sure they have a plan. “They need to talk about it because nobody wants it to happen. Had we not talked about it and had the kids panicked run different directions it could have been very different. From the time the fire broke out until they got out of the house it was four minutes and there was already debris falling out of the house and the entire upper floor was engulfed that fast. People just need to talk about it and say what is our plan, what is our meeting place and what would we do if this were to happen.” Emily Miller age 11 was able to escape with one of the family’s three dogs. She has some advice for kids. “Get out of the house don’t be trying to get your favorite toys worry about yourself getting out of the house.” Jeanne Miller says she and her family are extremely grateful to the firefighters and first responders at the scene and everyone from the community who has been extremely generous and supportive. To find out how you can help the Millers log on to  http://www.longingforeden.com/help-the-millers/

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