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Power has been restored to the majority of Potomac Edison customers around the region. There are still about one to two percent of customers without power in Allegany, Garrett, Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Mineral and Morgan Counties. Power is expected to be restored to all customers by tomorrow. Immediately following Tuesday’s storms more than 96 thousand customers were without power. Crews have been working to replace more than 60 poles that were destroyed and 60 more are being replaced. Potomac Edison officials say crews have basically been working to repair power from the ground up.

Thanks to a collaboration between Cumberland’s Office of Economic Development and Allegany County’s Information Technology Strategic Industry Partnership a new business incubator and training center could be opening soon in Cumberland. Allegany College of Maryland and Cumberland City Officials will be looking into using the historic former courthouse building at 19 Frederick Street as an education, training and work space for Information Technology and Cyber-Security industries. A study will be undertaken to determine the viability and sustainability of a self-sufficient facility able to assist in delivering world class training and educational resources while also creating an outlet for entrepreneurs within the region. Incubation and co-work facilities will be intermingled with training and educational facilities to create a collaborative environment meant to spur creativity and innovation.Allegany County’s Information Technology Strategic Industry Partnership received a 2014 EARN (Employment Advancement Right Now) Maryland Implementation Grant. EARN Maryland, managed by DLLR, is a first‐of‐its‐kind state skills-training and economic development initiative that is business-led, flexible and collaborative. EARN Maryland is designed to ensure that Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete and grow while providing targeted education and skills training to Maryland workers. The state awarded 28 partnerships that exhibited the best ability to meet industry‐identified workforce needs and to train Marylanders in the skills employers demand. The local Strategic Industry Partnership (SIP), which includes many key area stakeholders, plans to establish an IT Center of Excellence that will prepare a strong workforce to satisfy a growing number of jobs foreseen in information technology. The goal of this 18-member group, representing IT, education, government and economic development, is to put Allegany County at the center of a technology-ready region that strengthens existing IT employers and attracts new ones EARN Maryland is based on a successful national model that has led to improved employment opportunities and higher wages for workers and increased productivity and other positive outcomes for employers, according to DLLR. The local group was funded in January with a small EARN Maryland planning grant to hire a consultant to craft a plan that addresses specific IT workforce training and development needs now and in the future. The group used these findings to compete for a second grant to implement industry-needed training. “Grants will provide industry‐specific, state‐of‐the‐art training for high‐demand occupations.” Employers and stakeholders interested in the Allegany County IT Center of Excellence should contact Autumn Becker, workforce development director in ACM’s Center for Continuing Education, at abecker@allegany.edu or 301-784-5434. Both are being held at the North Central Regional Jail on 60 thousand dollars bail.

 

A motorcyclist is dead following a crash in Bedford County. The accident happened at about 4:40 yesterday afternoon on Mountain View Drive just north of Helixville Road. 40 year old Jason Simons of New Paris, PA was heading southbound and 62 year old Karin Sedewar of Caimbrook, PA was heading northbound on Mountain View Drive. Simons was negotiating a right hand curve and traveled into the opposite lane of travel into Sedewar’s lane causing a head on crash. Simons was pronounced dead at the scene. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Sedewar suffered minor injuries.

 

 

Western Maryland’s new semi-pro football team the Western Maryland Stags will kick off their inaugural season July 12th at 7pm at Greenway Avenue Stadium. The Stags will be offering free admission to all fans during the 2014 season. The Stags will take on the Virginia Hornets tomorrow night. The game kicks off a five straight home game stretch. Thanks to a partnership with Allegany County Schools Superintendent Dr. David Cox the Stags will be offering a $1500 scholarship in 2015 for the football player in Allegany County who graduates with the highest GPA. Saturday night will also be Stags Kids night where children are encouraged to run end zone to end zone during halftime.

 

Allegany County officials are hoping to get financial assistance from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency for cleanup from June’s flooding. On June 12th flash flooding impacted Cumberland, Cresaptown, Bowling Green, LaVale, Lonaconing, Oldtown and Flintstone. Estimated damages are around 1.7 million dollars. Several schools, churches, Rocky Gap State Park, a volunteer fire department, and many roads and bridges require repair, including the "Historic Oldtown Bridge" which was completely destroyed by the storm. Multiple small businesses received significant damage to their facilities and equipment. Approximately 175 residences were also impacted by the storm,including several homes where the foundation was swept away, leaving those homes uninhabitable. Additional residences have since been identified that have been deemed unsafe for continued habitation as a result of storm damage. The affected families do not have flood insurance and their homeowner's insurance providers have denied their claims. Following the storm Governor O’Malley declared a state of emergency which opened up the possibility of federal funding relief but the amount of damage in Allegany and Washington Counties did not meet the financial requirements for FEMA funding. County officials are hoping MEMA will be able to provide some support.

 

 

 

Sometime between June 29 and July 6, a residence on Platter Road in Grantsville was burglarized.  Items stolen include a Remington rifle and a box of coins.  If anyone has information about this crime, they are requested to contact TFC Nelson at the Maryland State Police McHenry Barrack at 301-387-1101.  A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in this crime.

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

The infant child of a couple arrested in Monongalia County is found buried in the George Washington National Forest. Saturday at about 5pm West Virginia State Police out of Morgantown contacted Hardy County troopers after the arrest of 32 year old Joseph Christy and 26 year old Summer McDaniel both of Missouri. Christy is wanted in Colorado Springs, Co. He allegedly stole a vehicle from Iowa. When Morgantown Police noticed a suspicious vehicle parked at Sheetz in Sabraton  they learned it was stolen. After a brief chase along I-68 and I-79 Christy was arrested without incident. Four children ages 11,7,4, and 2  were also found in the car. Christy and McDaniel were both charged with child neglect. None of the children were wearing seatbelts in the vehicle. During the investigation troopers learned Christy had killed an infant child and buried the baby at a campsite in Hardy County. At about 7:30 Saturday night Christy led troopers to the shallow grave of his 26 day old son Ashter Christy. His body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. A preliminary investigation has lead officers to believe the focus of the case will be toward child neglect resulting in the death and possible murder of the baby.

A nine year old boy is recovering following burns he suffered after an incident with a sparkler. At about 10 am on July 4th the boy stepped outside a tent he was sharing with his mother. The boy ignited the sparkler which accidentally caught his shirt on fire.  Deputy State Fire Marshals, Maryland State Police and Department of Natural Resources police are investigating. The boy suffered 50% burn injuries to his upper torso, neck and arms. He was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter out of the Savage River State Forest in Swanton to the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in critical condition. Hand held sparklers burn at 1,200 ̊F and can quickly ignite combustibles such as clothing.

A Pennsylvania man faces attempted homicide and drug charges. At about 2:30 in the morning on Thursday  Pennsylvania State Police were called out to Monroe Street in West Providence Township for a report that a man had been shot. When troopers arrived they found 44 year old Steven Dunkle and 33 year old Craig Showalter both of Everett had been in an argument and Dunkle shot at Showalter. While at the home troopers discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia. Showalter was injured as a result of the shooting. No word yet on his condition. Dunkle is being held at the Bedford County Jail on 150 thousand dollars bond.

Hampshire County Sheriff's officials have a suspect wanted in connection with a series of breaking and enterings. On June 20th, 2014 members of the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office, C3I, and Allegany County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant at an apartment on Centre Street in Cumberland MD .On June 19th, members of the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office received information that Scott Hockman resided at an apartment at this location and that he was involved in several breaking and enterings in the Hampshire County area. During the execution of the search warrant several reported stolen items were recovered from the Hockman residence linking him to at least (7) seven different breaking and enterings in Hampshire County. Stolen property from Allegany County was also recovered during the search. These theft occurred from Memorial Day weekend to June 15th. Items recovered hand tools, power tools, chainsaws, weed eaters, generator, welders and other misc. items. The Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate these crimes and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office.  Warrants on Hockman were obtained on June 24th, 2014. Hockman has not been arrested as of yet. Hockman is 6’2” 195 lbs brown hair and blue eyes. If anyone has information on his location contact the Hampshire County Sheriff’ Office.

 

The Garrett County Sheriff’s Office is asking for information following a burglary in the Swanton area. The suspects burglarized a new home under construction sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday July 3rd between 2am and 7am on Maple Leaf Lane in Swanton. The suspects stole power tools including a Makita 14” planer, Makita 10” table saw, Dewalt 12” compound chop saw, Dewalt 12” slide compound miter saw and a Dewalt air compressor. Anyone with information is asked to call the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office at 301-334-1911 or leave a tip online at www.garrettcountycrimesolvers.org.

 

A Morgantown woman is recovering after being hit by a car in Pennsylvania. Last Tuesday  31 year old Neha Lal  was standing in the middle of State Route 669 helping  24 year old Joshua Wiley of Meyersdale, PA perform a backup maneuver into the travel lane of State Route 669. He swerved into the southbound lane in an attempt to go around Lal but instead ran over her foot then he drove about 37 feet northeast and stopped along the berm of the roadway. After she was hit Lal collapsed into the southbound lane of 669. She was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for moderate injuries. 

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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