NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT TOMORROW
Several new laws approved by the General Assembly, will take effect tomorrow. One is the decriminalization of marijuana; the possession of less than 10 grams will become a civil offense, rather than a criminal one. Another bill will raise the maximum penalty for smuggling in a cell phone to a correctional facility to five years imprisonment, and a fine of $3,000. Another law will require motorists to move into an open lane, away from tow trucks, attending to roadside emergencies, or to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe, just as they are required to do when approaching police and other emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
FIREFIGHTERS, CITY DISAGREE ON REDUCTIONS
A new contract was approved recently, and there is already a dispute over staffing at the Cumberland Fire Department. Union President Ken McKenzie says reducing the per shift staffing from 13 to 12 could be a safety issue. Fire Chief Donald Dunn says the reduction is not new, and is needed because of budget considerations, according to the Cumberland Times-News.
STUDY PLANNED FOR GREENE STREET
A contract with a Baltimore firm, Alta Planning and Design, will improve the street and add features for both bicycles and pedestrians. The plan will establish more efficient transportation along the street from the Baltimore Street bridge to the Interstate 68 interchange. Some aspects of the plan include reviews of on-street parking, transit services, accommodations for bicycles and a "streetscape environment," according to the request for proposals.
MAN GUILTY OF COOKING "METH"
Oakland resident Jeffrey Vincent Corby has been found guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine and other charges. He was sentenced to eight years in prison with two years suspended, and an additional four years for each of the other charges. The conviction was the result of a raid at a residence in Mountain Lake Park last November. He will be on probation for five years, following his release from prison.
WEST VIRGINIA MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE
Elk Garden resident Paul Edgar Wilhelm has been charged with rape by the Maryland State Police. The alleged rape happened in the 200-block of Main Street in Kitzmiller on Friday. The West Virginia and Maryland State Police arrested Wilhelm at his residence and he was taken to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail, for extradition to Maryland.
NBCI INMATE INURED IN FIGHT
A 37-year old inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution, who was serving a life sentence for murder and robbery, suffered non-life threatening injuries in a fight with his cellmate Monday. The altercation happened just before 1 p.m. yesterday, and the victim was taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for treatment.
WARRANT SERVED ON CUMBERLAND MAN
An arrest warrant was served on Javon Nafaise Murphy of Cumberland over the weekend. The warrant stems from a private citizen applying for charges against him in District Court. He was charged with violating a protective order, harassment, obstructing justice, and attempting to solicit and intimidate a juror. Murphy was served and was held without bond.
MAN ARRESTED FOR PROBATION VIOLATION
Cumberland resident Tyler Dewain Nimmons of Cumberland was served an arrest warrant over the weekend for violating the conditions of his probation. He was held on $1,000 bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.
BRIDGE RENAMED FOR TROOPER
A bridge in Windber, Pennsylvania was renamed in honor of a local trooper who was killed in the line of duty in November of 2002. The "Trooper Joseph Sepp Memorial Bridge" was the former 17th street bridge. Sepp died on November 10, 2002, after being shot by a suspect in a high-speed chase in Ebensburg.
SOMERSET BURGLARIES INVESTIGATED
The Pennsylvania State Police at Somerset are currently investigating several burglaries at businesses at businesses in and around the area. Burglaries were reported at the Pennsylvania State Elks Association, Vitamin World, and the Prodigy Dialysis/Kidney Center. Once inside that location, they stole needles, drugs and other items. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at (814)-445-4104.
QUESTIONS RAISED ON FISCAL PROCEDURES
An audit from the Department of Legislative Services says the state of Maryland's Mental Hygiene Adminstration didn't have adequate procedures to ensure consumers who were given care, were actually eligible. The funds in question total $16.4 million. The audit also found that reviews weren't done in a timely manner by an accounting firm, hired to monitor some of the agency's fiscal functions. The Mental Hygiene Administration has since merged with the state's substance abuse arm, to create a behavior health unit.
CHANCES ARE "STRONGER THAN NOT" CARSON WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT
Chances are "stronger than not" former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson will run for President in 2016. He says he will decide, based upon the results of the mid-term elections in November. Dr. Carson says government works only if the people are informed as voters. He says he is looking for a substantial shift, resulting in Republican control of the Senate. Dr. Carson says this will be necessary, "to get things done."
INFANT MORTALITY RISES SLIGHTLY
While Maryland's infant mortality rate dropped by 15 per cent in the past decade, it rose slightly last year. The rate increased to 6.6 per 1,000 live births last year, up from 6.3 per 1,000 in 2012. No single cause was identified, but some of those include low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, and congenital abnormalities. Governor O'Malley has set a goal of reducing the infant mortality rate by another ten per cent, by the year 2017.
NEARLY 100,000 W. VA. KIDS LIVE IN POVERTY
A report from the Census Bureau says that one in four children in West Virginia lives in poverty; that's about 100,000 children. One in three, under the age of five, lives in poverty. The numbers are the highest they've been in the past five years. Overall, one in five West Virginians, or 18.5 per cent, lives in poverty. For a family of four, the poverty line in 2013 was about $23,000.