CUMBERLAND — A representative
of many local correctional officers
asked members of the District 1
legislative delegation for help with
staffing and other issues during the
delegation’s presession meeting
Low staffing levels have created “a
dangerous situation,” said Jeff
Grabenstein, American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees
Local 898 president. AFSCME
represents correctional officers at
Western Correctional Institution and
North Branch Correctional Institution,
both in Cresaptown. The institutions
are both involved in an accreditation
process with the American
Correctional Association that puts
strains on resources.
“It means more we have to do and
we have fewer officers to do it with,”
said Grabenstein, a Cumberland resident.
Legislators offered some comfort,
saying that it looked like next year’s
budget would be adding correctional
officers to the prisons. Grabenstein
said his organization also opposes
increasing the time allowed from 90
days to one year for investigation of
correctional officers accused of
wrongdoing or breaking rules andregulations inside the prison.
An officer should not be held
dangling for a year, Grabenstein
Correctional officers everywhere
in the state should have
the same disability rights granted
to firefighters and police officers
based on heart disease
and high blood pressure,
Grabenstein said. Delegate
Kevin Kelly said it makes no
sense that correctional officers
in some counties are covered
for such illnesses, while state
correctional officers are not.
The District 1 legislative delegation
is made up of Sen.
George Edwards and Delegates
Wendell Beitzel, Kelly and
LeRoy Myers Jr.
Other groups and individuals
also asked for the legislators’
help or simply let the political
leaders hear their points of
Robert Godfrey of Friends
Aware asked for support on a
bond bill request for the organization’s
building project. The
bond bill would have to be
approved during the legislature’s
budget process. Godfrey
did not request a specific
amount. Work has already
begun on the building and renovation
plan. The plan is to
expand and renovate the
22,000-square-foot facility on
Friends Aware currently
serves around 140 individuals
with developmental disabilities
who live in Allegany County.
Last year, the organization was
awarded $100,000 by the state.
Godfrey also thanked the delegation
for its past efforts.
Ed Evans of Cumberland
said he is opposed to plans to
increase the percentage of
ethanol in gasoline. “It’s killing
weed whackers and lawn mowers,”
Evan West of the Allegany
and Garrett County teachers
associations thanked legislators
for helping limit losses in
state aid during the 2013 legislative
session. West also said
that contractual issues would
not affect efforts to look at
school opening dates being
moved to after Labor Day. A
state commission is currently
reviewing the idea. Myers is a
member of that committee.
West also asked legislators to
support extending the Fairness
in Negotiations Act, which created
an impartial arbitration
body to examine disputes
between local school administrations
and teachers and other
Jackie Sams of Cumberland
asked delegation members to
be aware of some of the issues
on natural gas development
affecting Maryland. She particularly
mentioned the planned
Cove Point exporting facility in
Calvert County and expansion
of pipeline and compressor status.
Veterans continue to hope for
slot machine style gaming at
local veterans clubs, said Don
Nixon, the commander of the
Oldtown Veterans of Foreign
Wars Post and the District 3
representative for the state
VFW, representing Washington,
Allegany and Garrett County
Nixon is not happy with the
pull tab machines the state has
approved but still not distributed.
“They are not slots. ... They
don’t have the appeal slots
have,” said Nixon. Kelly and
Edwards said that they would
do what they could but that
there is little chance of getting a
slots bill for veterans organizations
through the General
“Until we can change the
thought process of the hierarchy,
it’s not going anywhere,”
The meeting took place at the
Allegany College of Maryland
auditorium with about 30 citizens
Matthew Bieniek can be contacted at
Groups ask for lawmakers’ support at Monday meeting
CUMBERLAND — A representative
- Latest news
Autopsy shows Martinsburg police shot man 23 times
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — An autopsy report says Martinsburg police officers shot a Virginia man 23 times during an altercation in 2013.
Md. flags flown half-staff to honor Torrey Brown
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s flag is flying at half-staff over the State House and at all Maryland Department of Natural Resources facilities to honor a former Maryland Department of Natural Resources secretary who died.
System to provide firefighters quick access could be required in new Mineral businesses
KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Commission agreed to look into the possibility of implementing an ordinance that would require new commercial businesses to install a KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System.
Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement in federal court
CUMBERLAND — The owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale agreed to forfeit $173,988 to settle claims that they sold synethic drugs at their stores.
Hampshire man sentenced to 40 years plus in child death
ROMNEY, W.Va. – Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced Cory A. Orndorff, 23, of Green Spring on Wednesday to 40 years for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child
Wills Mountain wild fire 70 percent contained
CENTERVILLE, Pa. — Fire on Wills Mountain that began Saturday reportedly covered more than 800 acres by Wednesday morning and was 70 percent contained, according to a public information officer with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.
10 things to know for today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
West Virginia flags lowered for former congressman
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State and U.S. flags at state facilities are at half-staff in honor of former Rep. Mick Staton.
Staton died April 14. He was 74.
Truck catches fire on city bridge
CUMBERLAND — Cumberland firefighters doused a pickup truck fire on the Baltimore Street bridge spanning Wills Creek about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but not before it destroyed the engine compartment and damaged the passenger area of the Chevrolet.
Carbon monoxide causes evacuation at Ramada
CUMBERLAND — High carbon monoxide readings at the Ramada Inn on George Street resulted in the evacuation of the first floor at midday Tuesday and caused a senior citizen prom to be moved elsewhere.
- More Latest news Headlines
- Autopsy shows Martinsburg police shot man 23 times