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
Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count
KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.
City woman charged in domestic call
CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Arrest made in alleged drug deal
CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.
Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers
CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.
Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident
OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.
New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
10 things to know for today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
Park Service opens Canal Classrooms
CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.
City, county officials to talk baseball at work session
CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.
Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner
KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.
- More Latest news Headlines
- Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count