New stadium among stories that didn't quite make top 10

December 31, 2006

April 30 - A five-day search for a missing plane ended when the sons of the pilot found the wreckage about halfway up the northeast face of Cross Mountain in Montgomery Township, Pa.

David K. Weiss, 72, of Bethesda, Md., was killed in the April 25 crash of the Cessna 172L.

The search for the downed plane attracted hundreds of volunteers. The Civil Air Patrol had 35 planes combing the region, and more than 400 people searched on the ground, a spokesman for the patrol's Maryland Wing said.

The wreckage was found by Weiss' sons, Mark and Steve.

May 17 - The doors of a much-talked-about new Wal-Mart opened in Washington Township, Pa.

The new supercenter in Rouzerville Commons was open the night before for associates, families and community leaders.

June 27 - More than 11 inches of rain fell on parts of Franklin County, Pa., from June 25 through 27.


The rainfall led to road closings, basement floodings and a number of water rescues.

Franklin County received a federal disaster designation July 6. The Federal Emergency Management Agency determined that more than 150 mobile homes at three parks in Greene Township - Village Green Manor, Lincoln Dell and Northwood - were destroyed, and dozens more damaged.

Franklin County Director of Emergency Services Jerry Flasher said damage was not limited to the mobile home parks.

July 31 - A Hagerstown woman was fatally shot early July 31.

Trisiviah Rodriguez, 20, of 56 E. Antietam St. in Hagers-town, was hit by a bullet in the first block of East Franklin Street.

Oct. 5 - PenMar Development Corp. took ownership of the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base, and promptly sold it to the Columbia, Md., company that plans to build homes and offices on the property.

The transaction came after eight years of arguments, resignations from the PenMar board of directors and legal battles surrounding the base's transfer from the Army to PenMar.

PenMar was created by the state in 1997 to redevelop the base, which the Army shut down in 1998.

Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) purchased the approximately 600-acre base for $5 million. The price will climb to $9 million if COPT doesn't create 1,400 jobs over nine years.

Oct. 11 - What appeared to be the making of a dangerous outbreak in downtown Hagerstown ended up being a false alarm.

Thirteen African refugees and three other residents were evacuated from a West Franklin Street apartment.

The residents were evaluated in two large yellow decontamination tents, and doctors found that nothing was wrong.

Nov. 3- An exuberant crowd filed into the new Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School to watch the school's first varsity home football game at the stadium.

North defeated Catoctin, 49-36.

The approximately $4 million stadium ended North High's 49 years without a home stadium. The school had shared School Stadium with South Hagerstown High School at South High.

The stadium seats 2,000 people. It has an artificial turf field designed to accommodate a number of sports.

Nov. 7 - Although he carried Washington County, Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Martin O'Malley.

Some political observers said afterward that they believed Maryland voters took out their frustrations of politics at the national level on Republicans Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who lost to U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes.

Nov. 28 - Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook attended his last meeting as a commissioner.

Snook, who had served as a commissioner for 16 years, announced in July that he would not seek a fifth term, saying it was time for transition.

Snook's father, Martin L. Snook, was a commissioner from 1974 until his death in March 1989.

Dec. 10 - To the strains of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a C-5 transport plane was unveiled for a crowd at Eastern Regional Airport.

A fleet of 10 C-5s will replace the fleet of C-130s flown by the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard out of the airport in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The C-5s are to arrive gradually until 2008.

Dec. 13 - Fourteen months after the murder of 14-year-old Miana Stewart in her Gerrardstown, W.Va., home, a jury in Berkeley County Circuit Court decided her killer should spend the rest of his life in prison.

Roger Dwayne Smith, 25, did not receive a recommendation of mercy from the jury.

Smith on Dec. 8 entered guilty pleas to the felony murder of Stewart on Oct. 13, 2005, in the basement of her Gerrardstown, W.Va., home, and to counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, malicious wounding, attempted murder of Stewart's mother, Mary Stewart, and first-degree (aggravated) robbery. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of fleeing from a police officer.

Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 26.

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