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Monday, July 20, 2015

ARTMOR PLASTICS FIRE ~ BREAKING NEWS ~ CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND

Apparently as I type this today on this update on Veteran's Day November 11, 2015 at 2:57 p.m., confirmed by a 911 (police dispatch) call I made to report the visible smoke on Will's Mountain !!! (November 11, 2015)

ARREST MADE

An 18 year old Columbia Street has been arrested and is being held on $ 500,000 bond.

" An 18-year-old Columbia Street man was jailed on a half-million dollar bond Thursday after being charged with arson of the Artmor Plastics building that was destroyed by fire Wednesday.
The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office announced the arrest of Martin Elliott Witt Jr. on charges of second-degree arson, first- and second-degree malicious burning and second- and fourth-degree burglary.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal and C3I interviewed Witt and determined he was involved in setting the blaze at the Artmor Plastics plant located at 10500 Wills Mountain Road in Cumberland.
Witt reportedly confessed to igniting multiple fires among ordinary combustibles with a lighter while trespassing inside the closed manufacturing plant, according to the fire marshal's office. 
Investigators found Witt was accompanied by four 17 year-old male juveniles who are being interviewed to determine what involvement they had beyond trespassing on the property.
The value loss on the structure and contents might be up to $750,000.
Maryland State Police, Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and the Cumberland Police Department assisted with the on- scene investigation. "


VIDEO

Posted by Steve Swygert on Wednesday, November 11, 2015
APPARENTLY ARTMOR PLASTICS ON WILL'S MOUNTAIN IN THE NARROWS IS ON FIRE !!!

UPDATES TO COME AS I SEE / FIND THEM ON FACEBOOK

I called the local police and then I called the E.P.A. and also told a county commissioner as well as out Mayor. From what I understand the Plastics company is on Allegany County property but with a city access road only.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
Website Directions
Government Office
Address: 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone:(202) 564-4700













OTHER RELATED ARTICLES ABOUT THE FIRE

Fire Marshal Investigating Cause of ArtMor Blaze

http://www.wcbcradio.com/?news=fire-marshal-investigating-cause-of-artmor-blaze



Fire under investigation at closed manufacturing plant in Cumberland


Nearly 125 firefighters responded to the scene


http://www.your4state.com/news/news/fire-under-investigation-at-closed-manufacturing-plant-in-cumberland

FORMER TITLE - WILL RETURN TO THIS DATE AT A LATER TIME



Failure In Current Ownership of Artmor Plastics 


Incorportaed ~ Ed Crossland

Artmor Plastics Incorporated of Cumberland, Maryland had a storied history and a brilliant respected visionary owner who was respected by presidents here at home in the United States as well as by foreign leaders abroad. However, now what sits upon the mountain today in our post industrial city is a hulking mess of  remains of what was once a great company,... now sadly nothing more then an eye sore and a mess to the citizens of the city and the county... heck,  even the state of Maryland too, as we have to figure out how to best navigate the issues at hand and move forward once again, as we have so many times before with these once great businesses and what is left behind after their respective demise, which is most often following a shattered economy in these post industrial cities and towns all across this United States.

So who will pay for this mess? I understand this past business may indeed be in bankruptcy! Who can verify that fact? I sure hope Ed Crossland can, and I hope this letter, which will be sent to him, local city and county officials, as well as state officials, and also appear in my blog for the entire public to read,  can help us all to quickly find a way to efficiently communicate and work together to quickly demolish the remains of the(se) buildings being vandalized and neglected and restore the beauty of our mountain, Will's Mountain, and help restore the intrinsic and real value of the property that remains.

This has been in recent news as documented herein, as well as highlighted in social media often, most recently by our own Mayor of Cumberland, Maryland, Brian Grim.

Here is his exact post and its responses thus far as of print:

"Disgusting. The local "owners" simply don't care. I made contact to request permission to enter to preserve the historic artifacts and they denied me, citing fear that stockholders may object. Meanwhile criminals are destroying the place and Art Morgan's legacy. Shame on the local "owners." "

https://www.facebook.com/mayorbriankgrim?fref=ts#





Then the facebook post from July 15 at 9:35am shares the same picture herein as I have utilized (twice)

Simply visit this link and read the rest for yourself, as there are currently 82 comments (and more being added), and CITIZENS DO CARE about this mess and we are equally tired of it and tired that there is nothing being done to remedy this issue.

Why do we accept NOTHING as an action and an answer to local stagnation that is preventing progress ???

We demand more then that and we will all be writing amd standing up so that we will find resolution through constructive channels.

This is not meant to be a personal attack at all, however I will say this...concerning this specific issue and other similar ones...if you are the "responsible" party of situations such as this. You have FAILED and need to stand down and let others take the lead and make the progress we demand, because we are tired of a stagnant attitude that accepts such intolerable circumstance. We are all tired of living in the beautiful city that people like you have allowed to deteriorate which keeps progress very, very far away !

Planning is essential to success, and planning on how to dismantle these great businesses is not something we had the vision to see long ago, but should be a lesson to us today moving forward as we venture into new marketplaces conducting many types of business in new and different cutting edge ways as we become better stewards to earth, think about re-purposing buildings, what we make buildings out of, etc., and how we will pay at the end cycle of a business' life for the work that must be done to remove structures and prevent blight from future cities, towns, communities in general really, and also clean up properly any types of waste left behind as well as financially "cover" the costs for any damage done to the specific surrounding eco-system.

This particular building with quite a history in our city of Cumberland, Maryland, is the former headquarters of Artmor Plastics Incorporated, a great company with a notoriously brilliant former owner. However that building is in peril today and, it is purely a shame to see its demise and is further even more of a shame to watch it transpire in our beautiful city here in Western Maryland, as far too many things fall into disrepair, especially this type of building which was so recently seemingly in great shape with an operable museum not long ago at all, preserving some of the companies rich heritage and products.

You have to deeply wonder about responsibility and neglect and who is really truly legally responsible when a building which is operable and usable quickly goes from that actual factual description to instantly neglected, vandalized, further neglected after the vandalism is well known, and left to deteriorate until it has virtually no value at all, or close to it, becoming a liability quickly when it was just so recently an asset. At this point, if it was actually insured to start with, it certainly can no longer be without repairs and the entire demise starts to pick up steam. If the company in question here, or one like it in a hypothetical situation, is actually in bankruptcy, any claims against the now former companies corporate assets by its creditors in legal proceedings are further being lost through such neglect, ultimately at the cost to the stockholder (in businesses with stocks) and to the ones who stand to lose the most, so at this point, who cares essentially. Then lastly, when all is said and done, we are left with buildings that none of the creditors even desire all too often, write off as a tax loss and cannot even give away very often too. These facts are all just part of the accepted demise of a business today, and it is time we better think through the future dismantling of businesses and plan for that at the beginning, and no longer run through it with no real plans at the end, other then the process as we utilize it today where the buck keeps getting passed and neglect and loss is an accepted practice that doe snot need to be that way if there is proper accountability. Why is there no responsibility after a certain point and why is it passed along to the citizens who eventually have to pay for the destruction and removal of debris from these former types of businesses.

This should be deeply examined today and the citizens should demand that we better plan for these endings so that the city, county, or entity where the buildings of these former businesses are do not get burdened with these costs, which again, always get passed right on down to the citizen themselves.

A little back history here that is interesting as we move forward is that Art Morgan became the owner of  his plastic company is 1946 and moved it to Will's Mountain, which he adored since early youth, in 1963.

Of peculiar nature is that it is only able to be entered by traveling through the city itself however the building does actually rest on property within the Allegany County limits.

The sad thing is that since the original owner's passing in 2008, the building and its contents seem to be going to complete waste and are being completely ignored by the current person in charge of its oversight. I posted this picture herein twice as I think it says a lot and documents a very shameful time alongside these recorded events that could have been avoided.

I cannot help but wonder if it is just kids smashing windows while drinking alcohol and smoking pot, as well as thieves looking for copper, aluminum, and other metals to sell, after they have already stole anything else of value not bolted down.

Look at this again...it is utterly disgusting ! How can any responsible party accept this and even have the guts to be seen in public? This man that is supposedly in charge of decisions today on behalf of the Artmor is also a local judge of the orphan's court. Wow !!! As I am simply sharing fact as I have read it online at reliable websites as well as from reliable sources, I will also share the fact that I will NEVER  vote for this person at the election booth in the future on a personal level. What amazes me is this individual actually lost his license to practice law, as I understand it from reading some public material, as he was prosecuted and found guilty of mail fraud !!!



Moving forward, sadly, vandalism to these now well used and outdated properties, which housed great businesses at one time, is all too common as they are often  targets of criminals and / or delinquents and the eventual cost of destruction becomes saddled with the entity of jurisdiction, as these companies all too often seem to go into bankruptcy, which it appears is the case with Artmor Plastics, Inc. itself.

So the case usually unfolds with the death of an owner or an industry itself, and therefore, this outdated business model and its actual buildings become defunct next, then neglect and vandalism set in, and next we have what we have here today, which is the last gasp of a cascading and out of control spiral of death which seems almost like a legal game of hot potato where whoever catches the potato last not only gets burned but ends up with a massive liability in the form of cash that must be shelled out for demolition and clean up.

We, as a modern post industrial society, need to further explore better legislation that will make this type of tidying up less burdensome to our society and less cumbersome to our tax base in such a way that the entire process can be expedited, and perhaps even planned as early as a business license is applied for and the needed future funds made permanently secure in some form of a legal binding financial trust until the day the business and its buildings are no longer needed, then having been fully cleaned up in every aspect without burdening society, which is so often the case and can be prevented with some simple legislation and some better visionary planning, thus avoiding the pitfalls we face all too often today, which further costs unprecedented and incalculable costs in lost opportunity !

So, this will be a letter (and a blog entry for the public to see) that will be mailed (or emailed) to state, county, and city officials as well as shared with our local newspaper, The Cumberland Times News, as well as sent to Mr. Crossland and anyone else I can find as a party of interest and responsibility because most importantly, we should not have to tolerate a building in such blatant neglect and bold disrepair and we should no longer allow any entity to further tarnish the legacy of a brilliant man and citizen that was a visionary business leader and a great and honored asset to our community, which is abundantly clear as you can easily read about him herein.

So,  here we are today, and as you will see, the process for this business and its buildings demise do not appear to entirely different from what we see all too often all across this nation. So how do we proceed forward and make our city more beautiful and viable while removing these eyesores through any legal means at our disposal with zero or minimal cost?

I have a ton of ideas, but the point of this article specifically is finding closure with this one particular property.

There are many points to be made and explored here, however lets start with reports of the demise of the business by date so we can better understand this has been a gradual happenstance and one that has been allowed to continue due to neglect by the responsible parties.

Here is a relatively recent article from local radio station WCBC.

Vandals Damage Artmor Plastics

July 7th, 2014 by WCBC Radio
The Allegany County Sheriffs office is investigating a Destruction of Property at the ARTMOR plastics warehouse located on Wills Mountain. Over the past serveral 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 Tresspassing. Therefore, any individual that is caught on the property will be charged. Anyone with any information on this incident Please call the Allegany County Sheriffs Office at 301-777-1585 or 301-777-5959. 

http://www.wcbcradio.com/?archiv=vandals-damage-artmor-plastics


If it is true and it is indeed bankrupt, whatever assets it did have as a corporate entity are certainly shrinking, and you have to wonder if the stockholders know anything about that, or those which may have a right to make a claim against its former assets.

From my understanding through a local elected official to myself, that man responsible for the building and also the current President of Artmor Inc. is none other then Ed Crossland, the locally elected judge of the Orphan's Court.

Assuming the above is all correct, and that is certainly a huge assumption but equally difficult to clarify, here is a long list of questions for you to entertain and I fully expect that you will answer, in a letter to the paper p[erhaps or on a radio show, as I am certain Amanda Mangan or Dave Norman would more then likely happily host and Q and A session on the topic discussed herein.

Mr. Crossland, as I am sure your eyes will come across this, what are your plans from here moving forward?

If you have more responsibility then you can handle, how do you plan on relinquishing that grip which you obviously are unable to properly manage?

Simply keep in mind these (below) were Mr. Morgan's desires before his death, as so reported in his obituary from The Cumberland Times news.

"From his mountaintop view, the railroad, U.S. Route 40 and Wills Creek can be seen and from the time he bought the land, he felt it could and should become a tourist destination.

The LaVale resident also believed that a government entity should control the land, which would prevent a developer from destroying the viewshed.

Morgan was concerned about his stockholders and said he wanted each one to receive a pay back.

For two decades, Morgan had been looking for just the right person to become the heir to his much-coveted 50 acres of land and 45,000-square-foot building on Wills. He turned down buyers who wanted the business but intended to move it out of the city."


http://www.times-news.com/artmor-plastics-founder-dies-at/article_5bfa4131-5813-5bd5-89bc-54bb1c384af5.html

Is the property currently insured?

Are you legally required to have it insured?

Who are the stockholders exactly? I understand that there is not an accurate list of current stock holders. Is that correct? can that really be true? ...and if so what steps are you taking on their behlaf to correct this issue?

How can the city / county help you solve this entire problem? What helps have you asked of the city / county / state ?

Can you donate the property to any entity? ... or have you yet tried ? Is the estate in probate? can you share any will from Mr. Morgan's time of death?

Are you in the middle of court proceedings concerning bankruptcy where you are incapable of addressing these issues immediately?

Why are the citizens being made to suffer with an increasing eyesore and huge liability where this un-secure and unsafe building now poses and even larger threat to arson or personal injury?

Who is solely responsible legally if there were a mishap at the building?...especially if it is not insured?

What steps have been taken to secure the building from underage children from gaining entrance?

There is a large group of local citizens that are concerned, and we want, we actually demand answers, and we hope to be able to help you solve these issues where ever so possible moving forward.

Perhaps you can share with many actual public information I can make available here for others who are wondering these same exact questions, and perhaps more.

What are your duties and responsibilities concerning the property?

Did you really suggest that the stock holders may object to saving material from the building's museum and also suggest that you do not know who the stockholders actually are as well?... so to fully understand this you turned down help that would best serve the interests of the stockholders as essentially as with any business that has issued stock, the ownership resides with the, (the stock holders). I am just curious what you do at your capacity as acting President if I am to understand that correctly, as perhaps the facts were not conveyed to me well.

As it appears you have lost your license to practice law, are you still in charge of this "estate" or legal entity as described?

If you would like to write a cordial letter to Mr. Crossland, I have enclosed his information below. I suggest that language be formal and solutions be suggested or sought constructively, as perhaps Mr. Crossland can utilize our help and we should embrace any such honest forthright gesture.

Below you will find his personal information and as much a history as I could uncover online through my own due diligence without spending an exorbient amount of time.

Ed Crossland
28 Washington St
Cumberland, MD, 21502

Maryland Attorneys
Disciplinary Actions FY 2011

The Maryland Judiciary provides this information as a public service.  Information contained on this web site is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. For more information, or to determine if an attorney has been reinstated, please contact the Attorney Grievance Commission at (410) 514-7051. 
This list is updated on a monthly basis.

CROSSLAND, Edward C. - 

Disbarred by Consent on December 29, 2010 by the Court of Appeals for his conviction of mail fraud.


I personally find it all the more bothersome that an elected official would actually let this happen, ignore or negatively reply to requests to help save materials from the site, and further insist, as I understand, that stock holders may not agree to have anyone go save anything. Really !!! ...and are the stock holders going to be pleased that the property they have an interest in is being neglected. I have also been informed by my source that there is not a full list of current stock holders either at this point, which I think would be as simple to address as placing an ad in the paper and posting it at the court house a few times within a certain framework as specified by the law and give a final date to make a claim towards being a stock holder by that said date, etc. and that should be pretty easy to address in that manner, so that is not any excuse, as the responsible party(ies) must address this situation today before it gets worse, and I know we on a local level are not going to continue to accept this neglect either.

This is not a personal attack, as I am merely sharing what I have found online which is public information, as well as information that was offered to me that may help with this buildings demise and how we should more quickly move forward towards addressing the issues it is presenting do to its neglect and vandalism too.

I am very curious to know if it (the building) is insured today, and if so, by which company, who I will also be writing a letter immediately.

Here is more information about when he was elected:

Edward C. Crossland is a judge of the Orphans Court of Allegany County in Allegany CountyMaryland. He was elected on November 4, 2014, to a term that expires on December 31, 2018.[1][2]

Elections

2014

See also: Maryland judicial elections, 2014
Crossland ran for election to the Orphans Court of Allegany County.
Primary: He was successful in the Republican primary on June 24, 2014, receiving 17.6 percent of the vote. He competed against Dan WhetzelRon LevasseurGary L. LoganTom Taccino, and incumbent judges Donna F. May and Billie J. Gilpin. Primary candidates competed for 3 seats.
General: He faced Charles "Buck" TaylorDonna F. May, and Billie J. Gilpin in the general election on November 4, 2014, and won with 26.0 percent of the vote. Candidates competed for three open seats.[1][3][4][5]
VOTE.png

Education

Crossland received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and his J.D. from the University of Tulsa School of Law.[6]

Disbarment

On December 29, 2010, Crossland was disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals following a conviction for mail fraud. He is still eligible to serve on the Orphans Court, however, since the only requirements for judges are that they are residents of their jurisdiction for at least 12 months prior to election and are citizens of Maryland.[7][8]

http://ballotpedia.org/Edward_C._Crossland

This is an elected official no less, which further just upsets a large majority of our local populace, as it appears he just gets to ignore the issue at hand and he has certainly been made very well aware of exactly what the problems indeed are.

Here is a picture from a friend of a friend of the building as it sites recently...simply disgusting !

...and to further let it deteriorate with the knowledge that it is no longer secure makes no sense what so ever !

PICTURE ABOVE

Any insurance company will certainly drop this policy like a hot potato as well, as it is not worthy of having a policy in good standing on it as it is now in such poor condition.

A Little Other History and Reports

http://www.times-news.com/artmor-plastics-founder-dies-at/article_5bfa4131-5813-5bd5-89bc-54bb1c384af5.html

Here is some further interesting history about the honorable citizen who built a great business here in Cumberland, Maryland found in his obituary.

CUMBERLAND -

Art Morgan couldn't have loved Wills Mountain any more.

He scoured the cliffs, walked the woods and even made it the beloved home of his company, Artmor Plastics Corp.

On Monday, the man who met presidents and traveled the world but always made Allegany County his home died at age 90.

Cumberland Mayor Lee Fiedler said he just spent time with Morgan during the Queen City Transportation Museum's opening in March. The two had known each other for a number of years and as the chief executive officer and president of The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. and then later as mayor, Fiedler would visit Morgan from time to time.

"Art, in my mind, probably was one of the few true geniuses I'd ever known in my life," he said. "He was an inventor, a man of ideas and a man who could look at a problem, and he would stay awake until he solved it. ... He was a tremendous man of vision."

Fiedler also recalled him as a man dedicated to his church and his wife, Alma Jean, who died in 1995.

Jeff Getty, a Cumberland attorney, had known Morgan for about seven years and began representing him after the passing of James Avirett. It was Avirett and the late Henry Holzshu who Morgan sought advice from often.

"Art was literally a genius and he was self-taught, which is particularly amazing," he said. "When you talked to him, you got a sense of experiences that few people get the chance to have."

Getty said Morgan knew world leaders, traveled extensively and was recruited by President Ronald Reagan to serve on trade missions.

He said that Morgan was one of a kind and the community will miss him.

Nadine Hoeller worked with Morgan for more than 30 years and said his death was such a shock. She called him a "very good man" who had seen and done more than most famous people.

"He was a man of great vision," she said. "He saw things that most people don't see. He was a kind man, he was a great man - greater than most people realize - and he was very, very creative."

Hoeller, who said she'll miss him very much, said the company will continue to do business.

A quiet man with a sense of humor, Morgan wasn't a braggart but rather practical with a worldly knowledge of many subjects. Known internationally for his work in the plastics industry, he was a great historian and could talk for hours about anything from the plastics industry to the mountain.

He first got what he called "the Narrows bug" as a high school student and talked a few friends into climbing the cliffs with him one Sunday afternoon. He never dreamed then that he would own a piece of it.

Morgan became the owner of Artmor Plastics Corp. in 1946 and moved it to Wills Mountain in 1963 in a building that once was known as Taberna Monteum, or the Tavern on the Mountain.

From his mountaintop view, the railroad, U.S. Route 40 and Wills Creek can be seen and from the time he bought the land, he felt it could and should become a tourist destination.

The LaVale resident also believed that a government entity should control the land, which would prevent a developer from destroying the viewshed.

Morgan was concerned about his stockholders and said he wanted each one to receive a pay back.

For two decades, Morgan had been looking for just the right person to become the heir to his much-coveted 50 acres of land and 45,000-square-foot building on Wills. He turned down buyers who wanted the business but intended to move it out of the city.

In 2007, he was in final negotiations with a potential buyer. But Getty said to this date, the property never sold.

At one time, the city sought Community Legacy funds to acquire the land and talked of creating a scenic overlook with a visitors center. The project, one of the 10 the city applied for in 2004, was not funded.

Morgan, however, had moved forth with his own museum and visitors center. Several rooms included Artmor history, including photographs of him and his wife with presidents and products and a memorial to his wife.

The Scarpelli Funeral Home, 108 Virginia Ave., is in charge of arrangements.

http://www.times-news.com/artmor-plastics-founder-dies-at/article_5bfa4131-5813-5bd5-89bc-54bb1c384af5.html

Here is an older company profile still up and online with the original phone numbers...pretty amazing and a great illustraton about the basic company.

http://www.chemicalunion.com/company-artmor-plastics-corp-in-cumberland-md-25560

Other interesting facts to document:

Former Website Address:

http://www.artmorfitsmor.com/