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Star FM Local News

St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Detectives Charge Suspect with Sex Abuse of a Minor


On February 21, 2017, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a ten-year-old female who was being sexually abused by a family member. The Criminal Investigations Division in partnership with Child Protective Services continued the investigation. The suspect was identified as Jay Thomas Martin, age 60, of Callaway, Maryland. 
 
On February 22, 2017, detectives arrested Martin and transported him to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center, where he is being held on a no bond status.
 
Martin was charged with Sex Abuse of a Minor.
 
Anyone with further information can contact Detective David Alexander at 301-475-4200, ext. *1954.
 

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Charles Officers Warn Citizens Of Thefts From Vehicles


The Sheriff's Office has realized a slight increase in thefts from vehicles in the Waldorf area. Please make sure vehicles are locked at all times and any items of value are either removed from the vehicle or not left in plain view. Many of these thefts are occurring along the Rt 301 corridor. As always if your see something say something. Stay alert and enjoy the warmer weather.

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St. Mary's County Government Seeks Interested Farmers Produce Stand Vendors


Leonardtown, MD – If you are a local produce vendor, interested in providing fresh, locally grown produce items and locating occasionally on the St. Mary’s County Governmental Center campus during the 2017 growing season and willing to offer sales and options for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), St. Mary’s County Government may have an opportunity for you.
 
The campus is home to numerous governmental offices and receives many visitors daily.
 
Interested Farmers Produce stand operators should contact Amber Hebert in the Department of Human Resources at 301-475-4200, ext. *1110 or via email at amber.hebert@stmarysmd.com.   
Only actively licensed vendors who carry sufficient auto liability and general liability insurance coverages will be considered.
 
This notification is only intended to seek interest and is not a formal solicitation or a promise of a business location at the St. Mary’s County Governmental Center, 23115 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.

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Police Investigate Stabbing In Lexington Park


On February 22, 2017, at approximately 7:03 p.m., St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office patrol units responded to the 21000 block of Dana Court in Lexington Park for a reported stabbing. Deputies arrived at the scene and located a victim suffering from stab wounds to the upper torso. The victim was transported via Trooper 7 to a shock trauma center for treatment.
 
The Criminal Investigations Division responded and is continuing the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Scott Ruest at 301-475-4200, ext. 2297 * or by email, Scott.Ruest@stmarysmd.com.
 
CRIME SOLVERS at 301.475.3333 or text a tip to "TIP239" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637). Calls to CRIME SOLVERS are NOT RECORDED.CALLERS CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS

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New Tech Meetup Coming to Indian Head


The Economic Development Department announced the county’s first Southern Maryland Innovation and Technology (SMIT) meetup to be held on Wednesday, March 1, at the Black Box Theater (4185 Indian Head Highway, Indian Head) at 6 p.m. Prior to the meetup, there will be a ribbon cutting for the new Technology Transfer, Training, and TechFire™ (T4) space on the second floor of the Black Box Theater. 
 
The new T4 space will be used by Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) and the Energetics Technology Center (ETC) as a collaborative meeting space for businesses wishing to work with NSWC IHEODTD. The space will be used to provide training to industry and NSWC IHEODTD scientists and engineers, and offer open collaboration and conference room space. The ETC will offer their TechFire commercialization and T4 technology business incubation program.
 
“Charles County Economic Development supports both SMIT and the opening of the T4 space, as their work ties in directly with the county’s goal to grow entrepreneurship,” said Economic Development Department Chief of Business Development Debra Jones. “The county has a long-standing relationship with ETC, and their TechFire technology incubation program plays an important role in meeting county goals to develop and grow the Charles County entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
 
“With the support of important partners, like NSWC IHEODTD and the Charles County Economic Development Department, we will cut the ribbon on a new Technology Transfer Training and TechFire space, bringing our TechFire incubator and technology transfer commercialization program to town,” said Energetics Technology Center President Bob Kavetsky.  “We are excited about working with local leadership to create new technology companies and businesses in Indian Head.”
 
SMIT meetups have been held in St. Mary’s County since 2013, and bring together entrepreneurs, inventors, developers, researchers, mentors, investors, and the broader entrepreneurial community. The Charles County SMIT debut offers entrepreneurs and the entire NSWC IHEODTD workforce the opportunity to access resources, training, education, and networking opportunities closer to home.
 
Registration for the SMIT meetup is free and open to anyone interested in tech entrepreneurship. To receive regular updates on the event, join the meetup group at www.smit.tech. Contact Kim Mozingo, TechFire Program Manager, at 240-416-0012 or kmozingo@etcmd.com for more information. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Chesapeake Conservancy Encourages Public Participation for Mallows Bay - Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will hold public meetings to allow comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to designate Mallows Bay-Potomac River as a National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA will also accept public comments online, as well as via mail and email.
 
March 7, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
Charles County Government Building
200 Baltimore Street
La Plata, MD 20646
 
March 9, 2017, 6-9 p.m.
Anne Arundel Community College
CALT Building
101 College Parkway
Arnold, MD 21012
 
Comments can be submitted at:
https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=NOAA-NOS-2016-0149-0001
The deadline to submit comments is March 31, 2017.
WHY:  Mallows Bay – Potomac River is located approximately 30 miles south of Washington, D.C. and boasts the largest visible collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere. As the newest national marine sanctuary, Mallows Bay-Potomac River would highlight one of America's most extensive and culturally significant collections of shipwrecks. The designation would allow it to be better studied, interpreted, and managed.
In October 2015, NOAA announced its intent to designate a new national marine sanctuary to help conserve nationally significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources in Maryland. NOAA released a DEIS of Mallows Bay-Potomac River in December 2016.
The area offers visitors recreational opportunities, such as kayaking and canoeing among the shipwrecks. The wrecks have created artificial reefs that provide habitat for wildlife, including bald eagles, heron, osprey, beavers, river otters, deer, and turtles. Mallows Bay is also popular for its fishing opportunities, both recreational and commercial, which would continue if the site is designated. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Potomac River Fisheries Commission will continue to manage fishing, as before.

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Governor's Office of Minority Affairs to Connect Southern Maryland Small Businesses to State Contracting Opportunities


Leonardtown, MD – Maryland procurement professionals will help Southern Maryland small businesses connect to state contracting opportunities during the Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connection Workshop on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs is conducting the free workshop at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, 44219 Airport Rd., California, MD, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
 
“Public procurement can be a difficult process to navigate,” said Jimmy Rhee, special secretary of the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs. “We want to help small businesses master the skills necessary to compete with confidence as they go after prime and subcontracting opportunities in the public sector.”
 
The workshop will feature a presentation on how to navigate the state’s procurement process with a focus on accessing small procurement opportunities. Local businesses which have made significant contributions in Southern Maryland will also be honored. Participants will be able to meet with buyers from the State Highway Administration, Department of General Services, Maryland Aviation Administration and Maryland Transit Administration. Representatives from the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs expected to be on hand include Deputy Secretary Herb Jordan; Outreach Manager Eduardo Hayden; Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Manager Lisa Sanford and Small Business Reserve Compliance Manager Lisa Sennaar. Members of the  St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development and representatives from several small business resource programs will also be available to meet with business owners.
 
To register for the Ready, Set, GROW! Workshop, visit the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs’ website at www.goma.maryland.gov and follow the Ready, Set, GROW! link on the home page. For more information, contact the Minority Affairs’ Small Business Outreach Manager Eduardo Hayden at 410-697-9606 or via email to eduardo.hayden@maryland.gov.
 

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Police Looking For Citizens With Outstanding Warrants (Photos)


Do you know ME? The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's assistance in locating the following suspects with OUTSTANDING CDS (CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE) WARRANTS.
 
 
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects is asked to contact Deputy Hannah Smith at 301-475-4200, ext. *8123 or by email, Hannah.Smith@stmarysmd.com.

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Planning Commission to Discuss Watershed Conservation District Project on March 13


The Planning Commission would like to inform residents the Watershed Conservation District Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA #16-142) and Zoning Map Amendment (ZMA #16-54) is scheduled for a work session on Monday, March 13, at 6 p.m. in the Charles County Government Meeting Room (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata).  The public is welcome to attend.  This is a work session so there will not be an opportunity for public comment at this time.
 
Planning Commission meetings are aired live on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10.  Planning Commission meeting agendas are available for public viewing at www.boarddocs.com/md/chrlsco/Board.nsf/Public.
 
For more information, contact the Clerk to the Planning Commission Theresa Pickeral at 301-638-2409 or PickerTh@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report


Burglary Case #17-8382:
On February 16, 2017, Deputy A. Ostazeski was dispatched to Catalina Drive, in Lusby, for a   report of damaged property.   While making contact with the complainant, he observed the front door of the unoccupied home forced open, the doorknob ripped off and the lock box broken and on the ground.  Upon checking the inside of the residence, he determined nothing else was broken, damaged or missing.  The complainant was not aware of when this incident may have taken place.
 
CDS Violation Case #17-8888:
On February 18, 2017, Deputy A. Curtin observed a vehicle being driven in an unsafe manner heading southbound on Rt. 4, in the area of Ball Road, in St. Leonard.  He initiated a traffic stop at MD Rt. 4/Calvert Cliffs Parkway and made contact with the driver, Charles Cochran, 33, of Front Royal, Virginia.  Deputy S. Moran and his K-9 partner arrived on the scene to assist, resulting in a positive alert.  Inside the vehicle Deputy Curtin located an unlabeled prescription bottle containing seventeen (17) pills.  He also located a white balloon filled with an unknown white powder under the back seat.  Cochran was charged with CDS Possession of a Synthetic Narcotic (alprazolam) and transported to the Detention Center for processing.  The powder was sent to the Maryland Crime Lab to be analyzed.   
 
CDS Violation Case #17-8703:
On February 17, 2017, Deputy R. Spalding responded to the Detention Center, in Barstow, for the report of a CDS violation by an inmate.  He was advised that Correctional Officer R. Montgomery discovered a pill taped to Todd Persell, 33, of Tracys Landing, MD when he arrived to serve his weekend sentence.  He was charged with CDS Possession of a Synthetic Narcotic (Percocet) and Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement.  
 
CDS Violation Case #17-8686:
On February 17, 2017, Deputy D. Naughton observed a vehicle travelling in the Chesapeake Beach area with two (2) broken headlamps.  He conducted a traffic stop in the area of Rt. 261         at Brownies Beach.  When he made contact with the driver, Justin Wood, 27, of Mechanicsville, MD, he observed a hypodermic syringe in the driver side door pocket.  Deputy Naughton stepped away to make note of his registration plate and noticed the syringe was no longer in the pocket when returning to speak with Wood.  He was arrested for Possession of CDS: Opiate Without a Prescription (Tramadol) and Possession of Paraphernalia (hypodermic syringe).
 
Destruction of Property Case #17-8916:
On February 19, 2017, Deputy V. O’Donnell responded to Tomahawk Trail, in Lusby, for a report of damaged property.  He made contact with the victim who explained they were awoken by the sound of loud voices outside their home; and upon investigating, discovered their house had been ‘egged’.  No permanent damage was done and no suspects at this time.
 
Destruction of Property Case #17-8859:
On February 18, 2017, Deputy A. Curtin responded to Ross Road, in St. Leonard, for the report of damaged property.  He made contact with the victim who stated someone had set off a firecracker in his mailbox, completing blowing out the front and back of the mailbox.  It appears the damage was done by some type of mortar firework.
 
Destruction of Property Case #17-8572:
On February 17, 2017, Deputy P. Aurich was dispatched to Jones Road, in Dunkirk, for the report that someone had vandalized a home with eggs.  The incident took place during the overnight hours of 10:00pm – 6:00am. There are no suspects at this time.
 
Destruction of Property Case #17-8522:
On February 17, 2017, at approximately 10:45pm, Deputy K. Williamson was on patrol in the Dunkirk area and witnessed a subject wearing a black jacket and ski mask, swinging an object and striking a vehicle parked in the Burger King parking lot.  He then observed the subject jump into a waiting vehicle occupied by one subject.  Deputy G. Gott arrived on the scene and assisted Deputy Williamson when making contact with the occupants.  He determined Shantell Washington, 28, of Upper Marlboro, MD, a former Burger King employee, was the person responsible for striking the vehicle with a wooden baseball bat found in the vehicle.  Also discovered on the floor was a 5” Defender Xtreme knife.  Both the wooden bat and knife were seized as evidence.  Washington was charged with Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000.00, Malicious Destruction of Property under $1,000.00 and issued a trespass warning to stay away from the Dunkirk Burger King.  The other (juvenile) occupant was also charged and released to their parents.
 
Theft Case #17-8358:
On February 16, 2017, Deputy T. Rzepkowski was dispatched to Alexander Court, in Port Republic, to investigate a theft from vehicle.  He met with the victim who stated at 9:00am that day, they went out to their vehicle and observed the front passenger window busted out. A black and tan Coach purse, they had placed under the seat at 11:00pm the evening before, was now missing.  Also stolen are:  a brown leather Coach Wallet, MD Driver’s License, Naval Base ID card, credit cards and money.
 
Theft Case #17-8333:
On February 16, 2017, Deputy A. Ostazeski was called to Mutual Court, in Port Republic, for a report of theft from vehicle.  The victim explained a window was broken out of a vehicle  sometime overnight and a purse was stolen.  The purse and its’ contents were located a short distance from the vehicle but nothing appeared to be missing.  
 
Theft Case #17-8248:
On February 15, 2017, Deputy S. Rediker responded to the Prince Frederick Walmart for a shoplifting complaint.  The shoplifter, later identified as Justin Holt, 22, of Owings, was observed by security personnel taking two (2) Xbox controllers and placing them in his pocket and clothing.  He was observed at the check-out register failing to pay for the controllers hidden on his person.  Holt was placed into custody and charged with Theft Less Than $100.00.
 
If you know who committed these crimes or any other criminal activity in Calvert County, you can report it anonymously online by clicking the Crime Solvers link at www.CalvertCountySheriff.us  or by calling 410-535-2800. 
 
Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person involved in criminal activity. 

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St. Mary's County Sheriff's Asking For Assistance In Finding Missing Sex Offender (Photo)


The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 27-year-old registered sex offender, Steven Wayne Goldsmith. Goldsmith is a Tier I registered sexual offender, meaning he will remain on the registry for ten years. There is an active warrant for Goldsmith’s arrest stemming from a violation involving his sex offender registry status.
 
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Melissa Hulse at 301-475-4200, ext. *1996 or by email, Melissa.Hulse@stmarysmd.com.
Anyone with information is asked to call CRIME SOLVERS at 301.475.3333 or text a tip to "TIP239" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637). 
St. Mary's County CRIME SOLVERS offers rewards up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary's County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
Calls to CRIME SOLVERS are NOT RECORDED.
Steven Wayne Goldsmith

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Video Highlighting Charles County Commissioner's Accomplishments Now Available


“A Look Back With Commissioner President Murphy: The Board’s' First Two Years in Office,” highlights The Charles County Board of Commissioners’ accomplishments over the past two calendar years since they have taken office.  The video is available for online viewing at: www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/ALookBack.   
 
Featured topics:
• Budget highlights
• Charles County Government reorganization
• Comprehensive Plan
• Drug Take Back Program
• Mallows Bay
• Protection Plus Program
• Capital improvement projects
• Waldorf Urban Redevelopment Corridor
 
DVD copies of the video are available for $6. To request a DVD, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov, click on “More CCGTV,” click “request DVD copies,” and fill out the online form.
 
For more information, contact the Public Information Office at 301-885-2779 or PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Nonprofit Grant Award Applications Available Feb. 27


The Charles County Charitable Trust nonprofit grant applications are available online beginning Monday, Feb. 27, at www.charlesnonprofits.org. The deadline for receipt of grant applications is Monday, April 10.
 
Grants will be awarded for the upcoming fiscal year, running from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. Nonprofit groups wishing to apply must provide services to Charles County residents and have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable status.
 
The funds to be distributed are provided by County Government, which has designated the Charles County Charitable Trust as the manager of the grant program. As a nonprofit organization, the Trust is governed by an independent board of directors.
 
Charles County Charitable Trust President Sandra McGraw said, “The board has adopted a code of ethics and a stringent conflict of interest policy to ensure impartiality and balance in determining the grant awards.”
 
The previous grant cycle provided funds to 21 local nonprofits. The total distributed was $784,100. The level of funding for the upcoming cycle has yet to be decided. The Trust expects to announce its decisions in June.
 
For further information, contact Vivian Mills, Executive Director, 301-934-3700 or info@charlesnonprofits.org. The Trust has an office located at 9375 Chesapeake Street, La Plata. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Man Arrested For Selling Crack Cocaine In Mechanicsville


St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics detectives identified Gregory Trmyne Shingles aka “6-9” (Age 31 of Mechanicsville, MD) as a distributor of cocaine in the King Kennedy Estates neighborhood. Undercover purchases of cocaine were conducted by detectives and suspect Shingles was indicted. Detectives observed suspect Shingles conducting a drug transaction on Independence Drive before being stopped by a uniformed patrol deputy. Suspect Shingles discarded a plastic bag under a parked vehicle and, when recovered, it was found to contain 45 individual baggies of “crack” cocaine. The cocaine was valued at nearly $1,000. Also recovered were 2 cellular phones, over $300 in cash and a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. Additional charges are pending a review with State’s Attorney Richard D. Fritz. 

Gregory Trmyne Shingles aka “6-9” (Age 31 of Mechanicsville, MD)

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Drop Out Age Changes For Maryland High School Students


LEONARDTOWN, MD - Students and parents are reminded beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, every student who resides in St. Mary’s County, is five years or older, and under eighteen must attend school during the entire school year.  The only exceptions are students enrolled in a nonpublic school or home instruction.  The drop out age will become 18.  This applies to students who turn age 17 on or after July 1, 2017.
 
These changes were passed into law by the Maryland General Assembly and Governor through Senate Bill 362 in 2012.  The intent is to reduce the number of students dropping out of high school and thereby, increase the number of high school graduates.  Many states have already increased their age of compulsory attendance to age 18.  
 
For more information, please contact the Department of Student Services, at 301-475-5511, ext. 32150.

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Bicyclist Dies After Accident


UPDATE: The bicyclist, George Ernest McNab, 59, of Waldorf, was pronounced deceased on February 17. The investigation is ongoing.
 
BICYCLIST CRITICALLY INJURED IN CRASH: On Feb. 15 at 5:35 a.m., officers responded to the area of Smallwood Drive West near Thoroughbred Court in Waldorf for the report of a crash involving a bicyclist. Investigation revealed the cyclist was traveling in the right travel lane of Smallwood Drive West when he was struck by an SUV, which was also in the right lane. The driver of the SUV attempted to swerve to prevent striking the bicycle, but she was unable to avoid the collision. The victim, a 59-year-old male from Waldorf, was flown to a hospital where he was admitted in critical condition. The driver of the vehicle remained on the scene. The bicycle was equipped with flashing lights. Cpl. W. B. Saunders is investigating.

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Two Dead After Motorcycle Accidents In Charles County


(La Plata, Maryland) – On February 18, 2017 at approximately 4:19 p.m., Troopers from the
Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a motorcycle on U.S. Route 301 at Sadie Ln.
 A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers indicates that a 2007 Ford Sport Trac,
operated by Sandra Kay Goldsmith, was turning left from northbound U.S. Route 301 onto Sadie Ln. when it was struck by a 2001 Suzuki GSX-R 750 motorcycle, operated by Joseph Warren Bryant 2nd, which was traveling southbound on U.S. Route 301 at what witness described as an excessive rate of speed. As a result of injuries sustained during the collision, Bryant was pronounced dead on the scene.
Goldsmith was injured and transported by ambulance to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center.
Both Goldsmith and Bryant were licensed; however, at the time of the collision, Bryant’s
license was found to be suspended. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in this collision.
Troopers were assisted on scene by Deputies from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office as well
as personnel from the Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Department, the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department, the Charles County Rescue Squad, and the Charles County Department of Emergency Services EMS Division.
Anyone who may have witnessed or who has information regarding this collision is asked to
contact the La Plata Barrack Duty Officer at (301) 392-1200 and reference case number 17-MSP-
007287. This investigation is being continued by Corporal M. Galgan, a Collision Reconstruction
Specialist assigned to the La Plata Barrack. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the findings will be submitted to the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office for review. 
 
 
On February 19, 2017 at approximately 7:20 p.m., Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a motorcycle on Leonardtown Road at Webbs Pl.
A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers indicates that a 2009 Kawasaki EX500
motorcycle, operated by Nathan William Guterry, was traveling southbound on Leonardtown Road at Webbs Pl. when it failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and subsequently struck a guardrail, ejecting Guterry. As a result of injuries sustained in the collision, Guterry was pronounced dead on the scene. Witnesses reported that Guterry’s motorcycle as well as several others, which remained on the scene after the collision, had been traveling at a high rate of speed in and out of traffic several miles north of the collision.
Driver error and speed are believed to be the causes of this collision. Alcohol is not believed to
be a factor.
Troopers were assisted on scene by Deputies from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office as well
as personnel from the Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department, the Charles County Department of Emergency Services EMS Division and the State Highway Administration. 
Anyone who may have witnessed or who has information regarding this collision is asked to
contact the La Plata Barrack Duty Officer at (301) 392-1200 and reference case number 17-MSP-007453. This investigation is being continued by Trooper First Class T. Hooten, a Collision
Reconstruction Specialist assigned to the La Plata Barrack.
 

 

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Charles County Sheriff's Office Receives Grant for Unmanned Aerial Systems Training


Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is pleased to announce the CCSO has received a grant from Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) to fund training of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). “UAS have proven to be an extremely effective and efficient tool for first responders, while operating at a fraction of the cost typically seen with manned aircraft platforms. While the potential missions for UAS continue to grow, Charles County plans to utilize it for community outreach and demonstrations, active shooter situations, accident investigations, tactical / rescue operations, emergency and disaster response, hazardous material incidents, hostage negotiations, and calls for missing or lost person(s), among others,” Sheriff Berry said. Timothy Ailsworth, Executive Director of LGIT said, “Charles County is one of our largest members, and they are leaders in advancing the use of technology. We are glad to help make this training happen.”
In order to develop, maintain and operate the best and safest program, the CCSO must meet or exceed the standards set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). “One of these standards mandates that all UAS pilots receive formal UAS training in pre-flight safety considerations, airspace and piloting practices. Creating a solid foundation is essential not only because it ensures that best practices are followed, but it also significantly increases safety and reduces liability,” said Lt. David Kelly, a CCSO commander and licensed pilot.
As first responders in Charles County, the Department of Emergency Services and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office have partnered together to best implement and maximize resources. “We are on the forefront of UAS technology and have found ourselves on the leading edge of seeing its potential in public safety.  If adopting this technology aids in locating a missing child or saves the life of a person, then it is an endeavor worth making and one I’m excited to be a part of.  The benefits and potential are limitless if done correctly, in the safest possible manner,” said John Filer, Chief of the Charles County Department of Emergency Services.
The use of the grant funds will provide first responders with the necessary training and hands-on experience to operate the UAS safely and in compliance with mandates established by the FAA.

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