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Local COVID-19 Vaccination Initiatives Announced

LEONARDTOWN, MD (April 12, 2021) – Safeway, Inc., St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD), St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS), and the Office of Delegate Brian Crosby have announced two local initiatives to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine for St. Mary’s County residents.
 
Student Vaccination Initiative
 
Starting this week, COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held for eligible students (age 16+) attending public and non-public schools in St. Mary’s County through the SMCHD drive-thru mechanism at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department. Individual appointments and parent consent are required. More information on how to register a student for an appointment will be sent to parents/guardians directly from their child’s school. Bus transportation will be available for St. Mary’s County Public School students if needed.  
 
Community COVID-19 Vaccination Event
 
A special two-day COVID-19 vaccination event will be held at Great Mills High School on Saturday April 17, 2021 and Sunday April 18, 2021. Individual appointments are required, community members age 18 years or older may register at: www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine (as appointments are available).The COVID-19 vaccine will be provided free of charge to the patient, however, individuals should bring their ID/driver's license and health insurance card (uninsured individuals also welcome) to their appointment time. Those with appointments should park, walk-up, and follow directional signage onsite.  
 
“Throughout the pandemic, Safeway pharmacy teams have been a trusted resource to serve the health and wellness of the community. As the vaccine became available, helping the public get access has been a priority of Safeway since the beginning. We are proud to partner with St. Mary’s County to help get as many residents vaccinated as possible,” said Amir Masood, Director of Pharmacy, Eastern Safeway. 
 
“I was happy to arrange an important public-private partnership that will make a meaningful difference for our community. Safeway’s donation will vaccinate almost 10% of St. Mary’s County’s population!” said Delegate Brian Crosby.
 
“With this partnership, over 3,500 St. Mary’s County Public School high school students will be able to be vaccinated. This moves us ever closer to getting back to normal - something our students desperately need, ” said Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools.
 
“This pandemic has demonstrated the strength of our community coming together in many ways,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We are so grateful for this extraordinary public-private partnership to protect our residents, support safe in-person schooling for our youth, and advance access to COVID-19 vaccine in our most impacted neighborhoods.”
 
Special thanks to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Mary’s County Government Departments of Emergency Services, Public Works & Transportation, and Aging & Human Services, local volunteer EMS and Fire Rescue departments, St. Mary’s County Library, and Maryland National Guard for providing essential support for local vaccination efforts.
 
For more information on local SMCHD COVID-19 vaccination clinics, please visit www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. Community members may also pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine on this website and will be contacted as appointments are available to complete registration. 
 
For local COVID-19 updates, information and data, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330.

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Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces More Than $182 Million to Help State Bring COVID-19 Pandemic Under Control, Strengthen Local Infectious Disease Response

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all Md.) today announced more than $182 million in federal funding to bolster Maryland’s COVID-19 pandemic response and expand the capacity of laboratories and local health departments to fight infectious diseases.

 

“This significant infusion of federal funding will help strengthen Maryland’s pandemic response,” the lawmakers said. “Our delegation will continue working closely with state and local health departments to keep Marylanders safe by better preventing, detecting, responding to and controlling infectious diseases like COVID-19.”

 

The $182,092,917 grant comes through a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

 

This latest CDC grant builds on an extensive series of grants and other funding actions to confront the COVID-19 pandemic that have been advocated for, acquired and announced by the Maryland congressional delegation over the past year.

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Statement Regarding Death of Off-Duty Calvert County Sheriff's Deputy

The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office is deeply saddened to announce the sudden death of Deputy First Class William ‘Wes’ Beisel, a school resource officer (SRO) assigned to Northern High School (NHS) in Owings, MD. Beisel was found deceased at his residence in St. Mary’s County, MD on April 8, 2021. 
Beisel began his career with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office in January of 2012. Beisel was initially assigned to the Patrol Bureau from 2012 through 2016. In 2016, he was selected to serve as a member of the Community Action Team until 2018. From 2018 to 2021, he served as the SRO for NHS.
“We are still in the process of gathering more details, but at this time I ask you to please keep his wife and two children, the students and staff at Calvert County Public Schools, and his brothers and sisters at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office in your thoughts and prayers,” said Sheriff Evans. 

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SDAT's 2021 Annual Business Filings Due April 15, Extension System Available

2021 Annual Reports and/or Personal Property Tax Returns must be filed for all domestic and foreign business entities with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) no later than Thursday, April 15. If you request a two-month filing extension through SDAT’s online extension system, your filings will be due to the Department no later than Tuesday, June 15. The quickest and easiest way to submit these filings is through the department’s award-winning Maryland Business Express website. If you do not submit these critical filings by the appropriate deadline, your business will lapse into “Not In Good Standing” status, which eventually leads to forfeiture.
 
Please note that SDAT will not be granting extensions through July 15, as was the case last year.
 
“Despite the many challenges faced over the past year, there are currently more entities registered with SDAT than ever before,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “Maryland is clearly Open for Business, and whether you are a new business owner opening a bank account, or an existing business owner applying for COVID-related relief, Good Standing Status with SDAT will likely be a requirement.”
 
In order to maintain good standing status, all business entities formed, qualified or registered to do business in Maryland must file an Annual Report every year. If your business owns, leases, or uses personal property in Maryland and/or maintains a trader’s license with a local unit of government in Maryland, you must also file a Personal Property Tax Return. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SDAT’s offices are closed to the public until further notice. If you are unable to file your returns on Maryland Business Express, please find the appropriate form on this page and follow the instructions to mail them in.
 
If you do not file your required documents by the deadline, your business will enter into “not in good standing” status. If your domestic business entity is currently not in good standing because of failure to submit previous annual filings, you may now file up to ten years of overdue Annual Reports and Personal Property Tax Returns online to regain the ability to legally conduct business in Maryland. For more information about the filings that entities are required to submit annually or to view the standing of your business, visit the Maryland Business Express webpage and review SDAT’s Good Standing Checklist.
 
SDAT strongly recommends that all business owners sign up for our email distribution list to receive timely reminders about filing these important documents by the required deadline, as well as general SDAT news updates.

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Calvert County to Provide Additional Financial Relief to Restaurants and Food Service Businesses

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces additional funding is available through the Maryland Restaurant Relief Fund Grant program to provide financial assistance to locally owned and operated restaurants and food service establishments that have experienced significant economic hardship or unusual expenses because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
 
The application portal will open Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9 a.m. The portal will be available until 11:59 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Closing date is subject to change based on the number of applications received.
 
Eligible businesses include:
 
·         Full and limited service restaurants
 
·         Locally owned franchise restaurants
 
·         Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
 
·         Catering businesses
 
·         Bed-and-breakfast establishments with food service
 
·         Food trucks
 
·         Breweries and wineries
 
The grant may be used for working capital such as rent, payroll or job training; purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining such as tents or heaters; infrastructure improvements such as HVAC system upgrades or technology to support carryout and delivery; or for purchase of personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 related or unusual expenses incurred due to the public health emergency. Repayment is not required for any funds received through this program.
 
Small restaurants with up to seven full-time equivalent employees may receive $6,000. This also includes restaurants with no employees. Large restaurants with eight or more full-time equivalent employees may receive $12,000.
 
To be considered eligible for a grant, businesses must:
 
·         Be a legally recognized business in good standing with the State of Maryland as determined by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT);
 
·         Be current on all county tax liabilities (paid in full);
 
·         Have no outstanding/open zoning or permitting code enforcement issues with the county;
 
·         Have a physical business presence in Calvert County;
 
·         Not be a franchise or national chain (unless able to provide proof of local ownership and operation);
 
·         Be primarily engaged in activities that, in accordance with the North American Industrial Classification System, would be included in Code 722320 (Caterers), Code 7224 (Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)), or Code 7225 (Restaurants and Other Eating Places); and
 
·         Demonstrate a need for assistance.
 
Business owners interested in receiving a grant are encouraged to review eligibility criteria and application requirements online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/COVID19ReliefFund.
 
The relief grant program is funded through the Maryland RELIEF Act.
 
Questions may be emailed to grant@calvertcountymd.gov. For business assistance, call the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Public Invited to Complete Streets Virtual Planning Workshops

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Calvert-St. Mary’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (C-SMMPO) is hosting a series of virtual Public Workshops to introduce the Complete Streets Plan project and gather input and feedback from the community.

 

The Complete Streets Plan project will aid in developing a plan to ensure that residents, workers, and visitors can safely walk or bike to nearby schools, restaurants, places of employment and other local amenities. This project is an effort to make the region a better place to live and enhance the quality of life for the surrounding community.

 

St. Mary’s County residents are invited to participate in one of two upcoming virtual Public Workshops to learn more about the Complete Streets Plan Project.

 

To register for the C-SMMPO Complete Streets Plan St. Mary's County Public Workshop #1 Wednesday, April 21, 2021, from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., click this link: Workshop #1.

 

To register for the C-SMMPO Complete Streets Plan St. Mary's County Public Workshop #2 Wednesday, April 22, 2021, from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., click this link: Workshop #2.


The Public Workshops will be recorded and uploaded to the St. Mary’s County website and

the C-SMMPO website along with other materials. An online survey will be made available after the Public Workshops to gather further comments regarding the project. St. Mary’s County will mail printed packets of the Public Workshop material to anyone who is unable to access or use a computer to attend a meeting.

 

To request an information packet or for further information, please call 301-475-4200, ext. 1500 or 1507.

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Identity Needed for Theft Suspect

April 9, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person shown in a theft investigation. On Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 3:15 pm, the suspect placed two Vankyo movie projectors into his backpack and left the California Walmart store without paying for them. On Saturday, April 4, 2021 at 1:57 pm, the suspect placed merchandise under his shirt at the Walmart store and passed the last points of sale. Loss prevention staff stopped the suspect and recovered the items, but the suspect fled the store.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or these incidents is asked to call Deputy Zachary Jerew at 301-475-4200, ext. 78154 or email zachary.jerew@stmarysmd.com. Case # 18056-21 and 18059-21
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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Van Hollen Statement on Biden Measures to Address Gun Violence

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding President Biden’s newly-announced measures to address gun violence, including his nomination of David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). Senator Van Hollen recently led a letter with over 10 of his colleagues urging the Biden Administration to quickly fill this position and take other steps to address gun violence, including action to crack down on ghost guns and improve firearms trafficking reports. The Senator has also authored legislation to tackle gun violence, including a bill to improve and modernize ATF and a bill to incentivize state permit to purchase laws.

 

“Gun violence has plagued too many families in Maryland and across the country. To stop this senseless violence, we must enact national, common-sense policies that meaningfully address this crisis, and we must have dedicated leadership at ATF that is committed to tackling this epidemic.

 

“Today’s actions by the Biden Administration are a step in the right direction. From cracking down on ghost guns, to improving firearms trafficking reports, I’m glad to see the Biden Administration move forward on priorities we’ve recommended. Additionally, President Biden’s decision to nominate David Chipman to serve as the Director of ATF sends a clear signal that the Administration is ready to get to work on this issue. David’s breadth and depth of experience on gun violence prevention will be vital in our efforts to modernize ATF to ensure it’s meeting its mission to keep Americans safe. I look forward to working with David and alongside the Biden Administration to further these efforts with legislation. It’s past time for the Congress to act on gun safety reform, and I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get it done.”

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Notice Of Public Hearing

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a Public Hearing Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. in the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, Maryland, 20650 to consider adoption of:

 

#1 Constant Yield Tax Rate (“Real Property Tax Increase”)

#2 St. Mary’s County Fees & Charges

a) Aging & Human Services – Northern & Garvey Senior Center Activity Fees/Room Rental.

b.) Emergency Services Billing – Transport & Medicare Transport Fees.

c) Recreation & Parks Activity Fund Fees.

#3 FY2022 Recommended Budget

 

Public meetings are now open to the public as long as social distancing guidelines can be maintained and the Commissioners’ Meeting Room capacity limits do not exceed 32 people. Everyone in attendance must adhere to the social distancing guidelines and wear a mask at all times unless they have a disability or if they are speaking or consuming food/drink. If social distancing guidelines or occupancy room capacity limits cannot be followed, the hearing may be rescheduled. The public is strongly encouraged to view the hearing remotely on SMCG Channel 95 and YouTube or listen to the Public Hearing by calling 301-579-7236; Access code: 963443#.

 

In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:

 

a) Phone: 301-475-4200 Ext 1234 to speak via telephone during the public hearing

b) Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com

c) US Mail: P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650

d) Submit a 3-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

 

All submissions will be considered by the Commissioners at the Public Hearing and/or the seven (7) days following the Public Hearing.

 

Public Hearing Guidelines are subject to change. For more information, please call 301-475-4200.

 

Appropriate accommodations for individuals with special needs will be provided upon request. In order to meet these requirements, we respectfully ask for one week’s prior notice. Please contact the County Commissioners Office at 301-475-4200, Ext. 1340. Proceedings are televised live and/or recorded for later broadcast on television. All content of these proceedings is subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information Act. Photographic and electronic audio and visual broadcasting and recording devices are used during the Commissioners’ meetings. These are public meetings and attendance at these meetings automatically grants St. Mary’s County Government permission to broadcast your audio and visual image.

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Eat, Live & Be Healthy Webinar Series

LEONARDTOWN, MD  – The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership (HSMP) will host a webinar series titled “Eat, Live, and Be Healthy” throughout 2021. This webinar series will focus on healthy eating and maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Healthy eating and active living are essential in the prevention and control of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The series will feature local organizations and offer topics such as healthy cooking classes, nutrition education, and exercise classes. The following webinars are currently scheduled:
 
Monday, April 19, 2021
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Mindful Eating
Webinar Host: Health Connections, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
 
Thursday, April 29, 2021
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Healthy Meal Prep Class
Webinar Host: Real Food Studio
 
Friday, May 7, 2021
12:00 - 12:40 p.m.
Lunchtime Zumba Break
Webinar Host: UnitedHealthCare Community Plan
 
To register for events in the webinar series, please visit: healthystmarys.com/eatlivebehealthy
 
As more events are scheduled they will be posted to the HSMP website. Live sessions will be recorded and available following the event. For more information please contact stmaryspartnership@gmail.com.

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Maryland Congressional Delegation Secures More Than $54.6 Million to Expand Equitable Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine and Boost Public Health Infrastructure

With funding from the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the federal government is stepping up efforts to expand Maryland’s vaccine program in communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19

 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) today applauded the award of more than $54.6 million in federal funding, from the American Rescue Plan, to bolster public health infrastructure and expand vaccination efforts, particularly COVID-19 vaccines, for underserved and hard to reach communities across the state.

 

“The health and safety of Marylanders is our top priority. Our delegation fought hard to secure this critical funding to help improve Maryland’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and ensure that every community in our state – especially communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the virus – receives the coronavirus vaccine and helps us get to the other side of this pandemic,” the lawmakers said. “Team Maryland welcomes this new federal funding from the American Rescue Plan and remains committed to ensuring that the federal government provides the necessary resources to bolster Maryland’s public health infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond for children and families across the state.” 

 

Funding comes from both the newly passed American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, which were passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. The award of $54,627,875 comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease.

 

Lawmakers previously announced more than $68 million in federal funding to support Community Health Centers in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.

 

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Two Lexington Park Men Arrest For Drug And Gun Offenses

On April 2, 2021, detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice Narcotics Division, along with the Emergency Services Team (EST), Special Operations Division (SOD), and members of the Patrol Division, executed a search and seizure warrant in the 47000 block of Thurman Davis Lane in Lexington Park. Detectives located four handguns, U.S. currency, and approximately two pounds of marijuana that was packaged for distribution. Following the search and seizure warrant, Jermaine Anthony Bell Jr., age 26 and Juwan Deontre Ford, age 18, both of Lexington Park, were arrested.
 
Bell was charged with the following:
 
Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony
 
Possession of a Firearm in Drug Trafficking Crime
 
Carrying a Firearm in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime
 
CDS: Possession of Marijuana plus 10 grams
 
CDS: Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute
 
Ford was charged with the following:
 
Possession of a Firearm/Minor
 
Firearm Use/Felony-Violent Crime
 
Regulated Firearm: Illegal Possession
 
Firearm/Drug Trafficking Crime
 
Illegal Possession of Ammunition
 
CDS: Possession of Marijuana plus 10 Grams
 
CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute
 
CDS: Distribution with Firearm
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.
 
Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a48820650

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Residents Asked to Participate in Second Public Meeting for the Indian Head Rail Trail Extension

The Department of Planning and Growth Management has scheduled a second virtual public meeting to discuss the feasibility study being developed to analyze potential alignments for a shared-use trail to connect the Indian Head Rail Trail in White Plains with the Three Notch Trail south of Hughesville. Residents are encouraged to attend.

 

The virtual public meeting will be held on Thursday, April 22, starting at 6 p.m. Registration is required.  To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/3dw3amez. The public meeting will be available on Zoom.

 

For more information on the Indian Head Rail Trail, visit https://bit.ly/36nahQo. For questions or concerns, email Joel Binkley at BinkleyJ@CharlesCountyMD.gov or call 301-645-0564. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Commissioners to Host Public Forum April 20

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will host a Public Forum Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building, at 41770 Baldridge Street, in Leonardtown.

 

Public Forums provide residents an opportunity to speak directly to the Commissioners on topics of their choosing. Residents may offer appreciation, questions or suggestions in a mutually respectful format.

Meetings are accessible to the public as long as social distancing guidelines can be maintained and the Commissioners Meeting Room capacity limits do not exceed 33. Those in attendance must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a face covering except when speaking, consuming food/drink or have a disability. If social distancing guidelines or occupancy room capacity limits cannot be maintained, a portion or all of the meeting may be rescheduled.

 

In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:

         a. Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com.

         b. Mail: Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD, 20650.

         c. Call 301-475-4200, ext. 1234 to speak via telephone during the public forum.

d. Submit a three-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com through 5 p.m. Thursday, April 15, 2021.

 

Those wishing to speak at the forum will receive up to three minutes to address the Commissioners. Anyone wishing to provide more detailed comments can do so via email or regular mail.

 

Commissioners of St. Mary’s County Public Forums are televised live on St. Mary’s County Government TV 95 (SMCG TV 95) and streamed live on the St. Mary’s County YouTube Channel.

For those without access to cable television or the internet, a listen-only line is available by calling 301-579-7236; Access code: 963443.

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Update: Police Looking For Missing Teens (Photo)

Update: The missing teens have been found safe. 

 

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a missing persons investigation for two juveniles reported missing on April 5, 2021, from a residence in Ridge. Jesse Oleg Clark, age 13, and Josiah Vladimir Clark, age 15, were last seen on April 4, 2021 at a residence located on Harry James Road in Ridge. Jesse is a white male, 5’2” and weighs 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Josiah is a white male, 5’7” and weighs 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

An extensive search is being conducted by air, foot and water by numerous agencies to include Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of National Resources, Calvert County Search and Rescue, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and numerous volunteer fire and EMS services. It is probable residents in Ridge may see volunteers paired with officers on their property searching for the missing persons. At this time, no additional volunteers are needed at the Ridge Volunteer Firehouse. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who locates property possibly connected to the missing persons to call 911 so a latitude and longitude can be obtained.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008. Anyone who locates property possibly connected to this case is asked to contact 911.

Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.

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Press Release: Officers De-Escalate Dangerous Situation Involving Armed Man

Officers De-Escalate Dangerous Situation Involving Armed Man: On April 4 at 8:45 p.m., Charles County Sheriff’s officers were dispatched to the 9900 block of Charles Street in La Plata for the report of a man breaking out windows of a car. Upon arrival, officers encountered an adult male standing near a truck on the side of the road. He appeared agitated and was wielding a running chainsaw and several large knives. CCSO Officers S. Joffe and Officer C. Nelsen were the first officers on the scene. The man repeatedly yelled that he wanted to be shot. At a safe distance, Officer Joffe utilized the public announcement speaker system in his police car to establish a rapport with the man and to give verbal commands for the man to drop the weapons. Officers S. Griffith and J. Ryan, who are part of the Agency’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), arrived and assisted Officer Joffe in keeping a rapport with the man, who remained in one area as the officers kept him engaged. Additional officers, including officers from the La Plata Police Department, arrived and set up a perimeter in the surrounding area as a precaution. Officers Joffe, Griffith and Ryan continued de-escalating the situation by speaking with the man for approximately two hours when two additional officers, who are part of the Agency’s Emergency Services Team, saw an opportunity to safely apprehend him. The officers were able to disarm the subject and take him into custody. The man was transported to a nearby hospital for a mental evaluation.

 

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office has been training officers for many years on diffusing dangerous situations and recognizing signs of mental illness and in 2017, as a partnership between the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, and the Charles County Behavioral Health Authority, the Southern Maryland CIT was founded. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police joined shortly after. Since its inaugural training session, this group has trained police and corrections officers from each of these agencies as well as officers from the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Public Safety, La Plata Police Department, and the Department of Natural Resources Police.

 

The goal of CIT is to advance awareness of mental illness and provide officers with resources to collaboratively address situations involving people in crisis. Officers are first introduced to basic crisis intervention and de-escalation in the academy and veteran officers receive training throughout their careers to ensure they are better prepared to mitigate crisis situations when they arise.  

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Local Pre-Registration Now Available for COVID-19 Vaccine

LEONARDTOWN, MD (April 6, 2021) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has opened local pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccine. Community members may click here to pre-register and will be contacted to finish the registration process as appointments are available.

“The pre-registration information provided will help us to prioritize appointments for our most vulnerable populations who still need to be vaccinated, including those that are age 55 and older,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer.  

For more information on local SMCHD COVID-19 vaccination clinics, please visit www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine

For local COVID-19 updates, information and data, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330.

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Suspects Involved in Assault at Taco Bell Identified and Charged

Officers Identify and Arrest Two Suspects in Assault Case at Taco Bell on Smallwood Drive: Charles County Sheriff’s patrol officers have identified and arrested two women in connection with an assault that occurred at the Taco Bell on Smallwood Drive on March 31. In the case, Tanesha Renea Williams, 25, of Waldorf, who was driving a sedan, had placed an order at the drive-thru. As she pulled up to the cashier, she and a passenger in the car, Diamond Shanay Johnson, 28, of Waldorf, began arguing with the employee over the food order. Both Williams and Johnson exited the car and approached the employee who was still standing at the drive-thru window. Williams assaulted the employee at the window before both she and Johnson got back into the car. Williams then drove to the front of the restaurant where several people were standing outside of the front doors. Williams drove her car toward the group of people, backed up, and then drove toward the group again, striking and injuring several people as she continued forward crashing through the front doors. After the assault, Williams backed her car out of the restaurant and fled the scene. Several people were treated for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. Patrol officers responded and after a thorough investigation, positively identified both the driver and occupant. Arrest warrants were obtained on April 3 and members of the CCSO’s Warrant Unit located the suspects and served the warrants on April 5. Williams was charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, traffic violations, and other related charges. Johnson was charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and other related charges. Both suspects are currently being held at the Charles County Detention Center with no bond.

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Commissioners Statement on Missing Juveniles

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a missing persons investigation for two juveniles reported missing on April 5, 2021, from a residence in Ridge. Jesse Oleg Clark, age 13, and Josiah Vladimir Clark, age 15, were last seen on April 4, 2021, at a residence located on Harry James Road in Ridge. Jesse is a white male, 5’2” and weighs 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Josiah is a white male, 5’7” and weighs 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

 

An extensive search is being conducted by air, foot and water by numerous agencies to include Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of National Resources, Calvert County Search and Rescue, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and numerous volunteer fire and EMS services.

 

The Sheriff’s Office has requested that anyone locating property that may be connected to the missing persons call 911 so a latitude and longitude can be obtained.

 

 The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County extend their full support to the Sheriff’s Office and all agencies and volunteers participating in the search. “Our prayers are with the family and with those involved in this search,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy.

 

 Anyone with information on this case should contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at 301-475-8008 or call 911 immediately.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of March 29 – April 4, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,400 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Damaged Property: 21-16781
On March 31, 2021, Deputy Krueger responded to the 700 block of Hickok Trail in Lusby, MD for report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between March 30th at 9:30 p.m. and 10 a.m. on March 31st, unknown suspects keyed the front passenger exterior door of her vehicle. The estimated value of damaged property is $50.
 
 
Damaged Property: 21-16721
On March 31, 2021, Deputy Contic responded to the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between March 30th at 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. on March 31st, unknown suspects removed a metal gate and had damaged the metal gates locking mechanism. The estimated value of damaged property is unknown at this time.
 
Theft: 21-17503
On April 4, 2021, Deputy Mitchell responded to Buckets Bar and Grill located at 12020 Rousby Hall Road in Lusby, MD in reference to the theft of vehicle registration plates. The complainant advised sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 12:20 p.m., unknown suspects stole the rear tags off his vehicle. The estimated value of stolen property is unknown at this time.
 
ARRESTS
 
On Friday, April 2, 2021, Deputy Abercrombie was attempting to serve an active warrant at a residence in the 9100 block of Sam Owings Place in Owing, MD. Deputy Abercrombie made contact with the wanted subject Collin Joseph Donohue, 30 of Owings, MD. A search of Donohue’s person was conducted and a Suboxone pill was found not prescribed to him. Donohue was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center for the warrant and charged with CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana.
 
On April 1, 2021, Deputy Aurich conducted a traffic stop on southbound Rt. 4 and Dorris Drive in Owings, MD after receiving report of a stolen tag. Contact was made with driver, Jose Javier Ochoa-Sierra, 25 of Beltsville, MD, who was not provide a registration for the vehicle he was driving. The tag on his vehicle was reported stolen from Prince George’s County. Ochoa-Sierra was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center and charged with Theft Less Than $100.
 
On March 30, 2021, Deputy Savick conducted a traffic stop in the area of Southern Maryland Blvd and Chaneyville Road in Owings, MD after receiving report of a stolen tag. Contact was made with the driver, Tremont Deshaw Heath, 42 of Washington D.C., who was not able to provide registration for the vehicle he was driving. The front and rear registration plates were confirmed stolen through Prince George’s County. Health was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft: $100 to Under $1500.00 and Driving on a Suspended License.

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Solomons Boat Ramp and Fishing Pier Parking Lot to Close for Repaving

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – April 6, 2021 – The Department of Parks & Recreation, Natural Resources Division, advises residents and visitors that the Solomons Boat Ramp and Fishing Pier parking lot will be temporarily closed for an estimated seven days of milling, repaving and striping beginning on or around April 12. Work will be conducted on weekdays only and access to the boat ramp and fishing pier will be restricted during portions of the parking lot closure.
 
There will be unmarked sections of the parking lot, so visitors should abide by the instructions of ramp employees. Solomons Boat Ramp and Fishing Pier is located at 14195 Solomons Island Road South in Solomons. For facility hours, visit https://www.calvertcountymd.gov/1284/Solomons-Boat-Ramp.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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United States Geological Survey Gage Installed on McIntosh Run to Monitor Water Levels

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Department of Emergency Services is pleased to announce the installation of a United States Geological Survey (USGS) gage height and precipitation monitor on McIntosh Run in Leonardtown. “This will provide real-time data that is essential to situational awareness and early warning notifications,” said Director Steve Walker. The monitoring equipment will provide data on water level and precipitation on McIntosh Run.


The USGS Water Resources Mission Area provides water information that is fundamental to the protection of life and property and national and local economic well-being. Public and private users use data from the network for various applications, such as the following:

 

1. Planning, designing, operating, and maintaining the nation’s multipurpose water management systems.

2. Issuing flood warnings to protect lives and reduce property damage.

3. Designing highways and bridges.

4. Mapping floodplains.

5. Monitoring environmental conditions and protecting aquatic habitats.

6. Protecting water quality and regulating pollutant discharges.

7. Managing water rights and transboundary water issues.

8. Education and research.

9. Recreational uses.

Each of the nine categories of uses listed above has a range of users, data uses and beneficiaries of the data. Each category provides benefits – either direct, indirect, tangible or intangible.

Citizens can view current conditions and sign up for alerts for McIntosh Run at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/monitoring-location/01661350/#parameterCode=00065

 

Other monitoring sites in St. Mary’s County:

 

·         St. Clements Creek near Clements -

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lwx&gage=clmm2

·         St. Mary’s River at Great Mills –

           https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lwx&gage=gmrm2

·         St. George Creek at Straits Point

https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lwx&gage=sgsm2

 

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Bay Senators Urge New EPA Administrator Regan to Enforce Bay Pollution Standards

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined by Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, urging the EPA to use all tools available to meet the 2025 goals of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The pollution reduction requirements in the Bay TMDL are vital to protecting the health of the Chesapeake Bay and ensuring the Bay’s surrounding states each do their part in reducing pollution. Recently, however, Pennsylvania has fallen behind in their TMDL requirements. While the Trump Administration refused to use its legal authority to ensure compliance, the Senators are urging the EPA to take the necessary action to do so.

 

The Senators write, “On December 29, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, a historic and comprehensive agreement that includes accountability features to restore clean water in the seven jurisdictions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The agreement is a national and indeed international model for watershed restoration. It sets limits for pollution that equate to a 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorous, and 20 percent reduction in sediment. As the Bay TMDL states, ‘The TMDL is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025[.]’”

 

“The Courts have upheld the legality of the Bay TMDL. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has noted, the ‘Clean Water Act does not simply direct the publication of the TMDL; it is one step in a process with several layers, each placing primary responsibility for pollution controls in state hands with ‘backstop authority’ vested in the EPA,’” they continue.

 

“The implementation of the Bay TMDL and the Bay jurisdiction’s Watershed Implementation Plans are, therefore, part of EPA’s legal obligation to achieve and maintain the nutrient goals of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL under the Clean Water Act,” the Senators note.

 

The Senators point to the need for action, writing, “We are at a critical juncture in implementation of the Bay TMDL. EPA’s response to Pennsylvania’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) noted that Pennsylvania is on track to meet only 75 percent of its nitrogen reduction targets and the Commonwealth itself identified a $324 million annual shortfall in their plan. The State of New York’s Phase III WIP is also 1 million pounds under its nitrogen goal. We ask that you use all tools at your disposal—including those identified in Bay TMDL Section 7—to make sure that all jurisdictions are on track for 2025.”

 

The text of the letter is available here and below.

 

Dear Administrator Regan:

 

Congratulations on your confirmation as Administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

 

We stand by to offer our partnership to your efforts as Administrator of the EPA to achieve our mutual goal of clean water in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

 

On December 29, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a historic and comprehensive agreement that includes accountability features to restore clean water in the seven jurisdictions within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The agreement is a national and indeed international model for watershed restoration. It sets limits for pollution that equate to a 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorous, and 20 percent reduction in sediment.  As the Bay TMDL states, “The TMDL is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025[.]”

 

The goal of the Clean Water Act is to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” To that end, states are first required to set water quality standards for all waters within their boundaries regardless of the sources of pollution.  When those water quality standards cannot be met and maintained through effluent limitations and technology-based controls on point sources, water quality-based controls are required under Section 303(d) of the Act. States are required to identify waters within its boundaries that cannot achieve water quality standards based on effluent limitations, and then “shall establish for [impaired] waters […] the total maximum daily load, for those pollutants which the Administrator identifies […] as suitable for such calculation.” A TMDL is a specification of the maximum amount of a particular pollutant that can pass through a waterbody each day without violating water quality standards.  Such “load shall be established at a level necessary to implement the applicable water quality standards with seasonal variations and a margin of safety which takes into account any lack of knowledge[.]” Once the 303(d) list and any TMDLs are approved by the EPA, the reporting state must incorporate the list and TMDLs into its continuing planning process.

 

The Courts have upheld the legality of the Bay TMDL. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has noted, the “Clean Water Act does not simply direct the publication of the TMDL; it is one step in a process with several layers, each placing primary responsibility for pollution controls in state hands with ‘backstop authority’ vested in the EPA.”

 

In addition to these requirements, Section 117(g) of the Act requires EPA to take certain actions regarding the implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement and the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.  It states that the EPA Administrator, “in coordination with other members of the Chesapeake Executive Council, shall ensure that management plans are developed and implementation is begun by signatories to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement to achieve and maintain (A) the nutrient goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreements for the quantity of nitrogen and phosphorous entering the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed; (B) the water quality requirements necessary to restore living resources in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem; […] (D) habitat restoration, protection, creation, and enhancement goals established by Chesapeake Bay Agreement signatories for living wetlands, riparian forests, and other types of habitat associated with the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem; and (E) the restoration, protection, creation, and enhancement goals established by the Chesapeake Bay Agreement signatories for living resources associated with the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.” (emphasis added).

 

The implementation of the Bay TMDL and the Bay jurisdiction’s Watershed Implementation Plans are, therefore, part of EPA’s legal obligation to achieve and maintain the nutrient goals of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL under the Clean Water Act. 

 

Since the inception of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL – and through its Reasonable Assurance and Accountability Framework in Section 7 – EPA has communicated its expectations for the Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia to develop Watershed Implementation Plans and two-year milestones and “demonstrate satisfactory progress toward achieving nutrient and sediment allocations established by EPA in the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.” In addition, the Agency laid out potential backstop actions the Bay jurisdictions would face if they failed to demonstrate progress on their obligations under the Bay TMDL, noting that the “identification of possible federal actions is intended to strengthen our individual and collective resolve to make the difficult choices and decisions along the road to a restored Chesapeake Bay and watershed and fill in the gaps to aid States and the District to meet their commitments in order to ensure that the allocations in the TMDL are achieved.”

 

Time and again, EPA has demonstrated through its approach in establishing and implementing the Bay TMDL, including its application of “backstop actions” when states deviated from their respective obligations, its view that the Bay jurisdictions are responsible for meeting the allocations in the Bay TMDL.  Indeed, as recently as April of 2017, in laying out its expectations for Pennsylvania’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, EPA noted several examples of potential actions it could take specific to Pennsylvania if it determined that the state did not meet these expectations.  Those backstop actions included: (1) Targeting federal enforcement and compliance assurance in the watershed; (2) Directing Chesapeake Bay funding to identified priorities; (3) Establishing finer scale wasteload and load allocations through a Pennsylvania state-specific proposed amendment to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL; (4) Requiring additional reductions of loading from point sources through a Pennsylvania state-specific proposed amendment to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL; and (5) Initiating a process to propose promulgating nitrogen and phosphorous numeric water quality standards for Pennsylvania applicable to streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

EPA’s defense of the Bay TMDL and its historic approach to the Bay jurisdiction’s development of the Watershed Implementation Plans clearly indicates that it took its responsibilities under Sections 303d and 117(g) seriously and that it viewed achieving the allocations in the Bay TMDL as necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

 

We are at a critical juncture in implementation of the Bay TMDL.  EPA’s response to Pennsylvania’s Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) noted that Pennsylvania is on track to meet only 75 percent of its nitrogen reduction targets and the Commonwealth itself identified a $324 million annual shortfall in their plan. The State of New York’s Phase III WIP is also 1 million pounds under its nitrogen goal.

 

We ask that you use all tools at your disposal—including those identified in Bay TMDL Section 7—to make sure that all jurisdictions are on track for 2025. 

 

The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load has made strong progress towards cleanup of this national treasure and economic engine in our region. We are at a critical moment, and we look forward to working with you to make sure we meet our 2025 goals for clean water in the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Sincerely,

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St. Mary's County Residents Age 16 & Older Now Eligible for Local SMCHD Vaccination Clinics

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has moved into Phase 3 of the Maryland vaccine plan and updated the eligibility criteria for local SMCHD COVID-19 vaccination clinics to include all St. Mary’s County residents aged 16 and over. Please note: the Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for 16 and 17 year olds. 
 
For more information on local SMCHD COVID-19 vaccination clinics, please visit www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. New clinic registration links will be posted Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. Appointment times are expected to fill quickly due to expanded eligibility. Eligible individuals are encouraged to review the allergy guidance and the FAQs for SMCHD COVID-19 vaccination prior to registering for a vaccine appointment.
 
SMCHD and the St. Mary’s County Government Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPWT) Transit System (STS) have partnered to provide transportation assistance for community members to the local SMCHD COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic.
 
For local COVID-19 updates, information and data, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330.

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CCSO Celebrates Autism Awareness

April is National Autism Awareness Month, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day and the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office is excited to support and promote awareness of this important cause.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an average of 1 in 68 children in the US have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that can cause significant social, communication and behavior challenges. These challenges often present unique safety risks which may increase the chance of encounters with police and other first responders.
 
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office is here to provide a service to the growing needs of those on the Autism Spectrum. We are dedicated to the safety and inclusion of our citizens.
Our agency has created Autism Awareness stickers/decals to place on a vehicle or residence where someone on the spectrum might travel in or reside, to alert law enforcement when responding to a call that they might encounter an individual with an intellectual or development disability. The stickers are free and available for pick-up at our headquarters in Prince Frederick, MD.
All of our deputies have the Autism FYI application on their agency issued cell phone. This app provides deputies with picture language, calming tips, de-escalation tactics and much more.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens we have a voluntary information form to assist personnel with providing the best service we can to those on the spectrum. This form provides our agency with emergency contacts, medical information, triggers, etc., which is put into a database, so that when our deputies respond to a call at an address on file or encounter a missing individual registered to us, they are prepared on how to communicate.
Those wishing to fill out an information form or obtain an Autism decal, stop by our office located at 30 Church, St. Prince Frederick, MD 20678.
For more information on the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Autism project, please contact DFC E. Durner at william.durner@calvertcountymd.gov.

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