Star Local News

Virtual Town Hall to Discuss Local Health Needs

LEONARDTOWN, MD (October 23, 2020) – The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital invite community members and partner organizations to participate in a virtual town hall as part of their Community Health Needs Assessment processes on Wednesday, October 28 at 5:00 p.m. The town hall will focus on discussing the health issues most affecting our community. Data collected will help guide community programs and priorities for years to come and will inform the development of an updated Community Health Improvement Plan for St. Mary’s County.
 
Interested community members & organizations can join the event via:
 
Google Meeting: meet.google.com/ved-zgsk-sju
Or by phone at: 1-415-604-0309 (PIN: ?534 191 126#)
For more information or to receive a calendar invite, please contact the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership at stmaryspartnership@gmail.com or Brenda Wolcott at Brenda.K.Wolcott@medstar.net.

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Maryland Hits 99.9% Complete in 2020 Census

As of the end of data collection for the 2020 Census, 99.9% of housing units and addresses have been accounted for in Maryland. 
 
The U.S. Census Bureau conducted an operational press briefing with senior Census Bureau leaders this week to discuss details of the once-a-decade count. The audio, transcript, FAQs and background material are available in the press kit.  
 
Total response rates are also available for other states, along with self-response rates down to the census tract level. Note: Self-response rate information does not depict how many housing units have been counted in an area. 
 
Additionally, Nonresponse Followup completion rates show the completion of each area census office’s workload, which included following up with nonresponding households, verifying respondent-provided addresses, resolving the status of vacant housing units, and other quality checks on self-responses and census taker work. These rates do not equate to enumeration rates in the area. 
 
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the United States as of April 1, 2020. In addition to determining the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives, census results inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated for the next 10 years for critical public services and infrastructure like emergency response, fire departments, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges.  

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Cardin Joins 20 Members of Congress Urging Supreme Court to Protect Consumers from Robocalls

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined 20 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging the Justices to uphold the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Duguid v. Facebook, Inc, which found that when Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it defined Automatic Telephone Dialing System (“ATDS”) to include systems like predictive dialers that dial telephone numbers stored in a list or database and systems that dial arbitrary numbers produced by a random or sequential number generator. 

 

The Members assert that a reversal of Facebook, Inc. would exclude unwanted robocalls from the requirement for consent under the TCPA because the calls were made from a system that stored the numbers on a list.  In such a scenario, the TCPA would no longer protect consumers from a robocall campaign that called every cellular number in the entire Country every hour of the day, which can easily be done via the internet from a home office let alone a well-resourced telemarketer. 

 

In a case with similar facts, Judge Amy Coney Barrett recently wrote a decision upholding a more narrow interpretation of autodialer. 

 

“[A] narrow reading of the TCPA to exclude dialing from databases and limit application to numbers that were randomly generated would reverse decades of precedent and gives a green light to telemarketers and scammers who will suddenly be free to initiate billions of automated calls to Americans who have a united distain for intrusive robocalls,” write the Members of Congress in the brief.  “Interpreting ATDS to only apply to random dialing systems that create numbers out of thin air ignores the intent of Congress shown by the TCPA’s legislative history when the legislation was enacted with bipartisan support and would render our cell phones utterly useless as a means of communication.”

 

The Members conclude: “The TCPA remains an essential, if not more essential, piece of legislation today. By restricting calls made to cell phones using robocall technology, among other provisions, the TCPA prevents a countless number of unwanted robocalls every year, every day, and indeed every hour and minute, from intruding on Americans’ privacy, scamming their wallets, and overwhelming our confidence in the nation’s telephone networks.”

 

A copy of the amicus brief can be found HERE.

 

Under the TCPA, automatic telephone dialing systems (i.e., technology that allows someone to make calls without manually dialing a number by hand) and artificial or prerecorded voices may not be used to make calls to cell phones, except with prior express consent of the called party, or if the call is being made for emergency purposes. 

 

Other Senators signing the amicus brief include Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Tom Carper (D-Del.).

 

Other House members signing the amicus brief are Representatives Doris Matsui (CA-06), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Ed Case (HI-01), Bobby L. Rush (IL-1), and Marc A. Veasey (TX-33).

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Calvert County Receives AAA Credit Ratings for Fifth Consecutive Assessment

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announces the county has, for the fifth consecutive assessment, received AAA credit ratings from three independent credit rating agencies. Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Services and S&P Global Ratings assigned Calvert County their highest ratings due to the county’s strong economy, robust revenues and sound financial management.
 
The three ratings are assigned to Calvert County’s 2020 general obligation bonds consisting of consolidated public improvement and refunding bonds (tax-exempt) totaling $20.3 million and refunding bonds (taxable) totaling $21.7 million, and are reaffirmed for the county’s outstanding debt.
 
“This fifth consecutive assessment of top credit ratings is great news for Calvert County as a testament to our fiscal stewardship,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “It affirms our commitment to conservative financial management and highlights the county’s strong economic position. These ratings also help the county achieve the best interest rates available, saving Calvert County taxpayers significant cost on the repayment of bonds.”
 
Fitch Ratings assigned its AAA credit rating based on “the county's low long-term liability burden, very healthy reserve levels, superior budgetary flexibility and prudent budget management.” The agency noted these attributes combine to establish resilience to potential economic downturns, including that currently experienced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Moody’s Investors Service assigned a “Aaa stable” rating, citing the county’s credit strengths, including a healthy financial position supported by formal policies; the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with Dominion Cove Point that provides a significant influx of revenues; a strong demographic profile including high median family income and low unemployment; and manageable debt and pension burdens. “The outlook also incorporates the recent trend of growth in the county's tax base, which will likely continue because of commercial and residential development, along with the county's close proximity to the District of Columbia,” the agency stated.
 
In its rationale for Calvert County’s AAA rating, S&P Global Ratings noted the strength of the county’s economy, its financial management and its budgetary performance and flexibility. “We view the county's management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment methodology, indicating financial practices are strong, well embedded and likely sustainable,” S&P stated.
 
“It takes hard work and planning to achieve this rating,” said County Administrator Mark Willis. “Our fiscal health comes through strong fiscal planning, the dedication of our employees, and the support of our citizens. This is a proud moment for the county and for county government staff.”
 
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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Commissioners Move Quickly to Disseminate Broadband Assessment Survey

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Reliable internet access in St. Mary’s County has been a top priority of the Commissioners, and on Sept. 15, the Commissioners allocated $100,000 toward formally assessing local broadband capabilities.

 

For the first phase of assessments, the Commissioners are releasing a communitywide survey of existing internet services. The St. Mary’s County Broadband Assessment Project surveys for Employers and Households are posted here: https://www.stmarysmd.com/it/broadband/BroadbandAssessment.aspx

 

The Employer survey deadline is Nov. 10, 2020.

The Household survey deadline is Nov. 24, 2020.

 

The surveys are designed to spur broadband options, more broadband investment across the county. Affordable and fast broadband is critical to local economies, education and real estate market.

 

For more information about the surveys, contact, please Kelly Lewis: Kelly@LewisStrategic.com.

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Charles County Department of Health Provides Recommendations for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Visitation

Visitation in nursing homes and assisted living is vital to the social, emotional, and physical well being of the residents. However, we must remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the facilities. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) has provided the facilities with guidelines to follow for safely reopening and for safe visitation. For the guidance and regulations, please follow the link https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-new-guidance-safe-visitation-nursing-homes-during-covid-19-public-health-emergency.  

 

Outdoor visitation is preferred and recommended if weather and resident health permits. Each facility has a specific policy and plan to accommodate their space, residents, and visitors. Facilities will limit the number of visitors per resident, place age limits for visitors, limit visitation time, maintain social distancing with six feet or more of separation, and require screening, hand hygiene, and proper masking. If social distancing and proper masking are not followed, the resident will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine without in person visitation. According to CMS guidelines, indoor visitation can be considered in facilities who have been free of COVID-19 cases for 14 days and where the local positivity rate is 10% or less.  However, it is strongly recommended that facilities maintain outdoor visitation as long as possible.

 

The Charles County Department of Health has been and continues to work closely with the facilities in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in this vulnerable population. Individuals with questions related to COVID-19 can contact the Charles County Department of Health COVID-19 hotline at 301-609-6717 or visit the Charles County Department of Health website at www.charlescountyhealth.org/coronavirus-disease-covid19/.

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Reckless Endangerment Under Investigation

On October 17, 2020, at approximately 4:19 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office were investigating reports of shots fired in the area of Pacific Drive, when deputies heard several additional shots fired in the area of Forest Run Drive and Cinnamon Way in Lexington Park. Officers responded to the area and located a vehicle and one residence on Cinnamon Drive that had sustained damage from being struck by projectiles. No injuries were reported from the incident.
 
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab Technicians responded and processed the scene. Several shell casings were recovered from the area.
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Deputy Courtney Edwards at (301) 475-4200 extension 78003 or by email at Courtney.Edwards@stmarysmd.com.
 
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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Charles County Man Charged With Arson Of His Fathers Vehicle

CHARLES COUNTY, MD (October 22, 2020) - Deputy State Fire Marshals have arrested a Virginia man in connection with setting his father's vehicle on fire in Indian Head this past winter. Dwayne Eric Newman Jr., age 19, was extradited to Maryland yesterday after investigators filed charges in May. 
 
On January 29, 2020, at 4:45 p.m. Nanjemoy Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched for a vehicle fire near Ben Doane Road and Riverside Road. Upon their arrival, they discovered a 2015 GMC Yukon ablaze. Firefighters controlled the fire within ten minutes, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal was requested to investigate the origin and cause. Deputy State Fire Marshals later determined the fire was intentionally set.
 
Investigators worked for months on the case and eventually identified Newman as the suspect. The vehicle was a total loss, and the estimated value of the vehicle was $15,000.00
 
Newman was initially issued a criminal summons for his charges and was arrested in Virginia on a failure to appear bench warrant. He was charged with Arson 2nd Degree and Malicious Burning/Fraud.
 
Newman was transported to Charles County Detention Center, where he is currently being held without bond. 
 
State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci praised the efforts of the investigators. "When someone commits arson and vehicle insurance fraud, they are stealing directly from the pockets of hard-working, honest citizens," Geraci said. "I am proud of the top-notch investigative work done by my team to crack down on fraud and hold those accountable for their actions."

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NAS Pax River's Gate 2 Open for High Volume Traffic Only October 22 to October 27, 2020

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – NAS Patuxent River’s Gate 2 will be open during the hours of high-volume traffic only (5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) Thursday, Oct. 22 – Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. The NAS Patuxent River Gate 2 Pass and ID office remains open during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gate 1 remains open for 24-hour access. Gate 2 will be closed Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 25 per normal operations.
 
 
Drivers should use Gate 1 for entering and exiting the base between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. during these dates and weekends.
 
 
NAS Patuxent River appreciates the Southern Maryland community’s patience as the installation supports the safety of its personnel and residents.
 
For questions regarding base access and Pass and ID Office services, visitors can call the Gate 2 Pass and ID office directly at 301-342-3231.

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Commissioners Approve Resolution for Citizen Complaints

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners have approved a resolution allowing for citizens who file formal complaints with St. Mary's County Government Departments to remain anonymous or to have their confidentiality protected under certain circumstances.

 

County Attorney David Weiskopf brought the resolution before the Commissioners and explained that there are circumstances in which it is necessary to allow complainants to be unnamed. Previously, there was no county policy that afforded this protection.

 

The resolution states that St. Mary's County Government will accept anonymous and/or confidential complaints on a case-by-case basis if there is an allegation of a violation of hazardous, dangerous, or potentially life-threatening situations or a bona fide fear of retaliation.

 

Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. St. Mary's County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

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Commissioners Move to Protect Waterways with Approval of Ordinance

LEONARDTOWN, MD – During their regular business meeting Tuesday, October 20, 2020, the Commissioners unanimously approved a new county resolution regulating non-stormwater discharges to the storm drainage system.

 

The Pollution Prevention and Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination resolution outlines methods for controlling pollutants into the sewer system and provides enforcement guidelines.

 

The action by the Commissioners aligns St. Mary's County with state compliance regulations and supports the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement plan's goals.

 

Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. St. Mary's County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

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Two Additional Arrests Made in Connection with Homicide at Master Suites Hotel

Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have charged two additional suspects involved in a homicide that occurred last month at the Master Suites Hotel in Waldorf. Terrence Wills, 27, of Waldorf, was located on October 21 and arrested by the US Marshals Service Task Force in Prince George’s County. Cameron Marcell Fletcher, 39, of District Heights, was arrested last week by the US Marshals Task Force in Fairfax, VA and on October 17, Marc C. McLaughlin, Jr., 31, of Brandywine, was arrested. All three suspects were charged with first-degree murder and other related charges. Details of the homicide are as follows:
 
On September 21, at approximately 6:18 p.m., patrol officers responded to the Master Suites Hotel located in the 2200 block of Old Washington Road in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, Kenneth Dionel Brawner, 29, of Waldorf, inside a room; he had a gunshot wound and was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased a short time later. A preliminary investigation showed the suspects entered the room and shot the victim. 
 
Terrence Wills
 
Cameron Marcell Fletcher
 
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective R. Johnson at (301) 609-6453. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. The investigation is ongoing.

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Commissioners Approve $100,000 Grant for Sheriff's Office

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners approved an award of $100,000 for the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office to fund youth gun violence prevention in the community. The Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Youth Gun Violence Reduction Initiative Grant will purchase software technology and educational materials.

 

Sheriff Tim Cameron described the PredPolsoftware to the Commissioners at their Tuesday, Oct. 20 meeting as a data-driven predictive technology that identifies crime related public security and safety concerns in the county and allows for more efficient use of existing resources.

 

Educational materials purchased by the award include audio, video and print materials to promote awareness and education about firearm safety to youth.

 

Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. St. Mary's County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

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Commissioners Approve Funding for Supplemental Staffing for County Rescue Squads

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County approved $552,992 to be used for supplemental staff, ambulances, and related equipment partnering with the Rescue Squads to deliver Emergency Medical Services in St. Mary’s County during their regular business meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20.

 

In his request for funding, Director of Emergency Services, Stephen Walker briefed the Commissioners on data regarding emergency response times. Walker stated that there had been a noticeable increase in incidents in the last few months, where Basic Life Support ambulances could not respond to calls for service due to decreased Emergency Medical Service staffing levels. COVID-19 has played a large part in this shortage; in these instances, alternate ambulances were dispatched, and care was provided.

 

To mitigate these circumstances, the Department of Emergency Services requested CARES Act funding of $472,992 for additional emergency medical staff for Rescue Squads and $80,000 to purchase a used ambulance and associated equipment.

 

Director Walker also told the Commissioners “It is important to note that the level and quality of Emergency Medical Service by our volunteer First Responders is exemplary. However, the delivery of services, getting our EMS First Responders to those in need, is where we lack substantially, and that is due to reduced staffing. Reduced staffing has been a growing trend in volunteer services for several years and pandemic conditions have compounded that challenge.”

 

Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. St. Mary's County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

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Suspect in Attempted Murder Arrested

SUSPECT IN ATTEMPTED MURDER ARRESTED: On October 8 at approximately 3:36 p.m., officers responded to the 12300 block of Glenview Place in Waldorf for a reported shooting. Initial investigation revealed that a male subject arrived unannounced at an apartment of someone who was known to him and knocked on the door. The victim answered, but then closed the door. The suspect, identified as Tommy Whack, Jr., 31, of Brandywine, then fired multiple rounds through the door towards the victim. No injuries were reported.
 
 
On Friday, October 16, officers with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia arrested Whack on a traffic stop. Whack is currently awaiting extradition in Virginia and will be served an arrest warrant upon his return to Maryland for this incident. He is being charged with attempted first and second degree murder, first and second degree assault, felony use of a firearm, and other charges related to this incident. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective E. Weaver at (301) 609-6571. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app.

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St. Mary's County Government Updates Pandemic Road to Recovery Following Governor's Update

LEONARDTOWN, MD – On October 16, Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland Secretary of Health Robert Neall issued orders updating safe capacity limits for outdoor sporting and entertainment venues, while maintaining face covering requirements and strict public health protocols.
 
The governor's order limits spectators at outdoor sporting venues to 10% of total capacity, including at M&T Bank Stadium and FedEx Field.
 
For outdoor entertainment venues the governor's order limits occupancy to 10% for outdoor entertainment venues that have a total capacity greater than 2,500.
 
The governor’s order requires face coverings at all outdoor sporting and entertainment venues. Under the health secretary’s order, venues must follow social distancing protocols, and social gatherings at the venue—such as tailgating—are prohibited.
 
In response, St. Mary's County Government has adopted similar measures with the updated St. Mary's County COVID-19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery – Stage 3.
 
Residents may access the  St. Mary's County COVID-19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery and additional related resources https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.

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October 20th St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting Tuesday, Oct. 20, in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown and opened at 9 a.m. with a Public Hearing for the Office of the County Attorney on the disposition of public property.

 

The Commissioners presented three proclamations for Economic Development Week, Red Ribbon Week for the Health Department and Red Ribbon Week for the Southern Maryland Young Marines.

 

The Commissioners recognized the completion of three turf field projects in St. Mary’s County. The virtual Ribbon Cutting video highlighted the successful projects and features remarks from Commissioner President Randy Guy, CAPT John Brabazon, Commanding Officer, NAS Pax River and Arthur Shepherd, Director, Department of Recreation and Parks.

 

The Commissioners approved a new ordinance entitled “Pollution Prevention and Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination” with an effective date of Jan. 4, 2021. The Ordinance is intended to prohibit and, through detection, require the county to take actions to eliminate any identified or reported pollutants.

 

The Commissioners then heard from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on several agenda items. The Commissioners approved the grant submission for the FY2022 State Aid for Police Protection (SAPP) program, project MD2230, from the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services.

 

Major Michael Merican addressed the Commissioners with an increase for the Safe to Learn – School Overwatch Program because funding to the Sheriff’s Office has been increased from $130,000 to $135,025. The Commissioners unanimously approved the request.

 

Funding for grants of $154,411 from St. Mary's County Health Department and St. Mary's County Sheriff’s Office Detention and Rehabilitation Center for Jail Mental Health Services, PATH, and the Five County Project was approved.

 

Sheriff Tim Cameron briefed the Commissioners on funding to support the St. Mary's County Sheriff s Office (SMCSO) Youth Gun Violence Task Force Program to reduce youth gun violence, injuries and crimes committed by youth with firearms in St. Mary's County. The Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant This grant funding will be used for the purchase of PredPol Software technology and integration of same with the county's existing Information Technology architecture and also for the purchase of audio, video, and print mediums to promote awareness and education related to firearm safety. The Commissioners approved the grant of $100,000.

 

Stephen Walker, Director of Emergency Services, received approval of a plan of action for supplemental staffing and the purchase of an ambulance to support the delivery of Emergency Medical Services with the Volunteer Rescue Squads in St. Mary's County using largely the Cares Act in the amount of $552,992.00.

 

The Commissioners convened as the Board of Health and received community-related COVID-19 updates from Dr. Meenakshi Brewster, County Health Officer.

 

The final agenda item was a request to establish a resolution from the County Attorney to allow some citizen filed complaints to be anonymous or to have names kept confidential when so requested. The Commissioners approved the resolution.

 

The Commissioners will host a Public Forum Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in Leonardtown. The public is invited to participate in person, over the phone or by sending an email. For those attending in person, face coverings are required. For more details about the forum, please visit the county website.

 

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County is Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Commissioner agendas can be found on the county website each Friday before the Commissioner Meeting.

 

Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. St. Mary's County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of October 12 – October 18 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,187 calls for service throughout the community. 
 
Damaged Property: 20-53412
On October 12, 2020, Deputy Gott responded to Cactus Trail in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime between 12:00pm on October 11th and 3:00pm on October 12th, an unknown suspect(s) spray painted the front and passenger side of the vehicle. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Damaged Property: 20-53424
On October 12, 2020, Deputy Burggraff responded to Ropeknot Road in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime during the overnight hours, an unknown suspect(s) put a white crystal material, believed to be sugar, in the gas tank of their truck. The value of damaged property is $1,500.
 
Theft: 20-53983
On October 15, 2020, Deputy Mason responded to Watson Road in Owings for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between January 2020 and the present, an unknown suspect(s) stole the tag from their trailer. The value of stolen property is $51.
 
Theft: 20-54489
On October 18, 2020, Deputy Parks responded to Prancer Court in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between the afternoon of October 17th and October 18th, an unknown suspect(s) stole the rear tag from their vehicle. The value of stolen property is $100.
 
 
Arrests:
 
On October 14, 2020, Deputies conducted a traffic stop on South Solomons Island Road at Rousby Hall Road in Lusby. Upon making contact with the driver, Sven Andrew Parker (27), Deputies detected the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Parked exited the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in a portion of a burnt marijuana cigarette. A search of Parker’s person was conducted which resulted in a clear bag containing suspected powder cocaine and U.S. currency. Parker was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession w/ Intent to Distribute: Narcotics, CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 
 
On October 14, 2020, Deputy N. Buckler responded to 5th Street in Owings for a welfare check on a male subject who appeared unconscious in his vehicle. Upon arrival, Deputy Buckler identified the male subject as William Ray Albaugh, Jr. (23), and observed fresh blood on Albaugh’s hand as well as a hypodermic needle in the door handle of the driver’s door. After Deputy Buckler knocked on the window, Albaugh woke up and exited the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted which resulted in six syringes, ten clear capsules containing a white powder substance suspected to be heroin, a metal spoon with residue and burn marks, a piece of cotton, six packages of an unknown substance, and two plastic bags containing unknown powder substances. Also located was a metal tray with powder residue and a lock box containing various storage containers and bags each containing suspected marijuana and THC wax, and a digital scale with residue. A search of Albaugh’s person resulted in two clear capsules each containing powder residue. Albaugh was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession w/ Intent to Distribute, CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.
 
On October 15, 2020, Deputy Anderson conducted a traffic stop on North Solomons Island Road at Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised the driver, Michael Sean Marshall (34), was wanted on two active warrants through Maryland State Police. Marshall exited the vehicle and Deputy Anderson detected the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted which resulted in an orange prescription bottle containing two of the prescribed pills, as well as a suspected Xanax pill which Marshall did not possess a prescription for, and a pill crushing device containing white residue. A search of Marshall’s person was conducted resulting in a small black metal object containing white powdery residue suspected to be a crushed Xanax pill. Marshall was placed under arrest for CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 

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Identity Needed for Robbery Suspect

Oct. 20, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a robbery investigation. On Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 at 4:20 pm, the victim was in the parking lot of the Race-N-Inn store in Budds Creek to deliver crabs to a customer when the victim noticed the suspect exiting the victim’s vehicle with cash and checks. A struggle ensued between the victim and the suspect over the money and the suspect punched the victim and pushed the victim to the ground. The suspect was last seen fleeing on a yellow motorcycle.
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Jessica Wilson at 301-475-4200, ext. 78138 or email Jessica.wilson@stmarysmd.com. Case # 62259-20
 
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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Elevated Levels of COVID-19 Viral Shedding Detected in Local Wastewater

Local wastewater monitoring for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has detected elevated levels of viral particles in the sewer systems serving several locations in St. Mary’s County.
 
“These viral particles are shed by individuals who have COVID-19 and can be detected in sewage,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Rising levels of viral particles in the wastewater from a particular wastewater treatment plant may indicate an increase in COVID-19 in the area that contributes wastewater to that plant. Sometimes the spike in wastewater can be seen before lab results indicate a spike in cases. Since COVID-19 may be asymptomatic in some people, these results should encourage even asymptomatic residents to evaluate their exposure risk and seek COVID-19 testing if they have risk for infection.”
 
Wastewater samples are being collected from several private, public and municipal wastewater treatment plants throughout the County as part of a collaborative initiative by the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD), St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission. Recent testing of the viral load (number of viral particles per liter of wastewater) has demonstrated an increase from prior amounts in several county locations. 
 
Community members living in areas with rising wastewater viral levels should:
 
Self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Get tested for COVID-19 within 48 hours of developing any symptoms
Consider getting tested for COVID-19, even if without symptoms
Continue to practice recommended prevention measures 
Wash your hands often
Avoid close contact with people outside of your household or those who are sick
Wear a face covering in public settings (indoor and outdoor) and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain
Results of ongoing monitoring related to this effort are now posted on the SMCHD website at: www.smchd.org/covid-19-wastewater. For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call SMCHD at (301) 475-4330.

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Detectives Investigating Homicide on Lookout Drive in Indian Head

On October 15 at approximately 2:32 p.m., officers responded to the 20 block of Lookout Drive in Indian Head for a report of unknown trouble. Upon arrival, officers located Leonora Coates-Slade, 47, of Indian Head, deceased with injuries to her upper body. Initial investigation revealed that Brandon Kiah Slade, 26, of Norfolk, VA, who is Ms. Coates-Slade’s son, was visiting his mother’s home when for reasons not known at this time he assaulted her and fled in a GMC Yukon. Lookouts and location updates were provided to law enforcement agencies in surrounding areas. Shortly before 8p.m., officers with the Limerick Township Police Department in Limerick, PA located and apprehended Slade without incident. Slade is currently awaiting extradition in Pennsylvania and will be served an arrest warrant upon his return to Maryland for this incident. 
 
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Det. E. Weaver at (301) 609-6571. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app.

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Arrest Made in Homicide at Master Suites Hotel in Waldorf

Through their investigation, Charles County Sheriff’s Detectives identified Marc C. McLaughlin, Jr., 31, of Brandywine, as a suspect in the homicide that took place at the Master Suites Hotel on September 21. On Saturday, October 17, the U.S. Marshals Task Force located and arrested McLaughlin in Prince George’s County. McLaughlin was indicted for first-degree murder as well as 16 additional charges related to this incident.
 
 
Details of this case are as follows:
 
On September 21, at approximately 6:18 p.m., patrol officers responded to the Master Suites Hotel located in the 2200 block of Old Washington Road in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, Kenneth Dionel Brawner, 29, of Waldorf, inside a room; he had a gunshot wound and was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased a short time later. A preliminary investigation showed the suspects entered the room and shot the victim. Detectives are working on leads and developing a motive, but it does not appear this was a random shooting.
 
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective R. Johnson at (301) 609-6453. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for 

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Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Armed Robbery of CVS

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Thursday, October 15, 2020, Blake-Joshua Isaiah McKinney, 18, entered a guilty plea in Charles County Circuit Court to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. Following the plea, McKinney was sentenced by the Honorable Judge William R. Greer, Jr. to 20 years with all but 5 years suspended in prison. Upon release, McKinney will be on probation for a period of five years.  
 
On December 6, 2019, officers responded to the CVS Pharmacy located in the 7000 block of Indian Head Highway in Bryans Road for the report of an armed robbery in progress. Upon arrival, officers discovered McKinney attempting to leave the store and blend in with other customers. McKinney and a juvenile co-defendant were apprehended at the scene.  
 
An investigation revealed that prior to the robbery, McKinney and his juvenile co-defendant exited a black Nissan Maxima and entered the CVS with ski masks covering their faces. They proceeded to jump over the pharmacy counter and demand narcotics; however, the pharmacist was unable to open the safe. The suspects then started taking money from the cash registers. Throughout the robbery, McKinney was armed with a handgun.  
 
An off-duty police officer was present in the store and became aware of the robbery. As the suspects were leaving, the officer identified himself as a police officer, drew his agency-issued firearm, and ordered them to stop. In response, both suspects fled to the rear of the pharmacy. The officer gave chase to the juvenile, who attempted to flee in the Nissan Maxima driven by co-defendant Alonzo Lamont Gholston. Gholston reached to pick up a handgun, prompting the officer to fire his weapon. However, no one was injured.  
 
The juvenile was unsuccessful in his attempt to escape and was apprehended. During this time, McKinney shed his clothing in the store, hid the gun, and attempted to blend with other customers; however, he was also unsuccessful.  
 
The Nissan Maxima was later identified and the driver, Gholston, was apprehended after a vehicle pursuit by an officer. It was discovered that the vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day.  
 
On September 18, 2020, Gholston entered a guilty plea in Charles County Circuit Court in front of the Honorable Judge H. James West to Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery. He was then sentenced to 10 years with all but 3 years suspended in prison. Upon release, he will be on supervised probation for a period of five years.  

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Suspect in Middletown Road 7-Eleven Homicide Apprehended

SUSPECT IN MIDDLETOWN ROAD 7-ELEVEN HOMICIDE LOCATED AND APPREHENDED: Through an extensive investigation and coordination with the U.S. Marshals Task Force, Gregory DeShawn Collins, Jr., 22, of Waldorf, was located and apprehended in Georgia on Tuesday, October 19. Collins is currently awaiting extradition in Georgia and will be served an arrest warrant upon his return to Maryland for this incident.
 
 
Charles County Sheriff’s Detectives identified Collins as a suspect in the murder of Lynn Marie Maher, which took place on October 1 at the 7-Eleven on Middletown Road in Waldorf. Maher was shot and killed during an armed robbery. Detectives worked closely with Corporal Eric Baker, a Charles County Officer assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force, to determine Collins’ location. Due to the tireless efforts by Cpl. Baker, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Collins was apprehended without incident.
 
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Det. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. Those who may have information but want to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. 

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Transportation Options Help Calvert County Voters Get to the Polls

Calvert County public transportation is available to help voters get to vote centers and drop box locations during early voting and on Election Day. Residents are encouraged to make their voting transportation plans now in order to ensure they have a ride to cast their vote in the general election.
 
Public buses will run on a regular schedule, Monday through Saturday, and along regular routes during the early voting period, Monday, Oct. 26 through Monday, Nov. 2, and on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.
 
For seniors age 60 and up and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specialized service customers, curb-to-curb transportation service will be provided to any of the five vote centers and two additional drop box only locations. Riders must schedule an appointment at least 24 hours in advance by calling 410-535-4268.
 
For regular route riders, curb-to-curb service will be offered to the following sites: Calvert High School, Huntingtown High School, Southern Community Center and Northeast Community Center. Hours for service depend on the route and Saturday service is limited.
 
For residents who need transportation but live outside the regular public transit service area, Smart Ride is offering free rides during early voting and on Election Day. Call 410-535-6932 to make an appointment.
 
For more information on county transportation services, call 410-535-4268 or visit online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Transportation.
 
Early voting will begin Monday, Oct. 26 and continue through Monday, Nov. 2. Early voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Board of Elections office located on the lower level of the Community Resources Building at 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick.
 
On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, voters may cast their ballot in person at any of five vote centers in Calvert County, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who requested a mail-in ballot may submit their ballot by mail or by placing it in one of seven secure drop boxes available throughout the county.
 
Vote centers and drop boxes will be available at the following locations:
 
·         Calvert High School
520 Fox Run Blvd., Prince Frederick, MD 20678
 
·         Community Resources Building
30 Duke St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678
 
·         Huntingtown High School
4125 Solomons Island Road, Huntingtown, MD 20639
 
·         Northern High School
2950 Chaneyville Road, Owings, MD 20736
 
·         Patuxent High School
12485 Southern Connector Blvd., Lusby, MD 20657
 
·         Northeast Community Center (drop box only)
4075 Gordon Stinnett Ave., Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732
 
·         Southern Community Center (drop box only)
20 Appeal Lane, Lusby, MD 20657
 
Individuals who use public transportation and vote in person during early voting or on Election Day must wear adequate face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 
For more information about elections, visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Vote.
 
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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