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NAS Patuxent River to Hold PFAS Information Open House March 3

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Residents in the vicinity of NAS Patuxent River and other interested parties are invited to attend a public information meeting to learn about the Navy’s assessment of on-base surveys of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  The Navy has developed a protective policy to assess certain PFAS on and in the vicinity of installations which have known or potential releases of these compounds into the environment; these are compounds frequently found in fire-fighting foam (aqueous film forming foam (AFFF)) and various industrial and consumer products.


The meeting format will include informational displays along with representatives from the Navy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Department of Environment, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the St. Mary’s County Health Department.

 

The event open house will be held at the St. Mary’s County Public Library, Lexington Park Branch

21677 FDR Boulevard
Lexington Park, MD 20653

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

 

For additional information regarding the meeting, visit the public web site at https://go.usa.gov/xnBga and www.secnav.navy.mil/eie/pages/pfc-pfas.aspx

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St. Leonard Woman Arrested for Bank Robberies

On February 8, 2020, at approximately 10:30 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the reported bank robbery at the BB&T Bank located at 23415 Three Notch Road in California. Preliminary investigation determined the suspect presented a note to a bank employee demanding money and the note contained the threat of an incendiary device. The employee complied with the demand and the suspect fled the scene.
 
On February 13, 2020, at approximately 10:10 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the M&T Bank located at 37600 Mohawk Drive in Charlotte Hall, for reported alarm activation. Deputies arrived on scene and confirmed the bank had been robbed by a female suspect, later identified as Angela Marie Roselee Fitzhugh-Hill, age 41 of St. Leonard. Fitzhugh-Hill presented a note demanding money with the threat of an incendiary device. The employee complied and the suspect fled the scene.
 
 
Through the course of the investigation detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) developed a suspect responsible for both bank robberies. On February 13, 2020, at approximately 7:34 p.m., the suspect was observed operating a vehicle in Calvert County and subsequently taken into custody. Fitzhugh-Hill was charged with two counts of the following:
 
Armed Robbery
 
Robbery
 
Theft
 
Arson/Threat
 
Assault Second Degree
 
Fitzhugh-Hill is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office thanks the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case.
 
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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Cardin Statement on the War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and cosponsor or S. J. Res. 68, spoke from the floor of the Senate this week in support of the resolution offered by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The measure passed the Senate Thursday with a bipartisan vote of 55-45. Excerpts from Senator Cardin’s floor speech on the resolution are below.

 

“Unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or a specific authorization for the use of military force against Iran, there is no authority to use our military against Iran. 

 

“Congress has the sole responsibility to commit our troops to combat. It's in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. Congress has the power to declare war. This is not a decision made by the president. It's a decision made by Congress. Our founders were very concerned about having the appropriate balance between the executive branch and the legislative branch. It's called checks and balances. We did not want a monarchy. We wanted to make sure that there was sufficient support before war was declared, that it is in our national security interest and that the Congress, the president and the American people are all together if we're going to have war against another country. And that war, the use of military, should always be a matter of last resort. We should always exhaust diplomacy, always exhaust other means, before America initiates war against another country or the use of military force. 

 

“Why do we need Senate Joint Resolution 68 if we have the War Powers Act? Like Vietnam, now in Iran, the president is usurping the constitutional powers of Congress by saying he has certain authorities that go beyond what was intended in the Constitution or the War Powers Act. 

 

·       There was not an imminent threat before the president used military action. 

·       There was plenty of time to consult with Congress, but yet, before the military action, there was no prior consultation with Congress. 

·       The War Powers Act requires an end to foreign military action after 60 days unless Congress provides a declaration of war or an authorization for the operation to continue. The president has not permitted nor does he intend to submit to Congress an authorization for use of military force or declaration of war against Iran. He clearly does not intend to do it.

 

“In regards to Iran today, there is no AUMF. The president has shown he will not comply with the War Powers Act and is likely to use force again that could lead to a military engagement with Iran. That is a possibility. 


“My generation payed a very large price because of the Vietnam War and the way that we got into the War… Let us not cede our responsibility under the Constitution or allow the president to exceed his.”

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Accreditation Team Accepting Public Comment

A team of assessors from the Commission on the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, to examine all aspects of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office policies, procedures, management, operations and support services.

As part of the onsite assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, at 6 pm. The session will be held in Room 14 of the Potomac Building at 23115 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown.

Comments will also be accepted over the phone between 2-4pm on Feb. 25, 2020 at 301-475-4200, ext. 72508 or at 301-904-2668.

Both in-person and telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes each and must address the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.

Written comments regarding the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to meet accreditation standards may also be sent to:

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.

13575 Heathcote Blvd.

Suite 320

Gainesville, VA 20155

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Cardin and Whitehouse Urge Federal Action to Protect Local Water Systems from Climate Change

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are calling for urgent federal action to protect water systems from climate change impacts in response to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today. The report, “Water Infrastructure and Climate Change Impacts,” documents the need for the federal government to work with states and local utilities to strengthen the resilience of water infrastructure to climate impacts. The report makes practical suggestions that we should implement immediately.

 

“Providing safe, clean water is one of government’s most fundamental roles and the faster we act to make our water infrastructure resilient to climate change impacts, the more we can reduce the risks and control the costs,” said Senator Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. “This GAO report is the latest to show how our drinking water and wastewater treatment systems are at great risk from climate change impacts and that there is no better investment than protecting public health through our water infrastructure.”

 

“This report is a blaring warning of the consequences of neglecting climate resiliency planning,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Climate change threatens the drinking water, health, and quality of life for millions of Americans.  We ought to invest more in planning ways to restore and strengthen the infrastructure that protects our drinking water and sewer systems.”

 

Senators Cardin and Whitehouse wrote to GAO in September 2017 requesting they study what is known about the effects of climate change on the nation’s water systems and the potential fiscal risks posed by those effects. They also sought an evaluation of federal actions that may be taken to reduce such risks.

 

The full GAO report, “Water Infrastructure and Climate Change Impacts,” can be found here.

 

An interactive graphic from the report of “the most relevant potential climate change impacts, and examples of potential effects on drinking water and wastewater utilities,” can be found here.

 

In October 2019, Senator Cardin introduced the Clean Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Act (S.2636), which would expand federal assistance to waters systems across the country to increase their resiliency or adaptability to increasing natural hazards.

 

GAO FINDINGS

Four federal agencies provide technical and financial assistance to drinking and wastewater facilities: EPA, FEMA, HUD, and USDA.  EPA is the lead under the federal planning process for managing risks and strengthening the security and resilience of crucial infrastructure against all hazards. EPA estimates that drinking water and wastewater utilities need to invest almost $744 billion to repair and replace their existing infrastructure over the next 20 years. GAO finds climate change is increasing these costs. From FY 2011-2018, the federal government provided at least $3.6 billion in disaster recovery financial assistance specifically for drinking and wastewater infrastructure related projects.

 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

GAO reported that EPA provides technical assistance to drinking water and wastewater utilities to enhance their infrastructure’s resilience to climate change. According to EPA officials, the program does not have adequate capacity to assist utilities nationwide. 

 

GAO RECOMMENDATIONS

GAO finds that agencies do not consistently include consideration of climate resilience when funding water infrastructure projects. By identifying existing technical assistance providers and engaging them in a network to help utilities incorporate climate resilience into their infrastructure projects on an ongoing basis, EPA would have better assurance that climate information is exchanged effectively among federal agencies and utilities.


GAO suggests that federal agencies should require that climate information be considered in the planning of water infrastructure projects as a condition of providing financial assistance.  Such a requirement could be an effective and feasible way to help enhance infrastructure resilience and limit future fiscal exposure.

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Perc Testing to Begin for St. Mary's County 2020 Season

LEONARDTOWN, MD (February 13, 2020) - Due to high seasonal groundwater levels, the St. Mary’s County Health Department will begin wet season perc testing on February 18, 2020.  Perc testing was suspended in April 2019 due to declining groundwater levels.
Perc test applications received since April 2019 which were not able to be conducted are being scheduled first. While the levels are high enough for testing, the testing may not run continuously through the winter and early spring. The water table may recede causing the testing to be suspended – testing would be resumed when tables rebound to wet season ranges.
 
The health department’s Environmental Health Division staff conduct soil evaluations for the construction of residential and commercial septic systems.  The application for a new construction perc test is located at the St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management (LUGM) and requires a fee. The LUGM Department is located in the Patuxent Building on the Governmental Center Campus in Leonardtown.  The application may also be downloaded at the Land Use and Growth Management link - under Public Agencies - at the St. Mary’s County Government’s website. All permit applications are available for download from the Permits webpage.
 
For more information, please contact the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 301-475-4321 or the St. Mary’s County Land Use and Growth Management Department’s Permit Services at 301-475-4200 x1500, or visit the health department’s website at www.smchd.org.

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Calvert Teams Win at MATHCOUNTS Competition

Teams from Calvert County middle schools captured three of the top five spots in the 26th annual regional Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) MATHCOUNTS competition. Northern Middle brought home the first-place trophy, with Mill Creek finishing in second place and Plum Point in fifth. All three teams will advance to the state competition held in March at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “MATHCOUNTS is an opportunity for our students to shine in the academic arena. We thank SMECO for the ongoing sponsorship of this valuable experience.”
The local MATHCOUNTS competition features rounds of mathematics problems to challenge students one-on-one and as teams over the course of the three-hour event. First is the sprint round, a 30-question test that students complete individually. The competitors go next to the target round, where they have four sets of two math problems and six minutes to complete each set. 
In the individual competition, which is based on combined scores in the sprint and target rounds, Ivan Chiu from Spring Ridge Middle School in St. Mary’s County finished first and Barbara Kaczmarek from Northern Middle School finished second.
The top 12 scorers finish the competition by facing each other in the countdown round, a single-elimination tournament in which students must respond verbally to questions in a matter of seconds. Barbara Kaczmarek from Northern Middle School placed first and Ivan Chiu from Spring Ridge Middle School placed second.
In the team round, foursomes of students answer 10 questions in 20 minutes. The members of the top scoring teams in Calvert County are:
Northern— Luke Erly, Steven Vilcheck, Grace Wood, and Sam Zolfaghari, coached by Carole Butler
Mill Creek— Drew Bishop, Melvin Cheng, Billy Clay, and Elena Saucedo, coached by Michelle Gregory 
Plum Point — Brandon Chrones, Andrew Lamb, Aidan Moreland, and William Parsons, coached by Jonathan Moreland. 
In addition to the team winners, seven students advanced to the state competition as individuals. They are Tony Colosi, Northern Middle; Kaelyn Funchion, Southern Middle; Ray Holmberg, Calvert Middle; Barbara Kaczmarek, Northern Middle; Tristan Milsaps, Plum Point Middle; Hunter Reed, Southern Middle; and Brett Sheranko, Mill Creek Middle.

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Striped Bass Conservation Regulations Set for Spring 2020

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced new striped bass conservation measures for the Spring 2020 fishing season to meet a coast-wide conservation target. 
 
The 2018 benchmark stock assessment for striped bass indicated declines, so the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has determined that conservation measures are needed for the 2020 fishing season. ASMFC is a management entity comprising 15 member states on the East Coast, including Maryland.
 
The conservation goal set by ASMFC is to reduce the total number of striped bass that are killed by fishing activities. This means reducing the number of fish that are harvested and the number of fish that die after being caught and returned to the water, known as dead discards. 
 
Maryland’s management changes follow numerous meetings and discussions with stakeholders and a month-long public comment period, and were developed using the best available science and decades of experience. Measures for spring are designed to protect large migratory spawning fish as they enter the bay. The implementation plan was reviewed and approved by ASMFC’s Striped Bass Technical Committee and the ASMFC Board on Feb. 4.
 
In addition to a cut in the commercial quota, targeting of striped bass by the recreational sector will be prohibited starting April 1 — including a prohibition of trolling — and the spring trophy season will be delayed until May 1. Limits are one fish per person at a 35-inch minimum. These rules will be in effect until May 16. The full regulations can be viewed on DNR’s website.
 
The department will also move forward with conservation options for the summer and fall seasons in the 2020 Implementation Plan. Measures in the summer and fall are designed to reduce mortality caused by high temperatures and low oxygen in the water. The department will announce a public comment schedule for those regulations in the coming weeks. 
 
In 2018, the department raised concerns about the problem of discard mortality with ASMFC. This resulted in Maryland being authorized to adopt a decreased minimum size from 20 to 19 inches. In addition, Maryland took unilateral action to require the use of circle hooks when chumming and live lining. Circle hooks are an effective conservation measure because they significantly reduce “gut hooking” that leads to discard mortality. ASMFC has now asked all other states to follow Maryland’s lead and enact this policy.  
 
DNR also launched and is continuing to expand a statewide educational outreach program to assure compliance with these regulations. The department also instituted a system of advisories for anglers on hot days where both water and air temperatures could increase the likelihood of stress on striped bass. 

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Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

Possession of Marijuana - On 02/02/2020 at 6:09 pm, Trooper First Class Rutkoski stopped a vehicle on Chesapeake Beach Road, East of Solomons Island Road, Owings, for a traffic violation. Once contact was made with the operator, Trooper First Class Rutkoski detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic bag containing marijuana, a glass smoking device, and a hand rolled marijuana cigarette. Jeffrey Wayne Gibson, 35, of Glen Burnie, was issued a Civil Citation and was released from the scene. All marijuana and paraphernalia was processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Possession of Marijuana - On 02/02/2020 at 11:51 pm, Trooper First Class Rutkoski stopped a vehicle on Hallowing Point Road in the area of Thunder Hill Drive, Prince Frederick, for traffic violations. Once contact was made with the operator and passenger, Trooper First Class Rutkoski detected the odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic bag containing marijuana, metal grinder with trace amounts of marijuana, and THC vape cartridges. Both the driver, Kimberlie Allison-Marie Carre, 44, of Woodbridge, VA and passenger, Yahron Ondre Lewis, 42, of La Plata, MD, were issued Civil Citations and were released from the scene. All marijuana and paraphernalia was processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/04/2020,  Trooper First Class Lewis  made contact with Walter G. Radtke at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick  Barrack.  It was determined that Radtke had an active warrant and he was placed under arrest. He was incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center on the active warrant without incident. 
 
Warrant Service - On 02/05/2020, Trooper First Class Rutkoski and Trooper Woolman responded to the Rappahannock Regional Jail, VA., to extradite Christina Marie Robbins for an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Robbins was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/06/2020, Trooper Woolman responded to the Calvert County Detention Center to make contact with Nicholas Kelson who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Robbins was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/07/2020, Trooper First Class Stull responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center to make contact with Wayne Carroll Key who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Key was then transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.

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February 11th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided a presentation to Commissioners on fiscal considerations related the Watershed Conservation District (WCD) Zone. Most properties within the district are subject to limited residential density for the purpose of protecting the watershed, and the natural resources and recreational assets within it. The properties within the district broadly retained or increased in value according to recent state assessment data. Staff presented information on a forthcoming zoning text amendment that would grandfather certain development projects that have recorded 10 percent of their lots and constructed associated infrastructure; discussed airport rezoning that is underway; and outlined the highest scoring criteria for designating new Rural Legacy Areas. They shared possible amendments and summarized options for the Commissioners to consider that could reduce impacts of the WCD Zone requirements.
 
Economic Development Department staff updated the Commissioners on the status of a report that will assess current conditions and market potential for an area encompassing Bryans Road and the Maryland Airport. This concurrent study is separate and distinct from the Planning and Growth Management effort, with a common objective of informing how the Commissioners evaluate their options.
 
Open Session Briefings
 
Deputy County Administrator Deborah E. Hall and Director of Human Resources Alexis Blackwell briefed Commissioners on their work with the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE), a collaborative program hosted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. They shared information on a racial equity tool that can applied to proactively eliminate racial inequities and advance equity. A cohort of five county staff are participating in GARE and proposed a pilot project locally that will apply the racial equity tool to analyze public transportation needs. Staff plan to develop and implement community engagement strategies and recommend improvements and changes that could be made based upon input from a broader range of diverse stakeholders throughout the community.
 
Department of Planning and Growth Management staff reviewed recommendations from the Rural Planning and Zoning Task Force and highlighted revisions to zoning regulations that could be implemented.  They discussed proposals that would require further study and provided details on next steps that could be taken to move forward.
 
 Legislative Updates
 
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell briefed Commissioners on legislative activities in the Maryland General Assembly, which convened its 90-day session last month. She updated them on important policy issues that could affect the county and discussed the status of legislative proposals that Commissioners submitted to the local delegation. Mitchell also advised Commissioners that legislation has been proposed to implement recommendations from the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. A variety of funding mechanisms are being considered that could affect the county.
 
 Approval Items
 
Commissioners approved:
 
A budget transfer request of $61,620 to contract services for the Detention Center roof replacement project.
A budget transfer request of $113,240 to contract services for the Detention Center Annex roof and wall improvement project.
A lease agreement with GymFIT Physical Therapy and Wellness for rental of space at the Capital Clubhouse.
Letters requesting support of a grant application Fiscal 2020 Maryland Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program from all members of Charles County’s local delegation.
Recognitions
 
Commissioners began the meeting with introduction of high school student leaders who visited and learned about local government as part of National Groundhog Shadow Day. The program is sponsored by Charles County Public Schools and provides students with the opportunity to explore their career interests. View and download the photos from the county’s online gallery.
 
Commissioners recognized student government representatives from General Smallwood Middle School for their successful winter coat drive. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Commissioners proclaimed February as Black History Month and recognized the contributions and experiences of residents who represent the rich cultural diversity of Charles County. Members of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and representatives from Omega Psi Phi fraternity received the proclamation. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Commissioners recognized members of Project Linus and proclaimed February 21, 2020 as “Make a Blanket Day” in Charles County. Members of Project Linus provide gifts of new, handmade blankets, and afghans to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or in need within the community. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation is Now Accepting Applications for the FY21 Easement Cycle

The Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning announces the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2021 Easement Cycle.
 
A landowner that has a minimum of 50 contiguous acres, is not in the 10-year water and sewer plan for the county government and has a minimum of 50% Class I, II or III soils can apply to sell an easement to MALPF. It is yet to be determined how many applications MALPF will accept from each county in Maryland.
 
All easement applications must be received by the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning no later than April 30, 2020. Once applications are received, they will be reviewed by county government staff, and ranked by Calvert County’s Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board using the state mandated Land Evaluation and Site Assessment system. The top ranked applications will be submitted to the state for easement consideration. Citizens can view applications online on the MALPF website. Contact the Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-1600, ext. 2336 or Ronald.Marney@calvertcountymd.gov for more information.
 
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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Only St. Mary's County Lynching Victim from 1887 to be Memorialized with Historic Marker

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Museum Division is once again partnering with the Big Conversation Partnership on Dismantling Racism in Southern Maryland and the Equal Justice Initiative on the Community Remembrance Project about Benjamin Hance, the only recorded lynching victim in St. Mary’s County in 1887. In November 2019, the Division and partners held a Soil Collection Ceremony at the location where Hance was said to have died at the hands of a local mob.
 
Mr. Hance, a young African American, was arrested May 27, 1887 in Leonardtown and taken to the Old Jail. A mob broke in on the night of June 17th, held the jailkeeper at gunpoint, and removed Mr. Hance from his cell. They carried him to a site just out of town (now occupied by the Port of Leonardtown Winery) and proceeded to hang him from a witch hazel tree. This was the only documented lynching in St. Mary’s County.
 
The Equal Justice Initiative believes that the Community Remembrance Projects like the Soil Collection Ceremony are more than opportunities to erect just another “historical marker”. Rather, their hope is that this process emphasizes the tremendous responsibility of collective remembrance and will serve to facilitate conversations and interactions that will help to heal deep-seeded and long-standing wounds within families and communitiesFollowing the Soil Collection Ceremony in November, the partner groups sent one jar of soil to the National Memorial for Peace & Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. A second jar will soon go on display this spring, along with a traveling exhibit, at local community gathering places and organizations around St. Mary’s County to educate local citizens, visitors and students about a little-known, and little talked about, period in local history.
 
The next step in the remembrance of Mr. Hance is to establish a historic marker about his story, which will be erected on the grounds of the Old Jail in Leonardtown, where he spent his final days. The Equal Justice Initiative produce the marker, which will subsequently be erected and unveiled to the public at a commemoration ceremony. The marker will be two-sided and traditional silver with black letters. One side will tell Mr. Hance’s story; the other will be a statement about racial justice.
 
Working with the partnership is Stephen Masson, an intern from George Washington University, who has been involved with the project since the beginning.
 
Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, explains the importance of the day: “Mr. Hance’s story was not an easy one to hear. But we do these things to remember, to respect and to remember a man who should not have lost his life in the way he did. Mr. Hance deserved justice; he deserved a trial; he deserved what he never got. By bringing light to this hard story to hear, we honor Mr. Hance and all those who suffered similar fates with hope for a better future.”
 
For more information regarding the progress of this project, please visit Facebook.com/DraydenSchoolhouse or contact Ms. Stone at 301-769-3235. For more information about the Equal Justice Initiative, visit https://eji.org.
 
The St. Mary’s County Museum Division was established by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County to collect, preserve, research and interpret the historic sites and artifacts which illustrate the natural and cultural histories of St. Mary’s County and the Potomac River. With this as its charter, the Museum Division serves as a resource, liaison and community advocate for all St. Mary’s County public and private cultural assets. For more information, please visit museums.stmarysmd.com.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of February 3 – February 9 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,645 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Damaged Property: 20-6480
On February 3, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant responded to Lottie Fowler Road in Prince Frederick for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime between 6:00pm on February 2nd and 5:00am on February 3rd, an unknown suspect(s) driving a blue Honda damaged four mailboxes as well as the mailbox posts. The value of damaged property is $150.
 
Damaged Property: 20-6832
On February 4, 2020, Deputy Wood responded to Ponds Wood Road in Huntingtown for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) attempted entry to the residence through a basement door using a brick, breaking the door knob and the outer pane of glass. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Damaged Property: 20-7466
On February 7, 2020, Deputy Wilder responded to Stone Court in St. Leonard for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) forcibly opened an exterior door to the residence causing damage to the wood around the locking mechanism. The value of damaged property is $200.
 
Theft: 20-7326
On February 6, 2020, Deputy Aranda met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred on Bentley Drive in Prince Frederick. The complainant advised that sometime between December 18th, 2019, and January 26th, 2020, an unknown suspect(s) stole four rings from a jewelry box located in a bedroom. The value of stolen property is $5,100.
 
Theft: 20-7496
On February 7, 2020, Deputy Lewis met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred on 4th Street in North Beach. The complainant advised that sometime between 8:30am and 6:00pm on February 6th, and unknown suspect(s) stole their prescription medication from their residence. 
 
Theft: 20-7531
On February 7, 2020, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to Ox Bow Lane in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime around 2:00pm an unknown suspect(s) stole their I-phone 8 Plus while they were at Appeal Landfill in Lusby. The value of stolen property is $800.
 
Theft: 20-7754
On February 8, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant responded to Brothers Johnson Septic Service in Port Republic for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between February 6th and February 8th, an unknown suspect(s) stole the dash panel and master cylinder from one of their busses. The value of stolen property is $900.
 
Arrests:
 
On February 5, 2020, Deputy Sampson responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised they observed a female via surveillance place multiple items into her bag without scanning them, then exit the store. Deputy Sampson located the suspect’s vehicle and made contact with Susan Michelle Furr (32). Furr denied stealing any items from Walmart and provided her receipt for Deputy Sampson to verify. Deputy Sampson determined items worth $46 were stolen and Furr was detained while a search of the vehicle was conducted. The search resulted in a pink first aid kit containing 18 suspected Adderall pills wrapped in a cigarette wrapper, which Furr could not provide a prescription for, as well as two additional Adderall pills located in Furr’s purse that had been emptied of their contents. Furr was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Theft Less Than $100, CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.

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Van Hollen Statement on President's Proposed Budget

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal:
 
 
“President Trump’s proposed budget is an assault on hard-working middle-class families, senior citizens, and those struggling to get by. It guts healthcare programs, slashes educational programs and student loans, and shreds the social safety net – all to pay for his tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. It is a non-starter. 
 
 
“The President has launched an all-out attack on health care – just days after promising to maintain the benefits and protections hundreds of millions of children, seniors, and people with disabilities or pre-existing conditions count on. The cuts to Medicaid alone amount to almost $1 trillion. The American people are catching on – he says one thing in his tweets and State of the Union address, and then does the opposite in the fine print of his budget.
 
 
“These drastic cuts to programs like nutrition assistance to those in need – which averages $256 a month per family – are being made to pay for the Trump tax scam, which continues to give millionaires an average windfall of $70,000 per year.
 
“We can’t allow this to be the first generation of Americans whose kids have a lower standard of living than their parents. A budget isn’t just numbers, it’s a vision for our nation’s future. If we want to fix and build our roads, rails, and trails; clean up our waters and improve air quality; give our kids a world-class education and our seniors a dignified retirement; and provide quality, affordable health care to every American, then Congress must reject the President’s budget.
 
 
“Trump’s budget provides $45 billion to subsidize private schools, while cutting public education programs and college student loans. Devastating education cuts would provide fewer resources to those who need them most – like kids who need afterschool programs, school counseling, and community schools; and students at institutions like the University of Maryland, where 41 percent of undergrads depend on financial aid.
 
 
“Chopping another 26 percent from an already lean Environmental Protection Agency would imperil efforts to clean up environmental hazards, let polluters run amok, and slash funding to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
 
 
“Deficits and debt have only gotten worse under the Trump Administration because of tax cuts for the rich and unrealistic growth assumptions that have already been proved false. This budget is more of the same, and the ever-more magical math in the Trump budget is a farce that our children and grandchildren will have to pay for.
 
 
“The Senate must come together, in a bipartisan way, to craft a real budget that works for America’s families. As a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, I will continue to work across the aisle to do better for Marylanders and all Americans.”

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Applications Open for Summer Student Internships at St. Mary's County Health Department

 St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Student Academy in Public Health provides internship opportunities for rising high school seniors and college students to have hands-on experience in the field of public health. Applications for the 2020 Student Academy in Public Health are now available online.
 
"The Student Academy in Public Health offers youth in our community the opportunity to learn about the profession and value of public health,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. 
 
To learn more about the Student Academy in Public Health, students and parents are invited to attend an information session on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the St. Mary’s County Health Department located at 21580 Peabody Street in Leonardtown. 
 
Student internships will run from Monday, June 22 through Tuesday, August 18, 2020.  Applications, including a cover letter and resume, are due by March 16, 2020, and may be emailed to smchd.hr@maryland.gov.  To download an application, please visit www.smchd.org/job-and-volunteer-opportunities. 

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Sheriff's Deputies Assist in Reviving Teenager

A student at Great Mills High School recently collapsed during basketball practice and stopped breathing. Working together, school staff, emergency responders and two deputies of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office successfully revived the 17-year-old student.
 
On the evening of Feb. 4, 2020, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to Great Mills High School for the report of a person not breathing. Lt. Eva Jones and Deputy Andrew Burgess both arrived on the scene and continued life-saving measures.
 
As Deputy Burgess arrived on scene, Great Mills High School Athletic Trainer Haley Squires was already performing chest compressions while using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the student. Deputy Burgess then took over chest compressions while Squires continued rescue breaths with a bag-valve mask.
 
Upon her arrival, Lt. Jones assessed that the student had no pulse and CPR continued. The St. Mary’s County Advanced Life Support Unit (ALS) also arrived on scene. Certified in Advanced Life Support, Lt. Jones placed the student on the cardiac monitor. She analyzed the patient’s heart rhythm and delivered a shock through the AED. The student’s pulse returned, and the student began trying to breathe again. EMS personnel took over and continued patient care.
 
The student was transported to Trooper 7 at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport and then flown to a regional hospital for treatment. The student is recovering from the incident.
 
AED devices are present at all St. Mary’s County public schools and all Sheriff’s Deputies are certified in CPR and AED use as part of their first-responder duties.
 
“This was a superb team effort between Great Mills High School staff, emergency first responders and the Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Tim Cameron said. “The quick response and actions by our deputies no doubt helped save the life of this student. Not only do our officers investigate crimes, enforce laws and protect the community, our deputies are prepared and trained to save lives each and every day,” the Sheriff said.

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Officers Arrest Suspect in Domestic-Related Stabbing

On February 9 at 11:32 p.m., officers responded to the 3000 block of Gallery Place in Waldorf for the report of a stabbing. When officers arrived, they found a 22-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds to her abdomen. The officers provided first aide to the victim until paramedics arrived and transported her to a hospital. She was admitted with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.  The suspect, who is the victim’s boyfriend, was arrested on site.  Eric Benjamin Mitchell, 22, of Waldorf, was charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and other related charges. Officer W. Levy is investigating.    

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Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, February 7, 2020, Charles County Circuit Court Judge William R. Greer, Jr. sentenced Walter A. Rodriguez-August, 33, to 7 years in prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Upon his release, Rodriguez-August will be on supervised probation for a period of five years.
 
On October 16, 2019, Rodriguez-August entered a guilty plea to the aforementioned charge in Charles County Circuit Court.
 
On April 1, 2019, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office received a report from Child Protective Services regarding a sexual abuse incident involving a 12-year-old victim. Officers made contact with the victim, who stated that Rodriguez-August had sexual intercourse with her on March 31, 2019 inside of her residence located in Charlotte Hall.
 
An investigation revealed that at the time of the incident, Rodriguez-August and the victim were alone together inside of a bedroom. Rodriguez-August began touching the victim inappropriately and then had sexual intercourse with her. The following day, the victim notified school officials, who notified Child Protective Services.   
 
During the course of the investigation, Rodriguez-August admitted to the sexual assault.

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Man Given 8 Years of Backup Time After Involvement with Another Juvenile Victim

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, February 7, 2020, Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West sentenced Bryan Frederick Simanton, 39 of La Plata, to 8 years in prison for violating the probation of a 2016 case, in which he entered a guilty plea to the Production of Child Pornography, Possession of a Handgun, and Visual Surveillance with Prurient Intent.
 
An investigation into the 2016 case revealed that Simanton set up a video camera in a juvenile victim’s bathroom at a residence in La Plata. At one point, Simanton gave the victim an alcoholic beverage and the victim fell asleep. The victim reported that when she woke up, Simanton was having inappropriate contact with her. Simanton was subsequently apprehended and on February 3, 2017, he was sentenced to ten years in prison with all but two years suspended, as well as five years of probation. As a part of his probation, Simanton was ordered to have no contact with minors.
 
After his release, Simanton spent the night at an acquaintance’s house in Harford County with minors present. A juvenile victim who was present inside the house reported to the Harford County Child Advocacy Center that on the evening of September 21, 2018, Simanton provided her and her friends with alcohol and at some point, she fell asleep. The victim also reported that when she woke up, Simanton was touching her inappropriately.
 
On December 10, 2019, Simanton admitted to violating his probation in Charles County Circuit Court in front of the Honorable Judge H. James West. 
 
At sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Proctor, asking for the full amount of suspended time, addressed the judge, “The Court should have no tolerance. There are no excuses for this behavior. We have another victim who had to go through this.”

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Van Hollen to Meet with Southern Maryland and Montgomery County Delegations in Annapolis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) will spend the morning of Friday, February 7, 2020 in Annapolis where he will speak with the Southern Maryland and Montgomery County Delegations to the Maryland General Assembly. During the meetings, the Senator will hear from local leaders on community priorities and discuss how they are working together to benefit the regions. He will also provide an update on current issues facing the Senate, and will speak about his efforts to support Southern Maryland and Montgomery County’s success and growth. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen has fought to increase funds for programs important to these areas, and has also introduced legislation to boost our local economies, invest in education, and modernize the State’s infrastructure.

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Maryland Emergency Management Association Announces 2020 Donald Lumpkins Memorial Scholarship Program

Leonardtown, MD - The Maryland Emergency Management Association (MDEMA) is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for the 2020 Donald “Doc” Lumpkins Memorial Scholarship Program. MDEMA is offering five (5) $1,000.00 scholarships for 2020. One scholarship will be awarded to a student in each of the following geographic areas:
 
Area I – Western Maryland (Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties)
 
Area II – National Capital (Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties)
 
Area III – Central Maryland (Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties)
 
Area IV – Eastern Shore (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties)
 
Area V – Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties)
 
MDEMA has established the Donald “Doc” Lumpkins Memorial Scholarship Program to nurture, promote and develop future emergency management professionals by furthering the education of students studying emergency management. It is the objective of MDEMA to financially assist students pursuing an associate or baccalaureate degree in emergency management or a closely related career field. Applicants must be either:
 
A senior attending an accredited Maryland high school who has been accepted to a two or four-year college or university, and who plans to major in emergency management or a closely related field, or; a student currently accepted to, or enrolled in a two or four-year college or university who is pursuing a degree in emergency management or a closely related field.
 
Applications and additional information can be obtained at https://www.marylandema.org or http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/es/ema/. The submission deadline for applications is April 3, 2020.

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CSM Foundation Welcomes Bob Carpenter and David Osterhouse as Board Directors

The College of Southern Maryland Foundation announces that Bob Carpenter and David Osterhouse have joined the Foundations’ board as its newest directors. Both businessmen are residents of Calvert County.
 
“We are thrilled to have Bob and David join the CSM Foundation board and its commitment to our friend raising and fundraising efforts that support our students,” said CSM Vice President of Advocacy and Community Engagement Michelle Goodwin, who also serves as the Foundation’s executive director. “We welcome their knowledge, expertise and passion for the CSM mission.”
 
The CSM Foundation, a nonprofit, 501(c)3 charitable organization established in 1970, helps increase access to higher education at CSM through scholarship funding and assures the excellence of that education by raising and managing funds for college projects and objectives – including workforce development in Southern Maryland. The CSM Foundation is comprised of a tri-county, all-volunteer board of directors.
 
Carpenter, of Chesapeake Beach, brings more than 40 years of leadership experience working at corporate and government levels including the California Legislature, an Alaskan political central committee and the Chesapeake Beach Town Council. Carpenter most recently served at the helm of the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce for more than two years. He is also the founder and president of Chesapeake Beach Consulting, providing research and strategic consulting services to a variety of clients from around the world. His other affiliations have included membership on the Arts Council of Calvert County, the Calvert Marine Museum Board of Directors and the Calvert Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.
 
“As a De Anza Community College graduate, I know how important it is for our region to provide and maintain a strong and thriving community college presence.” Carpenter shared. “It is an honor to join the College of Southern Maryland team. CSM has long played an integral role in our area’s economic development and offers phenomenal – and more importantly, affordable – learning opportunities for all ages.” 
 
Osterhouse is a senior accountant at the Charlotte Hall tax preparation company of Mudd, Lakes and Moreland LLC. A resident of Prince Frederick, the CPA specializes in preparing all types of taxes including individual, business, trusts and payroll. His wife, Dr. Melanie Osterhouse is a professor of biology at CSM’s Prince Frederick Campus and was recently awarded with the 2019 Faculty Excellence Award – an award based on the significance and impact of classroom teaching, institutional responsibilities, curriculum development, professional development and community commitment. The Osterhouses are active in the community with their children at New Life Church, Boy Scouts Troop 347 and the Calvert High School Marching Band.
 
“Our family is committed to helping all students achieve their dreams,” David Osterhouse said. “We have had ties to CSM for many, many years and know first-hand how committed CSM is to providing necessary workforce development for our communities – and to providing excellent professors, facilities and equipment to every student.”
 
For information about the CSM Foundation, visit http://foundation.csmd.edu.

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Maryland House of Delegates Introduces Term Limits on Congress Resolution

Washington, D.C. -- Delegate Mike McKay has introduced House Joint Resolution 5 calling for Maryland to participate in a national initiative for the states to propose a congressional term limits amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The effort is being spearheaded by the nonpartisan, nonprofit U.S. Term Limits (USTL).
 
Delegate McKay commented on the resolution saying, “The politicians who have established decades-long residence within the beltway bubble have lost sight of the job they were initially sent there to do.” He continues, “Delivering positive results for constituents back home takes a back seat to wielding political influence on the D.C. cocktail circuit.”
 
The resolution has strong bipartisan sponsorship of Delegates McKay, Arentz, Boteler, Brooks, Chisholm, Ciliberti, Cox, Jacobs, Jalisi, Krebs, Malone, Mangione, McComas, Parrott, Pippy, Saab, Shoemaker, Wilson, and Wivell.
 
“It's high time the states recognize an out of control Congress and work together to do something about it,” says USTL's North Region Director Ken Quinn. “We're pleased Delegate McKay is willing to take up the mantle on this important election reform.”
 
HJ5 has been assigned to the Maryland State House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.
 
According to the last nationwide poll on term limits conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, conducted in January 2018, term limits enjoys wide bipartisan support. McLaughlin’s analysis states, “Support for term limits is broad and strong across all political, geographic and demographic groups.  An overwhelming 82% of voters approve of a constitutional amendment that will place term limits on members of Congress.”
 
Once the resolution passes both chambers of the legislature, Maryland will have the distinction of being among the first states in the nation to file an application for the states to convene for the exclusive purpose of proposing term limits on the U.S. Congress. When 34 state legislatures pass similar resolutions on the topic of term limits and subsequently approve the term limits amendment, it must be ratified by 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution.

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Calvert County Government Announces Presidents Day Schedule

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in observance of Presidents Day. In addition:
 
·         County senior centers will be closed and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered. However, participants will be provided shelf-stable meals in advance.
 
·         There will be no county bus service Monday, Feb. 17. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
 
·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Monday, Feb. 17. Online services and electronic checkouts will be available.
 
·         All community centers will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17.
 
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open with normal winter hours.
 
·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will be open with normal operating hours.
 
·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office, and the Solomons Septage Receiving Facility, will be closed Monday, Feb. 17. On-call crews w­ill be available for water and sewer service emergencies only at 410-535-3491.
 
·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open Monday, Feb. 17, with normal hours.
 
·         The Calvert Marine Museum will be open Monday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum Store will also be open from 10:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
 
·         The Solomons Visitor Center, located in the Calvert Marine Museum, will be closed Monday, Feb. 17. Winter hours are Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
·         Kings Landing Park will be open Monday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
·         Flag Ponds Nature Park will be open Monday, Feb. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
 
·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is closed through spring while undergoing renovations to the nature center.
 
·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be open with normal operating hours Monday, Feb. 17.
 
·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is closed for the season.
 
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17.
 
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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Firearm Recovered During Vehicle Stop

On February 4, 2020, at approximately 11:15 a.m. Deputy First Class Beyer conducted a vehicle stop in the 21800 block of Pegg Road in Lexington Park. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Melvin Royce Jones Jr., age 24 of Virginia. During the vehicle stop Jones fled on foot and was pursued by deputies. Jones was taken into custody and a loaded firearm was located on Jones’ person.
 
Jones was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged with the following:
 
Handgun in Vehicle
 
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
 
Handgun on Person
 
Loaded Handgun on Person
 
Obstruction and Hindering
 
Fraud Person/Identity to Avoid Prosecution
 
Firearm-Possession-Felony Conviction
 
Illegal Possession of Ammunition
 
Jones is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status.
 
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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