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Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at 10:05 pm, the suspect walked out of the Food Lion grocery store in Leonardtown with packages of meat that he did not pay for.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl. Timothy White at 301-475-4200, ext. 72307 or email timothy.white@stmarysmd.com. Case # 2769-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County 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 Government February Holiday Schedule

The County Administrator wishes to remind residents of changes to normal operating schedules for the month of February.  All offices, facilities, and services not listed will be operating their normal hours.
 
Monday, Feb. 17 (President’s Day)
 
All Charles County Government offices and the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville will be closed.
The Nanjemoy Community Center, senior centers, and all school-based community centers will be closed.
Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for recreational activities only. 
Lackey, Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center, and North Point High indoor pools will be open from 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Charles County Public Library will be closed (all branches).
Charles County Health Department will be closed.
 
For questions about County Government holiday closures, contact the Public Information Office at 301-885-2779 or PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258

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Lexington Park Man Arrested for Assault

On January 27, 2020, at approximately 1:13 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 46500 block of Midway Drive in Lexington Park, for the reported shots fired. Preliminary investigation determined Dartanyen Rodell Saunders, age 19 of Lexington Park, responded to the victim’s residence armed with a shotgun. Saunders discharged the weapon into the occupied residence through an open window. Deputies observed spent shotgun shells on the ground and damage from projectiles above the front door of the residence. No injuries have been reported from this incident.
 
Saunders was located near the residence and arrested. Saunders was charged with the following:
 
Assault First Degree (two counts)
 
Reckless Endangerment
 
Malicious Destruction of Property
 
Saunders is incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Corporal Michael Worrey at (301) 475-4200 extension *8080 or by email at Michael.Worrey@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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January 28th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the County Commissioners received information on the next steps for implementation of the Rural Planning and Zoning Task Force’s 18 recommendations. Some of these recommendations include creating an agriculture advisory board, having an agricultural liaison, working to improve customer accessibility, updating the Zoning Ordinance to reflect trends in agritourism, ecotourism, and related economies. The full list of recommendations is available online.
 
 
 
Legislative Updates
 
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell briefed Commissioners on legislative activities in the Maryland General Assembly. She discussed the status of legislative proposals that Commissioners submitted to the local delegation.
 
 
 
Approval Items
 
A budget amendment increase of $264,000 to provide funding in the capital improvement program for the replacement of the La Plata Library chiller, which failed during the summer.
A budget amendment increase of $192,400 to utilize fund balance reserves for the Blue Crabs Stadium seating project that was cancelled by the Commissioners during fiscal 2020 budget adoption. The project cannot be supported by bond proceeds and required a funding source to close the project.
A budget transfer request of $124,140 to transfer funding from the construction line item to cover the cost of CCTV video by the engineer for the Mattawoman Inflow and Infiltration sewer system.
The change order #39 to provide funding to cover the costs for an additional 250,000 linear feet of CCTV review for the Mattawoman Sewershed Study project.
A budget transfer request of $78,010 to transfer funding from the Mattawoman Inflow and Infiltration construction line item contract to fund the continuation of the Program Management Extension contract.
 
 
Recognitions
 
Commissioners recognized Maryland Maritime Archeology Program Person of the Year Francis Parks for her dedicated work to the program. Photo available online.
Commissioners proclaimed Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 as Catholic Schools Week and recognized three Catholic elementary schools in the county, including Archbishop Neale, St. Mary’s Bryantown, and St. Peter’s. Photo available online.
Appointments
 
Reappointed Charles County members of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
Appointed Charles Harding as chairman and reappointed Francine Morgan and Tanya Barnett to the Commission for Veterans Affairs. Also, appointed Joan Sabree as citizen member to the Commission for Veteran Affairs.
Appointed Lauretta Miles, Elaine Brown, and Laura Butrick as citizen members to the Area Council on Aging.
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Pax River to Participate in Antiterrorism, Force Protection Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2020

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD –NAS Patuxent River is joining naval
installations around the National Capital Region in preparing for the Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain (CS-SC), the Navy’s annual anti-terrorism and force protection exercise scheduled to take place Feb. 3-14.
Conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command, the two-part exercise uses realistic drills and scenarios to ensure Navy security forces maintain a high level of readiness to respond to changing and dynamic threats. It also provides an opportunity for testing and evaluating the emergency training and pre-planned response procedures already in place.
Citadel Shield, the first part of the exercise, focuses on installation-level training and all scenarios occur entirely within Pax River’s gates.
“Multiple drills will take place at Pax on Feb. 4, 5 and 6,” said Marcus Dismuke, NAS Payuxent River N3/operations officer. “They might include an integrated response involving various agencies such as security, the fire department, public works, emergency management and FFSC, which will allow us to evaluate how well we communicate and work with each other during an emergency situation, and whether we have the correct procedures in place to handle such a situation.”
Whenever an exercise is underway, Pax personnel might experience gate delays or closures, temporary changes in traffic or parking patterns, and see an increase in force protection condition from the usual Bravo to Charlie or beyond.
 
“We won’t be doing anything around high traffic times,” Dismuke noted. “We do our best to minimize disruption and avoid significant backup. We’ll make sure we get people onto base first before we go in to our drills.”
Aside from hearing frequent sirens and seeing additional emergency vehicles on the road responding to drills in progress, personnel can also expect to receive multiple emergency response notifications.
“They’ll receive alerts via AtHoc and see emails and text messages ahead of time,” Dismuke said. “It’s nothing we don’t already do; it’s just that they’ll see them multiple times, back-to-back, over a number of days.”
The Solid Curtain portion, occurring in the second week of the exercise, is a national-level exercise centered on command, control and communications between all echelons Navy-wide where everything that happens at an installation affects every other installation, even if only in a minor way.
For instance, if leadership – U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), U.S. Fleet Forces Command, or CNIC – sees trends or incidents in one or more areas they feel may also impact a different area, they can selectively put installations, regions, or the entire NORTHCOM area of responsibility into a heightened force protection condition. This would again prompt further delays, closures and emergency notifications at Pax River.
In order to be kept informed about what’s happening at the installation throughout the CS-SC exercise, personnel should enroll in AtHoc, the recommended method for receiving information at any time of the year.
AtHoc messages provide emergency notifications that may affect the installation – such as base delays or closings – and anyone can sign up to receive them, including government contractors. AtHoc messages can be sent to home and cell phones, a TTY/TDD phone, pager, fax, plus work and personal emails. For more information about AtHoc, visit www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/ndw/about/waan.html. 
fications will also be posted on the NAS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NASPaxRiver, and the
Pax River Twitter feed @NASPaxRiverPAO.
While every effort is made to limit inconveniences, personnel are advised to expect delays during the exercise. The ultimate purpose of the CS-SC is to ensure the protection of all who work and live aboard Pax River, and real-world events like the shootings at Naval Air Station Pensacola and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard only highlight the importance of such training.

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Officers Apprehend Pharmacy Robbery Suspects / Detectives Link Suspects to Three Cases

Patrol Officers Apprehend Suspects in Pharmacy Robbery / Detectives Link Suspects to Three Cases: Charles County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division have charged two suspects in connection with three armed robberies of different pharmacies throughout the county. 
 
On January 27 at approximately 2:08 a.m., three suspects – wearing masks and armed with a gun – entered the pharmacy area of a CVS store in the 6200 block of Crain Highway in La Plata. They demanded money and prescription medication and then fled in a car. Patrol officers located the suspects’ vehicle, which was abandoned in the 1000 block of St. Charles Parkway in White Plains. An extensive search of the area was conducted with the assistance of a Maryland State Police helicopter, patrol officers and detectives. During the search two of the suspects: Malik Trayvon Wade, 23, of Waldorf and Quintel Tyriq Lancaster, 19, of Indian Head. Both suspects were arrested and subsequently charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, use of a firearm during a violent crime, and other related charges in connection with this case. Detectives are working to identify the third suspect.
 
Detectives have also linked Wade to the January 23 robbery of the My Express Care Pharmacy located in the 4400 block of Crain Highway in White Plains. Additionally, both Lancaster and Wade were connected to a robbery that occurred on January 6 at the Indian Head Pharmacy in the 4100 block of Indian Head Highway in Indian Head. In these cases, Wade and Lancaster were charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, use of a handgun during the commission of a violent crime, and other charges. Detectives are still pursuing leads in those cases in an effort to identify other suspects.  
 
The investigation is on-going and detectives are asking anyone with additional information to contact Detective Burgess at (301) 609-6494 or Detective Wimberly at (301) 609-6491.  Tipsters wishing 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. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of any other suspects involved in these cases.  

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Citadel Shield Solid Curtain Exercise 2020

Naval installations in the National Capital Region will participate in an annual anti-terrorism force protection exercise Feb. 3 – 14, 2020.  These Naval installations include Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Naval Support Activity Washington, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Naval Support Activity Annapolis, and Naval Support Activity Bethesda.

 

Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2019 (CS/SC 20) is conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command on all Navy installations in the continental U.S.

 

The exercise is designed to enhance the readiness of Navy security forces and ensure seamless interoperability among the commands, other services and agency partners.

 

Exercise CS/SC 20 is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly scheduled exercise.

 

Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions within local communities and to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access. Area residents may also see or hear security activities associated with the exercise. Advanced coordination has taken place with local law enforcement and first responders.

 

Area residents may also see or hear security activities associated with the exercise. For information about potential impacts due to the exercise, check out Naval District Washington Public Affairs on social media at www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.

 

For more information, contact the Naval District Washington Public Affairs Office at 202-433-9714.

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Officer Involved Shooting in Lexington Park

On January 27, 2020, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 19800 block of Three Notch Road in Lexington Park, for the reported domestic assault, property destruction and homicidal threats. Once on scene officers were advised by the victim that John Francis Tippett Jr., age 43 of Lexington Park, had access to several weapons and had made threats to harm himself and shoot responding police. Tippett broke out the windshield of the victim`s vehicle while she was attempting to flee the area. Deputies confirmed Tippett had multiple warrants for his arrest. While interviewing the victim, nearby officers heard numerous shots being fired by the suspect. Several 911 calls were received reporting shots being fired in the area.
 
Deputies and troopers attempted to contain Tippett and heard shots being fired. St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Hostage Negotiations Team responded to the scene and began speaking with Tippett. Tippett went in and out of the residence multiple times, each time shooting at police as well as a compressed gas tank in the driveway. During the encounter, deputies subsequently returned fire striking Tippett. Life saving measures were immediately attempted but Tippett succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. After securing the scene a suspicious bag was discovered in the driveway prompting the request for the response of the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Tippett will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
 
The investigation is ongoing and updates will be provided as warranted.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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MDOT SHA Activates New Signal At Brandywine Road Interchange This Week

On Wednesday, January 29, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will activate a new traffic signal on eastbound Brandywine Road at MD 5 (Branch Avenue). This signal will guide traffic from northbound MD 5 (Branch Avenue) to Brandywine Road, as well as from eastbound and westbound Brandywine Road to MD 5. The new traffic signal is currently set on a mandatory three-day flash period.
 
The new traffic signal is part of the $37 million reconstruction of the MD 5/Brandywine Road/MD 373 (Accokeek Road) interchange. The entire project will be complete late spring.  For additional project information, click here.
 
 
(MDOT SHA graphic: New traffic signal on Brandywine Road at MD 5.)
 
MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for motorists, as well as our crews. Drivers need to stay alert, focus on driving and look for reduced speed limits, as well as other driving pattern changes. Drive like you work here and slowdown in construction zones.
 
For a list of all major MDOT SHA projects, click on Road Ready, MDOT SHA's electronic construction brochure. For a look at real-time commute conditions, please visit md511.maryland.gov.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of January 20 – January 26 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,353 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Burglary: 20-4586
On January 24, 2020, Deputy Crum responded to Lower Marlboro Road in Huntingtown for the report of a burglary. The complainant advised that over the last three months, beer has been going missing from their garage refrigerator causing them to install surveillance cameras. On January 24th, the cameras showed an unknown male suspect exiting the garage carrying a large bag containing approximately 30 beers. The value of stolen property is $20.
 
Theft: 20-4151
On January 22, 2020, Deputy Payne responded to Tractor Supply Co. in Huntingtown for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between 3:00pm on January 21st and 5:00am on January 22nd, an unknown suspect(s) stole 40 pallets from the side of the building. The value of stolen property is $200.
 
Theft: 20-4692
On January 25, 2020, Deputy Parks responded to Calvert Fair Drive in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between 8:30pm and 10:30pm on January 25th, an unknown suspect(s) stole their wallet from their purse which were inside their vehicle. The value of stolen property is $400.
 
Theft: 20-4967
On January 26, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant responded to Cambridge Place in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that their Apple Airpod headphones were stolen from the basketball court in the neighborhood. The value of stolen property is $160. 
 
Arrests:
 
On January 20, 2020, Deputy Anderson and Corporal Denton responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, Deputies observed Philip Holladay Dew III (44) lying on the ground in front of the store, and appeared to be heavily intoxicated. The complainant advised that Dew was in the vestibule area of the store refusing to leave, and attempting to fight another employee. Dew was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Disorderly Conduct. 
 
On January 22, 2020, Deputy N. Buckler conducted a patrol check at the Fastop in Chesapeake Beach. Deputy Buckler observed Derwin Montel Jones (24), who had an active arrest warrant through the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. Jones was detained and a search was conducted which resulted in a plastic bag containing suspected crack cocaine, two white pills suspected to be Oxycodone, and a small bag of marijuana. Jones was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was served with his warrant, and charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.
 
On January 23, 2020, Deputy Aranda conducted a traffic stop on Burr Oak Court in Prince Frederick. The driver, Kris Montell Collins (48), exited the vehicle and ignored multiple commands from law enforcement to get back in the vehicle. After briefly resisting, Collins was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Failure to Obey a Reasonable/ Lawful Order, Disorderly Conduct, and Resisting/Interfering with Arrest. 
 
On January 24, 2020, Deputy Aranda conducted a traffic stop on South Solomons Island Road at Rousby Hall Road in Lusby. The driver, Michael Gene Newkirk (30), advised he had an airsoft pistol in the backseat, as well as prescribed medication and syringes. Newkirk was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted with resulted in two spoons, both with white and brown residue on them, as well as three used syringes, a cut straw, and a rolled monetary bill. A search of Newkirk’s person resulted in a tourniquet, as well as a prescription bottle containing Newkirk’s prescribed medication, and pieces of an unknown orange colored pill. Newkirk was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 
 
On January 25, 2020, Deputy Deleon responded to the area of CVS in Dunkirk for the report of an intoxicated person. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised that a female was seen stumbling along the road, and falling into the grass. Upon arrival, Deputy Deleon observed Chloe Kaitlin Hitt (18), who appeared to be intoxicated, walking along Southern Maryland Boulevard. Upon making contact with Hitt, Deputy Deleon detected the odor of alcohol emanating from her breath, and observed Hitt to have a difficult time standing without stumbling. Hitt was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Intoxicated Public Disturbance, Disorderly Conduct, Indecent Exposure, and Intoxicated Endangerment. 

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Maryland Agriculture Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) Accepting Applications for FY21 Easement Cycle

Leonardtown, MD – The Maryland Agriculture Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) has announced that it will accept 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 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.
 
All easement applications must be received by the Department of Economic Development Agriculture Division by April 30, 2020. Once applications are received, they will be ranked by St. Mary’s County Agriculture Land Preservation Advisory Board (ALPAB) using the state mandated Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) system. The top ranked applications will be submitted to the State for easement consideration.
 
Applications can be obtained by calling the Department of Economic Development Agriculture Division at (240) 309-4021.

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Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at 2:23 pm, the suspect stole a package from the victim’s front porch at the 46300 block of Shining Willow Lane in Lexington Park. The box contained a pair of tie-dyed Crocs shoes. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call DFC Carl Ball at 301-475-4200, ext. 78131 or email carl.ball@stmarysmd.com. Case # 4680-20
 
 
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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Charles County Obtains Injunction to Prevent Adult Entertainment Establishment from Opening in Bryans Road

Friday Charles County obtained an order to enforce the injunction that prohibits X4B, an adult entertainment establishment, from opening for business over the weekend. The establishment had been promoting itself as a nightclub with live entertainment in its online advertising through social media.

 

Charles County Attorney Wes Adams presented evidence that the club planned to open without obtaining a valid Certificate of Use and Occupancy. X4B representatives sought County approval to open a restaurant, but had not been issued a Certificate of Use and Occupancy for that purpose. The Court ruled that by allowing X4B to open without a valid use and occupancy permit would “flout the established zoning and nullify the County’s authority to enact zoning provisions” that would protect the health safety and welfare of its residents.

 

Charles County is taking immediate action to secure the premises with the support of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. The Court ruled that the Charles County Sheriff’s Office is authorized to arrest any person violating the injunction. A hearing date to review the injunction is scheduled on Feb. 10, 2020. The nightclub has applied for a new Certificate of Use & Occupancy but has not yet received it because its representatives have not complied with certain requirements in the Resolution.

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Sheriff's Office Serves Injunction On Adult Club Friday

In December, 2019, the Charles County government obtained a permanent injunction from the Circuit Court for Charles County forbidding Family First Management Group (“X4B”) from using the premises at 7075 Indian Head Highway without proper zoning permits. Historically, these types of zoning violations are handled by qualified County personnel, not by the Sheriff’s Office.      

 
Friday afternoon, the Circuit Court for Charles County issued an order prohibiting any person from entering 7075 Indian Head Highway unless accompanied by a County official or by leave of court.  Anyone entering the property in violation of the Court’s order may be subject to arrest. Friday, the Sheriff’s Office was granted authorization to enforce the Court’s order denying entry to the premises. 

 

Directed by Sheriff Troy D. Berry, officers will be deployed to the establishment to enforce the Court order and keep the peace.  “Since this issue began in November, the Sheriff’s Office has been working closely with County officials and has been committed to our mission of ensuring public safety and policing responsibly,” said Sheriff Berry.

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NFPA Urges Teens Not To Participate In Trending Social Media Challenge

According to local news reports, high school students in Massachusetts have been imitating a dangerous viral video circulating on the social media app TikTok. Along with Massachusetts fire officials who have issued fire alerts about the dangers of this activity, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging the public not to participate in this challenge.
 
“Electricity is ubiquitous in our lives, so much so that we often take for granted its power and potential for danger,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “This video challenge reinforces that electricity can inflict serious harm if used improperly.”
 
Called the #outletchallenge, the video shows how to partially insert the plug of a cellphone charger into an outlet and slide a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs. The results include sparks and damage to the electrical system, and in some cases, fires, injuries, and even electrocution.
 
“Our hope is to communicate the true dangers of this activity so that we can prevent anyone else from being harmed by it,” said Carli.
 
NFPA offers resources to help protect teens from trends that have primarily emerged on social media in recent years, helping them identify risky behaviors and make safer decisions. Mainly designed for parents, caretakers, and fire departments, these resources can help anyone have an open dialogue with teenagers and discourage dangerous behavior.
 
NFPA is also the developer of the NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code® (NEC) , which serves as the benchmark for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards, and is used in all 50 states.
 
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room. For other information, please contact us at 617-984-7275 or publicaffairs@nfpa.org.
 
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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Cardin Says New Water Rule Will Degrade Water Quality and Poses a Public Health Danger

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, responded to the announcement today of a new water rule by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) R.D. James. The new replacement rule will gut Obama-era regulations that define the waters of the United States (WOTUS) -- the rivers, streams and wetlands that fed into the drinking water supply of 1 in 3 Americans.

 

“Clean, safe water is a right of every person in this country. But the Trump administration does not seem to prioritize clean water or public health. Time and again they have shown their sole priority to be protecting polluters at the expense of evidence-based public policies that were built on years-long scientific research.”

 

Senator Cardin has long urged the Trump administration to protect the Clean Water Rule and protect America’s clean drinking water. In April 2019, he led colleagues in a letter to Wheeler and James during the formal rulemaking comment period urging them to abandon the dangerous proposal.

 

“Continued success of the Clean Water Act requires a clear and scientifically sound definition for determining which bodies of water are protected, while protecting those waters that influence the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters—the goal at the heart of the Act.  However, the final rule provides neither the certainty requested by our constituents, nor the clean and healthy waters upon which we all depend.  Instead, this rewrite makes it nearly impossible for stakeholders and regulators to easily and consistently define perennial, intermittent and ephemeral streams.  Far from fulfilling the President’s promise to create a nationally consistent rule, this rule injects ambiguity into the law at the expense of our decades of progress in cleaning up our waters.

 

“For Maryland and the Chesapeake region, the Trump administration’s latest rollback of federal clean water regulations undermines the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort by eliminating federal protections for thousands of acres of wetlands and some headwater streams. Under the Trump administration’s new water rule, isolated wetlands not connected by surface waters to navigable waterways in an average year will be denied federal protections. This would make them more vulnerable to pollution, and make it harder for state and local governments, farmers, nonprofits and businesses to achieve their nutrient and sediment reduction goals. Also exposed would be streams that flow only after rain or snowmelt, called ‘ephemeral’ streams, that play a critical role in supplying clean drinking water and as tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay. In the long run, this rollback will cost American taxpayers money for increased health costs and other harmful effects of increased pollution in our waterways.”

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Commissioners Announce Next Steps on Adult Entertainment Establishment's Planned Opening

Charles County is preparing for the possibility that an adult entertainment club may illegally open its doors this weekend in the Bryans Road area. Currently, the club does not have a valid Certificate of Use and Occupancy to operate and an injunction was issued in November 2019 to prevent it from operating in the absence of a valid Certificate of Use & Occupancy. If the nightclub opens for business, as it has advertised it will, the county stands ready to immediately pursue legal action against the nightclub owners because they will have violated the injunction and will be operating without a valid Certificate of Use & Occupancy.

 

To date, the Board of County Commissioners has taken several actions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents from the potential adverse impacts of the nightclub’s anticipated adult entertainment activities, including:

Immediately after being notified by concerned residents that the nightclub was promoting adult entertainment in November 2019, county staff investigated the matter and revoked its original Certificate of Use and Occupancy because its activities were not authorized in the zone where the club planned to open.
On Nov. 22, 2019, the county's permit revocation was upheld in court and an injunction was issued.
Commissioners directed staff to begin the process of exploring development of a zoning text amendment that would consider limits on how, when, and where adult entertainment clubs can operate, with a proposal expected by July 2020.
On Jan. 14, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution to temporarily suspend approval of site development plans and Certificates of Use and Occupancy for any property whose use will include adult entertainment in Charles County until a zoning text amendment can be considered.
The nightclub has applied for a new Certificate of Use & Occupancy but has not yet received it because its representatives have not complied with certain requirements in the Resolution.
 

“The Board of County Commissioners has taken every step that it has the legal authority to execute,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “Under Charter Government, a County Executive would have the authority to exercise policing powers to prevent a business without proper permits from opening its doors – without the need to seek relief from the Courts.”

 

“We are disappointed that our law enforcement partners are not enforcing the injunction ordered by the Courts,” stated Commissioner Thomasina O. Coates, M.S., of District 2, the district where the nightclub intends to open. “Unfortunately, the Board of County Commissioners does not have the ability to compel them to take action on code violations, resulting in the situation that we are now facing as a community.”

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St. Mary's County Department of Public Works and Transportation Completes Repairs on Walkway Bridge

Leonardtown, MD – The Department of Public Works and Transportation has completed repairs on the walkway bridge between Breton Marketplace located on Pt. Lookout Road and the St. Mary’s County Health Department and St. Mary’s Nursing & Rehabilitation Center located on Peabody Street in Leonardtown.  Originally scheduled for completion on or about Jan. 31, 2020, the underground stormwater piping is now repaired, and the walkway has been returned to service.  The department thanks the community for patience during this project

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Three Charged In Hollywood Home Invasion

On January 16, 2020, detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) responded to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown for the reported assault. Preliminary investigation determined three masked individuals forced entry into the 20-year-old male victim’s residence located in the 24400 block of Morgan Road in Hollywood, between the hours of 6-7 a.m. on January 16th. Once inside the residence two of the suspects assaulted the victim by striking him repeatedly and one of the suspects, identified as Cody Dustin Combs, age 22 of Leonardtown, brandished a knife.  
 
During the assault the victim advised one of the suspects later identified to be Bryon Michael Bishop, age 22 of Leonardtown, pointed a handgun at him. The victim advised Combs and Bishop searched his belongings and ultimately all three suspects left the residence with property belonging to the victim. The third suspect in the incident has been identified as a 17-year-old female from Hollywood.  The victim advised he is familiar with the 17-year-old and Combs and therefore was able to identify both individuals during the assault. Bishop was identified as a suspect during the investigation.
 
     
Cody Dustin Combs of Leonardtown           Bryon Michael Bishop of Leonardtown
 
All three suspects were arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged with the following:  
 
Home Invasion
Assault First Degree
Assault Second Degree 
Burglary First Degree
Theft 
 
All three suspects remain incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center on a no bond status. The juvenile female involved has been charged as an adult. Due to a recent change in Maryland law the name and photograph of the juvenile will not be released until the court makes a finding at the waiver hearing to determine the jurisdiction of this incident. 
 
The victim was treated for numerous injuries sustained in the assault and has been released from the hospital. 
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Edward Vogt at (301) 475-4200 extension *8145 or by email at Edward.Vogt@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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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of January 13 – January 19 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,432 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Theft: 20-2825
On January 15, 2020, Deputy Hardesty responded to War Bonnett Trail in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) stole three weapons from their residence. Prior to the complainant reporting the theft, it was confirmed one of the weapons was recovered.  
 
Theft: 20-3450
On January 18, 2020, Deputy Flynt responded to Highland Terrace in Chesapeake Beach for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that after leaving Anthony’s Bar and Grill in Dunkirk, they realized they did not have their purse. When they returned to the restaurant to look for it, it was gone. The value of stolen property is $100.
 
Arrests:
 
On January 14, 2020, Deputy S. Naughton responded to Emmanuel Church Road in Huntingtown for the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, Deputy Naughton made contact with the complainant who stated Kathleen Susan Bauman (55) was intoxicated and was repeatedly beating on their door making threatening statements. Deputy Naughton observed Bauman to be heavily intoxicated, and detected the strong odor of alcohol emanating from her breath and person. Bauman was instructed to remain in her apartment for the evening. Shortly after leaving the scene, Deputy Naughton was advised by Calvert County Emergency Communications that Bauman was beating on the complainant’s door again. Deputy Naughton returned to the scene and observed Bauman banging on the complainant’s door while shouting profanities. Bauman was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where shew as charged with Disorderly Conduct and Intoxicated Public Disturbance. 
 
On January 17, 2020, Deputy Freeland conducted a patrol check in the area of the Thomas Johnson Bridge. Deputy Freeland observed a vehicle parked in a handicap spot underneath the bridge and made contact with the occupants. The driver did not have his driver’s license, and provided a name and date of birth that were later determined to be false. Deputy Freeland confirmed that the vehicle belonged to Dayshawn Martel Nolan (26), and Calvert County Emergency Communications advised that Nolan had an active warrant through St. Mary’s County as well as Maryland State Police, Leonardtown Barrack. Nolan was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Obstructing and Hindering and Fraud- Assuming the Identity of Another to Avoid Prosecution.
 
On January 19, 2020, Deputy Anderson responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that they observed Carl Savoy Smith (52) enter the store, take plastic grocery bags from the self-checkout area, and walk around the store placing items into the bags. After Deputies observed Smith walk past all points of sale towards the exit of the store, they made contact with Smith. Smith advised Deputies that he had paid for all the items, but could not provide a receipt. Deputies were able to confirm through surveillance footage that Smith placed his cart at a cash register, walked around speaking to different employees and then return to his cart, passing all points of sale. The total value of items stolen was $65.04. Smith was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft Less Than $100. 

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Update: Charles County Officers Continue To Look For Critically Missing Man (Photo)

Update: At 12:40 p.m., John Stacey, 81, was found safe and unharmed about one quarter of a mile from his home.

 

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their search for John Stacey, 81, who was reported missing last night. On January 21 at 5 p.m., Stacey left his home in the 2800 block of Smith Point Road in Nanjemoy to walk to his mailbox to check on his mail. When he didn’t return 15 minutes later, family members began looking for him. After searching for over an hour, family contacted police. Officers immediately established a command center and began searching utilizing foot patrols, K9, MSP aviation, drones and the help of allied agencies. In addition, the search for him was posted on all social media outlets. Further, any tips that were provided have been pursued and all area hospitals have been checked. The search is continuing today. Mr. Stacey was last seen wearing a blue coat, light blue jeans and a winter hat with earmuffs. He is described as a white male, 6’2”, 150 pounds, gray hair, blue eyes and wears glasses. His family has indicated he may have the onset of dementia. Anyone with information is asked to call 911. Anyone wishing to help search for Mr. Stacey is asked to contact the CCSO non-emergency line at (301) 932-2222.

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Annual Business Filings and Extension Requests Due by April 15

The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) today announced the availability of 2020 Annual Reports, Personal Property Tax Returns, and Extension Requests. All domestic and foreign business entities must file an Annual Report or request an extension by April 15, 2020, in order to maintain their “Good Standing” status. The quickest and easiest way to submit these filings is through the Department’s award-winning Maryland Business Express site. If you request a two-month filing extension through SDAT’s online extension system, your filings will be due to the Department no later than June 17, 2020. 
 
“Since 2018, annual filings submitted online have increased by 67 percent and we saw even greater traffic in 2019 with over 35,000 additional online filings,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “The creation of Maryland Business Express is a game changer. More than 30 percent of all online charter transactions take place outside of normal business hours. We have completely transformed the way we interact with our customers, from the interactive Chabot Mary to the wealth of information that used to be spread across 14 different agency websites. Entrepreneurs can now plan, start, manage and grow their businesses in Maryland from their home or mobile device 24/7, and our customers love it!” 
 
All businesses in Maryland must file an Annual Report yearly in order to maintain “Good Standing” status. If your business owns, leases, or uses personal property in Maryland and/or maintains a trader’s license with a local unit of government in Maryland, a Personal Property Tax Return must be filed. If a paper application is preferred, click here to download the forms on SDAT’s website and file by U.S. Postal Mail or in person at SDAT’s West Preston Street Office in Baltimore City. Major credit and debit cards are accepted as well as PayPal, Google and Apple Pay.
 
Due to the passage of Chapter 513 during the 2019 General Assembly Session, SDAT is required to add a new question to the Annual Report asking how many board members a corporation has, and how many of those board members are female. This question only applies to tax-exempt, domestic non-stock corporations with an operating budget exceeding $5,000,000, or domestic stock corporations with total sales exceeding $5,000,000. If one of the former applies to the corporation, this question must be completed unless at least 75% of the corporation’s shareholders are family members. See Tax Property Article §11-101.
 
If you do not file the required documents by the deadline, your business falls out of “Good Standing” status and may enter a “Forfeited” status soon thereafter. If your business is currently not in good standing because of failure to submit previous annual filings, you may now file up to ten years of overdue Annual Reports and Personal Property Tax returns online to regain the ability to legally conduct business in Maryland. For more information about the required annual filings or to view the status of your business, visit the Maryland Business Express page on maintaining “Good Standing” status.
 
SDAT strongly recommends that all business owners sign up for our distribution list to receive timely reminders to file these important documents or tax credit applications, or to receive general SDAT news updates. To view entity filings for free online and review the legal status of your business, access our Maryland Business Express Entity Search.
 
For additional questions about any of the information in this release, please contact SDAT’s personal Property Valuation Unit at SDAT.PersProp@Maryland.gov or (410) 767-1170.

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Deadline To File As A Candidate For The 2020 Presidential Primary Election

Friday, January 24, 2020, at 9:00 pm is the deadline for an individual to file as a candidate for the upcoming 2020 Presidential Primary Election. Under State law, an individual must file a Certificate of Candidacy by 9:00 pm ninety-five (95) days before the primary election. The filing location depends on the office sought. All federal and State candidates file a Certificate of Candidacy at the State Board of Elections (SBE), located at 151 West Street, Annapolis, MD. Local candidates file at the local board of elections. In addition to filing at SBE, candidates for Delegate to the National Convention may file a Certificate of Candidacy at the Charles, Frederick, and Wicomico Boards of Elections.
 
Besides filing the Certificate of Candidacy, all candidates must pay a filing fee at the appropriate board of elections. State and local candidates must also provide evidence that the candidate has filed a financial disclosure statement and established a candidate committee at SBE. Candidates for Delegate to the National Convention are not required to establish a candidate committee and there is no filing fee.
 
Candidates that filed a Certificate of Candidacy prior to January 1, 2020 must file a new financial disclosure statement with the ethics board where they filed their previous financial disclosure. The new disclosure must be filed no later than January 27, 2020. Failure to meet any of the requirements prior to the deadlines will invalidate the Certificate of Candidacy and remove the individual from the ballot.
 
The 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, and the 2020 Presidential General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Additional election-related dates and forms are available at elections.maryland.gov. For more information, contact a local board of elections or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) or elections.maryland.gov.

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Bob Branham Appointed Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Bob Branham as the deputy director of the Department of Parks & Recreation. Branham’s appointment was effective Jan. 20, 2020.
 
Branham, who was most recently the recreation division chief for Parks & Recreation, has worked for county government for nearly 20 years. Branham has 27 years of overall experience in the field of parks and recreation at the federal, state and local levels.
 
During his career with county government, Branham has chaired or served on many parks and recreation committees locally and statewide through the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association. He was also integral in creating and implementing the Calvert County Parks & Recreation Scholarship Fund that enables families in financial need gain assistance to participate in parks and recreation programs and activities.
 
“Bob is a long-time member of our Parks & Recreation team and has been an amazing part of this department’s progress over the last few years,” said Parks & Recreation Director Shannon Nazzal. “I’m excited for him to put his professionalism and experience to work in this very important role.”
 
“It is my pleasure to serve my community in the pursuit of a high quality of life through leisure opportunities,” said Branham. “I look forward to the future with this talented team and have no doubt that we can provide the best services our citizens so well deserve.”
 
Branham holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Towson University and is completing a master’s degree in recreation and parks management through Frostburg State University. He is also a member of Leadership Southern Maryland class of 2020.
 
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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Family Of Jaelynn Willey Sue St. Mary's County School Board

The parents of Maryland teenager Jaelynn Willey, who was shot inside Great Mills High School two years ago, have filed a lawsuit against the St. Mary’s County School Board.
 
The 16-year-old was shot on March 20, 2018 in a school hallway. She was taken off life support and died three days later.
 
The shooter was another student, 17-year-old Austin Rollins, who had dated Willey starting in 2017. According to the lawsuit, the relationship soured as Rollins began to harass Willey.
 
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by her parents, Daniel and Melissa Willey, alleged that school personnel were aware that Rollins was harassing their daughter and that he was physically abusive to her — even grabbing, pushing and yelling at her directly outside of classrooms during school hours on a repeated basis.
 
“This lawsuit was filed by the parents of Jaelynn Willey because our most precious resources — our children — should be able to go to school every day with parents knowing they will return home safe,” Lauren Geisser, a lawyer for the Willey family said in a statement.
 
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.
 
It stated the school system was negligent and should have done more to provide for Willey’s safety and the safety of other students at the school. Another student was wounded in the leg by a round from Rollins’ gun.
 
According to court documents, Willey’s parents made school officials aware of Rollins’ behavior before their daughter was killed.
 
The allegations stated that in the months leading up to the shooting, Willey’s parents “warned the school by way of directly advising the school’s swim coach that they were concerned about their daughter’s well-being, specifically as it related to Rollins,” but that the school system took no action. Willey, who was in 10th grade, was a member of the Great Mills High School swim team.
 
The lawsuit also said on Feb. 20, 2018, a month before Willey was shot, there was a threat of a shooter at the school, and the school system added security for only that day.
 
And less than 24 hours before the shooting that killed Willey, a threat of mass violence was made. The Willeys’ lawsuit said that the school had surveillance cameras and metal detecting wands it did not use.
 
“In this matter, there were warning signs the school chose to ignore and the family seeks to hold the school responsible for this failure on behalf of their daughter,” Geisser said.
 
Lawyers for the Willeys said after Rollins shot Willey, he was able to walk a round the school with the gun showing.
 
Rollins shot and killed himself at the school when he was confronted by a St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputy assigned as a school resources officer.
 
The Willeys are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
 
“Great Mills did nothing” to prevent Willey’s death, the lawsuit said.

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