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St. Mary's Transit (STS) Announces Change to Operations

LEONARDTOWN, MD - St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) will be adjusting the transit route for the Route 3, Great Mills bus, to operate on a reduced schedule starting Monday, May 23, 2022.

 

Under the reduced service, the Great Mills, Route 3, the northbound route, will run northbound on the even hours and southbound on the odd hours. The route will begin northbound at 6 a.m., leaving the Tulagi Place transfer location and traveling its regular route north to the Leonardtown governmental transfer location. The Great Mills route will run its last hour at 6 p.m. from the Tulagi Place transfer location traveling its regular route to the Leonardtown governmental transfer location, ending at 7 p.m.

 

For additional information on STS routes and operations, please visit our webpage at https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/sts-transit/.

Officers Apprehend Four Suspects in Armed Carjacking Case

Patrol Officers, Detectives, and a Police K9 Locate and Arrest Carjacking Suspects: On May 13 at 10:30 a.m., officers responded to the 2100 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf for the report of a carjacking that just occurred. A preliminary investigation revealed the victim was entering his car when four males approached, displayed a handgun, and ordered the victim out of the car. The victim complied and the suspects fled in the vehicle. Police dispatchers broadcast a lookout and a detective, who was nearby, observed the car and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The suspects continued to the area of Mt. Claire Place in Waldorf where the driver hit a curb, disabling the car. All four suspects fled on foot. Officers and a police K9 team established a perimeter and located three suspects initially. They recovered a loaded firearm that was tossed by a suspect as he was fleeing. The fourth suspect was later located by a detective in a neighborhood. Officers recovered another handgun, belonging to a suspect, inside the victim’s car. Marquese Dayequan Milburn, 21, of Waldorf; Keyon Jasey, 20, of New Jersey; a 16-year-old male (charged as an adult); and a 15-year-old male (charged as a juvenile) were charged with armed carjacking, robbery, first-degree assault, possession of a firearm, illegally transporting a firearm, and other related charges. The victim was not injured in this case. On May 16, a judge ordered three of the suspects to be held without bond at the Charles County Detention Center. The 15-year-old male is being held at a juvenile facility. Detective Logsdon is continuing the investigation.   

Local Public Health Advisory: Rise in COVID-19 Community Transmission

Ongoing monitoring of local COVID-19 data by the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has shown a recent increase in several key indicators, including:

  • Community Transmission (considers rates of new infection): High
  • Community Level (considers burden on regional healthcare systems): Low
  • Total cases of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County residents: 24,466 (+272 in past 7 days)  
  • New Case Rate per 100,000: 33.79 (+10.68  in past 7 days, 46% increase) 

 Due to rising rates of new cases and an increase in identified COVID-19 outbreaks locally, SMCHD encourages community members to review their personal risks for severe COVID-19 infection and recommends the following protective actions: 
 
COVID-19 Vaccination
Everyone age 5 and older should get and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines for best protection from severe illness and to help protect others in our community. Those with compromised immune systems as well as adults age 50 and older are encouraged to get a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, available SMCHD vaccine clinic dates, or to make an appointment, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are also available through primary care offices and local pharmacies.
 
COVID-19 Testing
Testing continues to be a key strategy in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. For more information on SMCHD testing, including hours of operation for PCR testing and pick-up information for at-home test kits, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-testing
 
Masking
SMCHD recommends that community members age 2 and older wear well-fitted, more effective mask options when in crowded public indoor settings. More effective mask options include N95 masks, KN95 masks, or double-masking with medical grade surgical masks. Masking is especially important for those who may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors and those with chronic medical illnesses. Higher-risk workers, including those in healthcare settings, first responders, and those exposed to high volumes of community members in indoor settings, such as grocery stores and food service facilities, should consider masking throughout their workshifts. St. Mary’s County residents may pick up free K95 masks from the St. Mary’s County Libraries, while supplies last. 
 
“Fortunately, COVID-19 burden on the region’s health care systems still remains low. However, the recent and persistent rise in local COVID-19 case numbers should prompt our community members to evaluate their personal risk for severe COVID illness and take protective actions,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “I encourage our residents to consider more effective masking in crowded indoor places, replenish their supply of COVID-19 test kits, get up-to-date with their COVID vaccination, and speak with their personal doctor about ways to access COVID-19 treatment should it be needed.”
 
For local updates and information on COVID-19, please visit smchd.org/coronavirus. Community members may view up-to-date, local COVID-19 data at smchd.org/covid-19-data.
 

SMCHD Seeking Contractor for After Action Review of COVID-19 Pandemic Response

LEONARDTOWN, MD (May 16, 2022) - The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is commissioning a During-and-After Action Review (AAR) of the St. Mary’s County public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The review will include an examination of SMCHD’s response to date and the coordination between SMCHD and local partners for collaborative response strategies. 

To apply for the AAR Request for Proposals (RFP), an organization/person must:            

  • Possess demonstrated expertise in the areas of community emergency response, public health evaluation, or conducting comprehensive after-action reviews of responses to emergency events (work experience with a US local or state government is preferred)
  • Be available to begin providing agreed upon services by July 1, 2022
  • Be able to coordinate/collaborate with beneficiaries of the project


The main goals of this AAR are to describe the COVID-19 response in St. Mary’s County, identify what has worked and areas for growth, and make recommendations for improvements to public health emergency preparedness and response.  The deadline for submission of proposals is July 5, 2022.  For more information, or to submit a proposal for this request, please visit smchd.org/rfp 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING - Proposed Ordinance to Amend St. Mary's County Comprehensive Land Use Map and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

LEONARDTOWN, MD - NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a Public Hearing May 24, 2022, at 9 a.m. in the Chesapeake Building located at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown, Maryland, to consider public input on a proposed ordinance to amend St. Mary’s County Comprehensive Land Use Map and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for property located at 26470 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville. The request is to change the Land Use Map category from Rural Preservation to Rural Commerce and to change the Zoning Map from Rural Preservation to Rural Commercial Limited zoning district.

 

The proposed ordinances can be viewed at http://www.stmarysmd.com/publichearings.asp.

Those wishing to address the Commissioners may participate in person, via written correspondence or prerecorded video submissions. The public hearing may be viewed on SMCG Channel 95 or the SMCG YouTube Channel.

 

In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:

a. Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com

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

c. Submit a three-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com no later than 5 p.m., May 20, 2022.

 

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

 

Public Hearing Guidelines are subject to change.

 

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

Van Hollen, Murray, Casey, Democrats Push Infant Formula Manufacturers To Address Crisis, Get Formula On Shelves ASAP

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in sending a letter to Mardi Mountford, President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America, calling on infant formula manufacturers to make every effort possible to get parents and families the formula they need to feed their kids.

 

“We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need,” wrote the Senators.


Over the past several months, and particularly in light of the massive recall following contaminated formula from Abbott Nutrition, a major supplier, it has become increasingly difficult for families to access infant formula. 

 

In the letter to the Infant Nutrition Council of America today, the Senators stressed how dire the situation is for families, and urged formula manufacturers to take action to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.

 

“This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk. For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished,” the letter continued. “This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders.  There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.”

 

The letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

 

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

  

Dear President Mountford:

 

We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need.

 

Over the past several months—and particularly in light of the massive recall following contaminated formula from Abbott Nutrition, a major supplier—it has become increasingly difficult for families to access infant formula. According to a recent report, between November 2021 and early April 2022, the national out-of-stock rate for infant formula rose to 31 percent between November 2021 and early April 2022—an 11 percent increase. These numbers varied significantly across the country, with some metropolitan areas seeing out-of-stock rates of over 50 percent. In several states, more than half of their infant formula supply was sold out by the last week of April. Major retailers are implementing nationwide restrictions on infant formula purchases.

 

This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk. For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished. This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders. There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.

 

We urge the Infant Nutrition Council of America and your member companies to do all you can to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.

 

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. Please direct correspondence pertaining to this request to Katlin Backfield at Katlin_Backfield@help.senate.govand Yelena Tsilker at Yelena_Tsilker@help.senate.gov.

 

 

Sincerely,

Woman Charged After Two Separate Firebombings

 With the assistance of the Maryland State Apprehension Team, Deputy State Fire Marshals arrested a Prince Georges County woman on multiple charges of arson stemming from two separate firebombings last October. 

Latrice Joneah Williams, 20, of Upper Marlboro, was arrested on multiple charges, including Arson 1st Degree and Manufacturing and Possession of a Destructive Device, after investigators connected her to two firebombings in Charles and St. Mary's counties. 

On October 14, 2021, Deputy State Fire Marshals were called to the 3800 block of Shiner Court in Waldorf after the owner discovered the remains of a Molotov cocktail in his front yard. The Molotov cocktail did not function properly and failed to cause significant structural damage. 

Investigators obtained video footage showing a person throwing the firebomb at the house the night before, just after 11:00 p.m. 

On the following night, just after 11:00 p.m. on October 15th, Deputy State Fire Marshals responded to the 25100 block of Gallant Man Drive in Hollywood after the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office responded for a person who had three Molotov cocktails thrown at a house. The owner told investigators he was inside the home when he heard a noise and later discovered the devices just feet from his door, with one still burning. He was able to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher.

Over the last six months, investigators have gathered evidence, including cell phone records, which led to the identification of Williams. 

Williams was arrested without incident yesterday morning and held without bond at the Charles County Detention Center.

"I'm very thankful for our investigators' vigilance, tenacity, and thoughtfulness," State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said. "Hopefully, the families impacted can sleep easier tonight, knowing these individuals have been apprehended."

Troopers Investigating Shots Fired Prior To Crash In Calvert County

(PRINCE FREDERICK, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating a shooting that occurred last night prior to a single vehicle crash in Calvert County.

 

Identities of the three injured victims are not available at this time. One victim, the backseat passenger of the vehicle involved in the crash, sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was transported by medevac to the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. 

 

Two other victims were injured in the crash. They were transported by ambulance to the Calvert Health Medical Center for treatment.

 

Shortly before 11:00p.m. last night, troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack responded to a single vehicle crash in the area of Orwell Court and Yardley Drive in Prince Frederick. Upon their arrival, troopers observed three occupants in the vehicle, one of whom had suffered an apparent gunshot wound.

 

The vehicle involved in the crash is a 2008 dark blue Lexus with Maryland registration. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the Lexus was backing into a parking space on Orwell Court when a gunshot was reportedly fired and struck one of the occupants.  The driver accelerated and struck multiple parked vehicles before the vehicle overturned and landed on its side on Orwell Court. 

 

Troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack and investigators from the Criminal Enforcement Division responded to the scene and established a perimeter around the area and a search was initiated. Search assistance was provided by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. Crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division also responded to process the scene for evidence. During a canvass of the crime scene, a handgun and multiple shell casings were located near the scene of the crash.

 

The search is continuing.  Anyone with information about who fired the shots is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the Prince Frederick Barrack at 410-535-1400. Callers may remain anonymous. 

Detectives and Patrol Officers Apprehend Two Suspects in Connection with Multiple Commercial Burglaries

Detectives and Patrol Officers Apprehend Two Suspects in String of Commercial Burglaries: On May 9 at 1:15 a.m., detectives were conducting surveillance in the 3100 block of Leonardtown Road in Waldorf due to recent commercial burglaries in which the suspect(s) were smashing out the front windows to businesses and stealing money from cash registers. During their surveillance, a detective noticed the front door to a liquor store had been shattered. Upon approaching the store, the detective observed one suspect flee from the business into a nearby wooded area. A second suspect, David Leroy Raley, 44, of Waldorf, was apprehended on the scene. With the assistance of patrol officers and a police K9, the suspect who initially fled, Jamari Deandre Hagens, 21, of White Plains, was apprehended. Further investigation revealed Hagens was linked to six recent burglaries of businesses including one restaurant, two liquor stores, a beauty supply shop, a convenience store, and a tavern. He was charged with six counts each of burglary, destruction of property, theft, and other related charges. At this time, Raley has not been linked to the other cases; however, detectives are reviewing additional evidence. He was charged with one count of burglary. On May 9, a district court commissioner released Raley from the Detention Center on personal recognizance. On May 11, a judge ordered Hagens to be held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. Det. R. Beach is continuing to investigate.  

Patrol Officers Apprehend Stabbing Suspect with Help from a Police Dispatcher and a Bus Driver

Patrol Officers Apprehend Suspect in Stabbing Case with Help from A Police Dispatcher and Bus Driver: On May 9 at 7:30 p.m., officers responded to Charles Regional Medical Center for the report of a stabbing victim who had been transported to the hospital by a relative. When officers arrived, they learned the victim had actually been stabbed at the Smallwood Park and Ride in Waldorf. A preliminary investigation showed the victim and an unknown suspect were arguing in the parking lot of the Park and Ride when the suspect stabbed the victim with an unknown object. The victim’s cousin, who was nearby, drove him to the hospital where he was treated for injuries and later released. This information was relayed to a civilian Police Communications Officer (PCO) – a police dispatcher – who then took it upon herself to immediately review footage from a surveillance camera that covers the Smallwood Park and Ride parking lot. She was able to find the assault on the footage she reviewed and provide officers with a detailed description of the suspect including the clothing he was wearing. Officers canvassed the area and spoke with witnesses. Several hours later, a bus driver, who was aware of the assault, observed the suspect and notified the police. Officers responded to the Park and Ride and located the suspect, who was still wearing the same clothing he wore when the attack occurred. The suspect, James Pernell Knott, 27, of Indian Head, was arrested without incident. “This was an outstanding arrest in that the police dispatcher took quick and immediate action on her own in an attempt to identify the suspect. The bus driver followed through by calling officers when he observed the suspect in the parking lot the next day,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “ Due to the teamwork, a dangerous person was quickly apprehended,” Sheriff Berry said. Knott was charged with first-degree assault and second-degree assault. On May 10, a district court commissioner ordered Knott to be held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. 

Calvert County Government Announces Memorial Day Schedule

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2022, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition:

·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will be closed Monday, May 30.

·         The Solomons Septage Receiving Facility and Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office will be closed on Monday, May 30.

·         Calvert County’s senior centers will be closed and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered on Monday, May 30. Shelf-stable meals were distributed in advance. Meal delivery will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

·         There will be no county bus service on Monday, May 30. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

·         The Calvert County Board of Elections office will be closed Monday, May 30.

·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30, and will reopen at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31. Downloadable materials and virtual services are available 24/7 at calvertlibrary.info.

·         The Calvert Marine Museum and Museum Store will be open with normal hours on Monday, May 30.

·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed on Monday, May 30. An animal control officer will be available for emergencies.

·         All community centers will be closed on Monday, May 30.

·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open with normal hours.

·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open on Monday, May 30, with normal hours.

·         Flag Ponds Nature Park, Battle Creek Cypress Swamp and Kings Landing Park will be open with regular hours of operation. For a full nature park schedule, visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/1505/Park-Hours.

·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be open with normal operating hours on Monday, May 30. 

·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is open for the season and will be open Monday, May 30.

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 and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.

Van Hollen Statement on Women's Health Protection Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the Senate vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation to codify the reproductive rights secured in Roe v. Wade:

 

“Right now, the threat to women’s reproductive freedom posed by the Supreme Court and Senate Republicans is more urgent than ever. The Women’s Health Protection Act would guarantee the right to choose nationally, as a matter of law. Without action, women across the country could soon be subject to laws that prevent safe abortions – even in the case of rape and incest – and if Republicans continue to push for a nationwide ban, that right may be threatened even in Maryland, where we have codified Roe v. Wade.

 

“While we did not have the votes to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act today, what we do now have is accountability. This is a central principle of our democracy, and now Americans know where each and every member stands.

 

“This isn’t over. I will fight with everything I’ve got to protect the right to reproductive choice in our nation.”

Calvert County Sheriff's Office Police Blotter

During the week of May 2, 2022 – May 8, 2022, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,604 calls for service throughout the community.

 

Burglary: 22-25631

On May 7, 2022, around 1:09 a.m., Deputy T. Bowen responded to Flagship Cinemas Movie Theater located at 200 W. Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of a burglary in progress. Investigation revealed an unknown suspect entered the theatre wearing a white hoodie, blue t-shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes after hours. The suspect fled prior to deputies’ arrival. Nothing appears to have been stolen from the establishment. Damage to a fire exit door was discovered. The estimated value of the damaged property is $100.00.

Damaged Property: 22-25076

On May 4, 2022, DFC Sturdivant responded to the 1400 block of Knight Ave in Dunkirk, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised unknown suspect (s) used a sharpie to draw graffiti on the passenger window of his vehicle and the side of his residence. The estimated value of the damaged property is $125.00.

Theft: 22-24659

On May 3, 2022, Deputy Krueger responded to the 10200 block of H.G. Trueman Road in Lusby, MD for report of a theft. The complainant advised two catalytic converters from two work trucks had been stolen. The estimated value of the stolen property is $2,000.00.

 

Theft: 22-24517

On May 2, 2022, Deputy Mister responded to Chesapeake Bounty located at 9124 Bay Ave in North Beach, MD for a reported theft. The complainant advised a male subject entered the store wearing a red shirt and pants, placed items on the counter, and exited the store without making payment. The suspect stole approximately $20 worth of product (radishes, tomatoes, and a plant) and then fled on foot.

Theft: 22-25692

On May 7, 2022, Deputy Aley responded to the 3900 block of Broomes Island Road in Port Republic, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between May 4 and May 6, 2022, an unknown suspect (s) stole the catalytic converters from two vehicles parked outside the residence. The estimated value of stolen and damaged property is $2,000.00.

Theft: 22-25659

On May 7, 2022, Deputy Hendrickson responded to Adams Ribs located at 2200 S. Solomons Island Road for the report of a theft. The complainant advised an unknown suspect (s) had stolen the catalytic converter from a vehicle parked in the parking lot. The estimated value of stolen property is $1,000.00.

 

ARRESTS

On May 7, 2022, Deputy Morrison responded to a single-vehicle crash at 1232 E. Mt. Harmony Road in Owings, MD. Investigation revealed the driver, Charles Richardson Donaldson, Jr., 28 of Chesapeake Beach, MD, passed out and hit the guardrail causing the vehicle to come to a rest. A witness to the crash observed Donaldson throw a bag into the woods which was recovered by deputies. Inside the bag were Brillo pad fibers, a cut straw, and a clear wrapper containing suspected Alprazolam/Xanax. A vehicle search revealed approximately two grams of a white powdery rock-like substance (suspected crack cocaine) and a rectangular bar of suspected Alprazolam/Xanax along with smaller chunks of suspected Xanax and crack cocaine. Donaldson was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center here he was charged with two counts of CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.

On May 3, 2022, Cpl. Livingston observed a vehicle cross Solomons Island Road, enter the one-way entrance to Walmart, and continue over the median, making an illegal U-turn, narrowly missing several vehicles. Cpl. Livingston conducted a traffic stop on northbound Solomons Island Road in the area of Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick, MD. A vehicle search revealed a cut straw, a container with a pill of Oxycodone, half a pill of Alprazolam, and two crushed white pills of suspected Oxycodone. The driver, Kelly Greenan, 32 of Lusby, MD, was arrested and charged with CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana.

On May 2, 2022, Deputy Aley conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Rt. 4 south and Hallowing Point Road in Prince Frederick, MD for a traffic violation. The driver, identified as Kailup William Couser, 29 of Baltimore, MD, was wanted by the Baltimore Police Department. Couser was placed under arrest for his active warrant. A search of Couser’s vehicle revealed two capsules of a white powdery substance (suspected Heroin). Couser was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana.
 

On May 4, 2022, Deputy Murphy conducted a traffic stop in the parking lot of Patuxent High School, located at 12485 Southern Connector Blvd Lusby, Maryland. Upon making contact with the driver, Mason Louise Visele, 24 of Calloway, MD, the odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from the vehicle. Visele failed to provide a valid driver’s license and investigation revealed the registration to the vehicle was expired and the vehicle was not registered. A vehicle search revealed a half burnt blunt, a folded $20 bill containing suspected Heroin, an 18-inch Machete, 224.5 grams of marijuana, and a digital scale. Visele was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute, Concealed Dangerous Weapon, CDS: Possession- Marijuana 10+ grams, CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, Driving Without a License, Driving an Unregistered Motor Vehicle, and Displaying Expired Registration Plates.

 

Lexington Park Man Arrested for Drug Trafficking

On May 10, 2022, detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division along with members of the Emergency Services Team (EST) served a search and seizure warrant at the residence of Joseph Daren Brooks Jr., age 19, at the 21700 block of Kearsarge Place in Lexington Park.

 

As a result, a large quantity of suspected marijuana packaged to indicate distribution was located, as well as a shotgun, digital scale and a large sum of U.S. currency.

 

Brooks was arrested and charged with the following:

 

Firearm/Drug Trafficking

CDS: Possession-Marijuana 10 grams plus

CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute

 

Brooks remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, on a no-bond status.

May 10th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, May 10, the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services provided the Board of County Commissioners with a Fiscal 2023 Budget Work Session on the General FundSpecial Revenue FundEnterprise Fund, and Fiscal 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan. There will be $500,000 adjusted in the Capital Improvement Plan to construct tiny homes or similar structures to address homelessness in the community. The Commissioners add/delete submissions were provided as well.

 

Open Session Briefings

 

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

  • fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $259,500 to cover costs for various equipment needed for the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism.
  • fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $44,000 for one year trial of a cloud-base software that will provide the county with a social media listening tool and ongoing survey options to actively solicit public opinion on policies, programs, and initiatives of county government.
  • fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $52,580 for the Resuscitation Quality Improvement Telephone program.
  • fiscal 2022 Capital Project fund budget amendment increase of $697,400 to repair the physical education building at the College of Southern Maryland.  A  General fund budget amendment increase of $219,900 to fund a portion of this project. 
  • An agreement with the Charles County Board of Education for the Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School Water Quality Facility Outfall Repair and Stream Restoration Option Contract.
  • letter of support for HR 2116 and S3167.
  • A request to set a public hearing for Amendments to the 2022-2031 Solid Waste Management Plan for Wednesday, June 8 at 6 p.m.
  • A request to reschedule a public hearing for Bill 2022-03 Changes to Chapter 54 LOSAP to Wednesday, July 13 at 6 p.m.
  • To appoint Commissioner Thomasina O. Coates, M.S. (District 2) and Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3) to the workgroup to study the fiscal and operational viability of public-private partnerships for Charles County Public Schools.

 

Recognitions

  • Business Appreciation Week

 

Viewing option of meetings: Click Here

 

Next Commissioners Session: May 17 and 18, 2022 

 

Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258. 

Suspended Corrections Officer Indicted on Two Misdemeanor Charges

Charles County, MD...On May 6, a Charles County Grand Jury indicted NiJee Pierre McWillis, a Charles County correctional officer, with two misdemeanor charges: misconduct in office and unauthorized access to computers and related material. McWillis had already been relieved of his duties and suspended in March of 2022 after the Agency was made aware that he was alleged to have violated the privacy of an arrestee’s cell phone during the booking process. In accordance with Agency policy, the CCSO’s Office of Professional Responsibility conducted an administrative investigation and the Criminal Investigations Division collaborated with the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office to address the potential violations of Maryland Law. On May 10, McWillis, a four-year-veteran of the Agency, was served a criminal summons to appear in court. Sheriff Troy D. Berry said, “I want to keep our community up to date on this investigation and reassure them that we investigated these allegations to the fullest extent. This correctional officer’s actions are contrary to the values and the professionalism of the Agency.” The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is committed to maintaining public trust and encourages anyone with a complaint to contact the agency or submit a complaint via the CCSO website: www.ccso.us.

Shooting in Lexington Park Under Investigation

On May 10, 2022, at approximately 2:55 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 21700 block of Kearsarge Place in Lexington Park, for the reported shots fired. Deputies arrived on scene within 90 seconds of the initial 911 call and discovered a home had been struck with projectiles. Deputies also observed a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed and attempted to stop the vehicle, however the vehicle fled the area. The vehicle was later located, abandoned. The vehicle was impounded for further processing.

 

Detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division are continuing the investigation. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension 71953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@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.

May 10th St. Mary's Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County began their May 10, 2022, business meeting in a joint session with the Board of Education at the Moakley Street Office in Leonardtown.

Following the joint meeting, the Commissioners adjourned until 11 a.m. for their regular business meeting in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown, beginning with the invocation and pledge and consent agenda approval.

The Commissioners then recognized Older Americans Month and National Transportation Week by presenting Proclamations.

The Department of Aging & Human Services presented a symbolic check to the College of Southern Maryland for the Jane Hale Sypher Scholarship Fund for $2,705. Funds for the check were collected from the Commission for Women Symposium.

The Department of Information Technology received approval from the Commissioners for the renewal of the Comcast Franchise Agreement.

The Department of Aging & Humans Services received approval for their request to renew the Living Well Center of Excellence License Application for Aug. 1, 2021 - July 30, 2024. The license provides for the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services to serve as an associate agency to provide evidence-based programs including Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP), Diabetes Self-Management (DSMP), and Stepping Up Your Nutrition.

The Commissioners approved the Department of Public Works & Transportation's request for the FY2022 National Fish and Wildlife Design Grant Application for $95,217. Funds from the grant will go toward remediating the Piney Point Shore Erosion on the lagoon side of the property.

The Commissioners approved a request from the Department of Human Resources to revise the bylaws for the Commission on People With Disabilities to reflect a bi-monthly meeting schedule beginning July 1, 2022. Additionally, the Commissioners voted to modify the Commission for People With Disabilities name.

The Department of Human Services also received Commissioner approval on a request for a department reorganization, moving a Fiscal Specialist IV from Emergency Services to the Finance Department, moving a Fiscal Specialist IV position and an administrative coordinator position under the direct supervision of the Emergency Services Chief, and moving the administrative coordinator position for the Animal Shelter under the direct supervision of the Animal Shelter Manager.

 

The Commissioners will have a Budget Work Session at 1:30 p.m. to provide direction following public input from the Budget Public Hearing held Tuesday, April 26, 2022. The Commissioners will also review appeals and personnel realignment requests.

 

The next Commissioner business meeting will be in the Chesapeake Building at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocsCommissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

 

Charles County Commissioners Announce May Public Meetings

The Charles County Commissioners invite the public to attend the May public meetings as scheduled below.

 

Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed.  (District 3)

“Discussion on the FY23 Fiscal Budget and Activities for our Youth and Adults”
Friday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Submit questions and concerns in advance to StewartEvents@charlescountymd.gov
Waldorf Senior & Recreational Center (90 Post Office Rd. Waldorf)

 

Commissioner Gilbert “BJ” Bowling (District 1)

“Highlight of Recreation, Parks & Tourism New & Existing Programs”
Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m.
Submit questions and concerns in advance by clicking here
Waldorf Senior & Recreational Center (90 Post Office Rd. Waldorf)

 

Commissioner Thomasina Coates, M.S. (District 2)

“Community Connections”

Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m.

Submit questions and concerns in advance by clicking here

Billingsley Community Center (Billingsley Elementary School, 10069 Billingsley Road; White Plains)

 

To view virtual viewing options, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/government/charles-county-commissioners/community-meetings

 

For more information, contact the Citizen Response Office at CitizenResponse@CharlesCountyMD.gov or call 301-645-0550.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

 

Chesapeake Ranch Water Company Wins State Awards

At the annual meeting awards ceremony of the Maryland Rural Water Association (MRWA) held in Ocean City, Md on May 4th, the Chesapeake Ranch Water Company (CRWC) received two prestigious awards.  MRWA supports several hundred small and medium sized water and waste-water utilities throughout Maryland providing professional training and technical assistance as well as advocacy for funding and regulatory matters.

The first award was to Warren (Ned) Prince, who was recognized by the MRWA as Water Operations Specialist of the Year for his dedicated and skillful project management and supervision for his 32 years of service to the community, specifically during the recent Covid pandemic.  Mr. Prince is the Chief Operating Officer of the CRWC, and supervises the acquisition, installation, and operation of the company’s infrastructure, as well as training subordinate staff.

The CRWC also won MRWA’s prestigious statewide “Toasting the Tap” Water Tasting Competition.  In this contest, meeting attendees and State officials sampled water from pitchers marked only with a number and submitted a ballot for the pitcher they judged to have the best tasting water.  The CRWC’s entry received the most votes as the best tasting water among the finalists.  As a result, the CRWC will have the honor of being the Maryland entry in the National “Toasting the Tap” contest held by the National Rural Water Association next February in Washington, DC.  

CRWC provides water and fire protection service in an unincorporated area in Lusby, Md with a population of 9500.

Commissioners to Host Open House at Newly Renovated St. Mary's County Regional Airport Terminal

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County will host an Open House Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the St. Mary's County Regional Airport to showcase the newly renovated terminal. The Open House will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. with a Commissioner presentation beginning at 2 p.m.

As part of the Commissioners' Mission to provide effective and efficient services, including robust capital improvements and infrastructure investments, the Commissioners allocated over $46 million in the FY2022 budget to improve and upgrade the Airport, runways, hangars and other on-site facilities.

Residents are invited to attend the Open House event to learn more about St. Mary's County Regional Airport facilities and capabilities, including upcoming charter flight services, the Civil Air Patrol, Southern Maryland Sea Planes, and more.

For more information regarding the Open House, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, ext. 1342.

Lexington Park Man Arrested for Shooting in 2021

On May 5, 2022, members of the Lexington Park COPs Unit located and arrested Zeolaunte Monticello Hilliard, age 36 of Lexington Park, on an outstanding warrant for a shooting in March of 2021.

 

On March 17, 2021, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 21000 block of Pegg Road in Lexington Park, for the reported shots fired. Preliminary investigation determined the two victims were traveling in a vehicle on Pegg Road when Hilliard pulled alongside their vehicle and discharged a firearm at them and their vehicle. Detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division continued the investigation and developed Hilliard as the individual responsible for the shooting.

 

Hilliard was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, and charged with the following:

 

Firearm Use/Felony-Violent Crime

Handgun on Person

Handgun in Vehicle

Assault First and Second Degree

Reckless Endangerment from Car

 

Hilliard remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no-bond status.

Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Murder at Smallwood Village Center

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, May 6, 2022, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Donine Carrington Martin sentenced Fred Odell Scott, 58, of Waldorf, to 20 years in prison for the Second-Degree Murder of John Staton and the Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime of Violence. In addition to the 20 years in prison, Scott will be on supervised probation for 5 years upon release and received 20 years of suspended time.

 

On July 2, 2021, Scott entered a guilty plea to the above-mentioned charges.

 

On December 10, 2019, officers responded to a business located in the 150 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered victim John Staton, who suffered gunshot wounds to the upper body. Staton was pronounced deceased at the scene. A witness reported that the suspect, later determined to be Scott, pulled up to Staton in a grey Mitsubishi Outlander. Scott exited the vehicle, brandished a handgun, and shot Staton.

 

A further investigation revealed that on November 27, 2019, Scott’s home was burglarized. Televisions, clothing, computers, and money were taken during the burglary. Scott believed that Staton was the perpetrator. During the shooting on December 10, 2019, several witnesses heard Scott yell that he knew Staton broke into his house.   

 

On December 12, 2019, Scott was apprehended. 

 

During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Jonathan Beattie told the judge, “Mr. Scott made a decision that day – rather than what Staton’s family is doing today to seek the Court – he decided to address this wrong. We’ll never know if the victim [broke into Mr. Scott’s house]. He never got the opportunity to make his case.” He continued that Mr. Scott decided to get vengeance in a “cold and callous way.”

Calvert Pines Parking Lot to Close for Construction

 The Calvert County Department of Public Works advises citizens that the front parking lot of Calvert Pines Senior Center in Prince Frederick will close May 14, 15, 21, 22 and 28 for milling, repaving and striping. The parking lot at the rear of the building will be accessible throughout the duration of work. The project will be completed on weekends to avoid service disruptions at the senior center. Calvert Pines residents have been notified. All work is weather permitting. 

Public transportation buses will continue to be available on their regular schedule directly behind the senior center at the walkway behind between Calvert Pines I Apartments and the senior center. Citizens may also flag down a public transportation bus.

For questions or more information, contact the Calvert County Department of Public Works, General Services Division, at 410-535-1600, ext. 2299 or email Tom.Jones@calvertcountymd.gov.

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 and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.

School Resource Officer Investigating Report of Assault on School Bus

School Resource Officer Investigating Report of Assault on School Bus: A Charles County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer (SRO) is investigating an assault that occurred on May 3 on a school bus transporting students from Milton Somers Middle School home after dismissal. At one point in the altercation, a seventh-grade male placed a sixth-grade male in a chokehold causing the victim to have difficulty breathing. The assault was reported to school administrators who then notified the SRO the following morning. The officer is continuing his investigation and has consulted with the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office related to potential charges. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Duley at 301-932-2222.  The investigation is ongoing.

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