Star Local News

Advisory: Missing Person Johnnie William Raines Jr. (Photo)

Johnnie William Raines Jr. (W/M/41 YOA) has been reported missing by family. Raines was last seen 04/21/19 in the Valley Lee area driving a blue 2007 Kia Sorento bearing Maryland registration 4CY5957. If you have seen or know the whereabouts of Raines please contact the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office at (301)475-8008.


Identification Needed For Theft Suspect (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the individual pictured. On April 12, 2019, the individual left the Walmart store located on Miramar Way in California, with a large screen television and other merchandise he did not purchase. The individual was observed leaving the area in a red Ford Explorer.
Anyone with information on the identity of the pictured individual is asked to contact Corporal Gray Maloy at (301) 475-4200 extension *8035 or by email at 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.


Burglary Suspect's Identity Needed (Photo)

April 23, 2019 – The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured. On Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 4 a.m., the suspect broke into the Dollar General store on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park and stole several Tide laundry detergent products. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect and/or this incident is asked to call Deputy Michael Rycyzyn at 301-475-4200, ext. *8030 or email Case # 22591-19
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff


Alisa Casas Appointed Communications Director

Leonardtown, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have appointed Alisa Casas Communications Director.


Ms. Casas comes to St. Mary’s County Government from MAG Aerospace, formerly Ausley Associates Inc., where she was employed as an Export Compliance Analyst and Associate Director of Communications for the F/A-18 program at NAVAIR.


“We are pleased to appoint Ms. Casas as our next Communications Director,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “Ms. Casas comes to the County with tremendous experience in communications and on behalf of all the Commissioners, we are looking forward to working together.”  


“I am grateful and excited to be offered the position of Communications Director for St. Mary’s County Government”, said Ms. Casas. “It is an honor to serve the Commissioners and the residents of St. Mary’s County and I look forward, with great anticipation, to getting to work.”


Ms. Casas’ appointment is effective May 6, 2019.


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of April 15th through April 21st deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,385 calls for service throughout the community.


Damaged Property: 19-21925

On April 18th, 2019 Deputy Aranda responded to Golden West Way in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between 10 pm on April 17th and 11 am on April 18th, an unknown suspect egged their vehicle. After washing the eggs off, there appeared to be no damage to the vehicle or the vehicle’s paint. 


Theft: 19-21250
On April 15th, 2019 Deputy Sturdivant responded to Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant located in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised $3,500 worth of copper wiring had been stolen between Thursday, April 11th and Friday, April 12th from the storage facility. 


Theft: 19-21939
On April 18th, 2019 Deputy Anderson responded to Lower Marlboro Road in Owings for the report of a theft. The complainant advised around 11:30 am he noticed his vehicle registration plate had been torn from the tag bracket. The estimated value of stolen property is approximately $134. 




On April 18th, 2019 Corporal Wilson responded to Horseshoe Trail in Lusby for the report of a domestic argument coming from a car parked in the roadway. As Corporal Wilson exited his agency vehicle, a black male who was later identified as Tyree Jamal Johnson (23), started charging at him in an aggressive manner. Johnson stood in a fighting position with his hands balled up into fists and shoulders squared up to Corporal Wilson. Corporal Wilson put his hand out to create space between them when Johnson pushed his hand away and retreated back to the vehicle parked in the roadway. Johnson was ordered to exit the vehicle but refused to comply with orders given by Corporal Wilson. Johnson was very combative and argumentative during the incident. Johnson was subsequently placed under arrest then transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Disorderly Conduct, Assault Second Degree and Resist/ Interfere with Arrest. 


On April 20th, 2019 Deputy Lewis responded to Mattapany Road in Saint Leonard for the report of a 911 hang up. Deputy Lewis made contact with the victim on scene who stated that the suspect, Charles Edward Chase Jr. (53), was yelling and screaming inside the home and wanted to fight. The victim stated they exited the home in attempt to separate themselves from Chase. While on scene, Chase was yelling from the front porch at the victim after being instructed to stop yelling profanities and to calm down.  Deputy Lewis could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Chase’s breath and person. Chase continued to yell and use profanity, so he was then placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Disorderly Conduct. 


On April 21st, 2019 Detective Rector contacted the Calvert Control Center and advised there was a fight in progress in the middle of South Bound Route 4 at Fox Run Boulevard. Deputy Sturdivant arrived on scene to assist Detective Rector. Detective Rector placed the suspect, Branden Lee Barger (39), in handcuffs and sat him on his knees in the grass. Deputy Sturdivant made contact with Barger, who began yelling obscenities at the driver of the other vehicle then became disorderly and started cursing at deputies on scene. After interviewing witnesses on scene, it was discovered that Barger was weaving throughout traffic, tailgating other vehicles, and aggressively driving. Barger then got out of his vehicle and started banging on the window of the victim’s vehicle with his metal rings, trying to pull the door open to get to the driver. Deputy Sturdivant discovered a switch blade knife in the cup holder of the suspect’s vehicle. Barger was arrested and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Assault 2nd degree, Disorderly Conduct, and Dangerous Weapon- Conceal. 


Buckle Up. Phone Down

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and sheriff’s offices from St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles counties today announced a partnership focused on enhancing driver safety. 
“More than 120 unbelted drivers and passengers are killed every year in Maryland” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA Administrator and Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Not being belted can cause passengers to become projectiles in the event of a crash, causing serious injuries or death to other people in the car. To ensure you arrive at your destination safely, everyone in a vehicle should buckle up, and drivers should park the phone, day and night.” 
“BUCKLE UP. PHONE DOWN.” combines sustained education and enforcement to encourage motorists to always wear seat belts and park cellphones. Failure to wear a seat belt and distracted driving are among the primary causes of injuries and fatalities on Maryland roads. Between 2013 and 2017, more than 16,000 crashes in the three southern counties involved unbelted motorists and/or distracted drivers. 
“Buckling a seat belt takes three seconds and is your best defense in the event of a crash,” said Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry. 
In Maryland, drivers and passengers can be fined $83 for not wearing a seat belt. Fines for using a handheld cellphone while driving are $83 for a first offense, $140 for a second and $160 for a third. Writing, sending or reading a text or electronic message while driving can result in a $70 fine and one point on the motorist’s record. These penalties increase if the use of a device contributes to a crash, serious injury or death.
“Sadly, many people are driving with a cellphone in their hand, and people are losing their lives because of this irresponsible and illegal action,” said St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron.
The “BUCKLE UP. PHONE DOWN.” campaign includes week-long enforcement and education initiatives through August. During the enforcement waves, information on the dangers of unbelted and distracted driving will be conveyed via billboards, digital and social media, as well as additional outreach. 
“Our deputies will be out enforcing Maryland’s distracted driving and seat belt laws because those laws save lives,” said Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans.
Drivers are also reminded to move over if safe to do so or slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle using emergency signals. 
The MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office is dedicated to saving lives and preventing injuries by reducing motor vehicle crashes. Learn more about the Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at, on Facebook at TowardZeroDeathsMD, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.


Public Hearing Set for the Draft Calvert County Comprehensive Plan

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will hold a public hearing Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. to consider and receive comments on the Calvert County Planning Commission’s recommended Calvert County Comprehensive Plan (December 2018 Draft). The public hearing will be held at the Calvert Pines Senior Center located at 450 W. Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick.
If approved by the BOCC, the plan will replace the current Calvert County Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2004 and amended in 2010 and 2017. The BOCC may choose to adopt, amend, remand or disapprove the recommended plan, or consider earlier drafts of the plan.
The initial series of meetings and workshops for the public to provide input began in 2016. County staff held informational meetings, interactive workshops and open houses to receive feedback from residents. Comprehensive Plan drafts, summaries of meetings, presentations and more are available at
Citizens are encouraged to view the draft Calvert County Comprehensive Plan (December 2018 Draft) along with the earlier drafts, available online.  For additional information, contact the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-1600, ext. 2356 or via email at Individuals who cannot attend the public hearing may submit written comments.
Written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., April 29, 2019, and may be submitted by emailing or through the U.S. mail to the BOCC at 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678. Any reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities or linguistic barriers should be requested by contacting the BOCC office at 410-535-1600, ext. 2202.
For information on Calvert County Government, visit or like us on Facebook.


Former Middle School Instructional Assistant Charged with Sex Offenses

On April 18, detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division arrested a former instructional assistant at Mattawoman Middle School in connection with making inappropriate comments to a female student and having inappropriate contact with another female student. Anthony Tyrone Williams, Jr., 23, of Waldorf, was arrested at his residence and charged with second-degree rape, 4th-degree sex offense, obscene telephone misuse, stalking and other related charges. The first allegation involving inappropriate comments was made in January and Williams was immediately removed from the schools. During the investigation, a second student reported inappropriate contact. The CCSO is asking parents to talk with their children. Anyone who has further information about Williams is asked to contact Det. G. Higgs at (301) 609-6498. 


Great Mills Swimming Pool to Close for Seasonal Maintenance May 10 through May 24

Leonardtown, MD - St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks would like to inform the public that the Great Mills Swimming Pool will be closed for seasonal maintenance from Friday, May 10 through Friday, May 24.  During this time, the pool’s air supported dome structure will be removed, making the pool an outdoor facility. Other seasonal maintenance and staff training will also occur while the pool is closed.


The pool will reopen for normal hours of operation on Saturday, May 25 as listed below:

Monday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


The summer hours of operation will begin on Monday, June 17 as listed below:

Monday – Saturday
12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


The Department apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closing of the pool may cause.  For more information, please contact the Great Mills Swimming Pool at 21100 Great Mills Road, in Great Mills, at (301) 866-6560.  For information on activities and programs at the Great Mills Swimming Pool, visit our website at


Child Killed In Go-Cart Accident

On Sunday, April 21, 2019 at approximately 11:15 a.m., members of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 2300 block of Golf Club Drive, Dunkirk, MD for a report of a crash involving a motorized go-cart.  Upon arrival, deputies and rescue personnel discovered an overturned go-cart with multiple patients on the scene.
A preliminary investigation by the Calvert Reconstruction Team revealed three juveniles were riding in a go-cart operated by an 11 year-old juvenile female of Dunkirk, MD.  The go-cart passengers were a 7 year-old juvenile male of Dunkirk, MD and 12 year-old juvenile female of Frederick, MD.  The go-cart was being driven on the street and entered the cul-de-sac located in the 2300 block of Golf Club Drive.  During a right turn maneuver the go-cart overturned on its left side ejecting the occupants. 
The driver, the 11 year-old female, was transported to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC by MSP Trooper 2 where she succumbed to her injuries sustained in the crash.  The 7 year-old male passenger was transported to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC by MSP Trooper 7, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries sustained in the crash.  He is listed in stable condition.  The 12 year-old female passenger was treated for non-life threatening injuries on the scene and released.      
The collision remains under investigation by Cpl. V. Bortchevsky of the Crash Reconstruction Team.  Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Cpl. V. Bortchevsky by email: or by calling the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office at 410-535-2800.


Airport Road Will Close On Or About April 22nd For Work

Leonardtown, MD - Due to the replacement of a drainage pipe, Airport Road will close on or around Monday April 22, approximately 500 feet west of MD Route 235 and 100 feet west of the northern Wildewood Shopping Center entrance on Airport Road. Changeable message signs and detour signs will be provided to route unfamiliar motorists around the closure. Roads will be closed for approximately 1 week, weather dependent.

For additional information, please contact the St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation at (301) 475-4200, or the St. Mary’s County Public Information Office at (301) 475-4200, Ext. *1340.


Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for April 22 to May 17, 2019

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, Maryland – Communities surrounding the naval air station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place April 22 - May 17, 2019 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Pilots at NAS Patuxent River will be conducting Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs). FCLPs are simulated carrier landings conducted to prepare the pilot to land safely on an aircraft carrier. The practices consist of series of touch-and-go maneuvers, called “bounces.” Airspeed, altitude and power are all precisely choreographed in order for a pilot to approach the ship within an acceptable window to land on the deck safely. FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. Landing on an aircraft carrier is a complex skill, and requires intense periods of training. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information, please call our toll-free noise hotline at 1-866-819-9028.


Wanted for Escape-Brandon Lee Bates (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Brandon Lee Bates, age 26 of Charlotte Hall. Bates has an active warrant for the charge of escape second degree for violating the conditions of his pretrial release. Bates was previously arrested on theft charges. Bates is 5’10” in height, weighs 175 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brandon Lee Bates is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension *1953 or by email at 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.


Shawn Mendes Gets Rejected From Dublin Bar Goes To McDonald's Instead

Shawn Mendes, 20, was turned away from a bar in Dublin, Ireland earlier this week, even though the legal drinking age there is 18. In a fan-captured video of the incident, one of the bouncers at Bruxelles [brew-ZELLE] pub explains to a dejected Shawn that many bar managers have their own age restrictions after certain hours. “OK, thank you. Wow,” Shawn said before walking away. “All right, bye. I tried.” Shawn, who had just finished a concert at Dublin’s 3Arena, then did the next best thing: He went to McDonald’s. He reportedly ordered a Happy Meal and posed for a bunch of selfies with fans there just after 3 a.m. 


More Billboard Music Awards Performers Revealed

The Jonas Brothers will perform together for the first time in 10 years. The trio is set to perform their hit song “Sucker” at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. Another group, K-pop superstars BTS, will join Halsey onstage to perform their new single “Boy with Luv.” Mariah Carey, who is receiving the 2019 ICON Award, will also sing, as will previously announced artists including Kelly Clarkson, Khalid, Lauren Daigle, Sam Smith, Panic! at the Disco and Normani. The Billboard Music Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.


Amber Heard Served With Deposition Notice In Lawyers' Lawsuit Against Johnny Depp

Amber Heard has been dragged into her ex-husband Johnny Depp’s legal battle with his former lawyers. The actress has been served with a deposition notice by Jacob Bloom and partners at his law firm, Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP, as part of their upcoming trial against Depp, who has accused them of “professional malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.” Depp sued for $30 million in late 2017, claiming they mismanaged his funds and gave him bad advice in his divorce battle with Heard, but Bloom and his fellow defendants hit back, insisting Depp is solely to blame for his financial woes. Now lawyers representing Bloom and co. have issued paperwork to question a number of people in Depp’s life, including Heard, her ex-boyfriend Elon Musk, and the actor’s divorce attorney Blair Berk. They are all potential witnesses for Bloom’s side when the case goes to trial in September. Depp sat for a lengthy deposition as part of the ongoing legal dispute in December.


Governor Hogan Calls Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today signed an executive order calling for the Maryland General Assembly to convene a special session on Wednesday, May 1.
This special session, which comes at the request of the presiding officers, will allow the House of Delegates to elect a successor to the late Speaker Michael E. Busch.
“It is my solemn duty to call a special session of the General Assembly in order to elect a successor to Speaker Busch,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “As we close a significant chapter in our state’s history, we will continue the critical work that Mike Busch dedicated so much of his life to doing.”
Click here to access a signed copy of Executive Order 01.01.2019.04.
Proclamation Convening the General Assembly of Maryland in Extraordinary Session at Annapolis Maryland on May 1, 2019
Whereas, the Honorable Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, passed away on April 7, 2019, causing an outpouring of grief from the citizens of the State;
Whereas, Speaker Busch was the longest-serving speaker in the State's history, and was widely respected and admired for his lifelong dedication to service to the State and its citizens; and
Whereas, the House of Delegates, in accordance with its rules, must elect a new speaker to succeed Speaker Busch;
Now, therefore, I, Lawrence J. Hogan Jr., Governor of the State of Maryland, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article II, Section 16, of the Maryland Constitution and the Laws of Maryland, hereby proclaim and convene a special and extraordinary session of the General Assembly of Maryland to commence on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in the City of Annapolis to enable the House of Delegates to elect a new Speaker.


CCSO Detectives Arrest Three Suspects in Two Robbery Cases

DETECTIVES LOCATE AND ARREST ROBBERY SUSPECT: On April 9 at 9:30 p.m., a lone male suspect entered the Subway in Bryan's Road, implied he had a gun and demanded money. The suspect stole money and fled on foot.  The investigation revealed the suspect had previously committed two armed robberies at convenience stores in King George County, VA in March. King George detectives identified the suspect as Emanuel Ramone Mansfield, 35, of Suitland, and obtained an arrest warrant. Additionally, the suspect was linked to several commercial armed robberies in Prince George's County. On April 17 at 8:20 a.m., detectives assigned to the CCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division located Mansfield sleeping in his vehicle on Old Fort Road. He was taken into custody and charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, theft, and other related charges. Detective C. Gregory and Detective E. Weaver are continuing the investigation. 
WITH THE HELP OF A POLICE BLOODHOUND, DETECTIVES IDENTIFY AND ARREST TWO SUSPECTS IN ROBBERY OF DELIVERY DRIVER: On April 4 at 2:45 p.m., a delivery driver was robbed at gunpoint by two masked males in the 11800 block of Edmont Place in Waldorf. The males stole packages from the delivery truck and fled on foot. Officers established a perimeter and K9 officer PFC Darin Behm and his K9 partner, Copper, a two-year-old bloodhound, responded and picked up a scent from the suspects, which took them through a wooded area to a house where the scent stopped. Based on that track, investigators were able to develop additional information relating to the suspects. Investigators subsequently identified the suspects as Da'Quan Grier-Williams, 21, and Taisian Marquet Owens, 21, both from Waldorf. Search warrants were served at their homes and property, which had been stolen from the delivery truck, was recovered. Both suspects were recently arrested and charged with robbery, theft, first-degree assault, and other related charges. Det. Wimberly is investigating.


St. Mary's Transit System Seeks Opinions Regarding Public Transportation Services in the County

Leonardtown, MD - St. Mary’s Transit System, the public transportation program in St. Mary’s County, is developing a five-year plan update, termed the 2019 St. Mary’s County Transit Development Plan (TDP). The plan will be presented to County Commissioners this autumn.

Major tasks for the planning study include: an analysis of current services; an analysis of transit need based on demographics, land use, and stakeholder input; the development of options to consider for inclusion in the plan; and the draft and final versions of the TDP. The previous TDP was completed in 2013. The plan is a requirement of the Maryland Transit Administration.


As part of the transit needs analysis, a survey has been developed to gather the opinions of St. Mary’s County residents. Stakeholder outreach will also include surveys of current transit riders and major employers.


The public survey is accessible by logging onto:

English Version:

Encuesta en Español:

Paper surveys in English and Spanish are also available at the locations listed at the end of this media release. This survey is being conducted between April 22 and May 22.  The survey results will help inform the study team regarding the service options that should be considered for inclusion in the five-year TDP Update.


For more information, contact Mary Ann Blankenship, Transportation Supervisor, St. Mary’s Transit System, or (301)475-4200 ext. *1123.


Paper Surveys available at the following locations:


Charlotte Hall Library

37600 New Market Road

Charlotte Hall, MD 20622



Leonardtown Library

23250 Hollywood Road

Leonardtown, MD 20650



Lexington Park Library

21677 FDR Blvd.

Lexington Park, MD 20653



St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services

23110 Leonard Hall Drive

Leonardtown, MD 20650



College of Southern Maryland

22950 Hollywood Road (Building A)

Leonardtown, MD 20650-4700



St. Mary’s County Health Department

21580 Peabody Street

Leonardtown, MD 20650



Nighttime Road Repairs Continue in Calvert County

Starting early May, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will begin improving ride quality and paving in both directions of MD 2/MD 4 (Solomons Island Road) between Coster Mill Bridge Road and Calvert Cliff Parkway and between MD 264 (Broomes Island Road) and MD 231 (Hallowing Point Road) in Calvert County. The work will continue each night until early-summer.
Motorists can expect overnight single lane closures between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday nights through Friday mornings. Motorists are encouraged to allow extra commuting time during construction.
MDOT SHA’s contractor, Aggregate Industries, of Greenbelt, will mill, patch, crack seal and place an ultra-thin bonded wearing course to the roadway to improve ride quality for thousands of daily motorists. 
MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for our crews as well as our contractor. Drivers need to stay alert, focus on the road and look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. 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, log onto


Governor Hogan Signs Important Crime and Public Safety Measures Into Law

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today signed into law several important measures to improve public safety. These are among 195 bills the governor signed today alongside Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones.
“We are very proud to enact these critical public safety measures to continue to make our state safer,” said Governor Hogan. “One of my most important responsibilities is to protect Maryland citizens, and these common sense measures will help us defend the most vulnerable among us and reduce the number and prevent future victims of crime.”
Crime and Public Safety
Senate Bill 793: Community Safety and Strengthening Act
This legislation authorizes Johns Hopkins University to establish a police department of 100 officers.
House Bill 707: Drunk and Drugged Driving Offenses—Penalties
The 2019 session was the third year in a row in which Governor Hogan introduced the Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act. This legislation includes provisions from the governor’s proposal and increases maximum penalties to 10 years for individuals convicted of a drunk or drugged driving offense on three or more prior occasions as well as on impaired drivers convicted of causing death or a life-threatening injury on their second and/or subsequent offense.
House Bill 181/Senate Bill 103: Criminal Law—Electronic Harassment and Bullying Also known as Grace’s Law 2.0, this first-in-the-nation legislation makes cyberbullying with the intent to induce a minor to commit suicide a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The bill is named in honor of 15-year-old Grace McComas, who on Easter Sunday 2012, took her own life, having been attacked by online bullies, while her parents had no recourse to stop it.
Human Trafficking
House Bill 871/Senate Bill 690: Criminal Law—Human Trafficking and Prostitution Offenses 
This legislation includes Governor Hogan’s legislation to classify felony human trafficking as a violent crime.This was the second year in a row in which the governor introduced this important legislation. The legislation also creates a human trafficking subtitle in statute and recodifies prostitution offenses to separate different types of offenses.
House Bill 734/Senate Bill 689: Criminal Law—Labor Trafficking (Anti-Exploitation Act) 
This legislation establishes the offense of labor trafficking, a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 25 years and/or a $15,000 maximum fine.
Hate Crimes 
House Bill 240/Senate Bill 232: Hate Crimes—Threats 
This legislation expands criminal law to include penalties for those who threaten to commit a hate crime. Governor Hogan included $5 million in his FY 2020 budget to enhance security at facilities in Maryland that are potential targets for hate crimes.
House Bill 420/Senate Bill 139: Criminal Law—Threat of Mass Violence 
This legislation expands the definition of the threat of mass violence so that it applies to cases in which the threat of a crime of violence would affect five or more people, as opposed to the current law that says five or more people must perceive the threat.
House Bill 168: Public Safety—Reporting of Hate Crimes 
This administration legislation expands the categories of hate crime incidents that law enforcement must report to the Maryland State Police and for which the Maryland State Police must collect, analyze, and report.
Senate Bill 521: Veteran Suicide Prevention—Comprehensive Action Plan 
This legislation requires the Maryland Department of Health to develop a comprehensive action plan to increase access to and availability of professional veteran health services to prevent veteran suicides.
Freedom of the Press Day
House Joint Resolution 9/Senate Joint Resolution 2: Freedom of the Press Day 
This resolution designates June 28 as Freedom of the Press Day in honor of the five victims of the Capital Gazette shooting. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters lost their lives in the shooting. The Gazette was recently awarded a special Pulitzer Prize citation “for demonstrating unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief.”


Governor Hogan Signs Sweeping Reforms of UMMS Board Into Law

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today signed major legislation to completely overhaul the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) board of directors, a swift response to revelations of wrongdoing and corruption that have prompted a public outcry. The legislation removes the members of the board, bars no-bid contracts for UMMS board members, and requires a full, independent audit.
House Bill 1498, which was sponsored by the late Speaker Michael Busch, is one of 195 bills the governor signed today alongside Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones.
“Today, we are enacting sweeping changes to bring much-needed reforms and transparency to the University of Maryland Medical System board,” said Governor Hogan. “UMMS is an institution near and dear to the hearts of many Marylanders, myself included. There cannot even be the appearance of impropriety from those connected with the hospital system, especially in positions of such importance.”
Last month, immediately after questionable financial dealings involving UMMS board members were first uncovered, Governor Hogan held a meeting with UMMS leaders and the presiding officers to demand answers and begin the work of cleaning up the board. The governor committed to pursue major reforms and demanded for UMMS board members to sever their relationships and step down.  
On April 1, Governor Hogan asked the state prosecutor to conduct a formal investigation into the allegations of “self-dealing and no-bid contracting” involving Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh’s role as a member of the UMMS board.
“This legislation is a good first step, but more needs to be done,” Governor Hogan added. “I remain committed to holding UMMS leaders accountable, and I will appoint board members who will serve with integrity and transparency.”


Former Substitute Teacher Found Guilty of Child Sexual Abuse

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, after five days of trial, a Charles County jury convicted Keith Allan Krikstan, 31 of Waldorf, of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.


On January 11, 2018, a detective with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office met with the then 12-year-old victim, who stated that she had been in communication with Krikstan, her substitute teacher at John Hanson Middle School, through Snapchat, Facetime, and text message. She further stated that during those communications, Krikstan showed her part of his genitalia and asked her to send him inappropriate pictures.  


An investigation revealed that from October 2017 through January 2018, Krikstan developed an inappropriate relationship with the victim and on multiple occasions requested and received pictures of the victim’s private areas. Krikstan, being the victim’s substitute teacher, on one occasion held the victim back after class to talk about the status of their relationship. He then gave her a pass so that she could enter her next class late.


A classmate of the victim learned the nature of the relationship and notified a school resource officer at the school.


Cell phone downloads from both the victim’s and defendant’s phones corroborated the inappropriate nature of their relationship. Krikstan also admitted to communicating with the victim through text and social media, as well as deleting messages.


During closing argument, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman told the jury, “[the defendant] took advantage of [the victim] for his own benefit. He knows this is wrong, yet he [continued] because his needs were more important [to him] than doing what’s right.” 


St. Mary's County Airport Stop To Be Relocated To Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department On Monday, April 22

Leonardtown, MD - On Monday, April 22, 2019 the Commuter Park and Ride at the St. Mary’s Airport will be relocated to the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department.
The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County are very excited to have found a solution to the Park and Ride issue. “We are pleased that this issue was resolved and should prove beneficial for the parking lot users,” says Commissioner President Randy Guy.
“As a St. Mary’s County Commissioner and Chairman of the Southern Maryland Tri-County Council, I am pleased to announce that we have successfully worked to find a solution for our Park and Ride facility located at the St. Mary’s County Airport, said Commissioner Todd B. Morgan. “As many are aware, our continued focus on economic diversification and development will require the Airport Park and Ride to be closed and relocated to the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department on April 22. I want to thank George Clark of the Tri- County Council for his diligence and persistence in pushing this project forward, John Deatrick, our Public Works Director, for his oversight on behalf of the County, MTA for their recognition of the need to find a workable solution to our growing needs and the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department for their tremendous support,” said Commissioner Todd B. Morgan.
Commissioner Morgan states that he is pleased with the great team effort to find a workable solution to a complex problem. “We will be working closely with MTA over the next few days to inform as many as possible of this change. Please bear with us as we coordinate schedules, new driving routes and other logistical considerations,” said Commissioner Todd B. Morgan.
“I am glad we were able to work with MTA to provide needed parking for our citizens who need it and also benefit the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department with supplemental income,” said Commissioner Michael L. Hewitt. “This is a great example of the partnerships that can be formed by the County and State when working together to solve mutual challenges,” said Commissioner Michael L. Hewitt.
Commuter Bus staff will be at the St. Mary’s County Airport Stop on Thursday, April 18, Friday, April 19 and Monday, April 22 to inform riders. Commuter bus staff will also be at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department to assist riders on the Morning of Monday, April 22. 
For more information please contact, Timothy B. Norris, MTA’s Commuter Bus Chief Transportation & Finance Officer at 410-856-4815 or George Clark, TCCSMD’s Transportation Demand Management Specialist at 301-643-7257.


Maryland Striped Bass Trophy Season Opens April 20

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the state’s trophy striped bass season will begin April 20 and last through May 15.  
Anglers may catch one striped bass per day, with a minimum size of 35 inches, in the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line.  
Maryland is part of a multi-state governing body, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and works through the management process set by the commission and agreed upon by each member state. Maryland, and other states with a stake in the striped bass fishery, will have a more long-term picture of the fishery after the next commission meeting, which begins on April 30.  
“With input from our stakeholders and our team of biologists we continue to move forward to preserve, protect and restore the striped bass fishery,” Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer said.  
Current, detailed and localized information on striped bass fishing throughout Maryland is available on the department’s striped bass regulation website.



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