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Mechanicsville Man Arrested for Possession of Altered Shotgun

On October 1, 2022, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 27300 block of Three Notch Road in Mechanicsville, for a welfare check of an individual sleeping inside a vehicle at an area business. Deputies arrived on scene and located the vehicle occupied by Alexander Wayne Pope, age 28 of Mechanicsville, parked at the fuel pumps. Pope was observed to have a firearm in his lap and was subsequently taken into custody. Located in the vehicle was an altered shotgun, suspected cocaine, and several suspected CDS smoking devices.

 

Pope was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and charged with multiple firearm offenses and drug charges.

 

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.

New Price Set for Calvert County Transferable Development Rights Reserve Program

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 30, 2022 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board announces an increase in the purchase price of Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) for the county’s TDR Reserve program.

The BOCC approved a new purchase price of $5,000 per TDR, which will replace the $4,500 price previously approved in August 2021. The county will offer to buy and sell development rights from willing participants on a first-come, first-served basis as available funding and TDR supply allows. There is no limit on how many TDRs can be sold by an owner.

TDRs that are purchased from the TDR Reserve will be sold at the purchase price paid by the BOCC, plus an additional 1% administrative fee.

The TDR Reserve program acts as a revolving fund in which TDRs are purchased, reserved and resold by the BOCC, allowing citizens to purchase and sell TDRs through county government instead of private negotiations between buyers and sellers. By continually purchasing TDRs from Agricultural Preservation District (APD) owners, the program helps to facilitate TDR sales between farmers and developers who need them. The use of TDRs allows owners to increase density potential within designated residential growth areas while also protecting the county’s natural resources and preserving productive agricultural and forested lands for future generations.

Managed by the Department of Planning & Zoning, applications for both buyers and sellers are available on the county website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/TDR-Reserve.

Completed applications may be submitted by mail to the Department of Planning & Zoning, Attention: Rural Planner Jennifer David at 205 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678, or by email to Jennifer.David@calvertcountymd.gov. For more information, citizens may email Ms. David or call 410-535-1600, ext. 2238.

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.

Calvert County Board of Elections Provides Voting Information for 2022 General Election

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 30, 2022 – As Election Day approaches, the Calvert County Board of Elections provides important voting information for residents. The Maryland general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Early voting will take place from Thursday, Oct. 27 through Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.

Voter Registration

The last day to register in advance to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Same-day voter registration will be available at all early voting centers and polling locations during early voting and on Election Day. To complete a same-day registration, eligible, unregistered voters will need to bring a document that proves residency, such as an MVA-issued license, ID card or change of address card, or a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill or other government document with your name and current address.

Mail-in and Sample Ballots

The Maryland State Board of Elections has begun sending mail-in ballots to voters who have requested to vote by mail in the general election.

Individuals who wish to vote by mail must submit a mail-in ballot request form before Nov. 1, 2022. Completed request forms may be mailed or placed in the Election Board drop box located in front of the Community Resources Building at 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick. Requests must be received by Nov. 1. A mail-in ballot can also be requested online with a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card. To complete an application online, visit vote.md.gov/NeedBallot. Voters may also request a form by calling the Calvert County Board of Elections at 410-535-2214.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 8 in order to be counted. Voters may also submit a ballot by placing it in one of the four secure drop boxes available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. Drop boxes are under surveillance and ballots are retrieved daily by Board of Elections staff from the following locations:

·         Community Resources Building, 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick

·         Southern Community Center, 20 Appeal Lane in Lusby

·         Fairview Vote Center (behind the Calvert Library Fairview Branch), 8120 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Owings

·         Northeast Community Center, 4075 Gordon Stinnett Ave. in Chesapeake Beach

Sample ballots will begin arriving in mailboxes after Oct. 15. A sample ballot includes an example of the actual ballot the voter will receive, including a list of candidates and ballot referendums, the date of the election, voter precinct information and voting instructions.

Early Voting – Oct. 27 through Nov. 3

Individuals can vote early in person from Thursday, Oct. 27 through Thursday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including Saturday and Sunday, at the following locations:

·         Community Resources Building, 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick

·         Southern Community Center, 20 Appeal Lane in Lusby

·         Fairview Vote Center (behind the Calvert Library Fairview Branch), 8120 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Owings

Residents may vote at any early voting center and are encouraged to check the online wait-time dashboard for the approximate voter wait time at each location.

Election Day – Nov. 8

Voters may cast their ballot at their assigned polling center on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The least crowded time to vote on Election Day is typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Citizens can find their polling place, which is based on their election precinct, by visiting the Maryland voting location lookup online. Voters may bring their sample ballots with them when they cast their vote. County transportation services will be available on Election Day.

For local information and updates on the 2022 Election, visit the Calvert County Board of Elections website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Vote and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CalvertElectionBoard.

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.

Theft/Disorderly at Middle School

On the morning of September 29, a student at General Smallwood Middle School stole shoes from another student and became disorderly when confronted by administrators. Administrators summonsed the School Resource Officer, who detained the student and was able to deescalate the situation. The student was charged on a Juvenile Offense Report with theft and disorderly conduct and released to a parent. Cpl. S. Cook investigated.

Maryland State Police Reminding Motorists Move Over Law Expands To All Vehicles Beginning Oct. 1

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – The Maryland State Police are reminding motorists that beginning October 1, 2022, the Move Over Law in Maryland expands to require motorists to make a lane change or slow down when approaching any stopped, standing, or parked vehicle displaying warning signals – including hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals including traffic cones, caution signs, or non-vehicular warning signs.

The intent of the Move Over law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for motorists, along with police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service personnel and utility workers working on Maryland roads. It is hoped that drivers will become more aware of police and emergency workers and others stopped along the road and move away from them or slow down as they pass by the traffic stop or incident scene.

This movement should only be done if another lane in the same direction is available and the move can be made safely and without impeding other traffic.  If moving to another lane away from the stopped vehicle is not possible, the law requires drivers to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.

Violating the law is a misdemeanor carrying a $110 fine and one point on your license. If the violation causes a crash, the fine is $150 and three points. If there is a death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points.

The original move over law went into effect in 2010. In 2014, the law was expanded to not only include police cars but also tow trucks, fire trucks and medical and rescue trucks as well. On Oct. 1, 2018, the law expanded again to transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices. Maryland is now the eighth state in the U.S. to expand its move over law to include any vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard lights on or road flares displayed

Traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers.  From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation said. In Maryland, more than 4,000 people were injured and 53 people were killed in work zone crashes between 2014 and 2019.

Motorists appear to have received the message, which is appreciated. Since the law initially expanded in 2014, troopers went from issuing 5,408 citations and 12,179 warnings that year to 886 citations and 4,030 warnings in 2021 for move over violations. Through Sept. 27, 2022, troopers have issued 622 citations and 3,215 warnings for similar violations this year.

Community Resource Day Rescheduled

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Homelessness Prevention Board announces that due to forecasted inclement weather, Community Resource Day has been moved to its rain date of Friday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension, located at 24641 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park.

This event is free and open to the public. Talk to representatives from more than 40 organizations to learn about the wide array of programs and services available in St. Mary’s County. There will be giveaways, including backpacks, and lunch will be available on Community Resource Day.

For more information, please contact Sara Martin at smartin@threeoakscenter.org or 301-863-7361.

Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Involving Pedestrian

Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Involving Pedestrian: On September 26 at approximately 10:33 p.m., officers responded to the area of Old Washington Road and Bad Dog Alley for the report of a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers located a man deceased in the roadway. Initial investigation revealed that the man, later identified as Jeremy Alexander Parks, 30 of Hughesville, was operating an electric scooter in the southbound lane on Old Washington Road. Parks was struck from behind by a vehicle which was also traveling southbound. The impact caused him to cross the roadway where he was subsequently struck by at least one additional vehicle that was traveling northbound. All of the motor vehicles involved fled the scene.

Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in providing information about this crash. At this time, investigators believe a silver 2001-2003 Honda Civic and a maroon 2004-2005 Toyota Sienna may have been involved. The images provided are not the actual vehicles involved.  Anyone who witnessed this collision or who has any information is asked to contact Cpl. D. Spence at 301-932-3514. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. The investigation is ongoing.

Gate 3 Hours Extended Beginning Oct. 3, Road Construction Projects Oct. 7-11

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – NAS Patuxent River will extend its hours at Gate 3 from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Gate 3 will close on weekends and holidays. Gate 1 will continue 24-hour operations seven days a week. Gate 2 is open 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and closed weekends and holidays. For more information on NAS Patuxent River, visit www.facebook.com/NASPaxRiver, www.twitter.com/NASPaxRiverPAO, and https://ndw.cnic.navy.mil/Installations/NAS-PatuxentRiver/ .

Charles County Government October Holiday Schedule

The County Administrator wishes to remind residents of changes to operating schedules for the month of October: 

Saturday, Oct. 8 (Scrap Tire Drop-off Day)

 

Monday, Oct. 10 (Columbus Day)

  • All Charles County Government offices and the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville will be closed.
  • The Nanjemoy Community Center, all senior centers, and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • All indoor pools will be open noon - 5 p.m. for open swim (Lackey, Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center, and North Point).
  • The Waldorf Senior and Recreation Center will be closed.

 

Operating status for other County affiliated agencies:

 

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.

St. Mary's County Department of Public Works & Transportation to Provide Self-Service Sandbags in Advance of Weekend Storms

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Due to the potential for excessive amounts of rain from Hurricane Ian, the Department of Public Works & Transportation is offering self-service sandbags on the following days and times: Thursday, Sept. 29, noon to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Sandbags will be available at the following St. Mary’s County Convenience Center locations:

 

            Charlotte Hall – 37766 New Market Turner Road

            Oakville – 26630 North Sandgates Road

            Clements – 24547 Horseshoe Road

            St. Andrews – 44595 St. Andrews Church Road

            Valley Lee – 45350 Happyland Road

            Ridge – 13939 Point Lookout Road

 

Sandbags are not pre-filled and are limited to between 10-25 sandbags per person while supplies last.

 

For more information, contact the Department of Public Works & Transportation at 301-475-4200, ext. 3527.

Re-Fund The Police: Governor Hogan Announces Applications Now Open For Additional Community Safety Works Grants

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that applications are now being accepted for the state’s second round of grant funding for the Community Safety Works program. Administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as part of the governor’s Re-Fund The Police Initiative, Community Safety Works offers up to $10 million in funding for the implementation of crime prevention strategies through physical design improvements, operational activities, community services, blight removal, and increased property maintenance. 

“Community Safety Works is an important component of our our Re-fund The Police Initiative, providing resources to local business owners and community organizations for crime prevention efforts in neighborhoods across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “This additional $10 million in funding will help residents and other stakeholders who are actively trying to make their communities safer and more secure."

Improvements include:

  • Auto and pedestrian circulation upgrades to slow traffic so that streets are walkable and pedestrian friendly;
  • Improving opportunities for “eyes on the street,” by removing barriers to sight lines, opening closed spaces, and renovating public spaces to draw regular visitors and family activity;
  • Reinforcing community ownership by cleaning and beautifying streets, sidewalks, signage, and parks; 
  • Official surveillance tools such as lighting, cameras, organized local resident patrols or staffed security patrols, and community policing initiatives developed in consultation with local law enforcement; and
  • Street outreach to interrupt and prevent illegal activities and violence.

“Community Safety Works is an initiative that engages local leaders to create partnerships and plans to protect their families, friends, and patrons,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “These grants are already positively impacting communities across Maryland, and this second round will further support measures like security upgrades and community watches.” Applications for the second round of funding are open as of noon today. For more information about Community Safety Works and this round of funding, please visit dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/csw/.

General Election Public Logic and Accuracy Demonstration In St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Board of Elections will conduct the Public Logic and Accuracy Demonstration on the DS200 Ballot Scanner Unit Friday, October 7, 2022, at 10 a.m. for the 2022 Gubernatorial General Election.

The public demonstration will be held at the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections office located at 23250 Hollywood Road in Leonardtown.

For questions or information, please contact Wendy Adkins at wendy.adkins@stmarysmd.com or call 301-475-4200, ext. 1613.

Sandbags Available to Help Calvert Residents Protect Property

Due to predicted rainfall and possible flooding conditions resulting from Hurricane Ian, sand and sandbags are available for Calvert County residents who need them to protect property. Sandbags are available at the following locations:

·         Appeal Convenience Center (200 Sweetwater Road, Lusby) Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

·         Barstow Convenience Center (350 Stafford Road, Barstow) Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.

·         Mt. Hope Convenience Center (96 Pushaw Station Road, Sunderland) Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

County staff will be available to assist. Sandbags are limited to 20 per person.

It is important to stay informed about potential severe weather through official channels, as information may change rapidly. Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for official weather information, alerts and warnings; follow instructions and advice given by emergency officials.

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.

September 27th St. Mary's Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting in the Chesapeake Building Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, with the invocation and pledge, followed by approval of the consent agenda.

The Commissioners met with the Maryland Department of Transportation to discuss transportation priorities, including the Thomas Johnson Bridge, MD 5 and Point Lookout Road, and local bus stops.

The Commissioners presented the Department of Public Works & Transportation with a Proclamation recognizing World Architecture Day.

The State’s Attorney’s Office received approval for their request to execute the FY2023 Cooperative Reimbursement Agreement from the Maryland Department of Human Services on behalf of the State's Attorney's Office, Child Support Division, for $834,667.

The Commissioners accepted a grant from the St. Mary's County Health Department and the sub-recipient agreement with Project Chesapeake for $84,607 to fund the Circuit Court’s Adult Recovery Court program.

The Sheriff’s Office received approval for their request to accept the FY2023 Police Accountability, Community and Transparency (PACT) Grant Award, from the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, in the amount of $76,796. Funds will support the acquisition of a Virtual Reality Simulator (VRS) {hardware/equipment and software}and the implementation of a VR Training Program for agency sworn and correctional officers.

The Department of Finance introduced the Board of Education to present its FY2029 State Capital Improvement Program. The Commissioners approved the request to submit a letter of support for the program to the Interagency Commission on School Construction.

The Board of Education proposed and received approval from the Commissioners for two additional requests. The first request was for a categorical budget adjustment for the Concentration of Poverty Act. The second request was for an FY2023 restricted fund budget increase for the Maryland Leads Grant Award.

The Commissioners approved a request from the Department of Economic Development to award a property tax credit incentive for J. F. Taylor, Inc. under the County's New and Expanding Tax Credit Program.

The Commissioners agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Emergency Services and VCA Animal Hospitals to provide support services for the St. Mary’s County Animal Adoption and Resource Center.

The Department of Emergency Services received approval to enter into an agreement with Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. The Institute has offered the Department of Emergency Services a curriculum and trainers to provide a Fire and Rescue Certification program enabling high school students to begin a public safety career track.

The Department of Recreation and Parks received approval for the Governor's Child Care Stabilization Grant Award from the Maryland State Department of Education for $35,125. Grant funds will go toward the six School Age Care programs for the 2022-2023 school year.

The Commissioners approved an amended lease request for the gymnastics facility in Lexington Park that extends the county’s lease of the building through Dec. 31, 2022.

The Department of Recreation and Parks presented a request for the Program Open Space, Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure Funding development applications for the 5th District Light Project, Americans With Disabilities Act Transition Plan Project, Dorsey Park Field project, and the Leonard Hall Recreation Center project in the total amount of $1,125,000. The Commissioners approved the request.

The next Commissioner business meeting will be in the Chesapeake Building at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 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.

St. Inigoes Man Arrested for Illegal Possession of a Firearm

On September 27, 2022, detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID) executed a search and seizure warrant for the residence and person of Taquan Anthony Berry, age 24 of St. Inigoes. Located in the residence was a loaded handgun; Berry is prohibited by law from possessing a regulated firearm. Berry was arrested and charged with Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm and Illegal Possession of Ammunition.

 

Berry remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, awaiting an appearance before the District Court commissioner.

 

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.

 

Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a48820650

Calvert County to Hold Free Residential Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event

The Calvert County Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Division, will host a free household hazardous waste collection event for county residents Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The event will be held at the Appeal Landfill located at 401 Sweetwater Rd. in Lusby, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine.

Hazardous household products are common in many homes and must be disposed of carefully in order to prevent dangerous chemical reactions, ignition, burns, vapors and ground water contamination that can occur when otherwise included with everyday household waste. A substance is considered hazardous if it is corrosive or toxic, ignites easily, or reacts or explodes when mixed with other substances.

Acceptable hazardous waste items include auto and floor care products, medications, pesticides, gasoline, fertilizers, ammunition and more. To determine if a substance is hazardous, check product labels for words and/or symbols that indicate caution, warning, danger, poison or toxic. Latex paints will not be accepted at this event.

There is no limit per resident and proof of residency is required. Businesses are prohibited from this event. For a full listing of accepted hazardous waste materials and for more information on household hazardous waste collection events, call the Calvert County Solid Waste Division at 410-326-0210 or visit www.CalvertCountymd.gov/HazardousWaste.

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.

Homelessness Prevention Board Plans Community Resource Day

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Join the St. Mary’s County Homelessness Prevention Board at this year’s Community Resource Day, to be held Friday, Sept. 30, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Church of the Ascension, located at 21641 Great Mills Rd, Lexington Park.

This event is free and open to the public. Talk to representatives from more than 40 organizations to learn about the vast array of programs and services available in St. Mary’s County. There will be giveaways, including backpacks, and lunch will be available on Community Resource Day.

Community Resource Day is an outdoor event. In case of inclement weather, a rain date is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7.

For more information, please contact Sara Martin at smartin@threeoakscenter.org or 301-863-7361.

Suspect in Multiple Assaults Apprehended - Two Firearms Recovered

Suspect in Multiple Violent Assaults Apprehended / Two Firearms Recovered: On September 19 at 4:15 p.m., officers were searching the Bryans Road area for a suspect wanted in connection with several violent domestic-related assaults in which the suspect used a firearm to pistol-whip the victim and threaten her. The suspect, Branden Alfred Holland, 23, of Indian Head, was observed in a truck in the 6900 block of Indian Head Highway where officers were able to safely apprehend him. A search incident to arrest revealed two loaded firearms in the vehicle: one was a polymer “ghost” gun – meaning it did not have a serial number–and the other was a 9mm handgun that had been reported stolen from another state.

Holland was charged in connection with attacking a female acquaintance during which he threw her to the ground, drug her across asphalt, pistol-whipped her and pointed a firearm at her threatening to shoot her. She was able to break free and run for help. Holland fled the scene. Officers obtained an arrest warrant for first-degree assault and other charges. 

At the time of this arrest, Holland was out of jail on a $10K bond stemming from an illegal handgun possession charge which violated his probation conditions from an armed robbery case in 2019. Holland was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, illegal possession of firearms, false imprisonment, malicious destruction, and failure to appear. On September 20, a judge ordered Holland be held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. 

The United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force assisted the CCSO with this arrest.

St. Mary's County Government Operations for Columbus Day

LEONARDTOWN, MD – In observance of the Columbus Day holiday, all St. Mary's County Government administrative offices will be closed Monday, October 10, 2022. Offices will reopen with regular operating schedules Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

 

The six (6) Convenience Centers and the St. Andrews Landfill will be open normal operating hours Monday, October 10, 2022.

All three St. Mary's County Library branches (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed Monday, October 10, 2022.

All Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed Monday, October 10, 2022. There will be no Home-Delivered Meals.

The St. Mary's Transit System (STS) will be closed Monday, October 10, 2022.

The Department of Recreation and Parks School programs and facilities will operate on a normal schedule.

The St. Clement's Island Museum, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and the Old Jail Museum will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Wicomico Shores Golf Course will be open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and the Riverview Restaurant will be open 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Use of Forest Conservation Transferable Development Rights to End June 30, 2024

 The Department of Planning & Zoning advises current owners of Forest Conservation Transferable Development Rights (FC TDRs) that as a result of the Maryland Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021, FC TDRs will no longer be permitted as a method of satisfying forest conservation requirements for development projects after June 30, 2024. Therefore, FC TDRs can no longer be created and all projects using allocated FC TDRs must receive final approval on or before June 30, 2024.

Historically, the FC TDR program allowed an owner of land in an Agricultural Preservation District to sell their TDRs on existing forest land to another party so that the other party could meet forest conservation requirements.

Current FC TDR owners are encouraged to consider selling their FC TDRs while they are still usable by adding their contact information to the county’s TDRs-for-Sale list. Existing certified FC TDRs are in limited supply and valuable to the development community during this transition. Any FC TDRs that are not allocated before June 30, 2024 will automatically revert to traditional TDRs and may lose some of their financial advantage as a result.

Planning & Zoning strongly encourages the development community to consider alternatives to using FC TDRs in site designs as soon as possible, as FC TDRs are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and the ability to use FC TDRs for mitigation will not be an option after June 30, 2024.

For more information about the changes to the FC TDR program, please contact Planner II/Rural Planner Jennifer David at Jennifer.David@calvertcountymd.gov. For additional information about forest conservation requirements and mitigation options, please contact Planner II/Environmental Colleen Anglin at Colleen.Anglin@calvertcountymd.gov.

Calvert County created the first land preservation program in Maryland and currently has the most active TDR program in the state. The TDR program is intended to deter development of farms and forest lands and divert development to areas targeted for residential and commercial growth. Through various state and local conservation programs Calvert County has preserved over 33,000 acres of land to date, toward a goal of 40,000 acres preserved. Learn more at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/AgriculturalPreservation.

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.

Lexington Park Man Arrested For September 9th Shooting

Sept. 23, 2022 update: The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office arrested Walter Harrison Nelson Jr., age 55 of Lexington Park, on warrants on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, from a shooting incident earlier this month. Nelson was charged with First-Degree Assault, Second-Degree Assault, Firearm use/Fel-Violent Crime, Firearm Possession with Felony Conviction and Illegal Possession of Ammo.

 

On Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, at 12:41 am, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 21000 block of Edgar Way in Lexington Park for a reported shooting. On scene, deputies located a 33-year-old male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit and Crime Lab responded to the scene. Cpl. Brandon Foor conducted a track and K-9 Dyno successfully located a firearm.

 

The victim was flown to a regional hospital for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

 

Detectives with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division responded and continued the investigation. Preliminary investigation determined that several people were at the residence for a cookout when an altercation occurred, resulting in the shooting. A warrant was served on the residence and evidence related to the shooting was recovered. The investigation continues at this time to positively identify the assailant.

 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Warren Forinash at 301-475-4200, ext. 78072 or email at warren.forinash@stmarysmd.com.

Van Hollen, Warren, Pressley, Garcia Introduce Bill to Provide Americans Immediate Access to Money in their Bank Accounts

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.) introduced their Payments Modernization Act, legislation to make Americans’ funds deposited in their bank accounts immediately available for withdrawal. Right now, Americans lose billions of dollars each year in overdraft fees, driving consumers to turn to more costly financial products because of our inefficient payments system. By updating the Expedited Funds Availability Act and requiring financial institutions to recognize funds in real time this bill will improve Americans’ access to their money and support the Federal Reserve’s implementation of its real time payments system, FedNow.

 

“Americans deserve a banking system that works for them. But when deposited funds aren’t immediately available it costs folks time and money – especially in exorbitant overdraft fees. With this legislation, we’re requiring banks to make the dollars Americans deposit in their accounts available to use immediately. This common-sense bill will help Americans better manage their money and will help pave the way for the Fed’s new faster payments system, FedNow,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

 

“People living paycheck-to-paycheck shouldn’t have to wait up to five days for a check to clear so that they can pay their rent, cover child care, or pick up groceries,” said Senator Warren. “Our bill would ensure a national, real-time payments system so that families have faster access to the money they earned and don’t have to pay overdraft fees or rely on a shady payday lender to make ends meet.”

 

“Delayed access to payments is just one example of our unjust, tiered financial system that prioritizes financial institutions over consumers. Working families in the Massachusetts 7th and beyond can’t afford to wait days to have their paychecks cleared,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “We should be using every tool available to provide relief for consumers and allowing people to access their money in real-time is one way to do just that. I’m glad the Fed is making progress toward implementing a real-time payments system, something I have consistently called for, and I urge Congress to pass our bill so consumers can begin feeling this relief without delay.”

 

“Working families in my district deserve to know that every penny they earn will be available to them as soon as their paychecks are deposited. Families should not have to pay overdraft fees because their money takes days to appear in their bank accounts. The Federal Reserve has a responsibility to ensure working families are not facing economic hardship from unjust systems. It must modernize and establish a reliable and efficient system to make sure people can access their money in real-time, when they need it most,” said Congressman García.

 

“This legislation will save working families billions every year. Giving people access to their own money in real-time will result in fewer overdrafts, payday loans, late fees, interest charges. This legislation will make it less expensive to be poor. America’s antiquated payment system is a driver of income inequality,” said Aaron Klein, Senior Fellow and Carliner Chair in Economic Studies at Brookings Institution.   

 

The lawmakers initially introduced this bill in July 2019 and have since updated it following the Fed’s progress on developing its real time payments system, FedNow. The text of the bill is available here

 

Second Man Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder During THC Drug Robbery of High School Student

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, a Charles County jury, after an 8-day trial and less than a day of deliberation, convicted Mikayle Tahed Qawwee, 21, of Waldorf, of the First-Degree Murder and Armed Robbery of Bradley Brown, as well as related charges.  

On February 18, 2020, officers responded to the 3100 block of Warehouse Landing Road in Bryans Road for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found one victim, Bradley Brown, with gunshot wounds to his chest and leg. Unfortunately, the 17-year-old victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.  

An investigation revealed that Qawwee and co-defendant Darryl Edward Freeman planned to rob Brown prior to the shooting. On the day of the incident, Freeman reached out to Brown under the guise of purchasing THC vape cartridges. Freeman, Qawwee, and another individual later arrived at Brown’s residence and announced a robbery.  

Brown was shot and killed during the robbery of the THC vape cartridges, which were worth approximately $850. Qawwee, Freeman, and the other individual fled the area in Freeman’s vehicle immediately after the shooting.  

Qawwee was in possession of the THC vape cartridges and tried to sell them after the armed robbery and murder. However, he gave them to a friend after Freeman was arrested.  

Freeman was convicted of First-Degree Murder and related charges on May 6, 2021. He was sentenced to Life in prison on August 31, 2021.  

A sentencing date has been set for Qawwee on November 22, 2022. He faces Life plus 48 years in prison.  

 

 

Guilty  

  • First-Degree Murder  
  • 3 counts of Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime of Violence  
  • First-Degree Assault  
  • Armed Robbery  
  • Robbery  
  • Theft: $100 to under $1500  
  • Possession of a Regulated Firearm Under the Age of 21  
  • Wear, Carry, and Transport of a Handgun  
  • Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Assault  
  • Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery  
  • Conspiracy to Commit Robbery  
  • Conspiracy to Commit Theft: $100 to under $1500  

Non-Specific Threats Under Investigation

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating non-specific and generalized threats of violence regarding the St. Mary’s County Fair and public high school football games and other school activities. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office wants to assure the public our agency has numerous uniformed deputies and staff monitoring and working the St. Mary’s County Fair and other public events this weekend.

 

We continue to work with our allied agencies to assess and evaluate online threats and staffing a unified command post for the fair. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement partners are striving to ensure a safe and happy 75th county fair.

 

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.

St. Mary's County Fair Parking Advisory for Friday

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County residents planning to attend the County Fair in Leonardtown are advised that overflow parking in the Leonardtown High School and the Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center will not be available Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. There will be parking available on the fairgrounds and overflow parking only at Leonardtown Middle School.

On Friday, fairgoers should plan for possible traffic delays and be alert to officials directing traffic in and around the schools and fairgrounds. Please also be aware of large numbers of pedestrians walking to and from the fair.

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