Star Local News Archives for 2020-01

UPDATE: Investigation Continues Into Fatal Two-Vehicle Crash In Prince George's County

(BRANDYWINE, MD) – Maryland State Police continue their investigation into a fatal two-vehicle crash in Prince George’s County last night.   
The victim has tentatively been identified as Jose Daniel Aguilar Echeverria, 21, of Waldorf, Maryland. He was the driver and sole occupant of a Dodge Charger. The victim’s body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsy. No one else was injured in the crash.
The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly before 11:00 p.m. yesterday troopers from the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack were dispatched to a reported crash on northbound Rt. 301 north of Cedarville Road. When troopers arrived, Prince George’s County fire and EMS personnel were on the scene extinguishing a fire at the crash site.  EMS officials declared one person in a car deceased.
At this time, the preliminary investigation indicates a tractor trailer carrying wood chips was northbound on Rt. 301, when a passenger car, for unknown reasons, crashed into the back of the tractor trailer and subsequently caught fire. The northbound lanes of Rt. 301 in the area of the crash remained closed for several hours.
Northbound Rt. 301 reopened to traffic around 5:00 a.m. this morning.  Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration personnel and troopers from the La Plata barrack assisted with the lane closures and earlier detour at the scene. Troopers from the Forestville barrack as well as Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division personnel are investigating the crash.
 
Troopers from the Forestville Barrack ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash to please contact the barrack at (301) 568-8101. The investigation into the crash continues.

0
comments


Cardin Says Block Granting of Medicaid is a Reckless Attack on Vulnerable Americans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee, released the following statement on the announcement that the Trump Administration plans to limit Medicaid spending by converting its funding into block grants.
 
“This guidance represents the latest, most egregious move in the Trump Administration’s campaign to slash social safety nets and jeopardize the health of our most vulnerable communities. Turning Medicaid into a limited block grant will give states unprecedented license to cut benefits, eligibility, and provider payments for the 70 million low-income and disabled Americans who rely on this life-saving program. Such a reckless attack on health coverage for vulnerable Americans is unacceptable.  Families across the country already successfully raised their voices to stop Republicans’ attempts in Congress to block grant Medicaid. Now we must come together once more to protect every American’s right to quality health care.”

0
comments


Public Invited to Honor Veterans During "On Watch" Memorial Brick Campaign

Citizens are invited to honor a World War II veteran with a memorial paver brick on the Veterans Patio at the “On Watch” memorial statue in Solomons.
 
The Calvert County Department of General Services is coordinating the annual campaign, which runs through May 1, 2020.
 
The monument commemorates those who served the United States during World War II. The cost of each brick is $100 and is tax deductible. Purchasers will be notified when engraving and installation are complete. Gifts made toward the memorial brick campaign are used for the maintenance and care of the statue and grounds, located at 14485 Dowell Road in Solomons.
 
An application is available online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/OnWatch. To learn more, contact Melinda Donnelly at 410-535-1600, ext. 2327.
 
The “On Watch” memorial statue is an 8-foot bronze statue by Maryland artist Antonio Tobias Mendez commemorating the people and work done at the Solomons Amphibious Training Base during World War II. This facility, the nation’s first amphibious training facility, was active from 1942-1945 and its effect on the area continues to be felt today. The statue was unveiled in August 2007.
 
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.

0
comments


Cliff Collapse South of Bayfront Park aka Brownies Beach

Yesterday morning, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Department, Twin Beach Deputies and North Beach Volunteer Fire Department responded to reports of a cliff collapse just south of the Town owned beach, Bayfront Park. At the time of the report individuals were searching for fossils past the area that is open to the public, within private property, when a portion of the cliff collapsed. One member of the group was initially not accounted for.
 
A search was initiated, which thankfully resulted in all members of the fossil hunting group confirmed to be safe. “Thank you to our first responders, the Twin Beach Deputies and our Department of Public Works for their preparation, effective communication and response during emergencies such as what took place today. We are thankful that there were no injuries and want to remind citizens to learn from this close call and adhere to the signage posted restricting public access to dangerous areas”, stated Mayor Pat “Irish” Mahoney.
 
Bayfront Park serves a natural habitat for animals by water and land, a resource full of history and fossils and expansive views of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. While the Beach is beautiful, signage prohibiting access to areas must be taken seriously. The signage does not serve as only a reminder that there are dangers ahead, but more
importantly serves as official notice of restricted areas that are not accessible to the public.
 
Several areas of Bayfront Park have signage posted restricting access due to the dangers of the ever changing and instable cliffs.
 
Per section 19-96 of the Town Code, it is unlawful for any person to enter these areas and any person violating the provisions shall be guilty of a municipal infraction.
 
The waterfront area south of the Bayfront Park is private property and not owned by the Town. Accessing this area, through Bayfront Park, is considered Trespassing in addition to a violation of Town Code.
 
Lets all stay safe while we continue to enjoy the beauty of Chesapeake Beach.

0
comments


One Dead In Two Vehicle Crash In Prince George's Co.

(BRANDYWINE, MD) — Maryland State Police are on the scene of a fatal two-vehicle crash in Prince George’s County.
 
Details are limited at this time.  The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly before 11:00 p.m. yesterday, Maryland State Police troopers from the Forestville Barrack were dispatched to a reported crash on northbound Rt. 301, north of Cedarville Road.  When troopers arrived, fire and EMS personnel were on the scene extinguishing a fire at the crash site.  EMS officials determined one person in a car was deceased.
 
At this time, the preliminary investigation indicates a tractor trailer was northbound on Rt. 301.  A passenger car was also northbound on Rt. 301 and, for reasons unknown at this time, ran into the back of the tractor trailer and subsequently caught fire.
 
Northbound Rt. 301 is closed and is expected to remain closed until the early morning hours as the investigation and scene cleanup continue.  Northbound traffic is being diverted onto McKendree Rd.  MDOT State Highway Administration personnel will be assisting with a detour around the scene.
 
The investigation is continuing.  Additional information will be provided when it becomes available later today.

0
comments


New Bomb Squad Robot Will Expand Capabilities

STATEWIDE (January 30, 2020) - The Office of the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad is prepared to deploy its newest bomb disposal robot. Bomb Technicians have been training for months on the new Telerob Telemax PRO. On Monday, February 3, 2020, the robot will be placed into service and ready to mitigate possible explosive hazards. The Office of the State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad is one of nine National Capitol Region Bomb Squads, commonly referred to as "Metrotech." The new robot will be a welcomed addition to the current fleet of seven older units the OSFM has spread across the State.
 
The cost of the Telemax PRO was approximately $400,000.00 and acquired via a grant from the National Capital Region, Urban Area Security Initiative. Among the many functions, the robot is capable of is conducting remote diagnostics, render safe operations on packages, and assist with barricade situations. One of the most exciting pieces of technology the unit has is hazardous material sampling equipment. This will support HAZMAT teams by sending the robot into a scene versus public safety personnel for collection. State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci stated: "Bomb Technicians carry out some very delicate work and often risk their lives performing their duties. This addition to our fleet will keep our personnel safer".  
 
With the new unit being a medium-sized robot with a larger platform, Bomb Technicians will have the advantage of maneuvering into small spaces such as airplane cabins, train cars, and buses. The new robot weighs significantly less at only 170-pounds compared to the approximate 400-pound units the agency has in service. "Being able to send a robot into a situation remotely is critical. This new robot will be small enough to enter tight spaces where bomb technicians had to go before, and that was a high-risk environment for them. Confined spaces magnify the effect of explosives," stated Deputy Chief Duane K. Svites, Bomb Squad Commander. The robot is equipped with more than 30 pre-programmed automatic motion sequences for manipulators and flippers.
 
Telerob is a German-based company; however, service to the robot can be accomplished through their local office in Erie, Pennsylvania. The robot will be available for responses out of the agency's office located at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. 
 
 
Deputy State Fire Marshal-Bomb Technicians must complete six weeks of initial training at the FBI Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Alabama. The Bomb Squad requires monthly in-service training and collaborative mock simulation exercises with other agencies. Additionally, the OSFM operates a maritime explosive response team that provides the Bomb Squad with the ability to respond and manage explosive incidents in or around Maryland's waterways and shipping industry. DSFM Bomb Technicians assigned to the Underwater Hazardous Device Team receive advanced training in underwater diving, boating, and tactical operations.

0
comments


Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted First-Degree Murder, Pleads Conspiracy to Commit Murder in Separate Case

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on January 29, 2020, Michael Rashid Moore, 22 of Waldorf, entered a guilty plea in Charles County Circuit Court, in front of the Honorable Judge William R. Greer, Jr., to the Attempted First-Degree Murder of Ronald Murphy, Jr., Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence, and Conspiracy to Commit the First-Degree Murder of Walter Thomas.

 

On March 3, 2019, officers responded to an apartment complex in the area of Amber Leaf Place in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found victim Murphy lying on the floor of an apartment bedroom, suffering with multiple gunshot wounds. Murphy was treated on scene then transported to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center, where he was further treated. At the hospital, two bullets were discovered to have traveled to his neck and one bullet traveled to his lung; however, thankfully, he survived.

 

Two days later, on March 5, 2019, officers responded to the 3000 block of Gallery Place in Waldorf for the report of a missing person. Officers canvassed the area and discovered victim Walter Thomas lying face down by a bike path in the area of Freemantle Court. Thomas, who suffered a single gunshot wound, was unresponsive and pronounced deceased at the scene.

 

An investigation into the shootings revealed that months prior to Murphy’s shooting, Moore and an acquaintance of Murphy got into a physical altercation. During the evening hours of March 3, 2019, Moore saw Murphy seated in his vehicle in the area of Amber Leaf Place and Wakefield Circle. Moore approached the rear of Murphy’s vehicle and began shooting at him because of the prior altercation. Before fleeing the area, Moore shot Murphy three times in his back.

 

During the course of the investigation, Moore admitted to detectives that he shot Murphy. Moore also stated that he conspired with another individual to cover up the shooting by doing a random armed robbery that would result in another shooting if the victim gave resistance. Moore supplied the bullet for the shooting.

 

On the evening of March 4, 2019, Thomas was walking with a friend in the area of Fairchild Court in Waldorf. The men were approached by a suspect who commanded them to not run away. Thomas’ friend was able to flee unharmed; however, Thomas was shot. Thomas attempted to flee the area but collapsed a short distance away.

 

A sentencing date has been set for March 26, 2020. Moore faces 40 years in prison pursuant to his plea agreement.

0
comments


Maryland State Police Reminds Motorists Not To Drive Impaired This Super Bowl Weekend

(PIKESVILLLE, MD) – The Baltimore Ravens may have come up short in their pursuit of a championship, but the Maryland State Police know there will still be plenty of people hosting and attending Super Bowl parties this Sunday.
 
Troopers are reminding motorists to enjoy the game, but avoid driving impaired when going to or leaving from their destination. Troopers from each of the 23 Maryland State Police barracks will continue to focus enforcement efforts on impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, distracted driving and other violations that often contribute to highway tragedies.  Additional troopers will be working overtime assignments Sunday thanks in part to funding from highway safety grants from the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office.
 
State troopers will be using a variety of patrol initiatives on Super Bowl Sunday to keep traffic moving, respond quickly to highway incidents and take appropriate enforcement action when violations are observed that threaten the safety of travelers.
 
Along with the saturation patrols, some of the initiatives planned by Maryland State Police include:
 
A combined enforcement effort by the Golden Ring, Westminster and Waterloo barracks.
Seat belt and distracted driving initiatives all weekend by the Cumberland Barrack
Crash reduction and DUI enforcement along US 40, MD 272 and MD 273 by the North East Barrack.
Additional coverage along Routes 50 and 404 by the Easton Barrack
Aggressive enforcement operations for DUI and traffic violations on US Routes 301, 20 and 50 by the Centreville Barrack.
McHenry Barrack troopers, when not handling calls to service, will also focus on areas of bar and liquor establishments on Route 219 extending to Oakland, Maryland.
Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, Maryland State Police made 44 DUI arrests, nine criminal arrests and 12 drug-related arrests. Troopers also issued 1,197 citations and 1,001 warnings and responded to 85 crashes and 1,391 calls for service on that day last year.
 
Among those assisting with this initiative will be the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, or SPIDRE team. The targeted law enforcement program was launched in May 2013 and focuses on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.
 
According to the Maryland Highway Safety Office, between 2014 and 2018 an average of 159 lives were lost and 3,190 were injured across the state in crashes involving impaired drivers. In addition, an average of 169 people died and 26,645 more were injured each year in Maryland due to distracted driving over the same period. Please don’t drive impaired, distracted or aggressively over the holiday travel season.
 
If you are attending a Super Bowl gathering:
 
Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service.
Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
Always buckle up.
Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl gathering:
 
Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages
Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
Have contact information for local taxi companies and/or ride-share services readily available.
Take away the keys from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
Troopers are urging motorists to avoid impaired driving and plan for a designated driver or a sober ride home. Help us keep Maryland highways safe this Super Bowl Sunday.

0
comments


Identity Needed for Counterfeit Money Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a counterfeit money investigation. On Monday, Jan. 27, 2020 at 4:25 pm, the suspect passed three counterfeit $100-dollar bills to purchase a food vacuum sealer at the California Walmart store.
 
 
Anyone with information about the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Max Schell at 301-475-4200, ext. 78161 or email max.schell@stmarysmd.com. Case # 5509-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at 10:05 pm, the suspect walked out of the Food Lion grocery store in Leonardtown with packages of meat that he did not pay for.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl. Timothy White at 301-475-4200, ext. 72307 or email timothy.white@stmarysmd.com. Case # 2769-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Charles County Government February Holiday Schedule

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

0
comments


Lexington Park Man Arrested for Assault

On January 27, 2020, at approximately 1:13 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 46500 block of Midway Drive in Lexington Park, for the reported shots fired. Preliminary investigation determined Dartanyen Rodell Saunders, age 19 of Lexington Park, responded to the victim’s residence armed with a shotgun. Saunders discharged the weapon into the occupied residence through an open window. Deputies observed spent shotgun shells on the ground and damage from projectiles above the front door of the residence. No injuries have been reported from this incident.
 
Saunders was located near the residence and arrested. Saunders was charged with the following:
 
Assault First Degree (two counts)
 
Reckless Endangerment
 
Malicious Destruction of Property
 
Saunders is incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Corporal Michael Worrey at (301) 475-4200 extension *8080 or by email at Michael.Worrey@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

0
comments


January 28th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

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

0
comments


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

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

0
comments


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

Patrol Officers Apprehend Suspects in Pharmacy Robbery / Detectives Link Suspects to Three Cases: Charles County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division have charged two suspects in connection with three armed robberies of different pharmacies throughout the county. 
 
On January 27 at approximately 2:08 a.m., three suspects – wearing masks and armed with a gun – entered the pharmacy area of a CVS store in the 6200 block of Crain Highway in La Plata. They demanded money and prescription medication and then fled in a car. Patrol officers located the suspects’ vehicle, which was abandoned in the 1000 block of St. Charles Parkway in White Plains. An extensive search of the area was conducted with the assistance of a Maryland State Police helicopter, patrol officers and detectives. During the search two of the suspects: Malik Trayvon Wade, 23, of Waldorf and Quintel Tyriq Lancaster, 19, of Indian Head. Both suspects were arrested and subsequently charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, use of a firearm during a violent crime, and other related charges in connection with this case. Detectives are working to identify the third suspect.
 
Detectives have also linked Wade to the January 23 robbery of the My Express Care Pharmacy located in the 4400 block of Crain Highway in White Plains. Additionally, both Lancaster and Wade were connected to a robbery that occurred on January 6 at the Indian Head Pharmacy in the 4100 block of Indian Head Highway in Indian Head. In these cases, Wade and Lancaster were charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, use of a handgun during the commission of a violent crime, and other charges. Detectives are still pursuing leads in those cases in an effort to identify other suspects.  
 
The investigation is on-going and detectives are asking anyone with additional information to contact Detective Burgess at (301) 609-6494 or Detective Wimberly at (301) 609-6491.  Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of any other suspects involved in these cases.  

0
comments


Citadel Shield Solid Curtain Exercise 2020

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

0
comments


Officer Involved Shooting in Lexington Park

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

0
comments


MDOT SHA Activates New Signal At Brandywine Road Interchange This Week

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

0
comments


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

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

0
comments


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

Leonardtown, MD – The Maryland Agriculture Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) has announced that it will accept applications for the Fiscal Year 2021 Easement Cycle.
 
A landowner that has a minimum of 50 contiguous acres, is not in the 10-year water and sewer plan for the County and has a minimum of 50% Class I, II, or III soils can apply to sell an easement to MALPF. It is yet to be determined how many applications MALPF will accept from each County.
 
All easement applications must be received by the Department of Economic Development Agriculture Division by April 30, 2020. Once applications are received, they will be ranked by St. Mary’s County Agriculture Land Preservation Advisory Board (ALPAB) using the state mandated Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) system. The top ranked applications will be submitted to the State for easement consideration.
 
Applications can be obtained by calling the Department of Economic Development Agriculture Division at (240) 309-4021.

0
comments


Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at 2:23 pm, the suspect stole a package from the victim’s front porch at the 46300 block of Shining Willow Lane in Lexington Park. The box contained a pair of tie-dyed Crocs shoes. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call DFC Carl Ball at 301-475-4200, ext. 78131 or email carl.ball@stmarysmd.com. Case # 4680-20
 
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Charles County Obtains Injunction to Prevent Adult Entertainment Establishment from Opening in Bryans Road

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

 

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

 

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

0
comments


Sheriff's Office Serves Injunction On Adult Club Friday

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

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

 

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

0
comments


NFPA Urges Teens Not To Participate In Trending Social Media Challenge

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

0
comments


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

0
comments


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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

0
comments


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

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

0
comments


Three Charged In Hollywood Home Invasion

On January 16, 2020, detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) responded to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown for the reported assault. Preliminary investigation determined three masked individuals forced entry into the 20-year-old male victim’s residence located in the 24400 block of Morgan Road in Hollywood, between the hours of 6-7 a.m. on January 16th. Once inside the residence two of the suspects assaulted the victim by striking him repeatedly and one of the suspects, identified as Cody Dustin Combs, age 22 of Leonardtown, brandished a knife.  
 
During the assault the victim advised one of the suspects later identified to be Bryon Michael Bishop, age 22 of Leonardtown, pointed a handgun at him. The victim advised Combs and Bishop searched his belongings and ultimately all three suspects left the residence with property belonging to the victim. The third suspect in the incident has been identified as a 17-year-old female from Hollywood.  The victim advised he is familiar with the 17-year-old and Combs and therefore was able to identify both individuals during the assault. Bishop was identified as a suspect during the investigation.
 
     
Cody Dustin Combs of Leonardtown           Bryon Michael Bishop of Leonardtown
 
All three suspects were arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged with the following:  
 
Home Invasion
Assault First Degree
Assault Second Degree 
Burglary First Degree
Theft 
 
All three suspects remain incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center on a no bond status. The juvenile female involved has been charged as an adult. Due to a recent change in Maryland law the name and photograph of the juvenile will not be released until the court makes a finding at the waiver hearing to determine the jurisdiction of this incident. 
 
The victim was treated for numerous injuries sustained in the assault and has been released from the hospital. 
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Edward Vogt at (301) 475-4200 extension *8145 or by email at Edward.Vogt@stmarysmd.com. Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637).  Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment. 
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff. 

0
comments


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

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

0
comments


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

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

 

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

0
comments


Annual Business Filings and Extension Requests Due by April 15

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

0
comments


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

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

0
comments


Bob Branham Appointed Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation

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

0
comments


Family Of Jaelynn Willey Sue St. Mary's County School Board

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

0
comments


Delegate Gerald "Jerry" Clark named Minority Ranking Member

Delegate Gerald “Jerry” Clark was named the new Ranking Member of the Environment and Transportation committee by the House Minority Caucus today.

 

“I am grateful for the opportunity.  Being part of this committee has given me the opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge in many areas.  I look forward to the new responsibility of keeping my colleagues informed of the progress and challenges of bills in committee,” said Delegate Clark.

 

The Ranking Member of the committee is responsible for giving reports on bills as they progress through the committee and advocating on behalf of bills sponsored by members of the minority party. 

 

The Environment and Transportation committee, hears bills pertaining to the environment, transportation, natural resources, agriculture, land use, ethics, housing and local government.  Delegate Clark is a member of the Land Use and Ethics and the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Open Space subcommittees.

0
comments


Fire Damages Home In Waldorf

Early this morning at 4:43 a.m. forty firefighters from the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department were called to 10856 Maplewood Court in Waldorf for a 2 story single family dwelling. The fire occurred in the living room of the home.  The occupant was alerted by the residential smoke detectors installed in the home. The occupant found fire in the living room and was able to escape without injury.  The fire is determined to be accidental, caused by an electrical component located in the living room. No one was injured in the fire and the estimated damage is $75,000.

0
comments


Identity Needed for Vandalism Suspect (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person driving the vehicle pictured in a vandalism investigation. On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at 10:38 pm, the image of the suspect vehicle was captured at the same time a projectile pierced the window of the Five Below store in California. A small white marble was recovered, believed to be the projectile.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call DFC Dustin McClure at 301-475-4200, ext. 78038 or email dustin.mcclure@stmarysmd.com. Case # 2898-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Identity Needed for Theft Suspects (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm, the suspect walked out of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Lexington Park with a Chefman Air Fryer without paying for it. The suspect was last seen getting into the passenger side of a black SUV.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Michael Graves at 301-475-4200, ext. 78101 or email michael.graves@stmarysmd.com. Case # 2930-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


SMCPS to Host Town Hall Meeting on January 22, 2020

St. Mary’s County Public Schools to Host Town Hall Meeting
Leading and Learning to Narrow the Gap:  Moving SMCPS Forward
 
What:  Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools, will be hosting Monthly Town Hall Meetings during the 2019-2020 school year.  These conversational meetings will focus on topics that are important to the school system and community.  Be sure to visit our website at www.smcps.org for future topics.
Where:  Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, 24005 Point Lookout Road, Leonardtown, MD  20650
When:  Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 6:00-7:30 p.m. 
Who: St. Mary’s County Public Schools
Contact:  Office of Strategic Planning and Communications, 301-475-5511, ext. 32133

0
comments


Wanted for Escape- James William Blackiston III (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of James William Blackiston III, age 27 of Hollywood. Blackiston is currently wanted for Escape Second Degree after removing his tracking device while on pretrial release, for the charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute. Blackiston is a black male, 5’11” and weighs 170 pounds; he has black hair and brown eyes.
 
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of James William Blackiston III is asked to contact Detective Trevor Teague at (301) 475-4200 extension *8128 or by email at Trevor.Teague@stmarysmd.com. For immediate assistance contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.
 
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.

0
comments


State Fire Marshal Kicks Off Community Risk Reduction Week

STATEWIDE, January 20, 2020 -  Today marks the start of Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week, a grassroots effort by the nation's fire service to encourage fire prevention and life safety education. The Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with dozens of fire departments throughout Maryland, will take part in CRR initiatives to get ahead of the 9-1-1 call before an emergency happens.
 
"I have always believed that the best way to keep the public and emergency personnel safe from fire is to prevent the 9-1-1 call from happening via public safety education," said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "Whether it's social media posts, side-by-side burn demonstrations, or school presentations - it is vital to spread the word about fire safety to every generation of Marylander in the State."
 
This week, the Office of the State Fire Marshal will be publishing a series of CRR professional profiles on some of the many dedicated individuals who have made community education and life safety a top priority in their daily work. Look for #CRRWeek across social media platforms for efforts, both local and national, by various fire departments. You can also check out the official Twitter and Facebook CRR Week accounts for more information. 

0
comments


Mechanicsville Student Arrested For Bringing Gun To Leonardtown Basketball Game

On January 17, 2020, School Resource Officer, Corporal Angela Delozier was working a basketball game at Leonardtown High School located at 23995 Point Lookout Road in Leonardtown. Cpl. Delozier was alerted to suspicious activity involving a group of juveniles by staff at the game. Cpl. Delozier and staff from the St. Mary’s County Public Schools immediately moved the juveniles to a secure location away from students and spectators and began an investigation. During the investigation, Cpl. Delozier located a loaded handgun on a 17-year-old male juvenile, from Mechanicsville.
 
The juvenile was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged as an adult with the following.
 
Carry and Possess a Handgun on School Property
 
Did Carry and Transport Loaded Handgun on Person
 
Wear and Carry a Dangerous Weapon-Conceal
 
Possession of Regulated Firearm- Individual Under 21
 
Disruption of School Activities
 
The juvenile remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center awaiting an appearance before the District Court Commissioner. Due to a recent change in Maryland law, the name and photograph of the juvenile will not be released until the court makes a finding at the waiver hearing to determine the jurisdiction of this incident.
 
This investigation is ongoing and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office continues to collaborate with the St. Mary’s County Public Schools to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff.
 
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 tipster 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

0
comments


Planning & Zoning to Hold Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan Public Meeting

The Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning will hold a public meeting to present an overview of the process to update Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan and to receive input on future challenges and priorities the plan should address. The meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 – Inclement weather date: Monday, Feb. 3 – at the Prince Frederick Volunteer Rescue Squad located at 755 Solomons Island Road South in Prince Frederick. The meeting kicks off with an open house at 6:30 p.m. with the meeting to follow at 7 p.m.
 
The Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan sets policies and actions that guide the physical development within the town center, including private and public development. This meeting will be one of many opportunities for the public to provide input for the Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan update. The master plan was originally adopted in 1989.
 
For more information about the Prince Frederick Maser Plan visit www.CalvertCountyMD.gov/TownCenters, email pz@calvertcountymd.gov or call
410-535-1600, ext. 2356.
 
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.

0
comments


Residents Encouraged to Use Non-Emergency Citizen Notification System This Weekend

Leonardtown, MD – St. Mary’s County Government is committed to providing safe and accessible services to all residents of our community and we recognize that inclement weather can affect residents differently depending upon location.

 

The forecast for Saturday, Jan. 19, 2020, is a slight chance of snow before 10 a.m., then a chance of snow and sleet between 10 a.m. and 1p.m., then rain after 1p.m. The temperature will only have a high near 41, South wind 5 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Little or no snow and sleet accumulation expected. Saturday Night’s forecast calls for rain likely, mainly before 10 p.m., mostly cloudy, with a low around 37 and southwest wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. The chance of precipitation is 70% with new precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

 

Preparation is underway at the County Department of Public Works & Transportation. Should you encounter unsafe conditions or any impediments to public safety, please call the non-emergency Citizen Notification System line at 301-475-8016. Unsafe conditions can vary from icy sidewalks or roadways, trees or limbs down, to other weather-related safety concerns.

 

This non-emergency number is monitored 24 hours a day and can be used to report conditions or situations that will activate a response from St. Mary’s County public agencies. Play it safe, if you see it, report it.

 

In cases of emergency, immediately dial 911.

 

For more information on Emergency Preparedness visit prepare.stmarysmd.com.

0
comments


Maryland Tourism Ads Help Draw More Visitors

 “Open for It,” Maryland’s tourism ad campaign that debuted in spring 2019, helped to attract an additional 123,000 visitors to the state, with spending by those visitors topping $45 million, according to a report released today by Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism. The report, which measured the effectiveness and economic impact of the campaign from April to September 2019, also showed that for every dollar spent on the ads, $31 flowed back into the state’s economy.
 
“We are thrilled by these initial results of the “Open for It” campaign, which helped spur more than 53,500 additional trips to Maryland over a six-month timeframe,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of Tourism and Film at Maryland Commerce. “We look forward to its continued success in attracting more visitors to our state and we’re confident that these numbers will continue to climb in the coming year.”
 
“Open for It” was launched by the Office of Tourism and its agency of record, Maryland-based Marriner Marketing, to increase the awareness of Maryland as a tourism destination. The campaign has a multi-platform approach, including broadcast television, digital, print, and social media. The messaging and images were designed to highlight Maryland as a welcoming place with diverse attractions and experiences for travelers of all ages and interests, whether it’s taking in a sporting event, enjoying the state’s famed seafood, or playing on the beach or in the mountains.
 
An important result of the research, conducted by market research company Destination Analysts, demonstrated that the ads resonated with a healthy percentage of those surveyed saying that they recalled the new advertisements; a majority of those surveyed said the ads influenced their decision to visit Maryland. In addition, the additional revenues from visitor spending generated $6.2 million in tax revenue for local governments. The report noted that key motivators for visitors were enjoying local seafood and engaging in water-related experiences.
 
About Maryland Office of Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency of the Division of Tourism, Film & the Arts within the Maryland Department of Commerce. Visitors to the state spent $18.1 billion on travel-related expenses in 2018. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.5 billion in state and local taxes, and provided Marylanders with more than 150,000 jobs with a payroll of $6 billion. For more information, go to visitmaryland.org.
 
About Maryland Commerce
The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov.

0
comments


Governor Hogan Announces More Than $1 Billion in Tax Relief for Maryland Retirees

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced a more than $1 billion tax relief proposal to make it more affordable for retirees to stay in Maryland. This legislation, which would lower taxes for more than 230,000 Marylanders, is the biggest tax reduction in Maryland in more than two decades.
 
“People who have been lifelong Marylanders and have contributed so much, and still have more to offer, are moving to other states for one reason—our state’s sky-high retirement taxes,” said Governor Hogan. “When I first ran for governor, I said that once we solved the budget crisis and turned our economy around I wanted to eventually reach the point where we could eliminate all retirement taxes just as other states have done. That is still our goal, and this tax cut is a major step toward achieving it.”
 
The Retirement Tax Reduction Act of 2020 will cut retirement taxes for Marylanders by more than $1 billion over five years. This legislation will eliminate all state tax on the first $50,000 of income for retirees making up to $100,000 in federally adjusted gross income. Retirees with Maryland income up to $50,000 will pay no state tax whatsoever in the state of Maryland. This tax reduction will be phased in over five years, beginning in FY22.
 
“This legislation will provide tax relief to 230,000 Marylanders, is the largest tax reduction in Maryland in more than two decades, and it will keep tens of thousands of Maryland retirees from being forced to flee our state,” the governor continued. “As long as I am governor, I will continue to fight to make it easier for Maryland families, small businesses, and retirees to stay in our state, and to make it easier for all Marylanders to keep more of their hard-earned money.”
 
Over the last five years, Governor Hogan has led an historic economic turnaround, with the state going from losing 100,000 jobs prior to taking office to gaining 140,000 jobs. More businesses are open and more people are working than ever before in the history of the state. The governor has already delivered $1.25 billion in tax, toll, and fee relief for hardworking families, retirees, and small businesses.
 
Despite this progress, a recent survey found that Maryland is the worst state for retirees, ranking near the bottom in affordability. Since taking office, Governor Hogan has taken numerous steps to fulfill his commitment to eliminate state income taxes on all retirement income.
 
In addition to today’s announcement, the governor has introduced the Hometown Heroes Act of 2020 to exempt law enforcement, fire, rescue, corrections, and emergency response personnel from state tax on all retirement income specific to their service in those professions. This is the fifth year that Governor Hogan has introduced legislation to eliminate state taxes on the retirement income of first responders. In 2017, the governor was proud to enact the Hometown Heroes benefit so that first responders can exempt the first $15,000 of their retirement income from state taxes. This year, he is again pushing to fully exempt all retirement income for these occupations and to lower the age of eligibility from 55 to 50.   
 
The governor has also announced legislation to eliminate all state taxes on retirement income received as a result of military service. In 2015, the governor enacted legislation to increase the tax exemption on military retiree pensions from $5,000 to $10,000 for retirees 65 years or older, and in 2018, he again enacted legislation that increased the exemption by 50% to $15,000 and lowered the eligibility age to 55. 

0
comments


Man Arrested For Thefts In The Mechanicsville Area

In January of 2020, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office investigated several burglaries and a motor vehicle theft in the Mechanicsville area. On January 14, 2020, Deputy Hersh observed the stolen vehicle operating on Budds Creek Road in Mechanicsville. Dep. Hersh conducted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the operator to be Timothy Brian Conner, age 56 of no fixed address. Conner had already been identified as a suspect in the burglaries from video surveillance and was being sought for questioning. Conner was taken into custody and located on Conner’s person was a suspected controlled dangerous substance (CDS) smoking device which contained suspected cocaine.
 
Conner was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center where two baggies containing suspected cocaine were found in his wallet. Conner was charged with the following:
 
Burglary First Degree
 
Motor Vehicle Unlawful Taking
 
CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana
 
CDS: Possession-Paraphernalia
 
Possess Contraband at Place of Confinement
 
 
Conner remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated.
 
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.

0
comments


Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Feb. 1

The Department of Public Works is holding a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, Feb. 1
 
What: Household Hazardous Waste
 
Where: Department of Public Works building (10430 Audie Lane, La Plata)
 
When: Saturday, Feb. 1 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
 
Items accepted: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.
 
Unacceptable materials: bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition.  Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites.  Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified.  This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener, or sawdust to aid in drying it out.
 
For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

0
comments


Maryland Board of Public Works Awards Grant Funding to Land Preservation in St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD.- The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County are pleased to announce that the Maryland Board of Public Works last week awarded over $2.5M in FY20 grant funding for land preservation in St. Mary’s County. Southern Maryland Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Board, Inc. will use the grant, along with County and Navy funding, to purchase conservation easements in the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area (RLA). In total, RC&D has leveraged over $9.5M to preserve over 1,670 acres of land in the Mattapany RLA over the last two years.
 
Maryland’s Rural Legacy Program provides funding to preserve large, contiguous blocks of environmentally sensitive land, while supporting agriculture and natural resource-based industries. Recognizing these important benefits, as well as the need to protect  local quality of life and rural character, St. Mary’s County provides matching funds for conservation easements through its land preservation program. The Navy’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program also contributes significant funding for the easements in order to minimize conflicts between development and military operations at NAS Patuxent River and Webster field.
 
Commissioner Todd Morgan was pleased to join RC&D’s Executive Director, Cindy Greb, at the Board of Public Works’ grant award announcement. “We are happy to be able to give landowners the option of preserving their farmland and protecting it for future generations,” Morgan said.
 
RC&D is currently preparing its grant application for FY21 Rural Legacy Program funding. Landowners in the Mattapany RLA (roughly bounded by Hermanville Road to the north and the Rt. 5 and 235 intersection to the south) who are interested in participating in the program should contact RC&D by Jan. 24, 2020, to verify their eligibility. The time from application to completion of the easement process is typically 18-24 months.
 
Southern Maryland RC&D Board, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and land trust. For more information, call 240-577-6413, email caroline.king@somdrcd.org, or visit www.somdrcd.org.

0
comments


Update: Stephen Michael Hawkins Wanted

Update: Mr. Hawkins has been located. 
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted on a burglary warrant.
 
Stephen Michael Hawkins, 30 of Mechanicsville, is also wanted on a warrant for Theft: $1,500 to under $25,000. Hawkins is a white male, 6’ tall, 230 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes.
 
 
Anyone with information about Hawkins’ whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Cpl. Melissa Hulse at 301-475-4200, ext. *1996 or email melissa.hulse@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Hit and Run Collision Involving Pedestrian Under Investigation

On January 14, 2020, at 4:16 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Three Notch Road and Corporate Drive in Lexington Park for the reported motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian. Units arrived on scene and located Sherry Lynn King, age 44 of California, suffering from injuries sustained from being struck by a motor vehicle. The striking vehicle fled the scene and has not been identified. King was transported to an area trauma center and is in stable condition.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing the investigation. The striking vehicle is believed to be a dark colored truck. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has information on this incident is asked to contact Corporal Brian Connelly at (301) 475-4200 extension *8031 or by email at Brian.Connelly@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

0
comments


Department of Public Works and Transportation to Perform Walkway Repairs in Leonardtown Area

Leonardtown, MD – The Department of Public Works and Transportation will be performing repairs on the walkway bridge between Breton Marketplace located on Pt. Lookout Road and the St. Mary’s County Health Department and St. Mary’s Nursing & Rehabilitation Center located on Peabody Street in Leonardtown. 
 
Residents are advised the bridge area will be blocked off on or about Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 to allow for underground stormwater piping repair work in immediate proximity to bridge. The repair work is expected to continue for approximately two weeks. The Breton Market Place, St. Mary’s County Health Department and St. Mary’s Nursing Center operational schedules will be unaffected. Access is available via the separate walkway located 75 feet south of the bridged walkway.
 
For more information, please contact John Deatrick, Director, St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation at 301-475-4200, ext. 73510.

0
comments


Detectives Uncover Large-Scale Fencing Operation

In the fall of 2019, Charles County Detective C. Gilroy, who is assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, initiated an investigation into a large-scale organized retail theft ring occurring at several businesses after noticing a marked increase in theft reports, especially involving printer ink cartridges, and repeated arrests of shoplifters. After three months of following leads, detectives were able to identify the owner of Waldorf RC & Hobbies as a "fence", taking in large amounts of stolen property from thieves and paying them cash for the stolen items. The stolen property was then sold online by the owner, Husani "Tony" West, 42, of Alexandria, VA.
 
Search warrants were served at West’s business in Waldorf as well as a storage unit located on Pierce Road and West's residence in Virginia. During the searches, a large amount of stolen property was recovered to include hundreds of ink printer cartridges, lawn equipment, televisions, jewelry, fragrances, electronics, tools, breast pumps, clothing, Fitbits, phones, and children’s games. In all, more than $100,000 in stolen property was recovered. Further, it appears West sold over $180,000 worth of suspected stolen property online.
 
In addition, during the search of his house, a Ruger .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered. West is prohibited from possession of a firearm. He was charged by Fairfax County Police for illegal possession of the handgun.
 
In late December, West was indicted by a Charles County Grand Jury on several counts of theft and theft scheme. He was released from the Charles County Detention Center after posting a $30,000 bond. Anyone with additional information about this scheme is asked to call Detective Gilroy at (310) 609-6484. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app.

0
comments


Environmental Law Overhaul Could be Dire for Places that Need It Most

Annapolis, MD – The Trump administration’s proposal to roll back a 50-year-old bedrock environmental law would disproportionately hit low-income and minority communities, according to critics. They claim such revisions as adding new fees and limiting the nature of public comments would weaken the National Environmental Policy Act. 
 
Kym Hunter with the Southern Environmental Law Center points out that the planned revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA, mean developers would not have to disclose the cumulative impact of multiple projects, like oil pipelines or highways, that already exist in a neighborhood.
 
"This would include things like climate change or oil spills, the type of things that actually really affect low-income communities where you have lots of different projects, which together, add up to something that can be really, really harmful."
 
The administration says the proposed changes are designed to streamline and speed up the development of projects that help the public.
 
Hunter disagrees. She says the changes would weaken the law and restrict what used to be an open process. For instance, if the public wants to comment on a proposed project, the NEPA revisions would require those comments to be technical in nature, and cite official documents – making it tougher for average citizens to comment. She adds vulnerable communities could also face expensive fees when asking for an injunction to stop a project.
 
"It is absolutely gutting NEPA. But it’s also putting in new requirements, so I’m not even sure it’s going to fulfill the purpose of speeding anything up. I think it’s probably going to cause a lot of chaos while also disenfranchising communities."
 
She says many studies have confirmed that low-income areas and communities of color in the U-S see environmental harm on a daily basis, including disproportionate exposure to chemicals and proximity to hazardous waste sites.

0
comments


Cardin, Murkowski Encourage States to Complete Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

“Congress certainly has the authority under Article V of the Constitution to set and change deadlines for the ratification of constitutional amendments, and has done so on numerous occasions. There is no reason to put a time limit on achieving equality under the law.”
 
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) released the following joint statement in response to the recent opinion by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) on the ongoing efforts in Congress and the states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Senators Cardin and Murkowski are the lead sponsors of S.J.Res 6, which would remove the deadline for ratification of the ERA.
 
“We disagree with the Justice Department’s opinion that states can no longer ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Congress certainly has the authority under Article V of the Constitution to set and change deadlines for the ratification of constitutional amendments, and has done so on numerous occasions. There is no reason to put a time limit on achieving equality under the law. We will continue to pursue our legislative efforts in the House and Senate to remove any legal ambiguities regarding the ERA ratification deadline. We encourage the states to complete the ratification process and make ERA part of the Constitution. As we near the centennial anniversary of adding women’s suffrage to the U.S. Constitution, let us finally prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in the U.S.”

0
comments


Commissioners Approve Resolution for Temporary Restriction on Approvals for Adult Entertainment Establishments in Charles County

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution that would temporarily suspend approval of site development plans or Certificates of Use and Occupancy for any property whose use will include adult entertainment in Charles County. Commissioners took this action so the county can update its zoning regulations to limit adverse public impacts of adult entertainment activities. The resolution will take effect immediately and expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

 

“Recent efforts to open an adult entertainment club in an area near churches, schools and residential neighborhoods were unwelcomed by the community and it necessitated the Board’s action today,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “We need this resolution to give the county time to conduct a thorough review of our zoning ordinances and a study regarding the adverse impacts of adult entertainment establishments to ensure they are addressed.”

 

Charles County’s zoning regulations do not currently provide specific guidance or restrictions on adult entertainment clubs and related activities. The resolution requires all applicants seeking a Certificate of Use and Occupancy to provide a written statement that no adult entertainment activities will occur on their property as part of its business operations. The county’s Zoning Officer is authorized to deny any application that does not include it.

 

The Board of County Commissioners has directed staff in the Department of Planning and Growth Management to study the issue and draft a zoning text amendment that will legally regulate the location, signage, security requirements, hours of operation and related activities of adult entertainment establishments. The Board of County Commissioners has directed staff to present the zoning text amendment for the Board’s consideration by Jul. 1, 2020.

0
comments


Calvert County Government Announces Martin Luther King Jr. Day Schedule

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Jan. 14, 2020 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In addition:
 
·         County senior centers will be closed and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered. However, participants will be provided shelf-stable meals in advance.
 
·         There will be no county bus service Monday, Jan. 20. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
 
·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Monday, Jan. 20. Online services and electronic checkouts will be available.
 
·         All community centers will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20.
 
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open with normal winter hours.
 
·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, including the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will be open with normal operating hours.
 
·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office, and the Solomons Septage Receiving Facility, will be closed Monday, Jan. 20. On-call crews w­ill be available for water and sewer service emergencies only at 410-535-3491.
 
·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open Monday, Jan. 20, with normal hours.
 
·         The Calvert Marine Museum will be open Monday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum Store will also be open from 10:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
 
·         The Solomons Visitor Center, located in the Calvert Marine Museum, will be closed Monday, Jan. 20. Winter hours are Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
·         Kings Landing Park will be open Monday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
·         Flag Ponds Nature Park will be open Monday, Jan. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
 
·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp will be closed and remain closed through spring while undergoing renovations to the nature center.
 
·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be open with normal operating hours Monday, Jan. 20.
 
·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is closed for the season.
 
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20.
 
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.

0
comments


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of January 6 – January 12 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,318 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Damaged Property: 20-949
On January 6, 2020, Deputy Ostazeski responded to HG Trueman Road in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime between the night of January 5th and the morning of January 6th, an unknown suspect(s) shot their house and truck with a paintball gun. The value of damaged property is $50.
 
Damaged Property: 20-1995
On January 11, 2020, Deputy R. Evans responded to the Shell gas station in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) appeared to have tried to break in to the CSC air equipment and steal the change from inside. The value of damaged property is $1,500.
 
Theft: 20-1202
On January 7, 2020, Deputy Parks responded to Family Circle in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between 6:53am and 9:00am on January 6th, an unknown suspect(s) stole a package from their mailbox. The value of stolen property is $60.
 
Theft: 20-1336
On January 8, 2020, Deputy Boerum responded to Potts Point Road in Huntingtown for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) cut open a package that was delivered to their front porch, stole the Apple Air Buds from inside the package, then re-taped the box closed. The value of stolen property is $235. 
 
Theft: 20-1337
On January 8, 2020, Deputy Ridgely met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred on Baythorne Road in Prince Frederick. The complainant advised that sometime between 8:00am and 8:30am on January 6th, an unknown suspect(s) stole their mailbox. The value of stolen property is $350.
 
Arrests:
 
On January 6, 2020, Deputy Aranda conducted a traffic stop at Stoakley Road and Solomons Island Road North in Prince Frederick. Upon making contact with the occupants, Deputy Aranda detected the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle. The passenger, Lejeevan Ryan Toudle (35), advised there was a small amount of marijuana in his backpack in the backseat. The occupants were removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in a coin purse belonging to Toudle, which contained a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance, which Toudle advised was methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The search also revealed Toudle’s backpack which contained a black plastic bag with two clear bags of 41grams of suspected marijuana. Toudle was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession of Marijuana Over 10 Grams, and CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.
 
On January 6, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant and Deputy Bradley responded to Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Huntingtown for the report of a disorderly subject. The complainant advised that the suspect, Philip Halladay Dew III (44), was intoxicated and acting disorderly, waking up other Safe Nights participants. Deputies made contact with Dew inside the church, and detected the strong odor of alcohol emanating from Dew. Deputies advised Dew to pack his belongings and leave the property, which Dew ignored and continued to use profane language waking multiple participants. After Deputies successfully exited the church with Dew, he continued to ignore multiple commands to leave the property and was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespass: Private Property, Disorderly Conduct, and Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order. 
 
On January 7, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant assisted Deputy Deleon on a traffic stop at Chaneyville Road and Southern Maryland Boulevard in Owings. Upon making contact with the occupants, Deputies detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. The occupants were removed and a search was conducted which resulted in a small black container with two, already smoked, marijuana joints inside. Deputies also located a folded one dollar bill containing a white powdery substance, suspected to be cocaine, inside a backpack belonging to the passenger, Gabrielle Marie Smith (22). Smith was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with CDS: Paraphernalia. 
 
On January 7, 2020, Deputy Wilson responded to Giant in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that the suspect, Marvin Charles Dickerson Jr. (35), was observed to take a cheesecake and exit the store without paying for it. Deputy Wilson made contact with Dickerson outside the store, and Dickerson admitted to stealing the cheesecake. Dickerson was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft Less than $100.
 
On January 12, 2020, Deputy Rzepkowski was conducting routine patrol in the area of Ward Road in Dunkirk when he observed Damion Eric Alexander Hazell (37) walking through the parking lot of the Shoppes at Apple Green and along the sidewalk of Five Guys. Hazell was observed to be intoxicated and stumbling around the establishments causing a disturbance and was issued a trespass warning by Calvert County Sheriff’s Office on January 11, 2020, which included the entire property of the Shoppes. Hazell was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespass: Private Property.

0
comments


Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

Fraud / Theft - On 01/06/2020 at 09:05 am, Trooper First Class Kaitz responded to the 3100 block of West Ward Rd. in reference to a fraud. Upon arrival, Trooper First Class Kaitz made contact with the victim, 60 year  old caucasian male who advised he was contacted in reference to fraudulent prescriptions being issued from his practice. Upon further investigation, Heather E. Voithofer was in possession of the blank prescription slips that were stamped with the victim's name. The victim stated that one of his stamps went missing while Voithofer worked for him. Voithofer was apprehended by Patuxent River Police Department and held until contact was made by Trooper First Class Kaitz. Her miranda rights were read and charges are pending.
 
Possession of Cocaine - On 01/06/2020 at 7:42 pm, Trooper Fraser arrived in the area of Solomons Island Rd. and Plum Point Rd., in Huntingtown, to assist Senior Trooper McCombs on a routine traffic stop. Due to multiple criminal indicators observed, both the operator and the passenger were asked to exit the vehicle. Once the vehicle was unoccupied, a K9 scan was conducted and a positive alert was given by K9 Carey. A probable cause search was conducted and a straw with a white powdery substance was located on the passenger side of the vehicle. The passenger was identified as Nicholas V. Haddaway, 39, of Prince Frederick. Haddaway was then arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center. All of the controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia were processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. 
 
Possession of Marijuana / Traffic Arrest - On 01/07/2020 at 12:58 am, Trooper Strong conducted a routine traffic stop on a vehicle on West Dares Beach Rd. in Prince Frederick. Once contact was made with the operator, Trooper Strong was able to positively identify the registered owner, who at the time was showing suspended and revoked. Upon initial contact, Trooper Strong also noticed the odor of raw marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic bag containing marijuana and paraphernalia. Russell H. Walker, 32 of Waldorf was placed under arrest for driving without a license  as well as driving while revoked and suspended. Walker was incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center. All marijuana and paraphernalia were processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Possession of Marijuana - On 01/11/2020 at 1:43 am, Trooper Marsch stopped a vehicle on Rousby Hall Rd. in Lusby for traffic violations. Once contact was made with the operator, Trooper Marsch noticed the odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic medicine bottle containing marijuana. Jaleen B. Gross, 20 of Lusby was issued a Civil Citation and was released from the scene. All marijuana was processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Possession of Marijuana - On 01/12/2020 at 12:08 am, Trooper Marsch stopped a vehicle on H.G. Trueman Rd. in Lusby for traffic violations. Once contact was made with the operator, Trooper Marsch noticed the odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic bag containing marijuana and paraphernalia. Haley A. Craddock, 20 of Saint Leonard was issued a Civil Citation and was released from the scene. All marijuana and paraphernalia was processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Assault - On 01/12/2020 at 6:04 am, Trooper Marsch responded to the 300 block of Chestnut Dr. in Lusby for the report of an assault that just occured. Once on scene Trooper Marsch made contact with the victim, a 19 year old caucasian female who had blood coming from her nose area as well as a swollen nose. When asked how the injury occured, the victim stated the injuries occurred from an altercation she had with Joseph Michael Blakenship, 34, of Solomons, Maryland. However, prior to arrival, Blankenship left the scene on foot. As Trooper First Class Costello was arriving in the area for assistance,  he spotted a male fitting the description of Blankenship walking on the shoulder. Trooper First Costello made contact with the male who was positively identified as Blankenship. Case remains open pending Second Degree Assault charges on Blankenship. 

0
comments


Charles County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

Theft from Auto: On January 13 at 1:41 a.m., officers responded to the area of New Stead Court in Bryans Road for the report of a theft. A homeowner was alerted by a security system that someone had pulled on the door handles of several cars parked nearby. Entry was not gained because the doors were locked. As officers canvassed the entire neighborhood, they found clothing and other items lying in the middle of Larissa Court. Contact was made with the residents of one of the homes who verified some of the recovered items were stolen from her unlocked vehicle. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Officer T. Garner at (301) 932-2222. Tipsters wising to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for the tip that leads to an arrest in this case. 
 
Officers Identify and Arrest Two Suspects in Armed Robbery Case: On January 10, detectives arrested a 17-year-old male and a 16-year-old male, both of Charles County, in connection with a robbery of an acquaintance that occurred on January 8 in the area of Continental Drive and Sierra Lane in White Plains. During the robbery, the suspects pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded his belt. The victim complied and the suspects fled. Officers and detectives pursued leads and identified the suspects. Search warrants were conducted at their homes and evidence linking the suspects to the robbery was recovered. Both suspects were charged with robbery, first-degree assault, use of a firearm during the commission of a crime and other related charges. PFC McPherson and Detective Wimberly investigated. 
 
Woman Charged with Theft and Assaulting Two Police Officers: On January 10 at 10 a.m., officers responded to a drug store in the area of High Street in Waldorf for the report of a theft in progress. When officers arrived, they observed the suspect on a nearby street. As officers attempted to take the suspect into custody, she spat at one officer and kicked another in the stomach. Melissa Ann “Marie” Russell, 34, of Waldorf, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, theft and other related charges. The stolen items were returned to the business. PFC B. Rash is investigating.
 
Officers Identify and Arrest Suspect in Theft from Auto Case: On January 6, officers responded to the 3100 block of John Hanson Drive in Waldorf for the report of a theft from auto. The victim reported his wallet, a book, and other items were stolen from his unlocked car. One of his credit cards was then used to make purchases totaling more than $800. Through investigation, a suspect was developed. A search warrant was conducted at the suspect’s residence and the victim’s wallet and other items were recovered. Savana Wilkinson, 26, of Waldorf, was charged with theft and other related charges. Officer S. Hillman is investigating.  

0
comments


Governor Hogan Announces 2019 Award of $9 Million in Tax Credits for Student Loan Debt

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Secretary Dr. James D. Fielder announced the awarding of nearly $9 million in tax credits for 9,600 Maryland residents with student loan debt. 
 
“It is critical that we look for ways to help those in our state crippled by student loan debt,” Governor Hogan said. “This program helps Maryland taxpayers pay off student debt, while remaining in the workforce and having a positive impact on the state economy.” 
 
“MHEC staff is proud to administer programs like this that support student success with less debt,” Secretary Fielder said. “Governor Hogan’s ongoing efforts to find solutions to the national student loan debt crisis is one more example of his unwavering commitment to make education a top priority of his administration.”
 
There were 9,600 applicants who were eligible for the Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit. The tax credits were divided into two groups of eligibility, including Maryland residents who attended a Maryland institution and Maryland residents who attended an out-of-state institution. There were 6,331 eligible applicants who attended in-state institutions and will each receive $1,000 in tax credits, while 3,269 eligible applicants who attended out-of-state institutions will each receive $813 each in tax credits.
 
Last year, MHEC awarded 9,484 Maryland residents the Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit with 5,238 applicants who attended an in-state institution receiving $1,000 each in tax credits and 4,246 applicants who attended an out-of-state institution receiving $883 each in tax credits.

0
comments


Open Discussion Scheduled to Address Connection Between Poverty and Mental Illness

LEONARDTOWN, MD (January 13, 2020) - The St. Mary’s County Health Department and St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s anthropology, environmental studies, psychology, and sociology departments will jointly host an open discussion focusing on the connection between poverty and mental illness.  This event is scheduled for Monday, February 3 (4:30 – 6:00 p.m.) in St. Mary’s Hall (Building 34) on the St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus.
 
Guest speaker Annie Harper, PhD, cultural anthropologist at Yale University, researches how people with mental illness, including those with incarceration histories, struggle with poverty and financial difficulties. This event will share strategies for supporting this population, and discuss interventions to provide them access to safe and affordable services crucial for good financial health.  
 
The discussion is open to all students, staff and faculty, public health professionals, clinicians and community members who would like to learn more about this public health issue. To learn more and to register, please visit https://moneymentalhealth.eventbrite.com.

0
comments


St. Mary's County Government Operations Schedule for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Leonardtown, MD – All St. Mary’s County Government administrative and Metropolitan Commission offices will be closed Monday, January 20, 2020, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 21.

 

The St. Andrews Landfill and six (6) Convenience Centers will be open normal hours on Monday, January 20, 2020.

 

The St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) and ADA will operate on a normal schedule. However, the Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will not operate on January 20.  

 

All three St. Mary’s County Library branches (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed on January 20.

 

All Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed and no Home-Delivered Meals deliveries will be made.

 

The St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums will be open on January 20 from noon until 4 p.m.

0
comments


Parks & Recreation Holds Dress for Success Clothing Drive through January

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Jan. 13, 2020 – The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation is holding a clothing drive at Northeast Community Center through January. Citizens are encouraged to drop off lightly used and new business attire including shirts, blazers, pants, shoes, ties, etc., to be donated to citizens in need.
 
Donations can be dropped off at the center Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Local nonprofit organizations who would like donations can contact the Northeast Community Center at 410-535-1600, ext. 8210.
 
For updates on Parks & Recreation services, park availability, field closures and more visit Parks & Recreation at www.Facebook.com/CalvertCountyParks.
 
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.

0
comments


Car Set On Fire On Hermanville Road

Yesterday morning around 7:20 a.m., firefighters from the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire in the Area of Old Hermanville Road, Lexington Park. The fire was the result of an unknown person(s) intentionally igniting the interior passenger compartment of the vehicle.  The vehicle was found abandoned on Old Hermanville Road in Lexington Park.  Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Regional Office, at 443-550-6834.

0
comments


Cardin Lauds Senate Passage of Key Chesapeake Bay Legislation, Including Historic Funding Authorization

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, praised unanimous passage by the full Senate late Thursday of five proposals he authored or cosponsored that will benefit the Chesapeake Bay watershed and Maryland’s wildlife and fish habitats. Foremost among the legislation was a Cardin-authored provision with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) increasing the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization to a historic $92 million. The bills were part of a bipartisan package of wildlife conservation legislation, the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act.

 

“The Chesapeake Bay and our fish and wildlife are at the heart of what makes Maryland Maryland. A healthy Bay means a healthy economy for our state and our region,” said Senator Cardin. “The more we can do to protect our precious natural resources and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the better it is for our communities and public health. These programs, individually and together, will have a significant impact on the Chesapeake Bay and all who depend on it for years to come.”

 

As a part of this legislative package, the Senate also passed two other Chesapeake Bay proposals, one authored by Senator Cardin, and the Chesapeake WILD Act, introduced by Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). The senators are each cosponsors of the other’s legislation.

 

·        The Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails network and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Grants Assistance Program, run by the National Park Service, provides $6 million per year throughout the watershed in technical and financial assistance to State, community, and nongovernmental partners to increase access to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

 

·        The bipartisan Chesapeake WILD Act will provide more resources to Chesapeake Bay conservation efforts by creating a new grant program within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support habitat restoration in the Bay region. The Committee authorized the program at $15 million.

 

The bill reauthorizes the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, NFWF, until 2025 through language authored by Senator Cardin and Senator Cassidy (R-La.). As the Nation's largest conservation grant-maker, NFWF has been instrumental in completing conservation projects in Maryland and around the Chesapeake Bay.

 

The bill codifies the National Fish Habitat Partnership, a collaboration between public agencies, private citizens, and nonprofits for promoting fish conservation through language authored by Senator Cardin and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Maryland is home to three fish habitat partnerships: Atlantic Coast FHP, which stretches from Maine to the Florida Keys including Maryland’s coastal bays; Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, which has spearheaded an assessment of brook trout populations and threats to their habitat in the Eastern United States including Central Maryland; and Ohio River Basin FHP, which was formed to protect, restore, and enhance priority habitat for fish and mussels in the watersheds of the Ohio River Basin that includes Garrett County.

 

The ACE Act served as a substitute amendment for the North America Wetlands Conservation Extension Act (NAWCA), which provides grants to increase and protect wetlands that provide habitat for wildlife and also reduces the severity of flooding and coastal erosion, and improve water quality.

0
comments


Narcotics Arrest Leads to Child Abuse Charges

On December 17, 2019, members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice Narcotics Division began an investigation into the death of a 25-year-old male from Charlotte Hall. During the investigation information was obtained the decedent had been at a residence in the 28800 block of Trent Hall Road in Mechanicsville prior to his death. The investigation determined Hannah Mason Meinhardt, age 24, resided at this residence and was also operating an unlicensed daycare at the residence. Information obtained during the investigation determined in December of 2019, a juvenile at the unlicensed daycare obtained used drug paraphernalia from a trashcan and possibly ingested residue from a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Detectives determined during this time frame Meinhardt had been providing daycare to at least two other children under the age of 10.
 
On January 8, 2020, Meinhardt was arrested and charged with the following:
 
Child Abuse: Second Degree-Care and Custody (three counts)
 
Neglect of Minor (three counts)
 
Reckless Endangerment (three counts)
 
Meinhardt was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and later released on a $15,000 bond.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

0
comments


SMECO Announces New CEO

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) announces the appointment of a new president and CEO.  Sonja M. Cox, who has been serving as SMECO’s senior vice president of Financial, Economic, and Employee Services and Chief Financial Officer, will assume the role of SMECO’s president and CEO on March 1, 2020.  She will be the fifth CEO in the cooperative’s 83-year history and will join the ranks of women who serve as managers at 77 of the 941 electric cooperatives across the nation. 
Cox started her career with SMECO in 1999 and oversees SMECO’s power portfolio, human resources, customer billing, energy and technology, and accounting personnel. Prior to her tenure at SMECO, Cox worked at Carolina Power and Light in South Carolina. A licensed CPA in the state of Maryland, she earned her master’s degree in business administration from Johns Hopkins University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. Cox currently serves as a Trustee on the Board of the College of Southern Maryland and as Treasurer of the Board of Southern Maryland Community Resources, Inc. 
Scott White, Chairman of the SMECO Board of Directors, said, “Sonja Cox has a wealth of experience with electric utilities and has served the cooperative well over the past 21 years. She is respected among SMECO employees and industry peers, and she has the full confidence of our Board. SMECO has made a lot of progress with regard to technological innovations, construction of power lines, substations, and new facilities, and the expansion of customer services, and Sonja has been involved with these improvements every step of the way. We couldn’t be more proud to appoint her as SMECO’s new CEO.” 
“I am honored to be appointed to this new leadership role,” Cox said. “SMECO is a great organization with dedicated employees and a meaningful role in Southern Maryland. Not only do we work tirelessly to provide electric service to our members, we also support local organizations and participate fully in the life of the community.” She added, “I’m looking forward to continuing the innovative work at which SMECO excels. Our co-op—from the Board of Directors to the personnel across all the departments—is committed to serving our members, and that’s what drives our success.” 
Austin J. Slater, Jr., who has served as SMECO’s CEO for 17 years, submitted his retirement letter to the Board of Directors at the monthly board meeting in October. Upon retirement, Slater plans to teach in the business school of his alma mater, Shepherd University, as an adjunct professor. He and his wife, Carmen, are restoring a home in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, that was built in 1789, and they plan to enjoy the many outdoor activities the area offers. 

0
comments


Animal Control Seeks Information in Animal Cruelty Case

Calvert County Animal Control is seeking information related to a possible case of animal cruelty. The Friends of the Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)
 
On Dec. 16, 2019, Animal Control officers responded to the area of the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail pier for a report of a deceased adult female chocolate Labrador retriever. The dog was found wrapped in a multi-colored blanket with a tow chain and rope tied around the dog’s abdomen. The rope was also tied to a cinder block. The dog had suffered numerous injuries. She was not wearing a collar and did not have a microchip.
 
Calvert County Animal Control is looking for anyone who may have noticed anything unusual in the hours and days leading up to Dec. 16 near the area of the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail pier and is seeking information regarding the source of the dog’s injuries or the address where she may have resided. If you have information, please call 410-535-1600, ext. 2526.
 
“Our officers have been investigating this case and are now seeking the assistance of the public to help determine what has happened to this poor dog,” said Public Safety Director Jackie Vaughan. “We sincerely appreciate any help that can be provided.”

0
comments


MetCom Employees Support A Community That Shares

On December 19, 2019, employees of the Metropolitan Commission presented Bruce Maynard, A Community That Shares (“ACTS”) representative, with a donation in the amount of $2,514.25. This donation was made possible through fundraising efforts of MetCom employees throughout the fall into the holiday season. Supporting local charities has been an annual initiative by Metropolitan Commission employees in conjunction with an annual holiday potluck luncheon.
 
ACTS is located at 21808 Colton’s Point Road, Avenue, Maryland. ACTS Photo 02Since July 1993, ACTS has provided home convalescent equipment to St. Mary’s County residents, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commodes, crutches, canes, shower benches, dialysis chairs, and similar items.
 
Service is without cost to the user of the equipment for the time it is needed. ACTS members are community volunteers. Membership support comes from individuals as well as various emergency service, civic, fraternal, and religious groups.  ACTS receives its support from individuals, business donations, and through the generous contribution of usable convalescent equipment from members of the community. A 24-hour answering service is maintained for messages and ACTS representatives respond to calls over the next business day. Services are performed without any government subsidy, however, ACTS does receive the support of the United Way and other local agencies.  For more information about ACTS, visit http://www.acts-smc.org/about-us
 

0
comments


Election Judges Sought

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Board of Elections is seeking eligible individuals willing to serve as Election Judges for upcoming elections. Training is provided and participants are compensated.
 
You are eligible to be an Election Judge if you:
 
Are registered to vote in Maryland
Are 16 years old or older
Are not a candidate for any public or political party office
Are detailed oriented and can speak, read and write the English language
Enjoy meeting people and serving the public
Judges receive $200 per election as well as $30.00 for attending the required training class.
 
For more information, please call the Elections Office 301-475-4200, ext. 71614 or email electionjudges@stmarysmd.com

0
comments


Cardin: De-escalation and Diplomacy Are in Our National Security Interest

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a co-author of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s speech to the nation regarding Iran.
 
“The president’s words today provide an opening toward de-escalation of the dangerous back-and-forth with Iran. Unfortunately, it has been President Trump’s actions over the last three years that put us in the current precarious state. My hope is that the opening made toward diplomacy today will take root, and we can set aside the blustery speeches and tweets on both sides to muster back together a coalition focused on peacefully ending Iran’s nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities. De-escalation and diplomacy are in our national security interest and will make the American people and our troops, as well as the people of the Middle East safer.”

0
comments


Board of Public Works Approves $18.8 Million in Rural Legacy Program Grants

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved recommendations of more than $18.8 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easements in 18 counties. Funding from these grants will permanently protect more than 4,500 acres of working farms, forests, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historical resources — throughout the state. The recommendations also include six Rural Legacy Area expansions, which provide the opportunity to protect more than 172,039 expansion acres.
 
The projects were recommended by the Rural Legacy Board, which consists of the Secretaries of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and the Maryland Department of Planning. The Board of Public Works includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy Kopp.
 
“Since I became governor, our administration has been committed to restoring funding for our world-renowned land conservation programs and making progress towards our goals for the Chesapeake Bay, and we have followed through on that promise,” said Governor Hogan. “These grants will preserve and protect our agricultural, environmental, and historical areas across the state for generations to come.” 
 
“The Rural Legacy Programs helps us preserve and protect resource-rich properties across the state, from agricultural tracts and working farms and forests to ecologically-significant watersheds and environmentally-sensitive wetlands,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “This program allows us to work with those who know the land best – local governments and nonprofits and the landowners themselves – to support our local natural resources based economies, while enhancing our environment and protecting rural landscapes”
 
Established in 1997, the Rural Legacy Program is designed to preserve large tracts of productive and valuable agricultural and forested lands that contain exceptional features. The program acts through local government or private land trust sponsors to purchase conservation easements from willing property owners in 32 locally-designated rural areas located in every county. Now celebrating 20 years since the first acquisition, to date, the program has permanently protected more than 103,000 acres.
 
In Southern Maryland:
 
Zekiah Rural Legacy Area Charles County
Grant: $1,314,863 to acquire conservation easements to protect farmland, forests and
natural and historic properties contiguous to Zekiah Run. This Area contains the largest
natural hardwood swamp in the State and is considered by the Smithsonian Institute to be
one of the most important ecological areas on the East Coast. The Board originally
designated the Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area in 1998. 
 
Huntersville Rural Legacy Area St. Mary’s County
Expansion: Add 5,956 acres to connect the Potomac and Patuxent River watersheds and
expand opportunities for partnership with the U.S. Navy’s Readiness and Environmental
Protection Integration Program. 
 
Mattapany Rural Legacy Area St. Mary’s County
Grant: $2,508,762 to match Navy Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration
(REPI) funds to acquire conservation easements to protect the Area’s rich farmland,
forests, wetlands, historic sites, and wildlife habitat. Conservation within the Area will
provide water quality benefits to the Chesapeake Bay and the St. Mary’s River watershed.
The Board originally designated the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area in 2006. 

0
comments


State Releases New Strategic Plan for Opioid Crisis Response

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Inter-Agency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council today released the 2020 Maryland Inter-Agency Opioid Coordination Plan. This important document serves as the strategic plan for the state’s response to the ongoing opioid epidemic. The plan provides an overview of the opioid crisis, its effect on Maryland, and the goals, strategies, and objectives that will guide Maryland’s response to the opioid epidemic in the coming year.
 
“Since first taking office in January 2015, the Hogan-Rutherford administration has been laser-focused on implementing a comprehensive, holistic approach to addressing Maryland’s opioid epidemic,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, chair of the Inter-Agency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council. “Our coordination plan is an integral component of the state’s response – a response that has been viewed as a model for other states facing the same devastating effects of the opioid tragedy.”
 
The Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC), which Governor Hogan created through executive order in 2017, serves as the state’s coordinating body for the crisis. The OOCC facilitates collaboration among approximately 20 state agencies and all 24 local jurisdictions to reduce the harmful results of the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder on Maryland communities. “Since the beginning of this crisis, the administration’s response has focused on three key policy priorities: Prevention & Education, Enforcement & Public Safety, and Treatment & Recovery,” said Steve Schuh, executive director of the OOCC. “These policy areas form the basis of Maryland’s approach, and they drive each of the goals in the new coordination plan. The plan provides an up-to-date framework that public health, human services, education, and public safety agencies will use to stay in front of this crisis.”
 
From January through September of 2019, there were 1,574 deaths related to opioids in Maryland. Opioid deaths accounted for 88.7 percent of the 1,774 total unintentional intoxication deaths during this same period.
 
“In 2019, for the first time in over a decade, we have finally seen a decline in the number of opioid-related intoxication deaths across the state,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “While this reduction does give us hope that our efforts are on the right track, more than anything, it tells us we must continue with a well-funded, strategic, and comprehensive plan in order to keep making progress.”
 
The new strategic plan can be found at BeforeItsTooLate.Maryland.gov. With the support of the OOCC, local jurisdictions are encouraged to use the plan as the basis for their own coordination plans.
 
Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, enforcement, and treatment. Marylanders struggling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org; through our state's crisis hotline, Call 211, Press 1; or by texting their ZIP code to 898-211. 

0
comments


To Protect Chesapeake Bay, Governor Hogan Directs Attorney General to Pursue Legal Actions Against Pennsylvania and EPA

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today directed Attorney General Brian Frosh to pursue legal actions against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to protect Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. Since his campaign for governor in 2014, Governor Hogan has repeatedly called on upstream states—including Pennsylvania—to step up and take responsibility for sediment and debris that pours into the Chesapeake Bay via the Susquehanna River. 
 
“We have a generational responsibility to protect the Bay, and we simply cannot afford to fall short of these shared obligations,” writes Governor Hogan. “Therefore, I ask that you commence litigation against the EPA and Pennsylvania, and in close coordination with the Maryland Department of the Environment.”
 
Read the governor’s letter to the Attorney General here.
 
In August, after watershed states submitted their final Chesapeake Bay clean-up plans to the federal administration, the governor expressed “alarming concerns” about Pennsylvania’s lack of progress on clean water goals and called on the EPA to use its robust oversight powers to hold states accountable.
 
“Pennsylvania, which is under ‘enhanced’ or ‘backstop’ federal oversight due to failed pollution reduction efforts, has proposed a draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) under which it would fall drastically short of its agreed-upon 2025 pollution reduction targets,” writes Governor Hogan. “The EPA currently appears to have no intention of taking the necessary action to ensure Pennsylvania’s compliance with its commitments.”
 
Governor Hogan is serving his second term as chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which consists of the governors of the six watershed states, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the EPA administrator. As governor, he has committed an historic $5 billion toward wide-ranging Bay restoration initiatives, and was recently successful in securing an increase in federal funding for Bay cleanup.

0
comments


Child Predator Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West sentenced Keith Allan Krikstan, 32 of Waldorf, to 25 years in prison for two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Production of Child Pornography, and Visual Surveillance of a Private Area.
 
On January 11, 2018, a detective with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office met with the first discovered victim, who was 12 years old at the time. Victim #1 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 Victim #1 and on multiple occasions requested and received pictures of Victim #1’s private areas. Krikstan, being Victim #1’s substitute teacher, held Victim #1 back after class on one occasion 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 Victim #1 learned the nature of the relationship and notified a school resource officer at the school.
 
Cell phone downloads from both Victim #1’s and Krikstan’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 that investigation, detectives with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office discovered an inappropriate video of another juvenile victim, who was also 12 years old at the time. Communications with Victim #2 and her mother revealed that Krikstan babysat her and her sibling on numerous occasions at their residence. Victim #2 also attended John Hanson Middle School.    
 
A further investigation revealed that Krikstan initially became acquainted with Victim #2 through her mother’s place of employment in January of 2017. He later babysat Victim #2 at her residence. In June of 2017, Krikstan secretly set up a recording device in Victim #2’s bathroom and recorded her with no clothes on, unbeknownst to Victim #2. In November of 2017, Krikstan entered Victim #2’s bedroom with Victim #2 and used his cell phone to record her simulating oral sex on a banana. Krikstan coached Victim #2 on what to do while recording.
 
Downloads from Krikstan’s cellular device revealed the video simulation of oral sex. Downloads from two of Krikstan’s computer devices revealed inappropriate images of Victim #2 captured in her bathroom.
 
During the course of the investigation, Krikstan admitted to Victim #2’s mother that he had inappropriate feelings for Victim #2.
 
At sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Proctor addressed the judge, “The facts in this case – tying everything together – what else to call the defendant [but a] child predator.”
 
C-08-CR-18-000694
 
Sexual Abuse of a Minor
25 Years Suspend All But 9 Years
5 Years Supervised Probation
C-08-CR-18-000466
 
Sexual Abuse of a Minor
12 Years consecutive to other counts
Production of Child Pornography
3 Years consecutive to other counts
Visual Surveillance of a Private Area
1 Year consecutive to other counts
 

0
comments


Charles County Man Charged After Throwing Molotov Cocktail At Vehicle

CHARLES COUNTY, MD (January 8, 2020) - Deputy State Fire Marshals have arrested an Indian Head man after determining he was responsible for slicing the tires of a vehicle and then attempted to set fire to the car after he threw a Molotov cocktail at the vehicle.
 
On January 7, 2020, at approximately 9:30 a.m. Charles County Sheriffs Office responded to the unit block of Glymont Road after the victim discovered their vehicles' tires were slashed overnight and subsequently found the remains of a destructive device, commonly referred to as a 'Molotov cocktail.' Upon reviewing neighborhood home surveillance systems, investigators determined the destruction of property, and attempted arson occurred just after 1:00 a.m.
 
Deputy State Fire Marshals were requested to conduct an investigation and identified Montell Ray Elliott, age 24 of Indian Head as the suspect. Investigators estimate damages to the vehicle as well as the attempted arson caused approximately $1,000.00 in damages.
 
Charles County Sheriffs Office assisted the Office of the State Fire Marshal yesterday evening in apprehending Elliott without incident. He was charged with Manufacturing/Possession of a Destructive Device, Arson 2nd Degree, Malicious Burning 2nd Degree and Malicious Destruction of Property less than $1,000.00
 
Elliott was transported to Charles County Detention Center where he is currently being held without bond.  

0
comments


Former Calvert School Employee Charged with Sexual Child Abuse and Other Related Charges

Calvert County Public Schools has been notified by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office that an employee, George Andrew Taylor, 34, of Waldorf, has been charged with sex abuse of a minor continued course of conduct; sex offense third-degree; sex-offense fourth-degree; and second-degree assault in connection with a sexual child abuse case that was reported in December 2019. According to a press release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Taylor, who is known to the victim’s family, is alleged to have assaulted the child in both Charles and Calvert County. 
Mr. Taylor is on administrative leave from Calvert County Public Schools pending the outcome of the investigation. 
Before being placed on leave, Mr. Taylor, worked at Barstow Elementary. Prior to that, he was assigned to Calvert Country School. He has been an employee of Calvert County Public Schools for less than two years. 
Mr. Taylor was employed by the Charles County Public School system between 2014 -2018. 
Investigators from Charles County and Calvert County are pursuing information and working to determine whether any criminal activity involving a student occurred while Taylor was employed by either school system. Out of precaution, parents are asked to speak with their children about Taylor and report any activity that could be deemed inappropriate to Detective Bringley at (301) 609-6499. The investigation is on-going.

0
comments


St. Mary's County Airport Invites Residents to 50th Anniversary Event Featuring an Indoor Display of Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft

This free event will take place in the main terminal of the airport from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, and is hosted by the Patuxent Aeromodelers RC Club.

 

For more information, please contact Allison Swint, St. Mary’s County Regional Airport Manager at 301-475-4200, ext. 73511.

0
comments


Man Charged with Sexual Child Abuse and Other Related Charges

On January 7, detectives assigned to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division charged George Andrew Taylor, 34, of Waldorf, with sex abuse of a minor continued course of conduct; sex offense third-degree; sex-offense fourth-degree; and second-degree assault in connection with a sexual child abuse case that was reported in December, 2019. Taylor, who is known to the victim’s family, is alleged to have assaulted the child in both Charles and Calvert County.  During this investigation, detectives learned Taylor was most recently employed by the Calvert County Public Schools. Previously, he was employed as a building worker with the Charles County Public School system between 2014 – 2018. He worked at John Hanson Middle School, T.C. Martin Elementary School, and was a junior varsity wrestling coach at St. Charles High School. Investigators from Charles County and Calvert County are pursuing information and working to determine whether any criminal activity involving a student occurred while Taylor was employed by either school system. Out of precaution, parents are asked to speak with their children about Taylor and report any activity that could be deemed inappropriate to Detective Bringley at (301) 609-6499. The investigation is on-going.     

0
comments


Accountability Session: Governor Hogan Proposes Tough New Ethics Reform for Public Officials, Urges Lawmakers to Pass Crime Package

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Following another wave of indictments against Maryland officeholders, Governor Larry Hogan today unveiled a new package of tough ethics reforms to address a culture of corruption among public officials. And on the same day a new independent poll showed that “voters want lawmakers to focus on crime,” he called on legislators to pass his crime package.
 
Speaking at the State House the day before the start of the new legislative session, Governor Hogan announced that he will introduce the Ethics and Accountability in Government Act. Key provisions include:
 
Increasing fines for bribery of public officials by 1,000%
Forcing convicted lawmakers to forfeit their taxpayer-funded pensions
Expanding prohibitions of misuse of confidential information by public officials
Empowering the Ethics Commission to directly assess penalties against public officials
“It has become clear in recent months and recent weeks that a pervasive culture of corruption continues to exist, and that even tougher and more stringent laws are needed,” said Governor Hogan. “The Ethics and Accountability in Government Act of 2020 will strengthen and toughen the state ethics laws in an effort to help restore the public’s trust and bring further transparency, accountability, and honesty to Annapolis.”
 
During his campaign for governor, Governor Hogan pledged to hold state government to the highest ethical standards. He issued an executive order on his first day in office outlining strict standards of conduct for the governor’s executive staff and all executive branch employees. From day one, the Hogan administration has taken action to root out corruption across the state, leading to hundreds of indictments, and in 2017 Governor Hogan pushed for and enacted the most comprehensive ethics reforms in 15 years.
 
Ethics and Accountability in Government Act (EAGA)
 
Tougher Penalties for Bribery. The legislation will expand the penalties for bribery of a public official by 1,000 percent, ranging from a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $100,000. These penalties will apply both to those who bribe or attempt to bribe a public official and to those who demand or receive a reward to influence the performance of their duties.
 
Pension Forfeiture for Convicted Lawmakers. The legislation will codify in statute that members of the General Assembly and state employees who are found guilty, plead guilty, or enter a plea of nolo contendere for a qualifying crime committed in the course of their duties are subject to total forfeiture of their pension benefits. This expands a provision the General Assembly passed in 2016 for the state’s constitutional officers. 
 
Expanded Prohibitions on Misuse of Confidential Information. The legislation will expand prohibitions on misuse of confidential information by current state officials and employees to include the misuse of confidential information acquired during state service by former officials and employees.
 
Stronger Authority for Ethics Commission to Impose Penalties. The legislation will give the Ethics Commission the authority to directly assess civil penalties against state employees and public officials—authority it currently has with regard to lobbying. At present, with respect to state employees and public officials, the commission must request a court to assess fines of at least $5,000.
 
Accountability Session
 
At today’s press conference, Governor Hogan stressed that the focus of this legislative session should be accountability. 
 
“For the entire five years that I have been governor, I have been fighting to clean up the mess in Annapolis and to bring more transparency and accountability to state government,” said the governor. “We need more accountability for the violent criminals who are shooting and killing people on the streets of Baltimore City, more accountability in our local school systems for the billions in state tax dollars they spend, and more accountability for public officials to make sure they are deserving of the trust that the people have placed in them.”
 
The governor reinforced the importance of accountability legislation that he announced last month pertaining to crime and education, including:
 
The Judicial Transparency Act requires the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy to publish sentencing records of judges in violent crime cases to hold the system more accountable to the public for sentencing decisions.
The Violent Firearm Offenders Act significantly increases tougher sentences for violent offenders who commit crimes with guns.
The Witness Intimidation Prevention Act toughens penalties for witness intimidation resulting in serious physical injury or death.
The Community and Local Accountability for Struggling Schools Act helps turn around underperforming schools by empowering communities to designate “Innovation Schools” that operate with greater local autonomy and flexibility. 

0
comments


Identities Needed for Theft Suspects (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identities of the persons pictured in a theft case. On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 at 3:40 pm, the suspects who were working together took two Motorola Bluetooth headsets and left the California Target store without paying for them. Anyone with information about the identities of the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Alexander Wynnyk at 301-475-4200, ext. 78020 or email alexander.wynnyk@stmarysmd.com Case # 71193-19
 
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Heightened Security At D.C. Area Military Bases Ongoing As Iran Tension Intensifies

TRIANGLE, Va. (WJLA) — Security has been increased at military bases in the D.C. area, and these measures are being taken due to ongoing tension between the United States and Iran.
 
New restrictions are in effect at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Triangle, Virginia and it’s impacting traffic in the area. Lanes are restricted and drivers and passengers entering the military base have to provide identification while a full vehicle inspection conducted.
 
These security measures are also being performed at Fort Belvoir and Fort Meade. Vehicle inspections and identification checks are required at Fort Belvoir. Moreover, gate hours are being changed at Fort Meade and Walter Reed.
 
Increased security measures at military bases.
 
On Monday, traffic jams were reported near I-270 and NIH. Several side streets are being affected at all military bases because of the increased security procedures.
 
These new security measures are in effect after Iran vowed retaliation towards the U.S. for an airstrike at a Baghdad airport that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force. Last week, U.S. officials urged American citizens to leave Iraq after the airstrike.

0
comments


Prince Georges County Schools and Federal Government Cancellations

Prince George's County Public Schools: All after school and evening activities, including Evening High School, are cancelled. All PGCPS Before and After School Extended Learning Programs and vendor managed program sites are closing at 4 p.m. today. 

Updates at www.pgcps.org.

 

United States Federal Government Today

Early departure 4 hour staggered early release. All employees must depart no later than 1:00 p.m.

0
comments


Equestrian Area at Kings Landing Park Temporarily Closed

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Jan. 7, 2020 – The Equestrian Area at Kings Landing Park has been temporarily closed to vehicular traffic due to work on the entrance drive. The Equestrian Area is expected to reopen Saturday, Jan. 11.
 
Other areas of the park are not affected. Visitors and trail hikers should use caution and stay alert for machinery and work trucks.
 
Kings Landing Park is located at 3255 Kings Landing Road in Huntingtown. Park hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
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.

0
comments


MD Lawmakers to Try Again on Controversial Shotgun Restrictions

With the Maryland General Assembly starting tomorrow (Wednesday), a gun bill that didn't pass last year's session will be one of the top priorities for gun-control advocates in the new session. House Bill 4 would close a dangerous gap in state law that allows Marylanders to privately sell shotguns and rifles, also known as "long guns," with no background checks. Bridget McCullough with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America says the loophole makes it easy for people convicted of violent crimes, who can't legally own guns, to get their hands on a shotgun.
 
"Right now we have background checks on every other type of gun or from a licensed dealer. And so to ensure that Marylanders stay safe, these background checks are the most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of those who are legally prohibited from having them."
 
Opponents of the bill, including hunters, say long guns are rarely used in homicides and that enforcing restrictions on them makes it more difficult for law-abiding gun owners to possess and transfer their private property.
 
McCullough says Maryland is known for having some of the toughest gun-control laws in the United States and points out that the state needs to adopt new measures to remain a leader on the issue. Despite this, gun lobbyists fought hard against the long-gun bill when it was proposed last year. The original bill had more restrictions on shotgun and rifle purchases, including fingerprinting, and it caused heated debates during the General Assembly.
 
"It would have required some training and a fingerprinting and a licensing piece too, which would be similar to the handgun qualification license that's currently required."
 
She thinks the stripped-down version of the bill, which just requires background checks, stands a better chance of passing. Giffords Law Center has ranked Maryland fourth in the nation for having the strongest gun laws, behind California, New Jersey and Connecticut.

0
comments


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of December 30 – January 5 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,277 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Arrests:
 
On December 31, 2019, Deputy Freeland responded to HG Trueman Road in Solomons for a warrant service. Stephon Larry Reed (37) was taken into custody by St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office for an active warrant in Calvert County. Deputy Freeland took custody of Reed and conducted a search of his person. Reed advised, when asked, that he was not in possession of any illegal contraband. Reed was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where Correctional Deputies conducted a second search which resulted in a small amount of marijuana from Reed’s coat pocket. Reed was served with his warrants and was charged with Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement. 
 
On December 31, 2019, Deputy S. Naughton responded to Lusby Liquors in Lusby for the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, Deputy Naughton observed Darrius Linard Speight (24) arguing with the cashier. The cashier advised they refused to serve Speight and asked him to leave the store, Speight became irate and refused to leave. Deputy Naughton advised Speight outside the store that he had to leave which Speight ignored. After refusing multiple commands to leave the property from multiple law enforcement officers on scene, Speight entered his vehicle but refused to leave the parking lot. Deputy Naughton advised Speight he was being placed under arrest, at which time Speight resisted by locking the car doors and shutting Deputy Naughton’s arm in the window. Speight was removed from the vehicle, placed under arrest, and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespassing on Private Property, Obstructing and Hindering, Resisting/Interfering with Arrest, and 2nd Degree Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer.
 
On January 2, 2020, Deputy Gott responded to Cordova Drive in Lusby for the report of a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, Deputy Gott observed a vehicle parked in front of the house and made contact with the driver, James Lionel Medley (35). Medley advised that he was at the house waiting to pick up a friend. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised Deputy Gott that Medley had an active warrant through St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office. Medley was detained and a search was conducted which resulted in a metal smoking device containing suspected cocaine residue. A search of the vehicle resulted in an additional pipe containing suspected cocaine residue, as well as a folded up receipt containing a white rock, suspected to be crack cocaine. Medley was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 

0
comments


St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Looking For At Risk Man

St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office seeks your help in locating a missing "at risk" person: Ryan Nicholas Cherrico, 29y/o, white, male. Last seen: Mechanicsville, 01/06/20. If you have information that can assist in helping safely locate Ryan Cherrico, please call 911 or contact the police.

0
comments


Mary Beth Cook Appointed Director of Planning & Zoning In Calvert County

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Beth Cook as the county government director of Planning & Zoning. Cook’s appointment is effective Jan. 6, 2020.
 
Cook, who was most recently the deputy director/zoning officer in the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning, has worked for county government for more than 26 years. Cook replaces Mark Willis who was promoted to county administrator effective Jan. 6.
 
Cook began working for the county government in April 1993 as an engineer and was quickly promoted to a project engineer in the Department of Public Works. In 2008, Cook was appointed the deputy director for Planning & Zoning.
 
During her career with the county government, Cook has been an integral part of county planning projects including master plans and the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.  Working closely with the Planning Commission, Cook has recommended and managed the adoption of text amendments to the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance.  As Zoning Officer, she has oversight of Zoning Code Enforcement.  Additionally Cook oversees the Division of Inspections & Permits.
 
“Mary Beth’s background in engineering combined with her years of service to our community make her a perfect fit as director of Planning & Zoning,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “We are confident that she will excel in this position and we look forward to many more years of her service and leadership.”
 
“I am both grateful and excited to have been selected to represent the county as the next Planning & Zoning director,” said Cook. “My years of experience in public service has provided me the privilege of understanding how the work I do impacts the lives of county citizens. My goal moving forward is to fulfill the vision of our community.”
 
Cook holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Leadership Maryland, class of 2019, and is also a graduate of Leadership Southern Maryland, class of 2017. Ms. Cook holds certificates in supervisory development through Calvert County Government, College of Southern Maryland Continuing Education Course, Delegating & Accountability, Rockhurst University Certificate of Continuing Education, and Management & Leadership Skills for First Time Managers. She is actively involved in the Academy for Excellence in Local Government, the American Planning Association, Calvert Hospice and Maryland Association of Counties. Cook has raised her three sons in the county and resides with her husband in Port Republic.
 
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.

0
comments


Charles County Economic Development to Hold Business Roundtable on Jan. 22

The Economic Development Department is hosting a Quarterly Business Roundtable on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Waldorf West Library (10405 O’Donnell Place, Waldorf) from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Join us at the event and learn more about Charles County’s economic development and what is happening in the county, as well as network with the local business community.

Presenters will give updates on the Strategic Plan, an upcoming trade mission to Mozambique, a new workshop series “Tools for Business Growth,” the Bryans Road analysis, and the Business Retention and Expansion program. The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

 

The agenda:

8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.             Networking and continental breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.       Quarterly Update

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.        Q&A session

This event is free, but space is limited. Register today at www.MeetCharlesCounty.com/quarterly-business-roundtable. For more information or questions, email info@MeetCharlesCounty.com.

0
comments


Record Participants Hike in New Year Across Maryland

About 5,000 hikers took advantage of sunny and mild weather New Year’s Day, joining the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the state’s annual First Day Hikes initiative. Hikers logged more than 10,000 miles on trails in parks and public lands all across Maryland.
 
Park rangers, staff, and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels ringing in the new year on the trail. With 43 hikes at more than 30 locations, the Maryland Park Service registered 3,834 hikers participating in guided hikes, while 1,152 people hiked 1,516 miles on their own — a grand total of 4,986 hikers, not counting many who didn’t check in with a ranger. Even more people hiked in Maryland’s state forests, wildlife management areas, and other public lands. 
 
Among those hiking was Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who trekked with Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and about 250 fellow hikers at Patuxent River State Park in Howard and Montgomery counties.
 
“First Day Hikes are a great way to spend New Year’s Day,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “Special thanks go to the rangers, volunteers and all the folks who joined us — I’m already looking forward to next year.” 
 
This year’s attendance broke the record set New Year’s Day 2019, when more than 3,700 people hiked 8,500 miles on 36 different First Day Hikes throughout Maryland — triple the previous year’s numbers.

0
comments


Man Shot And Killed In Park Hall

On January 3, 2020, at approximately 12:56 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the reported shooting in the 18100 block of Point Lookout Road in Park Hall. Deputies arrived on scene and located the victim, later identified as Jordan Lee Sullivan, age 24 of Park Hall, inside a residence suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division and Crime Lab Technicians responded to the scene and continued the investigation.
 
Preliminary investigation determined Sullivan was at a residence in Park Hall with an acquaintance later identified as Brian Lee Chaney, age 18 of Park Hall. Chaney and Sullivan were in the kitchen when Chaney began to manipulate a firearm, which discharged a round striking Sullivan in the chest. Chaney contacted 911 and began lifesaving measures until the arrival of emergency personnel. Sullivan was transported to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
 
Chaney was arrested and charged with the following:
 
Murder Second Degree
 
Manslaughter
 
Chaney is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center awaiting an appearance before the District Court Commissioner. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Taylore Nauman at (301) 475-4200 extension * 8109 or by email at Taylore.Nauman@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.

0
comments


Statement from Governor Hogan on Traffic Relief in the Washington Capital Region

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement: 
 
“Comptroller Franchot and I have reached a major bipartisan agreement to affirmatively vote to advance the Traffic Relief Plan at the Board of Public Works on Wednesday.
 
“This means that we can finally move forward on our historic interstate agreement with Virginia to build a new American Legion Bridge, and to solve what has been the number one problem in the Washington Capital Region for decades. With this plan, no one will be required to pay any tolls, all existing lanes will remain free, and billions of dollars in road improvements will be made without any new taxes. Nearly 70 percent of Marylanders support this project to address the second-worst traffic congestion in America. This marks a monumental achievement for our region.” 

0
comments


Charles County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

POLICE LOOKING TO IDENTIFY SUSPECT IN INDECENT EXPOSURE CASE: On December 31 at approximately 2:07 p.m., officers responded to the parking lot of a library on Village Street in Waldorf for the report of an indecent exposure. The suspect approached the victims and exposed his genitals. The suspect is described as a black male 30-50 years of age. At the time, he was wearing a Redskins jacket, dark colored pants and a black mask (See attached photos).  If you can identify the suspect, or have information related to the crime, please contact PFC A. Fenlon via e-mail at fenlona@ccso.us. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous should contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS. 

 

OFFICERS APPREHEND SUSPECT WANTED IN A VIOLENT ASSAULT INVOLVING TWO FEMALE RELATIVES: On January 3 at 11:53 a.m., Charles County Sheriff’s officers assigned to the Domestic Violence and Warrants Units apprehended a man who was wanted for violently assaulting two female relatives. Shawn Lamar Williams, 22, of White Plains was arrested in Waldorf and charged with two counts of second-degree assault, home invasion and other related charges. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on January 1 at 11:47 p.m. Officers responded to the 1500 block of Bryan Court in Waldorf for the report of an assault in progress. Prior to police being contacted, Williams smashed the front and rear windows of a vehicle belonging to one of the victims. After that, he approached the front door of their house and tried to kick it in, but he was unsuccessful. He then broke out the first story front window and gained entry. The victims hid in a bathroom but the suspect kicked open the door. He took the cellphones from the two victims and then struck one woman in the back of her head. Williams fled the scene just as police arrived. Officers obtained an arrest warrant and located Williams earlier today. Officer D. Spence is investigating.

DETECTIVES IDENTIFY AND ARREST SUSPECTS IN TARGETED HOME INVASION AND ASSAULT CASE: On December 31 at 7:34 p.m., officers responded to the 4000 block of Night Heron Court in Waldorf for the report of a home invasion and assault. An initial investigation revealed a known associate, Jeremiah Nicholas, 21, of Waldorf, was allowed inside the apartment by the victim. Once inside, a physical altercation ensued between the victim and Nicholas. At that time, Nicholas’ brother, Nehemiah Nicholas, 22, of Washington, D.C. – who was standing outside of the apartment with another male – fired five rounds into the apartment and forced his way inside along with the other man. The suspects then demanded property from the victim, but fled without anything. Detectives obtained arrest warrants for Jeremiah and Nehemiah Nicholas. On January 1, 2020, Nehemiah Nicholas was arrested in Fredericksburg VA. He was in possession of a rifle at the time he was located. On January 2, 2020, Jeremiah Nicholas was located at his residence and arrested. The Nicholas’ were charged with home invasion, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree assault. Detectives are working to identify the third suspect and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information should contact Detective C. Gregory at (301) 609-6507. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the third suspect. 

0
comments


Cardin Responds to Killing of Iranian General

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a co-author of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, issued the following statement on the news that the Pentagon, on orders from President Donald Trump, has killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Senator Cardin has cosponsored legislation that would prohibit war with Iran unless authorized by Congress.
 
“President Trump’s decision to kill Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad is a provocative act taken without congressional consultation or authorization, the potential consequences of which are unknown.  The Pentagon in its statement characterized the strike as ‘a defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad,’ but the Trump administration’s repeated confrontations with Iran tell a different story.  Dating to his withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement in 2018,  this president has unfailingly raised tensions with Iran, and his latest act puts Americans at risk by all but inviting retaliation against U.S. and allied interests inside and outside of Iraq. There is no imminent threat aside from that which the president has provoked. President Trump should stop the provocations and allow diplomacy to take root.”

0
comments


Hogan Administration Announces Agreements with State Employee Labor Unions

ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Hogan administration today announced that the state has completed negotiations and reached agreements with state employee unions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.
 
The Maryland Professional Employees Council, the American Federation of Teachers, the Baltimore Washington International Professional Firefighters Local 1742, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have all reached agreements with the Hogan administration for the upcoming fiscal year. The agreements affect approximately 26,000 employees.
 
“I am thrilled that we were once again able to collaborate with the exclusive bargaining representatives of the state’s employees and reach agreements that benefit our hardworking and dedicated employees,” said Department of Budget and Management Secretary Brinkley.
 
Most employees will receive a 2% cost-of-living increase effective January 1, 2021 with the opportunity to receive a one-time $500 bonus effective January 1, 2021 if FY 2020 revenues exceed projections by $75 million. Approximately 2,700 social workers, direct care workers, licensed practical nurses, teachers, pretrial release investigators, lab scientists, veterans benefits specialists, and other employees in positions that are challenging to recruit and retain will also receive an additional 6% pay adjustment to assist with state recruitment and retention efforts. Furthermore, over the next four years, correctional officers eligible to retire will be offered a Retention and Longevity Pay Incentive of up to $37,500 to continue working for four years.
 
“These bonuses will help us retain our retirement-ready correctional officers (COs) while the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services capitalizes on the 9.5% increase in CO pay since January of last year to fill long term vacancies,” said Secretary Brinkley. “Public safety organizations throughout the country are experiencing similar recruitment and retention challenges, but we are confident our package of stay bonuses and pay raises will put us in a good position to improve staffing our correctional facilities.”
 
Approximately 6,500 employees across the bargaining units will also be eligible to participate in a Student Loan Repayment Plan that will reimburse employees for up to $20,000 in student loan debt repayments.
 
It is estimated that these salary enhancements will reward state employees with $33 million more over the next fiscal year. These increases are in addition to the 5.5% cumulative increase in wages that state employees have received since January 2019. 

0
comments


NFPA Encourages Prompt Removal Of Christmas Trees

January 2, 2020 – If you’re having trouble parting with your Christmas tree, here’s a fact to motivate you: Nearly one-third (29 percent) of U.S. home fires that begin with Christmas trees occurs in January. With this potential fire hazard in mind, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly encourages everyone to remove Christmas trees from their homes promptly after the holiday season.
 
“Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasingly flammable as they continue to dry out,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “The longer you keep one in your home, the more of a fire hazard it becomes.”
 
NFPA statistics show that Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they’re much more likely to be serious. On annual average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to one death per 135 total reported home structure fires.
 
All Christmas trees can burn, but a dried-out tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds,” said Carli. “In recent years, we’ve seen tragic incidents where Christmas tree fires have resulted in deadly consequences for multiple family members, including young children.”
 
NFPA recommends using the local community’s recycling program for tree disposal, if possible; trees should not be put in the garage or left outside. The association also offers these tips for safely removing lighting and decorations and storing them properly to ensure that they’re in good condition the following season:
 
Use the gripping area on the plug when unplugging electrical decorations. Never pull the cord to unplug any device from an electrical outlet, as this can harm the wire and insulation of the cord, increasing the risk for shock or electrical fire.
As you pack up light strings, inspect each line for damage, throwing out any sets that have loose connections, broken sockets or cracked or bare wires.
Wrap each set of lights and put them in individual plastic bags, or wrap them around a piece of cardboard.
Store electrical decorations in a dry place away from children and pets where they will not be damaged by water or dampness.
For more information on home fire safety all winter long, visit “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires,” a winter safety campaign NFPA promotes annually with the U.S. Fire Administration.
 
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

0
comments


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of December 23 – 29 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 997 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Theft: 19-74391
On December 25, 2019 Deputy R. Shrawder responded to Dowell Road in Solomons for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between 7:30pm and 9:30pm on December 24th, an unknown suspect(s) stole their purse from the back of their chair. The value of stolen property is $120.
 
Theft: 19-74518
On December 26, 2019 Deputy Mason was notified of a theft that occurred at Southern Branch Library in Solomons. The complainant advised that on December 21st they entered the library for a short time, leaving their backpack outside. When they returned, an unknown suspect(s) had stolen their medication from inside the backpack. 
 
Theft: 19-74741
On December 27, 2019 Deputy Sturdivant responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that an unknown male suspect entered the pharmacy area of the store and took a marijuana drug test kit from the shelf, then entered the bathroom with the drug test kit and used it without paying for it. The value of stolen property is $12.63.
 
Arrests:
 
On December 24, 2019 Deputy Wilson was notified by Calvert County Emergency Communications of a vehicle entering Calvert County displaying a stolen Maryland registration. Deputies located the vehicle at the BP Gas Station in Dunkirk and made contact with the driver, Jon Robert Letcher (55), who was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft Less Than $100.
 
On December 27, 2019, Deputy Crum responded to Dad’s Garage in Owings for the report of a motor vehicle theft. The complainant advised that a female subject entered the rear business lot and attempted to enter a vehicle without authorization. Upon arrival, deputies made contact and detained the female subject, Taesha Selena Johnson (19). Johnson used bolt cutters to remove a steering wheel lock in an attempt to drive the vehicle off the lot. Johnson was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Unlawful Taking of a Motor Vehicle, Theft: $25,000 to under $100,000, 4th Degree Burglary, and Malicious Destruction of Property Valued < $1,000.
 
On December 28, 2019 Deputy Crum conducted a traffic stop on Southern Maryland Boulevard at Lyons Creek Road in Dunkirk. The occupants were removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in a syringe and a blue bottle cap with suspected Heroin residue. A search of the passenger, Charles Melvin Gross (65), was conducted which resulted in a syringe containing suspected Heroin, a bottle cap with burn residue, a small plastic bag containing suspected Heroin and two Q-tips with burnt residue on the ends. Gross was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, and CDS Possess/Distribute Administer Equipment. 
 
On December 28, 2019 Deputy Rzepkowski responded to the 7-Eleven on Old Town Road in Huntingtown for a suspicious vehicle and possible CDS activity. Upon arrival the subjects, Crystal Kay Sweeney (38) and Nathan Oliver White (38), were standing outside the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in a copper wool pad and a glass vile with suspected PCP inside. A search of White resulted in glass smoking pipe with suspected crack cocaine residue, three white rock-like substances suspected to be crack cocaine and a glass vile containing suspected PCP. White was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center. Prior to entering the facility, Correctional Deputy Windsor conducted a second search of White which resulted in a plastic baggie containing suspected crack cocaine. White was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, and Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement. Sweeney was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 

0
comments


Public Open House to Discuss Regional Long Range Transportation Planning to be Held January 16

Leonardtown, MD – The Calvert-St. Mary’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (C-SMMPO) is holding a Public Open House Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. in Room A/B of the Lexington Park Library located at 21677 FDR Boulevard, Lexington Park, MD.

 

The purpose of the Open House is to gather feedback on the draft regional Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) currently being developed. Information gathered will aid in establishing regional transportation investment priorities over the next 25 years. The draft LRTP report will be available online beginning Jan.9, 2020 and can be obtained here: https://www.calvert-stmarysmpo.com/.

 

During the Open House, there will be informative presentations held at 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and       6 p.m. and questions from the public are welcomed and encouraged. Refreshments for all and coloring activities for children will be provided.

 

Any reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities should be requested by contacting Ben Cohen at 301-475-4200, ext. 71505 or ben.cohen@stmarysmd.com.

 

For additional information regarding this regional Long-Range Transportation Plan, please contact Kwasi Bosompem, Senior Planner, Department of Land Use and Growth Management at 301-475-4200, ext. 71507 or email Kwasi.Bosompem@stmarysmd.com.

0
comments


Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft case. On Dec. 10, 2019 at 3:20 pm, the suspect removed a green Apple iPhone Pro Max demo phone and black iPhone 11 Pro demo phone from their tethers and fled the Verizon Wireless store in Charlotte Hall. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect of this incident is asked to call Cpl. Chad Hartzell at 301-475-4200, ext. 78024 or email chad.hartzell@stmarysmd.com. Case # 70804-19
 
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Archives:

2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12


 

 

 

 

 

 

News