Star Local News Archives for 2020-02

Van Hollen Introduces Legislation to Address the Homework Gap

WASHINGTON –  U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has announced the introduction of the Homework Gap Trust Fund Act, legislation to eliminate the homework gap and ensure children have access to the internet at home. According to the Senate Joint Economic Committee, as many as 12 million students do not have access to the internet at home. Data also suggests that while 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires internet access, almost 20 percent of students don’t have home internet access to complete it. The homework gap impacts students in both rural and urban areas and disproportionately impacts lower-income students and students of color. In order to address this issue, and to better provide students with the opportunity to succeed, Senator Van Hollen’s legislation would direct revenue from the upcoming FCC C-band spectrum auction to create a Homework Gap Trust Fund to pay for priorities that will help close the digital divide.

 

“Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed. But without internet access at home, many students face significant barriers in completing their schoolwork. The homework gap exacerbates educational inequality, and we must work to address it immediately. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which would invest a small portion of the revenue from the FCC’s upcoming c-band auction in the future success of our children and our country. This investment is worth every penny, and I urge my colleagues to support it. Whether it’s through closing the homework gap, or fully funding Title I and IDEA, I will continue working to provide every student with a quality education,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

 

The legislation is endorsed by: The American Federation of Teachers, The National Education Association, The National Rural Education Association, Maryland State Education Association, Prince George’s County Maryland Government, and AFT-Maryland.

 

“So much of our students’ learning today is driven by internet access – the ability to access timely and accurate information, participate in group projects, communicate with classmates and teachers, and utilize valuable resources often requires a computer and a connection. So students in some zip codes are learning by one click, while others – including those from communities of color, people with disabilities, low-income households, and rural communities – can’t even access the Internet. This opportunity gap is a crisis. Thankfully, Senator Van Hollen is committed to removing barriers to digital access with a solution that levels the playing field and enables more affordable, reliable broadband service for every student in this country,” said the American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

 

“We applaud Senator Van Hollen’s commitment to closing the homework gap to ensure that all students are on an equal footing with high speed internet access when it comes to doing their homework,” said Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations at the National Education Association. “The use of spectrum auction proceeds to support teaching and learning after the school day ends is exactly how we envision the FCC using a portion of these public funds – especially after deciding to auction off part of the wireless spectrum reserved for education institutions, known as the Educational Broadband Service. A solution as simple as providing students with mobile hotspots to do their homework will go a long way in closing the unnecessary and inequitable homework gap.”

 

“As a teacher, I know that when students can't access the internet at home, completing their homework can be an even bigger burden,” said Baltimore County Elementary School Teacher and Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost. “I applaud Senator Van Hollen for his commitment to helping close the homework gap with the Homework Gap Trust Fund Act. This is an equity problem – and it impacts graduation rates. We should be preparing our students for a global digital world and I’m glad to see Senator Van Hollen committed to bringing every student up to speed with high-quality broadband access.”

 

“The ability for all of our children to earn a quality education is absolutely critical, and in 2020, children should not be at a disadvantage because they are unable to complete their homework due to a lack of technology,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “Learning does and must continue outside of the classroom, which is why I applaud Senator Van Hollen for sponsoring The Homework Trust Fund Act of 2020.  As our children work toward their future, their main focus should be on learning, not on fear of falling behind because when they get home they know there is not internet access to complete their assignments.”

 

“In today’s digital age, students from all ZIP codes, rural and urban, deserve equal opportunities to succeed in their education. As a nation, we must ensure all students are given the proper tools for success, with access to a broadband connection being among the most necessary. For the millions of students embarking on a new year of growth and learning on the wrong side of the digital divide – we need to act.  The National Rural Education Association fully supports Senator Van Hollen’s Homework Gap Trust Fund Act. We feel his efforts to address the Homework Gap and embraces our values and commitment to action for our nation to engage and act to address the needs of all of our rural students,” said Allen Pratt, Executive Director of the National Rural Education Association.

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St. Mary's County STEM Academy Open House

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools will host two Open House events for potential applicants to the STEM Academy programs at Lexington Park Elementary School and Spring Ridge Middle School. 
 
Lexington Park Elementary School will host an Open House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, from 5:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.  This is for any student interested in applying to the STEM Academy for grades 4 and 5. 
 
Spring Ridge Middle School will host an Open House on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is for any student interested in applying to the STEM Academy for grades 6-8. 
 
Additional information about the STEM Academy can be found online at www.smcps.org/academies. For more information, contact the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at 301-475-5511, extension 32104.

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Calvert Sheriff Honors 2019 Deputy and Employees of the Year

The men and women of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and Calvert County Detention Center (CCDC) were recognized for their professional excellence at its Annual Awards Ceremony Saturday, February 22, 2020, at the Calvert County Fairgrounds, Prince Frederick, MD. CCSO Sheriff Mike Evans along with CCDC Captain Kevin Cross honored officers and staff for their outstanding work exhibiting professionalism among their peers and their interactions with the public.
Congratulations to CCSO DFC Robert Shrawder for being named Calvert County Sheriff’s Office 2019 Deputy of the Year, DFC Nikki Gilmore, Beach Deputy of the Year, Deputy Chip Ward, CCSO Detective of the Year, Frances Lopez, CCSO Civilian of the Year, Deputy Dru Krum, CCSO Rookie of Year and 2019 Road Deputy of the Year from the Calvert County State's Attorney Office, Correctional Deputy Ryan Jones, CCDC Rookie of the Year and Correctional Deputy 1st Class Mike Lanier, CCDC Correctional Deputy of the Year.
 
Congratulations to all recipients and thank you for all of your dedication and hard work. Our community is a safer place because of you.

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"Out of This World" Campaign Encourages St. Mary's County Families To Choose Breakfast at School

LEONARDTOWN, MD – To encourage more families to take advantage of the healthy choices available for school breakfast, St. Mary’s County Public Schools will celebrate National School
Breakfast Week during March 2-6, 2020.
 
Busy weekday mornings make it a challenge for many families to find time for a healthy breakfast.  However, US Department of Agriculture data show that more and more students are starting their day with a nutritious breakfast in their school cafeterias. The USDA School Breakfast Program currently serves more than 14 million students every day.  Studies show that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to:
 
? Reach higher levels of achievement in reading and math
? Score higher on standardized tests
? Have better concentration and memory
? Be more alert
? Maintain a healthy weight
 
The National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) campaign theme, “Out of This World”, reminds the entire school community that school breakfast provides a healthy and energizing start to the day for students.  School nutrition professionals and students will be encouraged to show their enthusiasm for school breakfast from March 2-6 as the district celebrates with special menus, cafeteria events, and more.
 
“A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is a great way to ensure students get the best education they can,” states Megan Doran, Director of Food and Nutrition Services.  “National School Breakfast Week helps us educate parents and students about all the healthy, great tasting, and appealing choices we offer.”
The district serves over 5,000 breakfast meals daily through the federally funded School Breakfast Program.  School nutrition professionals in St. Mary’s County Public Schools prepare breakfast and lunches every day that meet federal nutrition standards limiting fat, calories, and sodium while encouraging students to choose from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains offered with school meals.

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Calvert County Public Schools 2020 Science Fair Winners

Calvert County Public Schools proudly announces the winners of the 2020 Science Fair. Diamond Lewis of Northern High School won the grand prize in the senior division with her project “Early Concussion Detection: The Photonic Headband.” Windy Hill Middle students Casey Brabson and Ava Robshaw captured the junior grand prize with their project “Batter Up.”
Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “Our students conducted true scientific research for these projects. The STEM skills they learned will serve them well in the future.” 
Judging criteria include the challenge of the project and the scientific research practices used by the student, plus the oral and visual presentation and significance of the topic. All projects were judged by three professionals from the STEM community.
In addition to winning the grand prize, Diamond Lewis won a $750 Scholarship from the Southern Maryland Association of Realtors, earned honorable mention from the Patuxent Partnership, won the Johns Hopkins University Society of Engineering Alumni 1st Place Award and gift card, $50 from Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, and 1st place senior division of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Award of $200. 
Casey Brabson and Ava Robshaw also earned honorable mention from the Patuxent Partnership, honorable mention for INCOSE, won the Johns Hopkins University Society of Engineering Alumni 2nd Place Award and gift card, and $50 from Educational Systems Federal Credit Union.
An Nguyen and Eliza Williams of Huntingtown High won the Patuxent Partnership Unmanned Systems Chief Engineer Award, earned honorable mention from INCOSE, and a $25 merit award for their project “Is a Phone a Distraction?”
Caleb Childress of Southern Middle won the Patuxent Partnership Unmanned Systems Chief Engineer Award, a $25 merit award, $50 from the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, earned honorable mention from INCOSE, and the Water and Waste Operators Association’s senior level award of $50. His project was entitled, “Erosion: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” 
Calvert Middle’s Jonathan Dean won a $25 merit award, $50 from the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, honorable mention from the Patuxent Partnership, 1st place junior division INCOSE Award of $100, and the Water and Waste Operators Association’s junior level award of $100. His project was named, “Clean as a Whistle: Can a hydraulic arm remove all types of trash from bodies of water?”

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Update: Identities Needed for Burglary Suspects (Photos)

The Suspects Have Been Identified.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identities of the persons pictured in a burglary investigation. On Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at 2:50 pm, the suspects unlawfully entered a home in the 42300 block of Riva Ridge Drive in Hollywood. Stolen from the residence were a 60-inch Samsung television, a Stihl trimmer, a Stihl leaf blower, a MetroCast receiver with cables and a Wyze surveillance camera.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identities of the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Zachery Jerew at 301-475-4200 ext. 78154 or email zachery.jerew@stmarysmd.com. Case # 11264-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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Department of Natural Resources Urges Congress to Address Rules Hindering Market for Invasive Blue Catfish

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is supporting a joint resolution proposed by the Maryland General Assembly that will move the state closer to controlling the invasive blue catfish population by commercial harvest. 
 
A native of the Mississippi River basin, blue catfish were introduced to the mid-Atlantic in the 1970s. Since then it has exploded in population and range, and can now be found throughout Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River watersheds. Blue catfish are a significant threat to the ecosystem because of their rapidly increasing populations and capacity to consume significant amounts of native species, like crabs and striped bass. 
 
House Joint Resolution 3 and Senate Joint Resolution 3 – Natural Resources – Fishing – Wild-Caught Blue Catfish urges the United States Congress to oppose certain inspection rules promulgated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has drastically impeded the harvest and sale of blue catfish. Because of this, Maryland has been unable to adequately use the commercial harvest as a form of control over the invasive blue catfish. 
 
Previously under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, Congress directed USDA to take over regulation of all species of catfish in 2017. The regulations have required the presence of a USDA inspector on premises during blue catfish processing. These inspectors are a significant cost to the dealer and inspectors’ schedules don’t often match up with the working hours of the dealers. Additionally, the processing rooms have to be cleared of all other products, causing disruptions to the rest of the business. All other seafood processing continues to be conducted under the FDA.
 
“Congressional action is simply common sense. Current inspection rules deter catfish dealers and watermen from targeting this invasive species, due to a low return on investment and their restricted ability to get the product to market,” said DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway Riccio. “Maryland was on the path to controlling this invasive species and these strict regulations cripple our ability to execute this solution.”
 
Both the House and Senate Joint Resolutions have been referred to their respective committees and being heard by state legislators. Members of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation, Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Chris Van Holllen, and Congressman Andy Harris have continued to be engaged on this issue.
 
The department continues to increase its outreach and promotion of blue catfish as a fishery — both commercial and recreational — including a new video that highlights commercial techniques that can be used to successfully target the species.

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Identities Sought in Two Lexington Park Robberies

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is seeking the identities of individuals involved in two recent robberies in Lexington Park.
 
On Friday evening, Feb. 21, 2020, two males entered the Island Sushi business in Millison Plaza in Lexington Park, brandished a weapon and demanded money. The two men left with an undisclosed amount of currency.
 
On Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 2020, two males entered the 2000 Liquors business, also in Millison Plaza in Lexington Park, brandished a weapon and demanded money and left the establishment with an undisclosed amount of currency.
 
Anyone with information about either or both of these incidents is asked to call Detective DFC Taylore Nauman at 301-475-4200, ext. 78109 or email taylore.nauman@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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Maryland Retains Triple-AAA Bond Rating, To Sell Up To $800 Million of General Obligation Bonds

Maryland State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp announced
today that the three major bond rating agencies have reaffirmed the State's AAA bond
rating, all with stable outlooks, in advance of the upcoming competitive sale of State
General Obligation Bonds on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
Maryland is one of thirteen states* to hold the coveted AAA rating, the highest possible
rating, from all three major bond rating agencies. S&P Global Ratings has rated the bonds
AAA since 1961, Moody’s Investors Service has assigned the bonds a rating of Aaa since
1973, and Fitch Ratings has rated the bonds AAA since 1993.
Treasurer Kopp said, “We are pleased that Maryland continues to be recognized as a tripleAAA State, a distinction that reflects Maryland’s fiscal strength and longstanding
commitment to prudent, proactive financial management. The rating agencies recognize
that Maryland’s dynamic economy, highly educated workforce, and above-average wealth
and income levels make it an outstanding investment.”
“The lower interest rates that the State will achieve on its bonds due to its outstanding
credit rating will save the Maryland residents millions of dollars and allow those dollars to
be directed to investment in our local communities, notably our schools, libraries, 
institutions of higher education, healthcare facilities and cultural projects important to the
residents of our State,” Treasurer Kopp added.
Fitch Ratings, in assigning its AAA rating and stable outlook, said that Maryland’s rating
“reflects its broad, diverse and wealthy economy, very strong fiscal management with
consensus-oriented long-term planning, and multiple sources of flexibility. Although
liabilities are elevated for a state, they are moderate relative to resources and carefully
managed.”
Moody’s Investors Service, in providing its rationale for its Aaa rating, said “The highestquality rating reflects Maryland’s strong financial management policies, ample liquidity
levels, stable economy and high personal income levels, all of which offset the state’s
economic exposure to constrained federal spending, as well as the above-average debt and
pension burdens stemming from the state’s practice of issuing debt and absorbing certain
pension costs on behalf of local governments.” In explaining the stable outlook, Moody’s
indicated “The state’s proactive fiscal management enables it to make midcourse
corrections and weather economic cycles. It has also taken often difficult actions to
strengthen the foundation for long term fiscal sustainability. Even so, growth in fixed costs
for pensions, debt service and retiree health benefits will continue to be a challenge.”
In assigning its AAA long-term rating and stable outlook, S&P Global Ratings said: “Our
‘AAA’ long-term rating on Maryland’s GO bonds reflects our view of the State’s: Broad
and diverse economy, which continues to post slow growth; Strong wealth and income
levels relative to those of the nation; Long history of proactive financial and budget
management, including implementation of frequent and timely budget adjustments to align
revenues and expenditures and long-term financial planning that should continue to be
helpful in addressing future budget challenges; and Well-developed debt management
practices with a moderate debt burden for most measures and rapid amortization, although
long-term pension and other postemployment benefits liabilities remain moderately high,
in our opinion.”
S&P Global Ratings further stated: “The stable outlook reflects Maryland’s continued
focus on structural budget alignment and maintenance of minimum state reserves at levels
we consider good, despite continued slow economic growth. The state’s continued practice
of making proactive midyear adjustments to align the budget in case of slower-thananticipated revenue growth will remain an important credit factor over the two-year 
outlook horizon, given Maryland’s above-average economic dependence on federal
government employment and spending.”
The bond sale will include $495,000,000 of tax-exempt bonds, $50,000,000 in taxable
bonds, and up to $255,000,000 in refunding bonds. The tax-exempt bonds will be sold in
two bidding groups to enhance competition: Bidding Group 1 - $245,055,000 of taxexempt bonds; and Bidding Group 2 - $249,945,000 of tax-exempt bonds. Additionally,
the Maryland Treasurer’s Office anticipates that the refunding bonds will generate over
$20 million in net present value savings. All of these bonds are expected to be sold to
institutions.
As is always the case with Maryland’s tax-exempt General Obligation Bonds, the State
will use the proceeds to finance important capital projects and improvements, such as
public schools, community colleges, university projects and hospitals.
The Maryland Board of Public Works, composed of Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.,
Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot, will preside over the
competitive bond sale on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in the Assembly Room in the
Goldstein Treasury Building in Annapolis.
The Maryland State Treasurer’s Office expects to conduct another bond sale in July or
August 2020.

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Public Meeting Tonight to Revise St. Mary's County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances

The St. Mary’s County Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance will be revised. Surveyors, engineers, developers, real estate professionals, property owners, and all other parties with an interest in development in St. Mary’s County are asked to participate in the revision process which will take place through a series of meetings.
 
Roger Fink, former Charles County Attorney, has been hired as a consultant to oversee a complete revision to the County’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances. Roger will participate in these public meetings to hear suggestions for changes to the ordinances.
 
Meetings will be held in the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 with the first meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 26, 2020, starting at 6:30 pm. Meetings will be designed to last one hour. Attendees and interested parties are encouraged to provide prewritten ordinance provisions for consideration and discussion. Submissions can be sent via email in advance of the meetings to: bill.hunt@stmarysmd.com explaining what provision(s) should be changed with a suggestion on the new wording.
 
Please participate in this process by attending and speaking and sending recommendations in advance. The recommendations for changes that are obtained will be compiled by Roger and a draft will be sent to all participants to review. The same procedure will be followed for subsequent meetings.

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Commissioners of St. Mary's County to Receive Bids for Surplus Real Property – Chaptico, MD

Leonardtown, MD - NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary's County will receive bids for the purchase of surplus real property located in the Fourth (4th) Election District with a physical address of 36039 Carver Road, Mill Point Shores, Chaptico, MD 20621, Tax Account No. 04-005937, for a period of 45 days, beginning February 25, 2020 and ending April 10, 2020.
 
Bid forms can be requested from Brandy McKelvey at Brandy.McKelvey@stmarysmd.com and should be submitted to the St. Mary's County Attorney's Office. Bids can be hand delivered to the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650; or mailed to P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
 
For more information, please contact the County Attorney's Office at 301-475-4200 ext. 71702.
 
COMMISSIONERS OF ST. MARY'S COUNTY By: David A. Weiskopf, County Attorney

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Commissioners of St. Mary's County to Receive Bids for Surplus Real Property – Ridge

Leonardtown, MD - NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary's County will receive bids for the purchase of surplus real property in the First (1st) Election District with a physical address of 49366 White House Lane, Ridge, MD 20680, Tax Account No. 01-021451, for a period of 45 days, beginning February 25, 2020 and ending April 10, 2020.
 
Bid forms can be requested from Brandy McKelvey at Brandy.McKelvey@stmarysmd.com and should be submitted to the St. Mary's County Attorney's Office. Bids can be hand delivered to the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650; or mailed to P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
 
For more information, please contact the County Attorney's Office at 301-475-4200 ext. 71702.
 
COMMISSIONERS OF ST. MARY'S COUNTY By: David A. Weiskopf, County Attorney

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of February 17 – February 23 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,364 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Burglary: 20-9658
On February 17, 2020, Deputy Wood responded to Chews Brand Road in Owings for the report of a burglary. The complainant advised that sometime between 1:30pm on February 16th and 6:00pm on February 17th, an unknown suspect(s) threw a rock through a bedroom window, also breaking a glass sliding door, and rummaged through multiple drawers and cabinets throughout the residence. The value of damaged property is $900.
 
Damaged Property: 20-10210
On February 20, 2020, Deputy Grierson responded to Drum Point Clubhouse in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) shattered the exterior glass pane of a sliding glass door. The value of damaged property is $900.
 
Damaged Property: 20-10830
On February 23, 2020, Deputy Hardy responded to Main Street in Prince Frederick for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) had broken down the front door of the residence. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Theft: 20-10621
On February 22, 2020, Corporal Robshaw responded to Harbor Island Marina in Solomons for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between January 20th and February 22nd, an unknown suspect(s) stole the aqua colored rudder with a stainless steel shaft belonging to the boat “La Sirene”. The value of stolen property is $1,000.
 
Arrests:
 
On February 18, 2020, Deputy Lewis assisted Deputy Deleon with a suspicious vehicle at PNC Bank in Owings. The driver, Michael Patrick Mikulka (40), was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in a small black prescription bottle containing a small amount of marijuana as well as 13 blue pills suspected to be Xanax, for which he could not provide a prescription. An orange prescription bottle containing a small paper fold with a brown wax substance inside. Mikulka was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana. 
 
On February 18, 2020, Deputy Wilson responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft in progress. The complainant advised Franklin Lee James, Jr. (59) was observed ripping the tags off a Walls jacket and wearing it around the store while placing multiple other items in shopping bags. Franklin then removed the jacket and dropped the shopping bags and exited the store where he was met by a Maryland State Police Trooper and Deputy Wilson. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised that James had an active warrant through Calvert County. James was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft: $100 to under $1,500. 
 
On February 19, 2020, Deputy Stevens assisted Deputy Sampson with a traffic stop on Fox Run Boulevard in Prince Frederick. Upon arrival, the driver, Delano Obrien Gray Jr. (35), and the passenger were standing outside of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle was conducted resulting in a clear sandwich bag filled with a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana as well as a black, Triton T3 digital pocket scale. Gray was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where was charged with CDS: Possession of Marijuana 10GM+. 
 
On February 21, 2020, Corporal O’Donnell responded to the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick for a welfare check. The complainant advised there was a truck parked close to the woods and a male inside acting crazy. Upon arrival Corporal O’Donnell made contact with the male occupant, Robert Stoeckard (37), and observed him to act nervous and make continuous movements to keep Corporal O’Donnell at the rear of the truck. Stoeckard advised, when asked, that he had illegal substance inside the vehicle. Stoeckard was detained and a search of the vehicle was conducted which resulted in three hypodermic needles, one containing approximately 50mL of heroin, one metal spoon containing a white rock substance suspected to be Ecstasy, a small plastic baggie containing a brown powdery substance suspected to be heroin and a small piece of tin foil containing two small blue pills suspected to be Percocet. Corporal O’Donnell was also advised by Calvert County Emergency Communications that Stoeckard had an active arrest warrant through Pennsylvania.  Stoeckard 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 Possession Administer Equipment. 

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Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

Warrant Service - On 02/20/2020, Trooper First Class Rutkoski and Corporal Newcomer responded to the Calvert County District Courthouse to make contact with Wilber Richard Hawkins, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Hawkins was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 2/21/2020, Trooper Strong responded to the Calvert County Detention Center to make contact with Tiaiara Danielle Ball, who had three active warrants through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Ball was located and served the warrants without incident.
 
Assist Agency w/ Warrant Service - On 2/23/2020, Trooper First Class Stull and Trooper First Class Lewis responded to Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack in reference to a disorderly subject. Once at the Barrack, both troopers made contact with Harold Christopher Garner Jr., who came to Barrack, disorderly, advising he had warrants. Garner was met outside and detained for an active warrant in St. Mary’s County. Trooper First Class Stull transported Garner to St. Mary’s County Sheriff's Office deputy for relay.

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NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Field Carrier Landing Practice Flights Feb. 26 to March 9

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the naval air station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place February 26 – March 9, 2020 between the hours of 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
 
Pilots at NAS PAX will be conducting Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs). FCLPs are simulated carrier landings conducted to prepare the pilot to land safely on an aircraft carrier. Airspeed, altitude, and power are all precisely choreographed in order for a pilot to approach the ship within an acceptable window to land on the deck safely. FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. It is a highly complex skill that requires an intense period of training before pilots deploy. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
 
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information call the Pax River toll-free Noise Hotline at 1-866-819-9028.

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Daylight Saving Time Begins March 8

Leonardtown, MD – The Department of Emergency Services reminds residents to turn clocks ahead one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8, 2020, as daylight saving time goes into effect.
 
This is also the perfect time to perform regular battery checks in smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and NOAA weather radios.
 
For more information, visit our website https://www.stmarysmd.com/es/beprepared/

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Charles County Landfill Scale House Construction to Begin on March 2

The Charles County Landfill Scale House (12305 Billingsley Road, Waldorf) will begin construction on Monday, March 2.   Residents may experience delays during weekdays as closure of the inbound and outbound scales are alternated. Construction is expected to be completed by Aug. 1.
 
The construction is phase one for future improvement to the Charles County Landfill.
 
For more information, call the Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Motor Vehicle Collision in Valley Lee Under Investigation

On February 23, 2020, at approximately 2:31 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 19400 block of Piney Point Road in the area of Blake Creek Road, in Valley Lee, for the reported motor vehicle collision. Deputies arrived on scene and located a single vehicle, with one occupant, in a field. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene and continued the investigation.
 
Preliminary investigation determined a 1994 Ford Mustang operated by Joshua William Robe, age 24 of Leonardtown, was traveling south on Piney Point Road when for unknown reasons the vehicle left the roadway and struck a telephone pole. The vehicle overturned multiple times ultimately coming to rest in a field. Robe was transported via helicopter to an area trauma center and remains in serious condition. At this time speed and alcohol are considered contributing factors in the collision.
 
Anyone who witnessed the collision or events leading to the collision is asked to contact Deputy First Class Jason Smith at (301) 475-4200 extension 72328 or by email at Jason.Smith@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Chesapeake Beach U.S. Navy Pilot Selected To Lead Navy Rhino Demonstration Team

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A Chesapeake Beach, Maryland U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot assigned as an instructor to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-106), selected to become Team Lead for the U.S. Navy Rhino Demonstration Team.
 
The Rhino Demo Team is a single ship air show demonstration that displays the rich heritage of Naval Aviation to patriotic audiences across the United States.  The demo flight profile highlights the mobility, versatility, and power of the most lethal, carrier-based Strike Fighter aircraft in the world, the F/A-18F Super Hornet, nicknamed the “Rhino”. 
The Rhino Demo Team includes 15 elite members; four pilots, three weapon systems officers, and eight maintainers.  All Team members are attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-106). 
Lt. Shane Brady, a native of Chesapeake Beach, graduated from Northern High School in 2007.  He is a 2011 graduate of Hood College with Bachelor of Arts in Management. Brady earned his commission from the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School in September 2011.
“It is a huge honor and privilege to lead the Team this year for the 2020 air show season.  The men and women of the Rhino Demo Team are our squadrons finest members and this year will be outstanding to display the pride and professionalism we have in the Strike Fighter Aviation community,” said Brady.
The Rhino Demo Team will fly the F/A-18F to 11 different air shows throughout the United States in 2020:
April 18, Thunder Over Louisville (Louisville, KY)
May 23-24, Hyundai Air & Sea Show (Miami Beach, FL)
June 5-7, Wildwood Air Show (North Wildwood, NJ)
June 13-14, Ocean City Air Show (Ocean City, MD)
July 4, Thunder Over North Beach (Racine, WI)
July 23-26, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (Oshkosh, WI)
August 15-16, Chicago Air & Water Show (Chicago, IL)
August 29-30, New York Air Show (New Windsor, NY)
September 19-20, NAS Oceana Air Show (Virginia Beach, VA)
October 10-11, Wings Over Houston Air Show (Houston, TX)
November 14-15, JBSA Air Show (San Antonio, TX)
VFA-106, also known as the “Gladiators”, is located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana. As the East Coast Super Hornet Fleet Replacement Squadron, VFA-106 is comprised of over 200 Officers and 1,340 Sailors who are committed to training the next generation of Strike Fighter aircrew in the tactical employment of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

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Important Deadlines for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election

Leonardtown, MD - Important deadlines for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election are approaching.  The deadline to register to vote, change party affiliation, update an address, and request a polling place reassignment is 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
 
To vote in the upcoming presidential primary election, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not yet registered – including 17-year-olds who will be 18 years old on or before the Nov. 3 Presidential General Election– should register by 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2020. This is also the last day for registered voters to change their party affiliation.
 
St. Mary’s residents with a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID may register to vote, change their address, or change their party affiliation online at voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration
 
Voters and members of the military, their spouses and dependents who are overseas and who do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID, may also register or change their address or party affiliation online using different identifying information.
 
Paper voter registration applications must be hand-delivered or mailed to the St. Mary’s board of elections. A hand-delivered application must be received by the St. Mary’s board of elections by 5 p.m. April 7, 2020, and a mailed application must be postmarked by April 7, 2020. Voters who want to update their address can do so at their local early voting center during the early voting period from April 16 through April 23.
 
Voter registration applications are available throughout Maryland at the following locations:
 
Local boards of elections
Motor Vehicle Administration offices
State Department of Health offices
 
-MORE-
 
Local Department of Social Services offices
Offices on Aging
Division of Rehabilitation Services
Recruitment offices of the U.S. Armed Forces
Public institutions of higher education
Marriage license bureaus
Post offices
Public libraries
State Board of Elections
The MTA Paratransit Certification Office
 
You may also call 1-800-222-8683 to request an application by mail or download and print a voter registration application at: elections.maryland.gov/voter_registration/application.html 
 
Most of Maryland’s polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities. An elderly voter or a voter with a disability who is assigned to an inaccessible polling place may ask to be reassigned to an accessible polling place. This request must be submitted in writing by 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The request form is available online at elections.maryland.gov/pdf/Request_for_Accessible_Polling_Place.pdf
 
   Voters can also call 1-800-222-8683 to request a form by mail. On receipt of a timely request, the St. Mary’s board of elections will review the request and determine whether there is an accessible polling place with the same ballot as the voter’s home precinct and notify the voter of the status of the request.
 
    To verify voter registration status or to find out if an assigned polling place is accessible, voters may visit: voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch.
 
   The 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be held Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Voters may vote by absentee ballot, visit their local early voting center during early voting, which takes place April 16 through April 23, or they can go to their polling place on Election Day.
 
  Individuals who miss the April 7 deadline to register will have the opportunity to register to vote at an early voting center during early voting or at their polling place on Election Day. To register to vote on Election Day, individuals need to go to their assigned polling place where they live and bring a document that proves where they live. This can be an MVA-issued license, ID card or change of address card, paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document that includes the voter’s name and address.
 
   Voters can find their polling place online at: voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/PollingPlaceSearch
 
For more information, voters may contact the St. Mary’s Board of Election at 301-475-4200, ext. 71620 or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) or visit elections.maryland.gov.

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Update to Homicide on Warehouse Landing Road

Detectives have made two additional arrests connected to the February 18 homicide in which Bradley Alan Brown, 17, was shot and killed in the 3100 block of Warehouse Landing Road in Bryans Road. Mikayle Qawwee, 19, of Waldorf, and Keshawn Belasco, 16, of Waldorf, were both arrested and charged with first-degree murder and other related charges. Belasco is being charged as an adult. On February 19, detectives arrested Darryl Edward Freeman, 17, of Waldorf. Freeman was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and other related charges. Robbery appears to be a motive in this case.  
 
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Det. R. Johnson at (301) 609-6453. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app.

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St. Mary's County Man Charged with First Degree Arson

 Deputy State Fire Marshals from the Southern Region have concluded their investigation of an incident that occurred on February 21, 2020 with the arrest of Virgil Pendry.
 
On February 21st Deputy State Fire Marshals responded to 28885 Lockes Hill Road in Mechanicsville for a reported structure fire.  During their investigation it was determined that Pendry ignited items within the occupied house where he rented a room from the victim.  The occupants of the residence quickly extinguished the blaze prior to the arrival of the fire department. 
 
Pendry was transported to Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital for an evaluation and was released on February 22, 2020.  Upon release from the hospital, Deputy State Fire Marshals placed Pendry under arrest without incident.  He was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where he was charged with Arson First Degree and Malicious Burning over $1,000.00.
 
If found guilty of both charges Pendry faces a maximum penalty of 35 years imprisonment and/or  $55,000 in fines.

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Citizens Invited to Participate in Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan Survey Results Workshop

The Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning will hold a public workshop as part of the Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan update process. Planning & Zoning staff will share results from the Prince Frederick Master Plan and Zoning Update Survey, and attendees will participate in a workshop to discuss topics identified in the survey.
 
The workshop will be held Monday, March 2, 2020 at the College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, Building B, located at 115 J.W. Williams Road in Prince Frederick. The meeting kicks off with an open house at 6:30 p.m. with the workshop to follow from 7-8:30 p.m.
 
The meeting will also be streamed live on the Calvert County Government Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.
 
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.

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Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Motor Vehicle Crash on Annapolis Woods Road

On February 23 at 7:20 a.m., officers responded to the 8100 block of Annapolis Woods Road in Welcome, MD for the report of a single vehicle crash. When officers arrived, they found the driver of a pick-up truck deceased. A preliminary investigation revealed Emory Jackson Baldwin, IV, 24, of Nanjemoy, was traveling northbound on Annapolis Woods Road when for unknown reasons the truck left the roadway and struck a ditch. It appeared the crash occurred earlier in the morning but had not been discovered until later. Anyone who may have information about this crash is asked to call PFC D. Walker at (301) 609-3251. The investigation is ongoing.   

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MetCom Announces New Adopt- A- Hydrant Program

The Metropolitan Commission and local volunteer fire departments are asking the community to partner with us in our Adopt-A-Hydrant program. Adopting a fire hydrant close to your home or business will assist fire fighters by keeping hydrants cleared of snow during the winter and free of vegetation and debris in the summer.
 
In the unfortunate event of a fire, the quicker the fire department can have access to water, the quicker the fire can be extinguished. Hydrant accessibility can help to prevent loss of property and/or life. You can assist by adopting a hydrant and making sure that it is easily accessible throughout the year.
 
Anyone 18 years of age or older may participate in the program. Participants under 18 years of age must have an adult sponsor. Participants may include; individuals/families, neighborhood groups, community organizations, Boy/Girl Scouts, places of worship, schools, and businesses. Brochures are available on the MetCom website, at either of the MetCom offices or at any of the local volunteer fire departments.  St Mary's County Fire Chief Gary Bell stated “The St Mary's County fire chiefs are happy to partner with the St Mary's County Metropolitan Commission in the Adopt a Fire Hydrant program. Please help us by keeping the fire hydrant nearest your residence or business clear of snow, leaves and debris.”
 
Selecting a hydrant. Applicants may search for a fire hydrant near them by visual observation or by using our online Hydrant Locator at https://www.metcom.org/hydrant-locator-1 and selecting one available for adoption. Applicants may also propose a hydrant name for the hydrant they adopt (subject to approval by MetCom staff). For more information on the program or to complete an application, please visit https://www.metcom.org/ under the OPERATIONS tab or email MetCom at AdoptAHydrant@metcom.org and staff will work with you to adopt an available hydrant or answer any questions you may have about this new program.
 

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Charles County Sheriff's Office Welcomes 3 New Correctional Officers

Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy (SMCJA) celebrated the graduation of 13 correctional officers – 3 from Charles County – from the Corrections Entrance Level Training Program (CELTP), Session 63, at a ceremony held February 18 at St. Charles High School in Waldorf, MD. The program requires each Correctional Officer to complete a ten-week Basic Corrections Academy, which exceeds the state minimum for all Correctional Officers working in local correctional facilities across Maryland.
 
“Correctional Officers are a vital part of law enforcement and work one of the toughest beats,” said Sheriff Berry. “They are responsible for the safety and security of all inmates, officers and support staff in the Detention Center. They serve as mentors and counselors, and they provide resources to help inmates get back on track upon their release. Their impact reaches far beyond the walls of the jail.”  
 
During the graduation ceremony, SMCJA instructors presented awards to three graduates who excelled in several categories: Nicholas Dickerson, from Calvert County, received the Scholastic Achievement Award for earning a 98.99 percent grade point average, the highest in the class. CO Dickerson also received the Physical Training Award, scoring 736 points out of 800, the highest in the class during PT tests administered at the beginning and end of the training program. Daniel Clark, from Charles County, earned the Steve Allen Leadership Award, named after one of the original founders of the SMCJA who died of cancer several years ago. 
 
 
CO Daniel Clark is awarded the Steve Allen Leadership Award
 
Sheriff Berry and the men and women of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office are proud to welcome our newest Correctional Officers to the CCSO family:
 
Correctional Officer Daniel Clark
 
Correctional Officer Dalton Parrell
 
Correctional Officer Dallas Savoy

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St. Mary's County Department of Economic Development Launches New Website

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development has launched YesStMarysMD.com.  This new website is a resource-rich tool for local employers and businesses as well as those looking to make a career move or bring their businesses to St. Mary’s County.
 
Features include tax incentives and site selection, spotlight on targeted industries, links to business development resources and networking organizations, profiles on NAS Patuxent River and the emerging Airport Innovation District.
 
The site also serves as a workforce development tool incorporating industry information and detailed employment data.  A lifestyle section profiles local housing, education, recreation and the unique landmarks and natural resources that make St. Mary’s a great place to call home.
 
“This is a major step forward in representing the opportunities found here in St. Mary’s County,” said Chris Kaselemis, Director of Economic Development. We wanted to create a point of entry to our St. Mary’s business ecosystem, which houses all data, tools and links to relevant resources and showcases the excellent quality of life found here.” continued Kaselemis. 
 
The visually driven website was developed primarily in-house with content and imagery from Economic Development and technical and creative work from the talented staff in the County’s Information Technology department. 
 
“This is an example of an excellent St. Mary’s County Government team effort.  The YesStMarysMD site is a powerful resource for promoting St. Mary’s County,” stated Commissioner President Randy Guy.
 
For more information, please contact Chris Kaselemis, Director, Department of Economic Development at 301-475-4200, ext. 71405.

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Town Hall Meeting Scheduled to Present the 2018 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results for St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD (February 20, 2020) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department and St. Mary’s County Public Schools will jointly host a Town Hall Meeting to present key findings from the 2018 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for St. Mary’s County, Maryland. This Town Hall Meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, March 16, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center. This event is open to the community. Parents, youth, community members and local organizations who are interested in learning more about health risk behaviors of our students are encouraged to attend.  
 
The YRBS is a national school-based survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with state and local-level education, health and governmental agencies. This survey monitors health-risk behaviors of the nation’s high school students which contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social issues among youth and young adults. Monitored behaviors include mental health; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; sexual behavior; violence; and diet, nutrition, and exercise.
 
“The YRBS data helps guide efforts to provide needed services in our community by identifying the most pressing health concerns affecting our youth,” said Dr. Meenakshi Brewster, Health Officer for St. Mary’s County. 
 
The 2018 Youth Risk Behavior Survey was administered to students in the public high schools in St. Mary’s County. Participating students voluntarily completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire about their health behaviors. Survey procedures were designed to protect the privacy of students and adhered to local parental permission procedures.
 
Community members are encouraged to attend the upcoming Town Hall Meeting for a review of the results from this survey as well as information on local action to address youth health. For more information on the YRBS, visit www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/ or www.smchd.org/data. 

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Tri-County Animal Shelter to Close Early on March 6

The Tri-County Animal Shelter (6707 Animal Shelter Road, Hughesville) will close to the public Friday, March 6 at 4 p.m.  The shelter will reopen to the public for adoptions on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m.
 
To view animals available for adoption, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/ES/AnimalShelter/Tri-County-Animal-Shelter or www.petfinder.com/shelters/MD112.html to find your “purrfect” pet. Follow the Tri-County Animal Shelter on Facebook for adoptable pets, pet tips, and more at www.facebook.com/TriCountyAnimalShelterSoMD/. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Update: Wanted Individual- Jamie Lee Clarke

Update: Mr. Clarke has been caught. 
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Jamie Lee Clarke, age 25 of no fixed address. Clarke is 5’9”, weighs 175 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes. Clarke is currently wanted on violation of probation warrants for the original charges of burglary and theft.
 
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Clarke is asked to 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.

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Identities Needed for Theft Suspects (Photos)

Feb. 20, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identities of the persons pictured. On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 at 3:27 am, the suspects entered several vehicles and stole items while in the 48000 block of Mayflower Drive in Lexington Park. Anyone with information about the identities of the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Richard Wilhelmi at 301-475-4200, ext. 78152 or email richard.wilhelmi@stmarysmd.com. Case # 9022-20
 
 
Citizens may also contact the St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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Maryland Activists Pressure Officials to Break Ties With ICE

Annapolis, MD -–Outrage over Immigration and Customs Enforcement practices in Maryland has spurred immigrant-rights groups to host a rally this coming Sunday (Feb. 23) in Howard County calling for state officials to cut ties with the agency. The protest will feature immigrants' personal stories about what they say is overreach by ICE officers. One woman, Miriam, is upset about her undocumented husband Blevin, who was pulled over recently by Howard County police for a broken taillight. He was sent to a county ICE detention center after an officer checked his immigration status with the agency. Speaking through an interpreter, Miriam says she is scared her family might have to go back to Honduras.
 
"I would say please, don’t deport my husband, he's in grave danger if he's deported to Honduras. In Honduras, it was really dangerous for us, including they killed two of my brothers. When that happened, that’s when we fled to the United States."
 
Howard County officials say they are protecting public safety, and that all ICE detainees are being held on jailable offenses. The rally Sunday will be held at Oakland Hills Interfaith Center and starts at 6:30 in the evening.
 
Members of the Howard County Coalition for Immigrant Justice say their local government is enabling an inhumane practice. Rabbi Sonya Starr, whose congregation is part of the coalition, says ICE has become an extension of what she calls a harsh immigration policy by the Trump administration. She points out that it's good to work with law enforcement, but she thinks ICE goes too far.
 
"They've picked up people that should not be picked up. They pick up people in a random way that is not legal to be picking them up. And so ICE itself is an unethical institution and local agencies should not be helping them do their unethical work."
Tag:  Nationwide, non-criminal arrests more than doubled from 2016 to 2018 from about nine thousand to more than 20 thousand. In Maryland, the number grew by more than 145 percent during the same time.

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Detectives Charge Suspect in Connection with Homicide on Warehouse Landing Road

On February 19, detectives arrested Darryl Edward Freeman, 17, of Waldorf, in connection with the homicide of Bradley Alan Brown, 17, who was shot and killed on February 18 in the 3100 block of Warehouse Landing Road in Bryans Road, MD. While detectives continue to follow up on information, they have established the shooting was not random and appears to be drug-related. Freeman was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and other related charges. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Det. R. Johnson at (301) 609-6453. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. The investigation is ongoing.

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Wanted: Kacey Grace Medeiros

Feb. 19, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Kacey Grace Medeiros of Lexington Park, who is wanted on a warrant for Second-Degree Escape. Medeiros was incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and allowed to attend outside rehabilitation services, which she left without authorization.
 
Medeiros is a 27-year-old white female, 5’5” tall, 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
 
Anyone with information about Medeiros’ whereabouts is asked to call Detective Cpl. Melissa Hulse at 301-475-4200, ext. 71996 or email melissa.hulse@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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Detectives Investigating Homicide on Warehouse Landing Road in Bryans Road, MD

On February 18, shortly before 7 p.m., officers responded to the 3100 block of Warehouse Landing Road in Bryans Road for the report of the sound of multiple gunshots. When officers arrived, they found the victim, Bradley Alan Brown, 17, in his driveway. He was pronounced deceased on the scene.  Detectives are pursuing leads and it does not appear this is a random shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. R. Johnson at (301) 609-6453. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for the tip that leads to an arrest in this case. The investigation is ongoing.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of February 10 – February 16 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,468 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Damaged Property: 20-8480
On February 12, 2020, Deputy Plant responded to Casey Way in Owings for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime between February 6th and February 7th, an unknown suspect(s) shot the front of their house with blue paintballs. One of the shots went through a screen that was covering a window, causing it to tear. The value of damaged property is $100. 
 
Arrests:
 
On February 10, 2020, Deputy Sampson conducted a traffic stop in the area of Route 231 and Prince Frederick Boulevard in Prince Frederick. After making contact with the driver, Darryl Wayne Icenhower (27), Icenhower was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in an eyeglass case containing a metal spoon with blue residue and burn marks, an orange syringe cap, paper folds containing two plastic baggies of a blue powder substance suspected to be heroin, 6 cotton cigarette filters, and a small cotton ball with suspected heroin residue. A second spoon was located in the glove compartment, as well as two partial Suboxone strips in wrappers. Icenhower 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 February 12, 2020, Deputy Savick conducted a traffic stop at Sneades Ace Hardware Store in Owings. Upon making contact with the driver, Michael Joe Cluxton (37), Deputy Savick observed Cluxton to be extremely nervous and make continuous movements towards the driver’s side floor area. Cluxton was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in a blue straw with powder residue, two orange and white Adderall capsules, which Cluxton advised he did not have a prescription for. A black Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun loaded with seven rounds was also located in a LED light box in the vehicle.  A search of Cluxton’s person revealed a Ziploc bag containing multiple colored pills suspected to be Xanax and Klonopin. Cluxton was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS Possession with Intent to Distribute, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, Possession of Rifle/Shotgun with Felony Conviction, and Illegal Possession of Ammunition. 
 
On February 12, 2020, Deputy Parks conducted a traffic stop on Dalrymple Road at Ray Road in Sunderland. Deputy Parks made contact with the driver, Michael Tenney (30), and when asked, Tenney advised he had an unloaded Glock 27 in a bag, two 80% lowers for the gun, as well as an empty magazine in the vehicle. Deputy Parks removed the hand gun bag from the vehicle and located the empty 9mm magazine. Tenney was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted resulting in a backpack in the backseat containing two gallon-sized vacuum sealed bags of marijuana, a large mason jar containing marijuana, two full zip lock baggies of marijuana and a black digital scale. In the front pocket of the backpack were two extended 9mm Glock magazines, one loaded with 21 rounds and the other loaded with 20 rounds. Tenney was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Distribution Etc. with a Firearm, CDS Distributing/Dispense- Large Amount, CDS: Possession of Marijuana Over 10grams, Firearm/Drug Traffic Crime, Firearm Use/Felony Violation, Handgun in Vehicle, Handgun on Person, and Assault Weapon/ Magazine Use. 
 
On February 15, 2020, Deputy Stevens responded to Brickhouse Road in Dunkirk for the report of an intoxicated male. Upon arrival, Deputy Stevens met with the complainant who advised they offered to give Karl Kozee (48) a ride home from Anthony’s Bar and Grill, which Kozee accepted but would not provide his address or a phone number to the complainant. Deputy Stevens observed Kozee to be slumped over in the front passenger and appeared to be asleep. Upon approaching the vehicle, Kozee woke up and exited the vehicle, but became disorderly while speaking with deputies and would not provide a home address. Deputy Stevens detected the strong odor of alcohol emanating from Kozee’s breath. Kozee ignored the deputy’s commands, and continued to behave in a disorderly and disruptive manner. Kozee was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Intoxicated Public Disturbance, and Disorderly Conduct.

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Kerry Dull Appointed Director of General Services

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kerry Dull as the county government director of General Services. Dull’s appointment was effective Feb. 3, 2020.
 
Dull has an extensive military background, serving in the Army for more than 28 years in a variety of positions beginning as an aviation officer in 1989 before being promoted to airborne reconnaissance officer in January 2001. He quickly moved up the ranks becoming a battalion operations officer in June 2003, battalion executive officer in 2004 and material management and logistics officer in October 2006.
 
In November 2007, Dull joined the National Guard Bureau Joint Staff where he served as a strategic analyst/counter-narcotics program manager. There, he served as lead strategist for the joint staff, identifying and bridging gaps between policies while providing reports and analysis on key information and objectives to senior leaders.
 
Dull later became commander for the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade and ended his career with the Army National Guard as the chief of staff for the 29th Infantry Division. In this role, he was responsible for leading organization activities and operational planning by successfully supporting and implementing a strategic framework with more than 500 executive-level staff and three chief executives. He identified necessary resources and managed budget constraints to meet established priorities and goals.
 
Dull holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management and a master’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in finance.
 
“Kerry has a diverse background and has held several key leadership positions that make him an outstanding fit as general services director,” said Commissioner President Kelly McConkey. “We are excited to have his level of expertise contributing to the important decisions made to benefit our community.”
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Well Installation Work Underway at Dunkirk District Park

The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation advises citizens that a new well is being installed at Dunkirk District Park beginning today, Feb. 18.
 
Well drilling equipment and machinery will be present around the restroom and concessions area at the front of the park. The restroom building, parking lot and small playground will be closed for approximately seven weeks and are expected to reopen in April. Temporary restroom facilities will be provided. Other park amenities and traffic will not be affected.
 
Dunkirk District Park is located at 10750 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Dunkirk.
 
For updates on Calvert County 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.

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Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

Warrant Service - On 2/11/2020, Trooper First Class Matthews and Trooper Brown responded to the Calvert County Detention Center to make contact with Edwin Stanford Foote, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Foote was located and served the warrant without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/12/2020, Trooper First Class Matthews and Trooper Brown responded to the Calvert County District Courthouse to make contact with Heather Rozella Johnson, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Johnson was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/13/2020, Trooper White responded to the Calvert-Arundel Medical Center, Owings, to meet an Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Deputy in reference to Robert Lee Commodore, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Commodore was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/14/2020, Trooper Fraser responded to the 400 block of Bafford Rd., Lusby, to make contact with James Edward Gray, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Gray was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/14/2020, Trooper Fraser responded to the Calvert County District Courthouse to make contact with Lashley Harold Mann, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Mann was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Possession of Oxycodone and Suboxone - On 02/14/2020, At 11:30 am, Trooper First Class Costello and Trooper Emerson stopped a vehicle on Mesa Trail in the area of Thunderbird Drive, Lusby, for traffic violations. Once
contact was made with the operator and passenger, Trooper First Class Costello and Trooper Emerson requested a K9 scan to be conducted on the vehicle. The K9 scan yielded a positive alert and a probable cause search revealed Oxycodone, Suboxone, and paraphernalia. Both the driver, Amanda Lynn Fenwick, 35, of Lusby, MD and passenger, Whitney Anne Arnold, 33, of Mechanicsville, MD, were arrested and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center. All Oxycodone, Suboxone and paraphernalia were processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/16/2020, Trooper First Class Marsch responded to the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack to make contact with Dante Michael Lane, who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Lane was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/16/2020, Trooper First Class Matthews, Trooper Brown, and Trooper Strong responded to the 800 block of Solomons Island Rd., Prince Frederick to make contact with Keith Maxie Stepney, 3rd, who had multiple active warrants through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Stepney was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.

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Detectives Arrest One Suspect in Assault at St. Charles Towne Center

On February 16 at 4:53 p.m., officers responded to the St Charles Towne Center in Waldorf for the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival they located a 16-year-old male with a stab wound to his face. A preliminary investigation revealed the victim and suspects had engaged in a verbal argument prior to the victim being stabbed with a screwdriver. The victim was transported to a hospital and admitted with injuries that were not life-threatening. After the stabbing, the suspects fled in a silver Nissan Altima. Through investigative work, officers were able to track the suspects’ vehicle to a house in White Plains. A search warrant was served at the residence and evidence was recovered. Officers obtained arrest warrants for Jashawn Kimquan Damon Barnes, 22, and Taquan Alfair Williams, 27, both of White Plains. Williams was arrested on February 17 and charged with second-degree assault. He is being held with no bond at the Charles County Detention Center. Detectives are trying to locate Barnes who has an active arrest warrant charging him with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and other related charges. Anyone with information about Barnes’ whereabouts is asked to call Detective Gregory at (301) 609-6507. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or submit a tip online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. The investigation is ongoing.  

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Mechanicsville Sailor Serves In Arabian Sea

ARABIAN SEA (Feb. 17, 2020) Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Zachary Tanner, from Mechanicsville, Maryland, assigned to the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM-72), installs a bonding wire onto the center stab of an MH-60R Seahawk in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.

 

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dalton Lowing)

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Household Hazardous Waste Collection on March 7

The Department of Public Works is holding a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, March 7.
 
What:    Household Hazardous Waste
 
Where:  Department of Public Works building (10430 Audie Lane, La Plata)
 
When:    Saturday, March 7 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.

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Police Looking For Missing Teen (Photo)

St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office seeks your help in locating a missing "at risk" person: Alek Hernandez, A 15 year old hispanic male. Last seen: 02/17/20 at 12:15 p.m. on FDR Blvd in California. If you have information that can assist in helping safely locate Alek Hernandez, please call 911 or contact the police.

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Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Motor Vehicle Crash on Old Washington Road

On February 15, shortly before 2 a.m., a patrol officer responded to the area of Larkspur Court in Waldorf for the report of loud music and two males loitering inside a car. When the officer arrived, he exited his cruiser and approached the vehicle on foot. Upon seeing the officer, the subjects fled. A few minutes later, an officer observed a vehicle traveling northbound on Old Washington Road near Smallwood Drive at a high rate of speed. The driver also failed to stop at a red traffic signal at Route 5. At that time, the officer activated his emergency equipment in an attempt to stop the car, which was a significant distance away. As the officer neared the 2400 block of Old Washington Road, he noticed the vehicle had crashed into a wooded area and the occupants had been ejected. Both males were transported to a hospital. The driver, 23 of Waldorf, was admitted with serious injuries and the passenger, 31, of Lexington Park, was admitted with injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening. Further investigation revealed the vehicle was the same car that fled from Larkspur Court. Officers learned the driver had four open warrants including one for second-degree rape and another for failure to appear in court on a robbery charge. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to call Cpl. Hemsley at (301) 609-5903. The investigation is ongoing.   

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Public Hearing Scheduled for Proposed Adoption of Calvert County Transportation Plan

The Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 25, to consider and receive comments on the proposed adoption of the Calvert County Transportation Plan. The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room at 175 Main St. in Prince Frederick.
 
Calvert County adopted its first transportation plan in 1997. The plan established specific improvements to shape transportation and inform land use patterns through 2010. The updated plan – the Calvert County Long Range Transportation Plan – provides functional guidance, which focuses on what Calvert County Government can do to relieve congestion and maintain a functional level of service on roads in the county.
 
The transportation plan will set a vision to integrate multimodal transportation planning with land use, historic preservation, open space and community facilities. The draft plan was prepared by consultant firm Sabra & Associates.
 
The plan can be viewed online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/TransportationPlan. Individuals who cannot attend the public hearing may submit written comments. Written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., Feb. 24, 2020, and may be submitted by emailing COMMISS@calvertcountymd.gov or through the U.S. mail to the BOCC at 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678.
 
For additional information, contact the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-1600, ext. 2356 or via email at pz@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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NAS Patuxent River to Hold PFAS Information Open House March 3

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Residents in the vicinity of NAS Patuxent River and other interested parties are invited to attend a public information meeting to learn about the Navy’s assessment of on-base surveys of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  The Navy has developed a protective policy to assess certain PFAS on and in the vicinity of installations which have known or potential releases of these compounds into the environment; these are compounds frequently found in fire-fighting foam (aqueous film forming foam (AFFF)) and various industrial and consumer products.


The meeting format will include informational displays along with representatives from the Navy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Department of Environment, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the St. Mary’s County Health Department.

 

The event open house will be held at the St. Mary’s County Public Library, Lexington Park Branch

21677 FDR Boulevard
Lexington Park, MD 20653

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

 

For additional information regarding the meeting, visit the public web site at https://go.usa.gov/xnBga and www.secnav.navy.mil/eie/pages/pfc-pfas.aspx

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St. Leonard Woman Arrested for Bank Robberies

On February 8, 2020, at approximately 10:30 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the reported bank robbery at the BB&T Bank located at 23415 Three Notch Road in California. Preliminary investigation determined the suspect presented a note to a bank employee demanding money and the note contained the threat of an incendiary device. The employee complied with the demand and the suspect fled the scene.
 
On February 13, 2020, at approximately 10:10 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the M&T Bank located at 37600 Mohawk Drive in Charlotte Hall, for reported alarm activation. Deputies arrived on scene and confirmed the bank had been robbed by a female suspect, later identified as Angela Marie Roselee Fitzhugh-Hill, age 41 of St. Leonard. Fitzhugh-Hill presented a note demanding money with the threat of an incendiary device. The employee complied and the suspect fled the scene.
 
 
Through the course of the investigation detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) developed a suspect responsible for both bank robberies. On February 13, 2020, at approximately 7:34 p.m., the suspect was observed operating a vehicle in Calvert County and subsequently taken into custody. Fitzhugh-Hill was charged with two counts of the following:
 
Armed Robbery
 
Robbery
 
Theft
 
Arson/Threat
 
Assault Second Degree
 
Fitzhugh-Hill is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office thanks the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case.
 
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.

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Cardin Statement on the War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and cosponsor or S. J. Res. 68, spoke from the floor of the Senate this week in support of the resolution offered by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The measure passed the Senate Thursday with a bipartisan vote of 55-45. Excerpts from Senator Cardin’s floor speech on the resolution are below.

 

“Unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or a specific authorization for the use of military force against Iran, there is no authority to use our military against Iran. 

 

“Congress has the sole responsibility to commit our troops to combat. It's in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. Congress has the power to declare war. This is not a decision made by the president. It's a decision made by Congress. Our founders were very concerned about having the appropriate balance between the executive branch and the legislative branch. It's called checks and balances. We did not want a monarchy. We wanted to make sure that there was sufficient support before war was declared, that it is in our national security interest and that the Congress, the president and the American people are all together if we're going to have war against another country. And that war, the use of military, should always be a matter of last resort. We should always exhaust diplomacy, always exhaust other means, before America initiates war against another country or the use of military force. 

 

“Why do we need Senate Joint Resolution 68 if we have the War Powers Act? Like Vietnam, now in Iran, the president is usurping the constitutional powers of Congress by saying he has certain authorities that go beyond what was intended in the Constitution or the War Powers Act. 

 

·       There was not an imminent threat before the president used military action. 

·       There was plenty of time to consult with Congress, but yet, before the military action, there was no prior consultation with Congress. 

·       The War Powers Act requires an end to foreign military action after 60 days unless Congress provides a declaration of war or an authorization for the operation to continue. The president has not permitted nor does he intend to submit to Congress an authorization for use of military force or declaration of war against Iran. He clearly does not intend to do it.

 

“In regards to Iran today, there is no AUMF. The president has shown he will not comply with the War Powers Act and is likely to use force again that could lead to a military engagement with Iran. That is a possibility. 


“My generation payed a very large price because of the Vietnam War and the way that we got into the War… Let us not cede our responsibility under the Constitution or allow the president to exceed his.”

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Accreditation Team Accepting Public Comment

A team of assessors from the Commission on the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, to examine all aspects of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office policies, procedures, management, operations and support services.

As part of the onsite assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, at 6 pm. The session will be held in Room 14 of the Potomac Building at 23115 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown.

Comments will also be accepted over the phone between 2-4pm on Feb. 25, 2020 at 301-475-4200, ext. 72508 or at 301-904-2668.

Both in-person and telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes each and must address the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.

Written comments regarding the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to meet accreditation standards may also be sent to:

Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.

13575 Heathcote Blvd.

Suite 320

Gainesville, VA 20155

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Cardin and Whitehouse Urge Federal Action to Protect Local Water Systems from Climate Change

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are calling for urgent federal action to protect water systems from climate change impacts in response to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today. The report, “Water Infrastructure and Climate Change Impacts,” documents the need for the federal government to work with states and local utilities to strengthen the resilience of water infrastructure to climate impacts. The report makes practical suggestions that we should implement immediately.

 

“Providing safe, clean water is one of government’s most fundamental roles and the faster we act to make our water infrastructure resilient to climate change impacts, the more we can reduce the risks and control the costs,” said Senator Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. “This GAO report is the latest to show how our drinking water and wastewater treatment systems are at great risk from climate change impacts and that there is no better investment than protecting public health through our water infrastructure.”

 

“This report is a blaring warning of the consequences of neglecting climate resiliency planning,” said Senator Whitehouse, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Climate change threatens the drinking water, health, and quality of life for millions of Americans.  We ought to invest more in planning ways to restore and strengthen the infrastructure that protects our drinking water and sewer systems.”

 

Senators Cardin and Whitehouse wrote to GAO in September 2017 requesting they study what is known about the effects of climate change on the nation’s water systems and the potential fiscal risks posed by those effects. They also sought an evaluation of federal actions that may be taken to reduce such risks.

 

The full GAO report, “Water Infrastructure and Climate Change Impacts,” can be found here.

 

An interactive graphic from the report of “the most relevant potential climate change impacts, and examples of potential effects on drinking water and wastewater utilities,” can be found here.

 

In October 2019, Senator Cardin introduced the Clean Water Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Act (S.2636), which would expand federal assistance to waters systems across the country to increase their resiliency or adaptability to increasing natural hazards.

 

GAO FINDINGS

Four federal agencies provide technical and financial assistance to drinking and wastewater facilities: EPA, FEMA, HUD, and USDA.  EPA is the lead under the federal planning process for managing risks and strengthening the security and resilience of crucial infrastructure against all hazards. EPA estimates that drinking water and wastewater utilities need to invest almost $744 billion to repair and replace their existing infrastructure over the next 20 years. GAO finds climate change is increasing these costs. From FY 2011-2018, the federal government provided at least $3.6 billion in disaster recovery financial assistance specifically for drinking and wastewater infrastructure related projects.

 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

GAO reported that EPA provides technical assistance to drinking water and wastewater utilities to enhance their infrastructure’s resilience to climate change. According to EPA officials, the program does not have adequate capacity to assist utilities nationwide. 

 

GAO RECOMMENDATIONS

GAO finds that agencies do not consistently include consideration of climate resilience when funding water infrastructure projects. By identifying existing technical assistance providers and engaging them in a network to help utilities incorporate climate resilience into their infrastructure projects on an ongoing basis, EPA would have better assurance that climate information is exchanged effectively among federal agencies and utilities.


GAO suggests that federal agencies should require that climate information be considered in the planning of water infrastructure projects as a condition of providing financial assistance.  Such a requirement could be an effective and feasible way to help enhance infrastructure resilience and limit future fiscal exposure.

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Perc Testing to Begin for St. Mary's County 2020 Season

LEONARDTOWN, MD (February 13, 2020) - Due to high seasonal groundwater levels, the St. Mary’s County Health Department will begin wet season perc testing on February 18, 2020.  Perc testing was suspended in April 2019 due to declining groundwater levels.
Perc test applications received since April 2019 which were not able to be conducted are being scheduled first. While the levels are high enough for testing, the testing may not run continuously through the winter and early spring. The water table may recede causing the testing to be suspended – testing would be resumed when tables rebound to wet season ranges.
 
The health department’s Environmental Health Division staff conduct soil evaluations for the construction of residential and commercial septic systems.  The application for a new construction perc test is located at the St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management (LUGM) and requires a fee. The LUGM Department is located in the Patuxent Building on the Governmental Center Campus in Leonardtown.  The application may also be downloaded at the Land Use and Growth Management link - under Public Agencies - at the St. Mary’s County Government’s website. All permit applications are available for download from the Permits webpage.
 
For more information, please contact the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 301-475-4321 or the St. Mary’s County Land Use and Growth Management Department’s Permit Services at 301-475-4200 x1500, or visit the health department’s website at www.smchd.org.

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Calvert Teams Win at MATHCOUNTS Competition

Teams from Calvert County middle schools captured three of the top five spots in the 26th annual regional Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) MATHCOUNTS competition. Northern Middle brought home the first-place trophy, with Mill Creek finishing in second place and Plum Point in fifth. All three teams will advance to the state competition held in March at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “MATHCOUNTS is an opportunity for our students to shine in the academic arena. We thank SMECO for the ongoing sponsorship of this valuable experience.”
The local MATHCOUNTS competition features rounds of mathematics problems to challenge students one-on-one and as teams over the course of the three-hour event. First is the sprint round, a 30-question test that students complete individually. The competitors go next to the target round, where they have four sets of two math problems and six minutes to complete each set. 
In the individual competition, which is based on combined scores in the sprint and target rounds, Ivan Chiu from Spring Ridge Middle School in St. Mary’s County finished first and Barbara Kaczmarek from Northern Middle School finished second.
The top 12 scorers finish the competition by facing each other in the countdown round, a single-elimination tournament in which students must respond verbally to questions in a matter of seconds. Barbara Kaczmarek from Northern Middle School placed first and Ivan Chiu from Spring Ridge Middle School placed second.
In the team round, foursomes of students answer 10 questions in 20 minutes. The members of the top scoring teams in Calvert County are:
Northern— Luke Erly, Steven Vilcheck, Grace Wood, and Sam Zolfaghari, coached by Carole Butler
Mill Creek— Drew Bishop, Melvin Cheng, Billy Clay, and Elena Saucedo, coached by Michelle Gregory 
Plum Point — Brandon Chrones, Andrew Lamb, Aidan Moreland, and William Parsons, coached by Jonathan Moreland. 
In addition to the team winners, seven students advanced to the state competition as individuals. They are Tony Colosi, Northern Middle; Kaelyn Funchion, Southern Middle; Ray Holmberg, Calvert Middle; Barbara Kaczmarek, Northern Middle; Tristan Milsaps, Plum Point Middle; Hunter Reed, Southern Middle; and Brett Sheranko, Mill Creek Middle.

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Striped Bass Conservation Regulations Set for Spring 2020

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced new striped bass conservation measures for the Spring 2020 fishing season to meet a coast-wide conservation target. 
 
The 2018 benchmark stock assessment for striped bass indicated declines, so the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has determined that conservation measures are needed for the 2020 fishing season. ASMFC is a management entity comprising 15 member states on the East Coast, including Maryland.
 
The conservation goal set by ASMFC is to reduce the total number of striped bass that are killed by fishing activities. This means reducing the number of fish that are harvested and the number of fish that die after being caught and returned to the water, known as dead discards. 
 
Maryland’s management changes follow numerous meetings and discussions with stakeholders and a month-long public comment period, and were developed using the best available science and decades of experience. Measures for spring are designed to protect large migratory spawning fish as they enter the bay. The implementation plan was reviewed and approved by ASMFC’s Striped Bass Technical Committee and the ASMFC Board on Feb. 4.
 
In addition to a cut in the commercial quota, targeting of striped bass by the recreational sector will be prohibited starting April 1 — including a prohibition of trolling — and the spring trophy season will be delayed until May 1. Limits are one fish per person at a 35-inch minimum. These rules will be in effect until May 16. The full regulations can be viewed on DNR’s website.
 
The department will also move forward with conservation options for the summer and fall seasons in the 2020 Implementation Plan. Measures in the summer and fall are designed to reduce mortality caused by high temperatures and low oxygen in the water. The department will announce a public comment schedule for those regulations in the coming weeks. 
 
In 2018, the department raised concerns about the problem of discard mortality with ASMFC. This resulted in Maryland being authorized to adopt a decreased minimum size from 20 to 19 inches. In addition, Maryland took unilateral action to require the use of circle hooks when chumming and live lining. Circle hooks are an effective conservation measure because they significantly reduce “gut hooking” that leads to discard mortality. ASMFC has now asked all other states to follow Maryland’s lead and enact this policy.  
 
DNR also launched and is continuing to expand a statewide educational outreach program to assure compliance with these regulations. The department also instituted a system of advisories for anglers on hot days where both water and air temperatures could increase the likelihood of stress on striped bass. 

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Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

Possession of Marijuana - On 02/02/2020 at 6:09 pm, Trooper First Class Rutkoski stopped a vehicle on Chesapeake Beach Road, East of Solomons Island Road, Owings, for a traffic violation. Once contact was made with the operator, Trooper First Class Rutkoski detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic bag containing marijuana, a glass smoking device, and a hand rolled marijuana cigarette. Jeffrey Wayne Gibson, 35, of Glen Burnie, 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.
 
Possession of Marijuana - On 02/02/2020 at 11:51 pm, Trooper First Class Rutkoski stopped a vehicle on Hallowing Point Road in the area of Thunder Hill Drive, Prince Frederick, for traffic violations. Once contact was made with the operator and passenger, Trooper First Class Rutkoski detected the odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic bag containing marijuana, metal grinder with trace amounts of marijuana, and THC vape cartridges. Both the driver, Kimberlie Allison-Marie Carre, 44, of Woodbridge, VA and passenger, Yahron Ondre Lewis, 42, of La Plata, MD, were issued Civil Citations and were released from the scene. All marijuana and paraphernalia was processed and packaged at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/04/2020,  Trooper First Class Lewis  made contact with Walter G. Radtke at the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick  Barrack.  It was determined that Radtke had an active warrant and he was placed under arrest. He was incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center on the active warrant without incident. 
 
Warrant Service - On 02/05/2020, Trooper First Class Rutkoski and Trooper Woolman responded to the Rappahannock Regional Jail, VA., to extradite Christina Marie Robbins for an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Robbins was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/06/2020, Trooper Woolman responded to the Calvert County Detention Center to make contact with Nicholas Kelson who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Robbins was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.
 
Warrant Service - On 02/07/2020, Trooper First Class Stull responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center to make contact with Wayne Carroll Key who had an active warrant through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Key was then transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.

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February 11th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided a presentation to Commissioners on fiscal considerations related the Watershed Conservation District (WCD) Zone. Most properties within the district are subject to limited residential density for the purpose of protecting the watershed, and the natural resources and recreational assets within it. The properties within the district broadly retained or increased in value according to recent state assessment data. Staff presented information on a forthcoming zoning text amendment that would grandfather certain development projects that have recorded 10 percent of their lots and constructed associated infrastructure; discussed airport rezoning that is underway; and outlined the highest scoring criteria for designating new Rural Legacy Areas. They shared possible amendments and summarized options for the Commissioners to consider that could reduce impacts of the WCD Zone requirements.
 
Economic Development Department staff updated the Commissioners on the status of a report that will assess current conditions and market potential for an area encompassing Bryans Road and the Maryland Airport. This concurrent study is separate and distinct from the Planning and Growth Management effort, with a common objective of informing how the Commissioners evaluate their options.
 
Open Session Briefings
 
Deputy County Administrator Deborah E. Hall and Director of Human Resources Alexis Blackwell briefed Commissioners on their work with the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE), a collaborative program hosted by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. They shared information on a racial equity tool that can applied to proactively eliminate racial inequities and advance equity. A cohort of five county staff are participating in GARE and proposed a pilot project locally that will apply the racial equity tool to analyze public transportation needs. Staff plan to develop and implement community engagement strategies and recommend improvements and changes that could be made based upon input from a broader range of diverse stakeholders throughout the community.
 
Department of Planning and Growth Management staff reviewed recommendations from the Rural Planning and Zoning Task Force and highlighted revisions to zoning regulations that could be implemented.  They discussed proposals that would require further study and provided details on next steps that could be taken to move forward.
 
 Legislative Updates
 
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell briefed Commissioners on legislative activities in the Maryland General Assembly, which convened its 90-day session last month. She updated them on important policy issues that could affect the county and discussed the status of legislative proposals that Commissioners submitted to the local delegation. Mitchell also advised Commissioners that legislation has been proposed to implement recommendations from the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. A variety of funding mechanisms are being considered that could affect the county.
 
 Approval Items
 
Commissioners approved:
 
A budget transfer request of $61,620 to contract services for the Detention Center roof replacement project.
A budget transfer request of $113,240 to contract services for the Detention Center Annex roof and wall improvement project.
A lease agreement with GymFIT Physical Therapy and Wellness for rental of space at the Capital Clubhouse.
Letters requesting support of a grant application Fiscal 2020 Maryland Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program from all members of Charles County’s local delegation.
Recognitions
 
Commissioners began the meeting with introduction of high school student leaders who visited and learned about local government as part of National Groundhog Shadow Day. The program is sponsored by Charles County Public Schools and provides students with the opportunity to explore their career interests. View and download the photos from the county’s online gallery.
 
Commissioners recognized student government representatives from General Smallwood Middle School for their successful winter coat drive. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Commissioners proclaimed February as Black History Month and recognized the contributions and experiences of residents who represent the rich cultural diversity of Charles County. Members of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and representatives from Omega Psi Phi fraternity received the proclamation. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Commissioners recognized members of Project Linus and proclaimed February 21, 2020 as “Make a Blanket Day” in Charles County. Members of Project Linus provide gifts of new, handmade blankets, and afghans to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or in need within the community. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation is Now Accepting Applications for the FY21 Easement Cycle

The Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning announces the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) is now accepting 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 government 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 in Maryland.
 
All easement applications must be received by the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning no later than April 30, 2020. Once applications are received, they will be reviewed by county government staff, and ranked by Calvert County’s Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board using the state mandated Land Evaluation and Site Assessment system. The top ranked applications will be submitted to the state for easement consideration. Citizens can view applications online on the MALPF website. Contact the Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-1600, ext. 2336 or Ronald.Marney@calvertcountymd.gov for more information.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Only St. Mary's County Lynching Victim from 1887 to be Memorialized with Historic Marker

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Museum Division is once again partnering with the Big Conversation Partnership on Dismantling Racism in Southern Maryland and the Equal Justice Initiative on the Community Remembrance Project about Benjamin Hance, the only recorded lynching victim in St. Mary’s County in 1887. In November 2019, the Division and partners held a Soil Collection Ceremony at the location where Hance was said to have died at the hands of a local mob.
 
Mr. Hance, a young African American, was arrested May 27, 1887 in Leonardtown and taken to the Old Jail. A mob broke in on the night of June 17th, held the jailkeeper at gunpoint, and removed Mr. Hance from his cell. They carried him to a site just out of town (now occupied by the Port of Leonardtown Winery) and proceeded to hang him from a witch hazel tree. This was the only documented lynching in St. Mary’s County.
 
The Equal Justice Initiative believes that the Community Remembrance Projects like the Soil Collection Ceremony are more than opportunities to erect just another “historical marker”. Rather, their hope is that this process emphasizes the tremendous responsibility of collective remembrance and will serve to facilitate conversations and interactions that will help to heal deep-seeded and long-standing wounds within families and communitiesFollowing the Soil Collection Ceremony in November, the partner groups sent one jar of soil to the National Memorial for Peace & Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. A second jar will soon go on display this spring, along with a traveling exhibit, at local community gathering places and organizations around St. Mary’s County to educate local citizens, visitors and students about a little-known, and little talked about, period in local history.
 
The next step in the remembrance of Mr. Hance is to establish a historic marker about his story, which will be erected on the grounds of the Old Jail in Leonardtown, where he spent his final days. The Equal Justice Initiative produce the marker, which will subsequently be erected and unveiled to the public at a commemoration ceremony. The marker will be two-sided and traditional silver with black letters. One side will tell Mr. Hance’s story; the other will be a statement about racial justice.
 
Working with the partnership is Stephen Masson, an intern from George Washington University, who has been involved with the project since the beginning.
 
Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, explains the importance of the day: “Mr. Hance’s story was not an easy one to hear. But we do these things to remember, to respect and to remember a man who should not have lost his life in the way he did. Mr. Hance deserved justice; he deserved a trial; he deserved what he never got. By bringing light to this hard story to hear, we honor Mr. Hance and all those who suffered similar fates with hope for a better future.”
 
For more information regarding the progress of this project, please visit Facebook.com/DraydenSchoolhouse or contact Ms. Stone at 301-769-3235. For more information about the Equal Justice Initiative, visit https://eji.org.
 
The St. Mary’s County Museum Division was established by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County to collect, preserve, research and interpret the historic sites and artifacts which illustrate the natural and cultural histories of St. Mary’s County and the Potomac River. With this as its charter, the Museum Division serves as a resource, liaison and community advocate for all St. Mary’s County public and private cultural assets. For more information, please visit museums.stmarysmd.com.

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of February 3 – February 9 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,645 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Damaged Property: 20-6480
On February 3, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant responded to Lottie Fowler Road in Prince Frederick for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime between 6:00pm on February 2nd and 5:00am on February 3rd, an unknown suspect(s) driving a blue Honda damaged four mailboxes as well as the mailbox posts. The value of damaged property is $150.
 
Damaged Property: 20-6832
On February 4, 2020, Deputy Wood responded to Ponds Wood Road in Huntingtown for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) attempted entry to the residence through a basement door using a brick, breaking the door knob and the outer pane of glass. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Damaged Property: 20-7466
On February 7, 2020, Deputy Wilder responded to Stone Court in St. Leonard for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) forcibly opened an exterior door to the residence causing damage to the wood around the locking mechanism. The value of damaged property is $200.
 
Theft: 20-7326
On February 6, 2020, Deputy Aranda met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred on Bentley Drive in Prince Frederick. The complainant advised that sometime between December 18th, 2019, and January 26th, 2020, an unknown suspect(s) stole four rings from a jewelry box located in a bedroom. The value of stolen property is $5,100.
 
Theft: 20-7496
On February 7, 2020, Deputy Lewis met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred on 4th Street in North Beach. The complainant advised that sometime between 8:30am and 6:00pm on February 6th, and unknown suspect(s) stole their prescription medication from their residence. 
 
Theft: 20-7531
On February 7, 2020, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to Ox Bow Lane in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime around 2:00pm an unknown suspect(s) stole their I-phone 8 Plus while they were at Appeal Landfill in Lusby. The value of stolen property is $800.
 
Theft: 20-7754
On February 8, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant responded to Brothers Johnson Septic Service in Port Republic for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that sometime between February 6th and February 8th, an unknown suspect(s) stole the dash panel and master cylinder from one of their busses. The value of stolen property is $900.
 
Arrests:
 
On February 5, 2020, Deputy Sampson responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised they observed a female via surveillance place multiple items into her bag without scanning them, then exit the store. Deputy Sampson located the suspect’s vehicle and made contact with Susan Michelle Furr (32). Furr denied stealing any items from Walmart and provided her receipt for Deputy Sampson to verify. Deputy Sampson determined items worth $46 were stolen and Furr was detained while a search of the vehicle was conducted. The search resulted in a pink first aid kit containing 18 suspected Adderall pills wrapped in a cigarette wrapper, which Furr could not provide a prescription for, as well as two additional Adderall pills located in Furr’s purse that had been emptied of their contents. Furr was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Theft Less Than $100, CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.

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Van Hollen Statement on President's Proposed Budget

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal:
 
 
“President Trump’s proposed budget is an assault on hard-working middle-class families, senior citizens, and those struggling to get by. It guts healthcare programs, slashes educational programs and student loans, and shreds the social safety net – all to pay for his tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. It is a non-starter. 
 
 
“The President has launched an all-out attack on health care – just days after promising to maintain the benefits and protections hundreds of millions of children, seniors, and people with disabilities or pre-existing conditions count on. The cuts to Medicaid alone amount to almost $1 trillion. The American people are catching on – he says one thing in his tweets and State of the Union address, and then does the opposite in the fine print of his budget.
 
 
“These drastic cuts to programs like nutrition assistance to those in need – which averages $256 a month per family – are being made to pay for the Trump tax scam, which continues to give millionaires an average windfall of $70,000 per year.
 
“We can’t allow this to be the first generation of Americans whose kids have a lower standard of living than their parents. A budget isn’t just numbers, it’s a vision for our nation’s future. If we want to fix and build our roads, rails, and trails; clean up our waters and improve air quality; give our kids a world-class education and our seniors a dignified retirement; and provide quality, affordable health care to every American, then Congress must reject the President’s budget.
 
 
“Trump’s budget provides $45 billion to subsidize private schools, while cutting public education programs and college student loans. Devastating education cuts would provide fewer resources to those who need them most – like kids who need afterschool programs, school counseling, and community schools; and students at institutions like the University of Maryland, where 41 percent of undergrads depend on financial aid.
 
 
“Chopping another 26 percent from an already lean Environmental Protection Agency would imperil efforts to clean up environmental hazards, let polluters run amok, and slash funding to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
 
 
“Deficits and debt have only gotten worse under the Trump Administration because of tax cuts for the rich and unrealistic growth assumptions that have already been proved false. This budget is more of the same, and the ever-more magical math in the Trump budget is a farce that our children and grandchildren will have to pay for.
 
 
“The Senate must come together, in a bipartisan way, to craft a real budget that works for America’s families. As a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, I will continue to work across the aisle to do better for Marylanders and all Americans.”

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Applications Open for Summer Student Internships at St. Mary's County Health Department

 St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Student Academy in Public Health provides internship opportunities for rising high school seniors and college students to have hands-on experience in the field of public health. Applications for the 2020 Student Academy in Public Health are now available online.
 
"The Student Academy in Public Health offers youth in our community the opportunity to learn about the profession and value of public health,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. 
 
To learn more about the Student Academy in Public Health, students and parents are invited to attend an information session on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the St. Mary’s County Health Department located at 21580 Peabody Street in Leonardtown. 
 
Student internships will run from Monday, June 22 through Tuesday, August 18, 2020.  Applications, including a cover letter and resume, are due by March 16, 2020, and may be emailed to smchd.hr@maryland.gov.  To download an application, please visit www.smchd.org/job-and-volunteer-opportunities. 

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Sheriff's Deputies Assist in Reviving Teenager

A student at Great Mills High School recently collapsed during basketball practice and stopped breathing. Working together, school staff, emergency responders and two deputies of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office successfully revived the 17-year-old student.
 
On the evening of Feb. 4, 2020, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to Great Mills High School for the report of a person not breathing. Lt. Eva Jones and Deputy Andrew Burgess both arrived on the scene and continued life-saving measures.
 
As Deputy Burgess arrived on scene, Great Mills High School Athletic Trainer Haley Squires was already performing chest compressions while using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on the student. Deputy Burgess then took over chest compressions while Squires continued rescue breaths with a bag-valve mask.
 
Upon her arrival, Lt. Jones assessed that the student had no pulse and CPR continued. The St. Mary’s County Advanced Life Support Unit (ALS) also arrived on scene. Certified in Advanced Life Support, Lt. Jones placed the student on the cardiac monitor. She analyzed the patient’s heart rhythm and delivered a shock through the AED. The student’s pulse returned, and the student began trying to breathe again. EMS personnel took over and continued patient care.
 
The student was transported to Trooper 7 at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport and then flown to a regional hospital for treatment. The student is recovering from the incident.
 
AED devices are present at all St. Mary’s County public schools and all Sheriff’s Deputies are certified in CPR and AED use as part of their first-responder duties.
 
“This was a superb team effort between Great Mills High School staff, emergency first responders and the Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Tim Cameron said. “The quick response and actions by our deputies no doubt helped save the life of this student. Not only do our officers investigate crimes, enforce laws and protect the community, our deputies are prepared and trained to save lives each and every day,” the Sheriff said.

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Officers Arrest Suspect in Domestic-Related Stabbing

On February 9 at 11:32 p.m., officers responded to the 3000 block of Gallery Place in Waldorf for the report of a stabbing. When officers arrived, they found a 22-year-old woman with multiple stab wounds to her abdomen. The officers provided first aide to the victim until paramedics arrived and transported her to a hospital. She was admitted with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.  The suspect, who is the victim’s boyfriend, was arrested on site.  Eric Benjamin Mitchell, 22, of Waldorf, was charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and other related charges. Officer W. Levy is investigating.    

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Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, February 7, 2020, Charles County Circuit Court Judge William R. Greer, Jr. sentenced Walter A. Rodriguez-August, 33, to 7 years in prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Upon his release, Rodriguez-August will be on supervised probation for a period of five years.
 
On October 16, 2019, Rodriguez-August entered a guilty plea to the aforementioned charge in Charles County Circuit Court.
 
On April 1, 2019, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office received a report from Child Protective Services regarding a sexual abuse incident involving a 12-year-old victim. Officers made contact with the victim, who stated that Rodriguez-August had sexual intercourse with her on March 31, 2019 inside of her residence located in Charlotte Hall.
 
An investigation revealed that at the time of the incident, Rodriguez-August and the victim were alone together inside of a bedroom. Rodriguez-August began touching the victim inappropriately and then had sexual intercourse with her. The following day, the victim notified school officials, who notified Child Protective Services.   
 
During the course of the investigation, Rodriguez-August admitted to the sexual assault.

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Man Given 8 Years of Backup Time After Involvement with Another Juvenile Victim

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, February 7, 2020, Charles County Circuit Court Judge H. James West sentenced Bryan Frederick Simanton, 39 of La Plata, to 8 years in prison for violating the probation of a 2016 case, in which he entered a guilty plea to the Production of Child Pornography, Possession of a Handgun, and Visual Surveillance with Prurient Intent.
 
An investigation into the 2016 case revealed that Simanton set up a video camera in a juvenile victim’s bathroom at a residence in La Plata. At one point, Simanton gave the victim an alcoholic beverage and the victim fell asleep. The victim reported that when she woke up, Simanton was having inappropriate contact with her. Simanton was subsequently apprehended and on February 3, 2017, he was sentenced to ten years in prison with all but two years suspended, as well as five years of probation. As a part of his probation, Simanton was ordered to have no contact with minors.
 
After his release, Simanton spent the night at an acquaintance’s house in Harford County with minors present. A juvenile victim who was present inside the house reported to the Harford County Child Advocacy Center that on the evening of September 21, 2018, Simanton provided her and her friends with alcohol and at some point, she fell asleep. The victim also reported that when she woke up, Simanton was touching her inappropriately.
 
On December 10, 2019, Simanton admitted to violating his probation in Charles County Circuit Court in front of the Honorable Judge H. James West. 
 
At sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Proctor, asking for the full amount of suspended time, addressed the judge, “The Court should have no tolerance. There are no excuses for this behavior. We have another victim who had to go through this.”

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Van Hollen to Meet with Southern Maryland and Montgomery County Delegations in Annapolis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) will spend the morning of Friday, February 7, 2020 in Annapolis where he will speak with the Southern Maryland and Montgomery County Delegations to the Maryland General Assembly. During the meetings, the Senator will hear from local leaders on community priorities and discuss how they are working together to benefit the regions. He will also provide an update on current issues facing the Senate, and will speak about his efforts to support Southern Maryland and Montgomery County’s success and growth. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen has fought to increase funds for programs important to these areas, and has also introduced legislation to boost our local economies, invest in education, and modernize the State’s infrastructure.

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Maryland Emergency Management Association Announces 2020 Donald Lumpkins Memorial Scholarship Program

Leonardtown, MD - The Maryland Emergency Management Association (MDEMA) is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for the 2020 Donald “Doc” Lumpkins Memorial Scholarship Program. MDEMA is offering five (5) $1,000.00 scholarships for 2020. One scholarship will be awarded to a student in each of the following geographic areas:
 
Area I – Western Maryland (Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties)
 
Area II – National Capital (Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties)
 
Area III – Central Maryland (Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties)
 
Area IV – Eastern Shore (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties)
 
Area V – Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties)
 
MDEMA has established the Donald “Doc” Lumpkins Memorial Scholarship Program to nurture, promote and develop future emergency management professionals by furthering the education of students studying emergency management. It is the objective of MDEMA to financially assist students pursuing an associate or baccalaureate degree in emergency management or a closely related career field. Applicants must be either:
 
A senior attending an accredited Maryland high school who has been accepted to a two or four-year college or university, and who plans to major in emergency management or a closely related field, or; a student currently accepted to, or enrolled in a two or four-year college or university who is pursuing a degree in emergency management or a closely related field.
 
Applications and additional information can be obtained at https://www.marylandema.org or http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/es/ema/. The submission deadline for applications is April 3, 2020.

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CSM Foundation Welcomes Bob Carpenter and David Osterhouse as Board Directors

The College of Southern Maryland Foundation announces that Bob Carpenter and David Osterhouse have joined the Foundations’ board as its newest directors. Both businessmen are residents of Calvert County.
 
“We are thrilled to have Bob and David join the CSM Foundation board and its commitment to our friend raising and fundraising efforts that support our students,” said CSM Vice President of Advocacy and Community Engagement Michelle Goodwin, who also serves as the Foundation’s executive director. “We welcome their knowledge, expertise and passion for the CSM mission.”
 
The CSM Foundation, a nonprofit, 501(c)3 charitable organization established in 1970, helps increase access to higher education at CSM through scholarship funding and assures the excellence of that education by raising and managing funds for college projects and objectives – including workforce development in Southern Maryland. The CSM Foundation is comprised of a tri-county, all-volunteer board of directors.
 
Carpenter, of Chesapeake Beach, brings more than 40 years of leadership experience working at corporate and government levels including the California Legislature, an Alaskan political central committee and the Chesapeake Beach Town Council. Carpenter most recently served at the helm of the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce for more than two years. He is also the founder and president of Chesapeake Beach Consulting, providing research and strategic consulting services to a variety of clients from around the world. His other affiliations have included membership on the Arts Council of Calvert County, the Calvert Marine Museum Board of Directors and the Calvert Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.
 
“As a De Anza Community College graduate, I know how important it is for our region to provide and maintain a strong and thriving community college presence.” Carpenter shared. “It is an honor to join the College of Southern Maryland team. CSM has long played an integral role in our area’s economic development and offers phenomenal – and more importantly, affordable – learning opportunities for all ages.” 
 
Osterhouse is a senior accountant at the Charlotte Hall tax preparation company of Mudd, Lakes and Moreland LLC. A resident of Prince Frederick, the CPA specializes in preparing all types of taxes including individual, business, trusts and payroll. His wife, Dr. Melanie Osterhouse is a professor of biology at CSM’s Prince Frederick Campus and was recently awarded with the 2019 Faculty Excellence Award – an award based on the significance and impact of classroom teaching, institutional responsibilities, curriculum development, professional development and community commitment. The Osterhouses are active in the community with their children at New Life Church, Boy Scouts Troop 347 and the Calvert High School Marching Band.
 
“Our family is committed to helping all students achieve their dreams,” David Osterhouse said. “We have had ties to CSM for many, many years and know first-hand how committed CSM is to providing necessary workforce development for our communities – and to providing excellent professors, facilities and equipment to every student.”
 
For information about the CSM Foundation, visit http://foundation.csmd.edu.

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Maryland House of Delegates Introduces Term Limits on Congress Resolution

Washington, D.C. -- Delegate Mike McKay has introduced House Joint Resolution 5 calling for Maryland to participate in a national initiative for the states to propose a congressional term limits amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The effort is being spearheaded by the nonpartisan, nonprofit U.S. Term Limits (USTL).
 
Delegate McKay commented on the resolution saying, “The politicians who have established decades-long residence within the beltway bubble have lost sight of the job they were initially sent there to do.” He continues, “Delivering positive results for constituents back home takes a back seat to wielding political influence on the D.C. cocktail circuit.”
 
The resolution has strong bipartisan sponsorship of Delegates McKay, Arentz, Boteler, Brooks, Chisholm, Ciliberti, Cox, Jacobs, Jalisi, Krebs, Malone, Mangione, McComas, Parrott, Pippy, Saab, Shoemaker, Wilson, and Wivell.
 
“It's high time the states recognize an out of control Congress and work together to do something about it,” says USTL's North Region Director Ken Quinn. “We're pleased Delegate McKay is willing to take up the mantle on this important election reform.”
 
HJ5 has been assigned to the Maryland State House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.
 
According to the last nationwide poll on term limits conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, conducted in January 2018, term limits enjoys wide bipartisan support. McLaughlin’s analysis states, “Support for term limits is broad and strong across all political, geographic and demographic groups.  An overwhelming 82% of voters approve of a constitutional amendment that will place term limits on members of Congress.”
 
Once the resolution passes both chambers of the legislature, Maryland will have the distinction of being among the first states in the nation to file an application for the states to convene for the exclusive purpose of proposing term limits on the U.S. Congress. When 34 state legislatures pass similar resolutions on the topic of term limits and subsequently approve the term limits amendment, it must be ratified by 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution.

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Calvert County Government Announces Presidents Day Schedule

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in observance of Presidents 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, Feb. 17. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
 
·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Monday, Feb. 17. Online services and electronic checkouts will be available.
 
·         All community centers will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17.
 
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open with normal winter hours.
 
·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes 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, Feb. 17. 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, Feb. 17, with normal hours.
 
·         The Calvert Marine Museum will be open Monday, Feb. 17, 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, Feb. 17. 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, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
·         Flag Ponds Nature Park will be open Monday, Feb. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
 
·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is closed through spring while undergoing renovations to the nature center.
 
·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be open with normal operating hours Monday, Feb. 17.
 
·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is closed for the season.
 
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Firearm Recovered During Vehicle Stop

On February 4, 2020, at approximately 11:15 a.m. Deputy First Class Beyer conducted a vehicle stop in the 21800 block of Pegg Road in Lexington Park. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Melvin Royce Jones Jr., age 24 of Virginia. During the vehicle stop Jones fled on foot and was pursued by deputies. Jones was taken into custody and a loaded firearm was located on Jones’ person.
 
Jones was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged with the following:
 
Handgun in Vehicle
 
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
 
Handgun on Person
 
Loaded Handgun on Person
 
Obstruction and Hindering
 
Fraud Person/Identity to Avoid Prosecution
 
Firearm-Possession-Felony Conviction
 
Illegal Possession of Ammunition
 
Jones is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Detectives Investigating Pharmacy Robbery / Charles County Crime Solvers Offering Cash Reward

On February 3 at approximately 1:45 p.m., three suspects entered Hanson Pharmacy located in the 2100 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf. They climbed over the counter, sprayed an employee with pepper spray, stole various medications and cash and then fled to an awaiting vehicle operated by a fourth suspect. The vehicle was described as a dark, newer model Honda Pilot. Investigators are working with police departments across the region who are investigating similar robberies; however, at this time, it is not clear if they are related. The CCSO has been working closely with pharmacies throughout the county to discuss security concerns. Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to call Detective C. Gregory at (301) 609-6507. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or submit a tip online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for the tip that leads to an arrest in any of these cases. The investigation is continuing. 

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Maryland State Police Target Criminal Activity, Drug Use In St. Mary's County

(ST. MARY’S COUNTY, MD) – As part of a multi-unit operation, Maryland State Police targeted criminal activity and drug use in St. Mary’s County, which led to several arrests and the recovery of weapons in the community.
 
The operation took place between Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 as the Maryland State Police Firearms Enforcement Unit implemented direct enforcement activities, which were based on intelligence as it related to illegal drug sales and possession, firearm violations and violent crimes in St. Mary’s County.
 
The operation was implemented due to concerns following recent violent crime in the area, including several shootings and related firearms issues in and around the Lexington Park community of St. Mary’s County. The operation’s highlights inculuded five drug-related arrests, the recovery of two handguns and the serving of three arrest warrants.
 
The Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit Western, Central and Southern Regions, Criminal Enforcement Division (CED) Central South Drug Enforcement Unit, CED-Central South Investigators, Southern Maryland Information Center, MSP STATE Team and troopers from the Leonardtown and La Plata barracks assisted in this operation.
 
The results of this operation were made possible in part due to grant funds provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, which funds the Maryland Gun Violence Reduction Grant.  Funds were also utilized through the Public Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2018.
 
Overall, the operation yielded the following results in St. Mary’s County:
 
Traffic stops: 64 stops
Traffic warnings: 47
Traffic citations: 49
Controlled dangerous substance arrests: 5
CDS civil citations: 4
Driving under the influence arrests: 2
Arrest warrants served: 3
Handguns recovered: 2
The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division – Firearms Enforcement Unit is committed to supporting Governor Hogan’s war on gun violence.  The Firearms Enforcement Unit consists of sworn troopers that are tasked with traveling around the state to identify, infiltrate and dismantle firearm-related violence.

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Taxpayers in 19 States and D.C. Now Eligible for Identity Protection PIN from IRS

Annapolis – The Internal Revenue Service today announced it was expanding its voluntary Identity Protection PIN program to taxpayers in a step toward making the program nationwide.
 
The IP PIN is a six-digit number that adds a layer of protection to the taxpayers’ Social Security numbers and helps protect against tax-related identity theft. It helps prevent a taxpayer’s SSN from being used on a fraudulent tax return.
 
Taxpayers will be eligible for this voluntary program if they filed a federal tax return last year from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington. 
 
Taxpayers enter their IP PINs onto their federal tax return when prompted by their electronic provider or their tax professional. Taxpayers must use the correct IP PIN on their tax returns to avoid return rejects or delays. 
 
Taxpayers opting into the IP PIN program must use the online “Get an IP PIN” tool at IRS.gov/IPPIN. Before obtaining an IP PIN, taxpayers must pass a rigorous identity verification process. Not everyone can pass. Taxpayers cannot call the IRS to request an IP PIN. The IRS is working on an alternative for those who cannot authenticate their identities. 
 
The IRS has created a new publication – Publication 5367, Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program for Taxpayers – to help taxpayers understand the required steps. The publication is in English and Spanish. Taxpayers should review the publication or the IRS.gov/IPPIN page to make sure the program is right for them.
 
Taxpayers who opt into the program should be on high alert for phishing attempts by cybercriminals and others to steal their IP PINs. The IRS will never ask taxpayers to disclose their IP PINs. The only time taxpayers should disclose their IP PINs is when prompted by the tax software provider as they are preparing their tax return or when their tax preparer needs it to complete the tax return. Any calls, emails or texts requesting the IP PIN are likely attempts at theft.
 
The IP PIN is valid for a calendar year. Taxpayers who opt into the program must return to the “Get an IP PIN” tool each year to obtain a new number. 
The IP PIN protects only one SSN. For a married couple, each taxpayer must register on IRS.gov, validate their identity and request an IP PIN. Only dependents who can pass the identity verification process will be able to obtain an IP PIN. 
 
The IRS expanded the program based on identity theft reports submitted to the Federal Trade Commission. The IRS is expanding eligibility in stages to ensure there is no adverse impact on existing systems. After the 2020 filing season, the IRS will decide whether to add additional states or expand nationwide. 

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Van Hollen Statement on President Trump's State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding President Trump’s State of the Union address.

 

“This evening, President Trump had the opportunity to put forward an agenda to unite our country behind a common sense of purpose. Instead, he drove deeper divisions and continued to advance policies that, when stripped of nice-sounding rhetoric, serve the interests of super-wealthy elites at the expense of hard-working Americans. Tonight he proposed to give tax breaks for private school instead of investing more in public schools for all Americans. At the very moment he is talking about the need for affordable health care, his Administration’s lawyers are busy in court seeking to dismantle vital protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.”

 

“He spoke in the chamber of the House of Representatives, but failed to recognize the hundreds of important bills they have passed to address the very real challenges faced by the American people, including measures to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, to reduce the costs of prescription drugs, and to ensure equal pay for equal work. The House has also passed legislation to reduce the terrible toll of gun violence by establishing universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. My guest tonight was Andrea Chamblee, the widow of Capital Gazette reporter John McNamara, whose life was taken in a shooting that also killed four of his coworkers on June 28, 2018. I am grateful for  Andrea’s attendance this evening, and I stand with her in demanding action to end the epidemic of gun violence.”

 

“All of these important measures – and many more – have passed the House of Representatives, but they are now sitting in the United States Senate. They are being held up by Senator McConnell and Republican senators. President Trump could have called upon the Senate to act on these bills, but he didn’t say a thing. I was deeply disappointed by this missed opportunity, but I will continue working to represent and uphold the best interests of Marylanders and the American people.”

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Cardin Response to the State of the Union

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Environment & Public Works, and Finance committees, responded to the president’s State of the Union address to the nation.
 
“Time and again, I have tried to give this president the benefit of the doubt, but he continues to live in a world painted by his own hyperbole and the misguided understanding that if he repeats something enough times that it must be true – even if it is not. There was much rhetoric in the president’s speech that could form the basis for bipartisan common ground. If only he was serious about protecting public health, education and the environment, all of which pay dividends for our economy through productivity and jobs.
 
“Tonight, the president highlighted a number of incredible Americans who represent some of the best of American values and accomplishment, as well as our brave military men and women. He talked up the economy and our national security, including many policies imposed on him by Congress. Unfortunately, most of the policies President Trump has embraced and tweeted about for the last three years have run counter to his teleprompter rhetoric. He spoke of protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions yet he has been leading the fight to tear away health coverage for tens of millions Americans. He spoke about planting new trees to help the environment, but has consistently put polluters above public health while denying the science behind climate change and trying to cut funds for important environmental programs like the Chesapeake Bay.  He spoke of advances in criminal justice reform and equality under the law, yet eliminated funding for Department of Justice community policing programs, closed halfway houses and renewed private prison contracts.
 
“It is in my DNA to respect the Office of the President. Tonight, the president tested the limits of such a perspective as he turned the State of the Union into a campaign rally, complete with cheers for his harmful immigration policies, attacks on political rivals, repeated shout-outs to conservative pet issues and made-for-TV reveals.”

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February 4th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Commissioners held a work session with the Charles County Board of Education (CCBOE) to discuss their anticipated fiscal 2021 budget. Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, Superintendent of Charles County Public Schools, presented an overview of the proposed budget, highlighted funding priorities, and talked about the challenges that are faced.

 

Commissioners had the opportunity to ask questions and dialogue directly with the Board of Education and Dr. Hill about several issues. They inquired about changes to the state funding formula that resulted in reduced funding; requested consideration for shared uses of the community centers at schools, addition of activity buses, and equity in athletics revenue-sharing; and explored how the Board of Education’s Fund Balance could be used to close the budget gap. Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. expressed appreciation for the joint work session to discuss the budget and looked forward to additional collaboration as the Board of County Commissioners considers the fiscal 2021 budget over the next three months.

 

Open Session Briefings

Deputy County Administrator Deborah E. Hall, Chief of Information Technology Evelyn Jacobson, and representatives from CTC Technology and Energy presented an update on the Rural Broadband Task Force. The county received the final report on the Broadband Feasibility Study and recommendations were presented, based on the findings. CTC Technology and Energy categorized three distinct areas of unserved homes and businesses in the county, based upon unique geography and the related funding opportunities and challenges. They shared their recommendations on how to pursue broadband service for each of the three areas and indicated that it would be a multi-year project.

 

Economic Development Department staff provided an update on its Sister Cities partnership with Mozambique, where local businesses can explore expansion to new markets through international trade. Staff are coordinating a trip to Mozambique in May 2020, where small businesses will be able to meet with representatives and learn about business development opportunities. They also presented an invitation from a current Sister City in Walldorf, Germany, to attend its anniversary celebration and discussed the process for the county to respond.

 

Legislative Updates

Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell briefed Commissioners on legislative activities in the Maryland General Assembly, which convened its 90-day session last month. She provided an overview of important policy issues that could affect the county, including light rail, collective bargaining, special tax districts and tax increment financing, and funding for the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland. She also discussed the status of legislative proposals that Commissioners submitted to the local delegation.

 

Approval Items

Commissioners approved a change to the fiscal 2021 budget calendar. The updated calendar will move the public hearings for the proposed budget and the constant yield tax rate to Wednesday, April 29, to allow for more time for the public to review and provide input.

 

Recognitions

Commissioners recognized Gina Durgin, a local artist and photographer, with a citation for sharing her art and talent with the community. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Commissioners proclaimed Pink Goes Red for Heart Health Day and National Wear Red Day in February and recognized Southern Maryland Chain Chapter of the Links, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated Nu Zeta Omega Chapter for their work in promoting heart health awareness. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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St. Mary's County Government Operations Schedule for Presidents Day

Leonardtown, MD - All St. Mary’s County Government administrative offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 in observance of Presidents Day. Administrative offices will reopen for normal business hours Tuesday, Feb. 18.

The St. Andrews Landfill, the six (6) Convenience Centers and St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) will operate under normal hours Monday, Feb. 17. However, the Statewide Specialized Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will not provide services for the Senior Nutrition Centers and or SSTAP appointments.

All St. Mary’s County Library locations will be closed Monday, Feb. 17.

All three Senior Activity Centers will be closed. No Home-Delivered Meals deliveries will be made.

 

The St. Clement’s Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse museum and Historic Park will be open from noon – 4 p.m. Feb.17, 2020.

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Forrest Center Students Earn UAS Pilot's License

Three Aviation Technology students at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center in Leonardtown, MD recently earned their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) remote pilot license.  The students completed the training to receive their license as part of their three year Aviation Technology program.  UAS training was recently added to the third year of the Aviation Technology program.
 
Forrest Center Aviation Technology students Eric Long, Jacob VanDevander, and Zayon Morgan recently earned their FAA Part 107 Small UAS remote pilot license.
 
 
For more information, contact the Aviation Technology instructor, Arnold Skinner, at 301-475-0242, x28206 or at atskinner@smcps.org. 

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of January 27 – February 2 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,373 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Burglary: 20-5521
On January 29, 2020, Deputy Crum responded to Paso Robles Court in Chesapeake Beach for the report of a burglary. The complainant advised that sometime between 4:00pm on January 28th and 8:00am on January 29th, an unknown suspect(s) cut and stole the copper refrigerator wire connected from the interior AC unit to the exterior HVAC unit. The value of stolen property is $100.
 
Damaged Property: 20-5389
On January 28, 2020, Deputy Bowlan responded to Chesapeake Village Subdivision in Chesapeake Beach for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) damaged one of the dog cleaning stations on Dark Star Lane. The value of damaged property is $1,000.
 
Theft: 20-5622
On January 29, 2020, Deputy Fox was notified of a theft that occurred during school hours at Northern High School in Owings. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) stole their Apple iPhone as well money and their Maryland Identification Card. The value of stolen property is $820.
 
Theft: 20-5706
On January 30, 2020, Deputy Lewis met with a complainant who was reporting a theft that occurred on 7th Street in North Beach. The complainant advised that sometime between 3:40am and 4:07am on January 30th, an unknown suspect(s) stole their 2014 black Volkswagen Jetta from their home. 
 
Theft: 20-5730
On January 30, 2020, Deputy Sturdivant met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred at Dunn Clean Laundry in Prince Frederick. The complainant advised that they were doing laundry at the laundromat and when they returned home, they noticed their prescription medication was missing from their purse as well as $22 in quarters. The total value of stolen property is $67.
 
Arrests:
 
On January 29th, 2020, Deputy Rzepkowski responded to E Chesapeake Beach Road in Owings for a warrant service. Nathaniel Jon Aikin (26) was taken into custody by Anne Arundel County Police Department for an active warrant in Calvert County. Deputy Rzepkowski took custody of Aikin and was advised by Aikin that he had two of his prescribed pills in his pocket, however the prescription was left in his vehicle in Anne Arundel County. Aikin was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was served with his warrants and charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.
 
On January 30, 2020, Corporal McCarroll was conducting a routine patrol check in the area of the Dunkirk Park & Ride when he observed a suspicious vehicle. Upon approaching the vehicle, Corporal McCarroll observed the vehicle to be running, and Charles Anthony Fortner (20) asleep in the driver’s seat. He also observed numerous items of suspected marijuana and related CDS paraphernalia. Fortner was removed from the vehicle and detained while deputies recovered a clear plastic bag containing suspected marijuana, loose flakes of suspected marijuana, two burnt portions of suspected marijuana cigarettes, and a glass smoking device. Fortner was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession of Marijuana 10GM+ and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 
 
On January 31, 2020 Deputy Aranda responded to Dunn Clean Laundry in Prince Frederick for the report of harassment. The complainant advised that a male suspect would not leave them alone while trying to do laundry. Upon arrival, Deputy Aranda observed Marvin Wayne Thomas (53) sitting by the door of the laundromat. Upon making contact with Thomas, Deputy Aranda observed Thomas to be extremely intoxicated and detected the odor of alcohol emanating from his breath. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised that Thomas was issued an indefinite trespass warning for the entire Prince Frederick Shopping Center on January 16, 2018 by Maryland State Trooper Costello. Thomas was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespassing a Public Agency During Business Hours.
 
On January 31, 2020, Deputy Sampson conducted a traffic stop on North Solomons Island Road at Cox Road in Huntingtown. Deputy Sampson made contact with the driver, Joseph Charles Guidotti (37), who advised he did not have a driver’s license in his possession. Guidotti exited to vehicle to observe to reason for the traffic stop when he reached to his hip revealing a large tactical knife that was concealed by his jacket. Guidotti was then detained and the other passengers were removed from the vehicle while a search was conducted. The search resulted in a total of 515 grams of raw marijuana, 501 THC cartridges, 38 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes, and $3,067 in cash. Guidotti was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS Possession with Intent to Distribute, CDS: Possession of Marijuana 10GM+, Dangerous Weapon-Concealed, and traffic citations.

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Cardin Statement on the Impeachment of President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement:

 

“The Senate has failed in its constitutional responsibility to try the president of the United States fairly, based on the impeachment charges the House of Representatives sent to us. The Constitution is very clear that the House of Representatives – not the President – gets to decide how and when to impeach the president. The Constitution is clear that the Senate – not the House – holds a trial. Real trials have witnesses and evidence. All previous impeachment trials have had witnesses and evidence. The Senate should have been able to receive further evidence before concluding its trial in this case, whether the additional evidence was incriminating or exculpatory. Therefore, the Senate has failed to conduct a constitutionally proper trial. 

 

“By willfully ignoring evidence and witnesses, Senate Republicans have now established a dangerous precedent that will be hard to reverse. President Trump is not a king or monarch. The Founding Fathers wisely created a system of separation of powers and checks and balances, so as not to concentrate power in only one official or department of government. On the floor of the Senate, one of the lawyers for the President of the United States argued that re-electing the president is in the public interest, so anything the president might do to further that re-election – legally or through corrupt means – would be in the public interest. This is how the rule of law is degraded in autocratic countries.

 

“As the president and commander-in-chief, President Trump used his power to compromise and corrupt America’s values, which have been our strength since the nation’s founding.  By asking a foreign nation to investigate a political rival, President Trump has undermined the rule of law, weakened our efforts to fight corruption both at home and abroad, damaged our national security, and helped our adversary, Russia.

 

“If any of my colleagues think that this impeachment ‘trial’ will have chastised Donald Trump enough that he will not commit such transgressions again, they have not been watching or listening to Donald Trump for the last three years he has been in office. He has never shown any remorse for his wrongful actions – ever. His only instinct is to smear accusers and double down with no regard for the consequences to our national security, our constitutional order, or simple decency. His only concern is his own narrow personal interest. Indeed, just one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on Russian interference, President Trump was emboldened to make the July 25 call to President Zelensky and request a political favor. Notably, the Mueller report did not exonerate President Trump, and the report noted the numerous instances in which the president may have obstructed justice, but left further pursuit of the matter to Congress, or to prosecutors once the president leaves office.

 

“In weighing the facts and evidence in this case, I have listened carefully to all of the trial proceedings and I have taken extensive notes, including during the managers’ presentations and during the Senators’ questioning period.  I asked the managers several questions.  Despite the president’s unprecedented obstruction with respect to making witnesses and evidence available, the House managers made their case with a compelling timeline. President Trump’s conduct clearly crossed the line and constituted ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ when he put his own personal interests over the country’s interests, using the power of his office for his own personal benefit.  President Trump violated his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and failed in his duties to faithfully execute our nation’s laws.

 

“In the United States of America, no one should be above the law.  We must act to protect the Constitution and our democratic system of government.  It is with a heavy heart but complete conviction that I support both articles of impeachment and the removal of the president from office, as well as his disqualification from ever holding and enjoying any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

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Public Meeting to Revise St. Mary's County Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances

The St. Mary’s County Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance will be revised. Surveyors, engineers, developers, real estate professionals, property owners, and all other parties with an interest in development in St. Mary’s County are asked to participate in the revision process which will take place through a series of meetings.
 
Roger Fink, former Charles County Attorney, has been hired as a consultant to oversee a complete revision to the County’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances. Roger will participate in these public meetings to hear suggestions for changes to the ordinances.
 
Meetings will be held in the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 with the first meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 26, 2020, starting at 6:30 pm. Meetings will be designed to last one hour. Attendees and interested parties are encouraged to provide prewritten ordinance provisions for consideration and discussion. Submissions can be sent via email in advance of the meetings to: bill.hunt@stmarysmd.com explaining what provision(s) should be changed with a suggestion on the new wording.
 
Please participate in this process by attending and speaking and sending recommendations in advance. The recommendations for changes that are obtained will be compiled by Roger and a draft will be sent to all participants to review. The same procedure will be followed for subsequent meetings.

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NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Field Carrier Landing Practice Flights Feb. 4-6

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the naval air station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place February 4 - 6, 2020 between the hours of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Pilots at NAS PAX will be conducting Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs). FCLPs are simulated carrier landings conducted to prepare the pilot to land safely on an aircraft carrier. Airspeed, altitude, and power are all precisely choreographed in order for a pilot to approach the ship within an acceptable window to land on the deck safely. FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. It is a highly complex skill that requires an intense period of training before pilots deploy. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.

 

As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community.  For more information call the Pax River toll-free Noise Hotline at 1-866-819-9028.

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Volunteers Sought for Solar Task Force

Leonardtown, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County are seeking five volunteers for a Solar Task Force. This task force will seek community input, further investigate community needs, learn about solar regulations; identify potential site locations, discuss potential strengths/challenges with solar facilities.
 
This five-member task force will meet monthly for six months to discuss gathered information and gauge adherence to stated objectives. At the end of six months, the task force will provide a report of findings to the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County.
 
All citizens interested in being considered should fill out an application on the County’s website at https://www.stmarysmd.com/boards/

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Calvert County Enhances Emergency Services with New Smart911 Facility Feature

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Feb. 3, 2020 – The Calvert County Department of Public Safety announced today that Smart911 now offers a Smart911 Facility feature for businesses to create a facility profile to allow first responders to assist more quickly during an emergency. The feature enables Smart911 Facility users to create a free profile with key details about campuses and buildings including floor plans, number of landlines, fire and security alarm locations, utility shutoff locations, points of contact and more.
 
When an individual makes emergency calls, a personalized safety profile is automatically displayed to the 911 call taker, allowing first responders to quickly locate key information to provide lifesaving services.
 
Citizens can create a safety profile for their household at www.Smart911.com or on the Smart911 mobile app. Businesses and facility owners can visit www.RaveFacility.com to create a Smart911 Facility profile. Citizens with questions about Smart911 may contact Emergency Communications Assistant Chief Stanley Harris at 410-535-2890.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Callaway Man Arrested for Murder

On February 2, 2020, at approximately 8:04 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 20900 block of Jo Marie Way in Callaway, for the reported shooting. An individual later identified as Timothy Christian Wagner, age 36 of Callaway, contacted emergency communications (911) and advised he had killed his wife. Deputies responded to the scene and located the victim Felicia Renee Wagner, age 29 of Callaway, in the living room suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased on scene. Detectives and crime scene technicians from the Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and continued the investigation.
 
Preliminary investigation determined Timothy Wagner shot the victim in the head and fled the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Wagner was subsequently located in another jurisdiction shortly after the incident and brought back to St. Mary’s County by deputies. Wagner was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged with the following:
 
Murder First Degree
 
Murder Second Degree
 
Firearm Use/Felony-Violent Crime
 
Assault First Degree
 
Assault Second Degree
 
 
Wagner remains incarcerated at the detention center on a no bond status. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension *1953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.

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Van Hollen Statement on Republican Vote to Block Fair, Impartial Trial with Rulings by Chief Justice on Witnesses, Documents, and Use of Executive Privilege

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) offered an amendment requiring the Chief Justice to subpoena documents and witnesses, if he determined they are relevant to the articles of impeachment, and to exercise his authority to rule on all issues of evidence, including executive privilege. Senator Van Hollen released the following statement in reaction to Republicans’ vote to block this amendment:
 
“Today’s vote gave Republicans one last opportunity to provide the American people with an impartial trial that considered relevant documents and witnesses. Instead, they voted to hide the truth from the American people. My amendment was structured to ensure a fair trial and was modeled after every other trial that takes place in our country. It would have required the Chief Justice to make the initial rulings on documents, witnesses, and claims of executive privilege. I am deeply disturbed that Republicans rejected this clearly fair process. In opposing this amendment, they have become complicit in obstructing the search for the truth.”

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Maryland Launches First-in-Nation Wellness Calls for Seniors

Maryland is the first state in the country with a program that offers daily wellness checks by phone for older residents. Since most people say they want to "age in place" in their own homes, Senior Call Check provides a phone call to Marylanders age 65 and older each day at a designated time. State Delegate Ben Kramer, who sponsored the initiative, says if folks don’t answer the phone after three attempts, a designated contact person or local law enforcement will be called to come to their homes.
"Very often, our senior residents don’t have someone who checks in on them routinely. So, the goal here is to give them a little peace of mind, so that we can try and help our seniors age in place and that, if they can’t get to the phone, there will be a follow-up."
After a successful pilot program in 2018, Senior Call Check just became available statewide last month. The program is free for Maryland residents and is run by the Department of Aging. For more information, call 1-866-50-CHECK or register online at 'aging.maryland.gov.'
Senior Call Check arrives before a "Dignity in Aging Act" pending in Congress. That bill aims to steer federal funds toward multiple programs that help adults live independently as they age. But Kramer says he wanted faster action to help Maryland's growing older population. He notes the Maryland program is free, because many seniors already have to make tough choices about food and medication. He says the call check will also eventually include a notification system to share information about senior scams and potential bad weather.
 "So, this could give a notice that, 'Hey we want to give you the heads up. This impending storm is coming. You may want to make sure if you’re stuck in your home, that you’ve got enough food for several days, or your medications are filled to cover you for several days.'"
Three out of four Americans age 50 and older say they want to stay in their homes as they age, according to an A-A-R-P study. However, only about 60-percent anticipate they will be able to do so.

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