Star Local News Archives for 2020-04

Fiscal 2021 Operating Budget Public Hearing Scheduled for May 5

Due to the ongoing state of emergency, the Board of County Commissioners will hold the fiscal 2021 Operating Budget public hearing virtually on Tuesday, May 5 at 6 p.m. Residents are encouraged to provide comment.
 
Comments may be submitted as follows:
 
To speak during the May 5 Commissioner meeting, call 301-885-2779 between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to register. Once registered, you will be called between 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. to testify. If you are not available when called, we will move to the next caller.
E-Comment will be available at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/FY2021BudgetHearing beginning Tuesday, May 5 at 8 a.m. through Thursday, May 7 at 5 p.m. 
Phone messages will be accepted at 301-645-0652 from Tuesday, May 5 at 8 a.m. through Thursday, May 7 at 4 p.m.
Mail: Commissioners of Charles County, 200 Baltimore Street, Md, 20646 (Must be received by Monday, May 11).
Copies of the operating and capital budgets and the proposed fees, rates, and charges are available on our website at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/government/fiscal-and-administrative-services/budget/future-budget.  All submissions will be considered by the Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners are scheduled to adopt the FY21 County budget in late May. The budget will take effect on July 1.
 
Residents can view the public hearings on Charles County Government Television (CCGTV) which airs on Comcast Channel 95 and Verizon Channel 10 or at www.charlescountymd.gov. Residents without internet access may call 301-645-0500 to listen to the meeting.
 
For more information, call 301-645-0570. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

0
comments


Wanted: Dana Marie Royster

April 30, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Dana Marie Royster for Second-Degree Escape from the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Royster did not return to a rehabilitation center in Frederick as required in early April.
 
Royster is 36 years old, is 5’4” tall and weighs 130 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.
 
 
Anyone with information on Royster’s whereabouts are 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 Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces New COVID-19 Emergency Nutrition Assistance For Students

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today announced approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of Maryland’s plan to provide new Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) assistance to all Maryland children who would receive free or reduced-price lunches if not for school closures. The Maryland Department of Human Services estimates that approximately 427,000 children will benefit from the program for a combined value of over $49 million in estimated assistance. Maryland is one of 12 states whose plans have already been approved.

 

“Maryland students have lost primary access to healthy and nutritious food provided by their schools at the same time as food insecurity has spiked as a result of the pandemic,” said the delegation. “The state plan approved today will allow families to directly purchase food to feed their children, supplementing the free emergency meals being distributed by Maryland public schools. As a delegation, we are committed to working together to ensure that this and other forms of relief created through the Families First Coronavirus Response and CARES Acts make their way to Maryland families as swiftly as possible.”

 

This funding comes as a result of bills passed by Congress to address the pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $8.8 billion in additional funding for Child Nutrition Programs in order to ensure children receive meals while school is not in session. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created temporary new authority and broad flexibility for the USDA and states to adapt the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to respond to the current public health emergency.

 

Since the temporary school closures began on March 16th, Maryland schools and agencies have been providing free emergency meals to children 18 years and younger. Emergency meals are made available as part of the federal Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides reimbursements to sponsors for meals served in the summer months as well as during times of emergency school closures. As of April 25th, Maryland local school systems have served more than 6.4 million meals across 698 meal sites. Locations of Maryland Meals Sites in your community can be found here.

 

Like regular SNAP benefits, P-EBT benefits will be issued via EBT card to households of children who would have received free or reduced price meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act if not for school closures. Monthly assistance will be calculated based on the daily rate of $5.70 per child for each day that the child’s school was closed in a particular month.

 

In addition to today’s announcement, last week, USDA approved Maryland’s request to issue SNAP emergency allotments to all current SNAP households for the months of April and May 2020. All current SNAP households will receive the maximum allotted SNAP benefit according to the household size regardless of income. For more information about how Maryland SNAP is continuing to serve residents at this time and to apply for assistance, please reference the Maryland Department of Human Services’ website.

0
comments


Cardin, Van Hollen, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes Announce $200,000 for Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John P. Sarbanes (all D-Md.) today announced $200,000 in federal funding to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant program to support the management and development of the COVID-19 online interactive dashboard hosted by the JHU Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). The dashboard may be viewed here. Awarded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this federal funding will support system maintenance and improvements, including increasing the geographical specificity of data, potentially to the city level.

 

“Accurate, real-time information about the spread of COVID-19 in each and every community is critical for our response to the pandemic. The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard remains the foremost tracking resource for public health experts and policymakers nationwide,” said the lawmakers. “We are committed to delivering sustained federal support to this important project.”

 

“The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reflects our University’s foundational commitment to providing sound data and expert analysis to the world. It is a collaboration between our leading public health experts, engineers and data scientists designed to inform sound policy and save lives in communities in Maryland and around the globe,” said JHU President Ronald J. Daniels. “We are profoundly grateful to the National Science Foundation and to our Baltimore City Congressional delegation who have long championed the indispensable role that universities like Johns Hopkins play in advancing human flourishing and serving our nation.”

 

The dashboard was first released publicly on January 22, 2020, to visualize and track the COVID-19 outbreak in real-time, and has since served as the prominent centralized source of COVID-19 epidemiological data. The dashboard illustrates the location and number of confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries for all affected countries, with additional features added over time. All the data collected and displayed is made freely available to researchers, public health authorities and the general public. The full project abstract and additional information from the NSF may be found here.

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized $75 million to NSF to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, including to fund research grants and other necessary expenses. NSF will allocate funding to support research at molecular, cellular, physiological and ecological levels to better understand coronavirus genetics, modes of action, transmission, virulence and population dynamics. NSF supports research activities at more than 2,000 research institutions across the United States and is ready to mobilize the full force of the academic community including through Rapid Response Research (RAPID) proposals. The delegation previously announced the award of a RAPID Grant for research at the University of Maryland, College Park.

0
comments


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

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The Maryland Agriculture Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) has extended the date for receiving applications for the Fiscal Year 2021 Easement Cycle until May 15, 2020.
 
A landowner who has a minimum of 50 contiguous acres, is not in the 10-year water and sewer plan for the county and has a minimum of 50% Class I, II, or III soils can apply to sell an easement to MALPF.
 
It is yet to be determined how many applications MALPF will accept from each county. All easement applications must be received by the Department of Economic Development Agriculture Division by May 15, 2020.
 
Once applications are received, they will be ranked by the St. Mary’s County Agriculture Land Preservation Advisory Board (ALPAB) using the state mandated Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) system. The top ranked applications will be submitted to the state for easement consideration.
 
For more information and applications, call the Department of Economic Development Agriculture Division at (240) 309-4021.

0
comments


Fiscal 2021 Budget Proposed at April 29 Charles County Commissioners Meeting

On Wednesday, April 29, County Administrator Mark Belton and budget staff presented the county’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget to the Board of County Commissioners The total proposed operating budget is $433,441,200, an increase of 2% over last year. The proposed budget will protect County Government core services, exceeds maintenance of effort funding for Charles County Public Schools and preserve necessary operations for the Sheriff’s Office.
 
“The proposed budget balances short-term needs with long-term priorities, but there is no doubt that difficult choices were made during this process,” stated Administrator Belton. “This approach was vital for maintaining the current tax rate and protecting the county’s hard-earned triple-A bond rating.”
 
The budget outlook has changed since planning began last fall. While revenue growth in property taxes has been stable, economic stability is more fragile due to the closure of all non-essential businesses and significant unemployment that has occurred during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.
 
The proposed budget does include the addition of 10 positions for Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers in Waldorf because data shows that our community needs it to ensure adequate emergency services. To address the shortfall in revenue, the county did not fully fund the budget requests from Charles County Public Schools and the Sheriff’s Office, which comprises approximately 71 percent of the budget. The county’s executive leadership team also identified several internal government efficiencies to reduce expenditures in next year’s proposed budget.
 
Commissioners will consider the proposed operating and capital budgets and may make changes before it is scheduled for adoption on Tuesday, May 19. A virtual public hearing will be held on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 5, at 6 p.m. The public may comment on the proposed budget during the hearing, through an online comment form, by phone message or by mail. Instructions for participating are available on the website at www.charlescountymd.gov.

0
comments


Expanded List of Symptoms for COVID-19

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added several new symptoms to its existing list of symptoms for COVID-19.
 
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms –  from mild symptoms to severe illness. Community members should self-monitor for the following symptoms of COVID-19:
 
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fever
Chills
Repeated shaking with chills
Muscle pain
Headache
Sore throat
New loss of taste or smell
Some of those infected may also experience diarrhea. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Residents who are experiencing these symptoms should:
Call their primary care physician - If you do not have a primary care physician you may call the COVID-19 Community Hotline Monday - Friday between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. to speak with a Health Department nurse.
If COVID-19 testing is needed - A doctor’s order will be written for testing and information will be provided on where to go for testing.
“If community members are experiencing these symptoms it is important that they reach out to a healthcare professional so that testing can be coordinated if appropriate,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Testing is critical to identifying illness, notifying those who may be at risk, and other efforts to control the spread of disease in our county.”
 
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital continues to offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing Monday - Friday from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. in front of the Outpatient Pavilion. In order to be tested in the drive-thru, individuals must:
Be a St. Mary’s County resident
Have a doctor's order for testing from a community health care professional or the St. Mary’s County Health Department
Present a valid photo ID
Remain in their vehicle with the windows rolled up until it is time to receive their test. An associate will come out to your vehicle.
 COVID-19 testing requires a swab to be inserted into the back of the person’s nostril for several seconds. Most individuals experience minor discomfort at most. All tested individuals should continue to self-isolate at home while waiting for results, which should be available within a few days.
 
Anyone who is experiencing a medical emergency, should call 911 and notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives. If you develop any of the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19, please seek medical attention immediately:
Trouble breathing
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face
 Community members, healthcare providers, and local business owners are encouraged to visit the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s website for local COVID-19 updates, data and information at www.smchd.org/coronavirus.

0
comments


Calvert County Drive-through Farmers Market Features Fresh Local Food, Products

The Calvert County Department of Economic Development announces a drive-through farmers market will be held Tuesdays in Prince Frederick at the CalvertHealth Medical Center located at 130 Hospital Road through Nov. 24, 2020. Citizens can visit the market from 2:30-6:30 p.m. to purchase local produce, meat, bedding plants (vegetables and herbs) and more, while maintaining a safe social distance from vendors and other citizens. 
 
Patrons should remain in their vehicles at all times and vendors will deliver products directly through the driver’s side window. Per Gov. Hogan’s executive order, citizens and vendors are required to wear a face covering. For a full list of state farmers market guidelines, please visit www.marylandfma.org/wp-content/uploads/Maryland-Farmers-Markets-Operations-During-COVID-19-State-of-Emergency-.pdf.
 
For more information on Calvert County’s agricultural community, and updates on local farmers markets, visit www.calvertag.com, or contact the Calvert County Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583 or 301-855-1880 or via email at info@ecalvert.com.  
 
For COVID-19 resources, guidance and updates, please visit Calvert County’s virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. 
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Van Hollen Applauds Fed Decision to Expand COVID-19 Relief to More Cities, Counties

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) applauded the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to reduce population requirements for cities and counties to receive relief from the Municipal Liquidity Facility. This program, created under the CARES Act, allows the Fed to purchase up to $500 billion of debt from eligible cities and counties. However, under the Fed’s previous guidance, only 15 counties and 10 cities across the United States would be eligible for the program. On April 17, Senator Van Hollen led a letter with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), among others, urging the Fed to change its population requirements. The Fed’s decision today will allow counties with over 500,000 residents and cities with over 250,000 residents to apply – meaning that localities throughout Maryland will now be eligible to directly use the lending facility including Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County.
 
“Our cities and counties are tackling the coronavirus head-on from both a public safety and economic standpoint. Right now they’re mobilizing first responders, setting up testing sites, providing emergency services to those struggling to get by, and working to maintain the day-to-day utilities our citizens rely on. The Fed’s original guidance was shortsighted and blocked many cities and counties from getting the help they need on the front lines. I’m glad to see they made this program more widely available, and I’ll continue fighting for the relief our state and local governments need in this battle,” said Senator Van Hollen.

0
comments


Frequently Asked Questions To DNR About Hunting, Fishing and Boating During Governor's Stay At Home Order

Frequently Asked Questions about Governor Hogan’s Stay at Home Order
March 31, 2020
UPDATED April 21
 
Governor Hogan has issued a Stay at Home Order in response to the global COVID-19 public health crisis. While there are certain exceptions for essential functions, the primary intent of the order is for people to stay at home in order to limit the spread of the virus. 
 
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been getting many questions and petitions from people looking for ways to avoid the stay at home order, especially when it comes to hunting, boating, and fishing.
 
We have consulted with the state’s legal experts on how to interpret the governor’s executive order and the intent is simple: stay home unless you absolutely must leave. This is a serious global health crisis and the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Maryland rises everyday. Risking unnecessary exposure is not just a hazard for you — it puts law enforcement, emergency responders, seniors and vulnerable populations in danger. We will save lives by doing the right thing and simply staying home.
 
With that in mind, here is some additional guidance in response to questions the department has received. This is current guidance and subject to change throughout the duration of the public health emergency. 
 
Can I go hunting?
 
Limited hunting is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.
 
Can I go fishing?
 
Recreational fishing is prohibited. Limited fishing is allowed only if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.
 
Can I hunt or fish for species that are out-of-season to obtain food?
 
No. All current fishing, crabbing, and hunting rules and regulations still apply, including the requirement to have the appropriate licenses, permits and stamps.
 
Can I go boating?
 
Recreational boating is prohibited until the governor lifts the executive order or until the State of Emergency has ended. However, if an individual is boating to seek food for them or their family, boating is permitted. Boats used to transport essential employees or goods as defined in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce are also permitted. 
 
Does kayaking or paddle boarding count as recreational boating?
 
Since kayaking and paddle boarding are both human-powered forms of exercise, akin to bicycling, they are permitted under the executive order. Guidance on social distancing and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.  
 
Can I use a personal watercraft?
 
No, use of motorized personal watercraft is not permitted at this time.
 
I live on my sailboat – can I still be in my boat slip or moored out?
 
If your boat serves as your residence, you can remain on the vessel.
 
Can I go to a state park?
 
Hiking, biking, and walking are allowed under the executive order but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Most state parks are open but some have been closed or have restricted areas. Please choose a park nearest your home to limit travel and be sure to check our website before you leave for the park and read our guidelines for social distancing in state parks. Natural Resources Police and Maryland Park Service rangers are authorized to enforce the governor’s executive order and will close areas and disperse crowds as necessary.
 
Can I fish in a state park?
 
Limited fishing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.
 
Can I fish/crab from a boat if it is for sustenance? 
 
Limited recreational fishing and crabbing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. 
 
Can charter boats work next month since they technically fall under the recreational quota from a fisheries standpoint? 
 
As part of the food supply chain, charter boats can continue operating but must abide by social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people. Charter boats and head boats should NOT have more than 10 individuals (including captain and crew) on the vessel at any time.
 
Wildlife offices are closed, so hunters cannot get a permit to hunt on managed lands. Are managed lands closed to hunting? 
 
The WMA offices and all facilities normally open to the public are closed, however, the lands are still open for hiking, exercise and other activities permitted under the executive order, including limited sustenance fishing and hunting. Social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Please check the department’s website for the most recent information on closures before visiting DNR’s managed lands.
 
Are marinas an essential business now that boating is not allowed?
 
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines certain marine trades and marine services as essential. Additionally, the interpretive guidance that accompanied Executive Order 20-03-23-01 includes the following language:
 
“Companies engaged in the … distribution, and sale of oil, gas, and propane products” (section 2.g.ii) and “companies that supply parts, or provide maintenance and repair services for transportation assets and infrastructure including… marine vessels” (section 2.m.xii).
Can I travel by boat through Maryland?
 
While there are no orders limiting travel through Maryland by boat or car at this time, travelers are advised to make trips only for essential purposes. If travelers have been in close contact with others, we urge them to avoid close contact with others in Maryland and self-monitor for symptoms. If any symptoms develop, they should self-quarantine and contact a health care provider. We are also urging travelers to follow CDC guidance on domestic travel, which can be found here: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html. 
 
Can I move my boat or have my boat moved from a marina to my home or my boat slip?
 
Yes, you can have your boat moved or delivered to your residence or boat slip. While it is not necessary for drivers in Maryland to have documentation about the purpose of travel, having such documentation may help. General recreational boating is not allowed.
 
Can I perform checks and maintenance on a vessel at a marina?
 
People can travel between homes or residences to perform essential maintenance. That would include a marine vessel if it is used as a home or residence, or if the essential maintenance seeks to prevent the loss of or damage to one’s property. Individuals should check with the marina before traveling as many have reduced hours or suspended service during the pandemic.
 
Can I operate my off-road vehicle?
 
No. The purpose of Governor Hogan’s executive order is to discourage people from leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary. 
 
Can I go horseback riding?
 
No. Commercial and recreational riding centers and stables should suspend operations unless designed for medical or therapeutic purposes. This includes a prohibition on horseback riding on public lands.
 
Can I come from out of state to recreationally fish, hunt or crab for the day?
 
During the stay at home order, recreational fishing, hunting, and crabbing, including intentional catch-and-release, in Maryland is prohibited. Engaging in these activities is permitted only if seeking sustenance for you or your family. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or other necessary purposes.
 
Visitors should follow the directives given to Maryland residents in addition to recommendations in your home state regarding travel and recreation. Everyone should also follow CDC guidance on domestic travel. The restrictions on recreational fishing, hunting, and crabbing, as well as all standard regulations regarding catch limits and license requirements, must be followed by all Maryland residents and visitors at all times.
 
Can commercial fishing license holders from out of state come to Maryland to fish from their Maryland docked vessels?
 
Anyone fishing in Maryland must have the proper licenses and permits. The CDC has issued guidance on domestic travel. According to the CDC, “The CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.” 
 
Can out-of-state vessels land commercial catch in Maryland? 
 
Anyone fishing in Maryland must have the proper licenses and permits. The CDC has issued guidance on domestic travel. According to the CDC, “The CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.” 

0
comments


Gunman in Shooting on Spring Oak Court Identified

UPDATE: The gunman has been identified by detectives as De Quang Tran, 59, of La Plata. The officer who fired and disabled the gunman is PFC Morrison, who is assigned to the Patrol Division. Detectives are still working to establish a motive. The investigation is ongoing.
 
 Attempted Murder / Officer-Involved Shooting: On April 26, at approximately 10:20 a.m., officers responded to the 10000 block of Spring Oak Court in La Plata for the report of a home invasion in progress. As officers were responding, 911 received additional calls advising the  suspect – armed with a military-style long gun – had approached several homes in the neighborhood. He broke out a window to one house and then walked to the front yard of another home where he fired multiple rounds at the residence. When officers arrived, they heard numerous gunshots and observed the man firing at the house, which they learned was occupied by several people including children. One of the officers discharged his firearm, which struck and disabled the gunman. The officers approached the man, secured the weapon and initiated CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to Charles Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. Detectives are working to establish a motive and his name will be released once his next of kin has been identified. The officer, a five-year veteran, will be placed on administrative leave in accordance with agency policy. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective G. Higgs at (301) 609-6497. Tipsters wishing 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.

0
comments


Fatal Motorcycle Crash on Carrico Mill Road in Hughesville

 On April 25 at 1:46 p.m., officers responded to the area of Carrico Mill Road and Groveheart Place in Hughesville for the report of a motorcycle crash. A preliminary investigation revealed the operator  of the motorcycle, Thomas Andrew Weaver, Jr., 55, of Lusby, MD, was traveling on Carrico Mill Road when for unknown reasons he left the roadway and struck an electrical pole. He was pronounced deceased on the scene. Anyone with information is asked to call Cpl. T. Hemsley at (301) 609-5903. Tipsters wishing 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.  

0
comments


Attempted Murder - Officer Involved Shooting on Spring Oak Court

Attempted Murder / Officer-Involved Shooting: On April 26, at approximately 10:20 a.m., officers responded to the 10000 block of Spring Oak Court in La Plata for the report of a home invasion in progress. As officers were responding, 911 received additional calls advising the suspect – armed with a military-style long gun – had approached several homes in the neighborhood. He broke out a window to one house and then walked to the front yard of another home where he fired multiple rounds at the residence. When officers arrived, they heard numerous gunshots and observed the man firing at the house, which they learned was occupied by several people including children. One of the officers discharged his firearm, which struck and disabled the gunman. The officers approached the man, secured the weapon and initiated CPR until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to Charles Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. Detectives are working to establish a motive and his name will be released once his next of kin has been identified. The officer, a five-year veteran, will be placed on administrative leave in accordance with agency policy. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective G. Higgs at (301) 609-6497. Tipsters wishing 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.

0
comments


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces More Than $200 Million in COVID-19 Relief for School Districts

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today announced $207,834,058 for Maryland school districts through the U.S. Department of Education Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSER).

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created this fund to allow school districts to pay for the costs of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including planning and coordination of long-term school closures and purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students. Schools throughout Maryland have been closed since March 16th and will operate through online learning through at least May 15th.

 

“Providing a high-quality education to all Maryland students is one of the most pressing long-term challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the delegation. “These funds are urgently needed and must make their way to districts throughout Maryland as swiftly as possible. We have all spoken with local superintendents and school boards throughout our state and each of them have highlighted the significant need for this federal funding to provide educational technology and internet access to low-income students.”

 

Recent reporting indicates that tens of thousands of Maryland public school students – up to 25 percent in some school districts – have not signed on to the internet to do lessons or picked up a packet of papers to complete coursework since schools closed.

 

State education agencies (SEAs) must allocate 90 percent of these funds to local education agencies (LEAs) in proportion to the amount of FY 2019 funds the LEA received under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Up to 10 percent of the SEA’s award may be retained for the state agency to use to address needs related to the pandemic. The CARES Act allocated a nationwide total of $30.75 billion in emergency education funding through its Education Stabilization Fund. The delegation previously announced more than $170 million for Maryland’s institutions of higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund and more than $45 million for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.

 

The delegation has previously announced funding for Maryland through the CARES Act including $1.6 million to create temporary disaster relief jobs, $45 million for child care centers, $45 million for the Governor’s emergency education relief fund, $170 million for Maryland’s institutions of higher education, $107 million for airports, $742 million for hospitals and health care providers, $15.6 million for community health centers and $48 million to Maryland local government jurisdictions.

0
comments


SMECO Rate Reduction Approved Lower rates take effect in May

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) Board of Directors recently received approval for a decrease in the power supply rates that customer-members pay for their electric service. On February 28, SMECO submitted a filing to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to reduce its base energy charges by more than 10 percent for residential customers. The lower rates were approved by the PSC on April 22 and will go into effect on May 1, 2020. 
“This rate reduction couldn’t have come at a better time. We know that many of our customer-members have been affected by the stay-at-home orders in Maryland and their income has been significantly impacted,” said Sonja Cox, SMECO president and CEO. “At 6.21 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), our residential base rate for May will be the lowest it has been in almost 15 years.” 
The base rate for an average residential customer with 1,300 kWh of monthly usage will be $10.40 less this summer than last summer. “Lower rates have a positive effect on a household budget,” Cox said. “But for commercial accounts, schools, churches, and government buildings, whose facilities use a lot of energy, the savings can be considerable.” 
SMECO’s Standard Offer Service (SOS) rate is made up of the energy charge and the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA). SMECO’s base residential energy charges for summer will decrease by 11 percent, from 6.98 cents per kWh to 6.21 cents per kWh. Summer energy charges appear on bills rendered May through September. Base residential winter energy charges will be reduced from 7.54 cents per kWh to 6.74 cents per kWh, a 10.6 percent reduction.
On SMECO’s monthly electric bills, lower power supply costs have been reflected in the PCA, which has been a credit for the last several months. The PCA, which changes monthly, is a credit of 0.8839 cents per kWh for April. The combination of the base energy charge and the PCA credit effectively reduces the SOS rate for April from 7.54 cents per kWh to 6.6561 cents per kWh.   

0
comments


Cybersecurity Incident Under Investigation

On April 23, 2020, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) identified a cybersecurity incident involving their computer network. The Maryland Department of Information Technology is currently assessing the situation. 
 
"This challenge will not deter us from our main focus right now - protecting our community from the threat of COVID-19. We will continue to respond to the pandemic and provide essential public health services as we work with the state to address this network issue,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer.

0
comments


COVID-19 Governor's Executive Order Violation For Car Wash

(La Plata, Maryland) – On 4-24-2020 at approximately 1907 hrs, the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack received a citizen complaint by phone stating that the Sparkle Car Wash located at 3380 Leonardtown Road was still open for business contrary to Governor Hogan’s Executive Order.
Troopers have responded to the same business days prior for the same complaint and notified the business owner, Muhammad Usman Arsad of Alexandria VA, in person; that operating the car wash was a direct violation of Governor Hogan’s Executive Order and that he needed to close the car wash immediately.
Shortly after receiving the citizen complaint, troopers responded to the Sparkle Car Wash again and observed the car wash open for business and being patronized by citizens. Contact was made with Arsad by the responding troopers who again; told Arsad that he must close the car wash portion of his business. Subsequently, Arsad was charged criminally for willfully violating the Governor's Executive Order; a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum fine of $5,000.00 and up to 1 year in jail.
Under Governor Hogan’s Executive Order, all car washes are considered non-essential
businesses and must remain closed until the order to remain closed is rescinded. This Executive Order to close car washes includes automatic drive through, touchless, and manual self-service car washes.
Anyone violating this Executive Order is subject to criminal prosecution.

0
comments


Update: Officers Looking For Missing Person (Photo)

Ms. Morgan has been found. 
 
Alert: Missing Persons:Francine Mae Morgan, F-B-60 yoa last seen 04/20/20 in Lexington Park, MD
 
St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is seeking information regarding the location of missing person Francine Mae Morgan.  She was last seen in the Lexington Park area on 4/20/20.  If located please call 301-475-8008.
 

0
comments


Presidential Primary Election to be Conducted Primarily by Mail

Calvert County Government and the Calvert County Board of Elections announce details for voting in the 2020 presidential primary election, scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The election will be conducted primarily by mail, in accordance with a proclamation by Gov. Larry Hogan on April 10, 2020, in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
 
One in-person voting location will be available in Calvert County for those who are unable to vote by mail.
 
All active, eligible voters will be mailed a ballot to the address on record in early May. Voters do not need to request a ballot unless they need the ballot sent to a different address or if they prefer web delivery. All mailed ballots will include a reply envelope and prepaid postage.
 
Please check your voter registration to verify the address on file by visiting www.voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch. The last day to register to vote or change voter registration information, including political party affiliation, is May 27, 2020.
 
Voters who are able to vote by mail are strongly encouraged to do so to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. To vote in the June 2 presidential primary election:
 
·         Mailed voted ballots must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
 
·         Ballots may be placed in a drop box located at the Community Resources Building at 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick, beginning May 21 until June 2 at 8 p.m.
 
·         If you are unable to vote by mail, you may vote in person on Presidential Primary Election Day, June 2, 2020, at the vote center located at 30 Duke St., Lower Level, in Prince Frederick. In-person voting is extremely limited; voters who can vote by mail should do so in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
 
Due to the continuing state of emergency, the Calvert County Board of Elections office and Community Resource Building are currently closed to the general public. Staff are available by phone and email during normal operating hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For questions, please contact the Calvert County Board of Elections at 410-535-2214 or elections@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
For additional resources, guidance and updates, please visit Calvert County’s virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


St. Mary's County Government Event Updates

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Due to COVID-19 precautions and the existing stay-at-home order from Governor Larry Hogan, St. Mary’s County Government announces the following changes to previously scheduled events.
 
Identity Protection Day, scheduled for Saturday, May 2, at the Department of Aging & Human Services, has been canceled.
 
The ninth Annual Community Document Shredding Event, scheduled for Saturday, May 2, at the Garvey Senior Activity Center, has been canceled.
 
Men’s Health Day, originally planned for June 6, at the Garvey Senior Activity Center, has been postponed. The new event date is to be determined.
 
For more information regarding these events, please contact Sarah Miller, Community Programs & Outreach Manager, at 301-475-4200, ext. 71073, or at sarah.miller@stmarysmd.com.
 
For information on St. Mary’s County Government COVID-19 resources and updates, please visit www.stmarysmd.com.

0
comments


COVID-19 Testing to Begin at Prince Frederick VEIP Station

The Calvert County Department of Health and CalvertHealth Medical Center are partnering to offer drive-through testing for COVID-19 at the Prince Frederick Vehicle Emission Inspection Program (VEIP) station located at 1035 Prince Frederick Blvd. in Prince Frederick beginning Tuesday, April 28. Testing will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 
Free, appointment-only, drive-through testing for the coronavirus is currently underway at several Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration VEIP facilities around the state and will now be available at the Prince Frederick location here in Calvert County. This is a concerted effort by Governor Hogan to expand coronavirus testing throughout the state.
 
At this time, you cannot get a test without a health care provider. To qualify for testing at a VEIP site, individuals must:
 
·         Meet testing criteria as determined by a licensed healthcare provider.
 
·         Obtain an order for testing from a healthcare provider.
 
·         Register online and make an appointment at a test site.
 
Once individuals have a confirmed order from a healthcare provider, they will receive a unique code they can use to make an appointment, according to Dr. Larry Polsky, health officer for Calvert County Health Department.
 
Urgent Care Centers will also be able to generate an appointment. If individuals do not have a provider, CalvertHealth Medical Group is available for new patients. Individuals should call 410-414-2778 to be connected with a provider and get an appointment.
 
“We are happy to partner with the state of Maryland, our local Health Department and many of our area providers to expand testing efforts for our community,” said CalvertHealth President and CEO Dean Teague.
 
After patients get a referral from their doctor, their doctor will order a test online through CRISP, the state's health information exchange, at a VEIP site, according to the state. Once the doctor submits a patient's order, the patient will be sent a unique code and a link to a scheduling website to make an appointment.
 
If, however, individuals develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, they should seek medical attention immediately:
 
·         Trouble breathing
 
·         Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
 
·         New confusion or inability to arouse
 
·         Bluish lips or face
 
The above listing is not all inclusive. If at any time while awaiting an appointment for testing individuals feel they need immediate care, do not delay coming to the CalvertHealth Medical Center Emergency Department.
 
For more health information and guidance from the Calvert County Health Department visit www.CalvertHealth.org and the health department COVID-19 online information center at www.CalvertCountyCOVID19.com.
 
For more information about CalvertHealth Medical Center, visit www.CalvertHealthMedicine.org.
 
Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus for further updates, guidance and resources. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Calvert County Board of Education Approves Calendar Change

In an effort to maintain social distance and thereby slow the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Karen Salmon, the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, ordered all schools in Maryland to close from March 16-March 27. As a result, local school systems missed ten scheduled instructional days. The Maryland State Board of Education approved waiving five days of student attendance at its meeting on April 14. Local school systems are therefore required to make up five instructional days.
The Calvert County Board of Education previously approved the makeup of two days on April 8 and 9, which had been scheduled for spring recess.
Today the Board approved a calendar modification to make up the additional three days. One of those days will be made up on Election Day, June 2, since the primary will be conducted through mail-in ballots with limited in-person voting. Therefore, schools—in the event that they reopen after the current closure date of May 15—will see minimal use as polling sites. The last two student make-up days will occur on June 12 and 15, which makes June 16 the last day for 10-month staff. June 2, 12, and 15 will count as student attendance days whether students have returned to school buildings or continue to learn at home in a digital environment as a result of statewide school closures. 

0
comments


Maryland Delegation Calls on Trump Administration to Increase Federal Support for Firefighters

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.), today sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Gaynor urging him to waive all state and local cost-share requirements for federal firefighting assistance through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG). Local firefighters are on the front lines in every Maryland community, responding to COVID-related patients and keeping our cities and towns safe during this crisis.

 

“State and local governments now responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic downturn are faced with historically unprecedented revenue shortfalls,” wrote the lawmakers. “Budgets will undoubtedly come under stress and sacrifices may have to be made.  But we cannot afford to cut corners on emergency preparedness to save costs.”

 

Typically, state and local governments are required to contribute 25 percent of awards made through these programs, which provide funds directly to local fire departments. The SAFER grant program enhances the ability of fire departments around the country to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing. The AFG program provides grants to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel.

 

The delegation has strongly supported state and local requests for assistance in responding to COVID-19. On April 10th, they wrote to President Trump urging him to waive all cost-sharing requirements for assistance under the Emergency Declaration and related Major Disaster Declarations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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

 

The Honorable Peter T. Gaynor

Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street SW

Washington, DC 20024

 

Dear Administrator Gaynor:

 

              We write as Members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation to strongly urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to waive state and local cost-share requirements for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) programs.

 

              Ordinarily, the federal government is responsible for paying at most 75 percent of the costs of hiring firefighters for this program in the first and second years of this program.  The FEMA Administrator has the authority to waive state and local cost-share requirements by raising the federal portion to 100 percent in cases of demonstrated economic hardship.

 

              State and local governments now responding to the COVID-19 epidemic and consequent economic downturn are faced with historically unprecedented revenue shortfalls.  Budgets will undoubtedly come under stress and sacrifices may have to be made.  But we cannot afford to cut corners on emergency preparedness to save costs.

 

              Firefighters provide our communities with essential insurance against the damage of fire emergencies.  Fire is a risk to lives, property, and infrastructure that is real and deserving of our consideration even as we grasp with a viral outbreak.  Substantial portions of the labor involved come from the service of dutiful volunteers.

 

              In Maryland, many local volunteer fire departments expect drastically reduced collections and donations from their respective communities.  Several Maryland county executives have written to us and called for a waiver of the requirements for local matches to existing and future SAFER and AFG grants. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) also supports this request.

 

You action would provide significant relief to fire departments in both urban and rural jurisdictions.  In a public health and now economic crisis unlike any other, Maryland desperately needs federal funding that can help alleviate budget shortfalls while also ensuring that critical services such as fire protection and emergency response do not suffer are not put in jeopardy.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  We look forward to your response.

0
comments


Feeding Programs Offered Through Community Partners

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools will provide a drive-up lunch service Monday-Friday, from April 27 – May 15, 2020, at the locations listed below from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily.

Meals will be offered to all children 18 years and younger free of charge. Parents and children can drive up to these locations and receive meals that they can take home during current school closures.

Leonardtown Elementary School

22885 Duke Street

Leonardtown, MD 20650

 

Greenview Knolls Elementary School

45711 Military Lane

Great Mills, MD 20634

 

            Margaret Brent Middle School

29675 Point Lookout Road

Mechanicsville, MD 20659

 

Lexington Park Elementary School

46763 Shangri-La Drive

Lexington Park, MD 20653


For questions regarding the lunch service program, please email foodservice@smcps.org.

 

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, 20850 Langley Road, Lexington Park is distributing take-and-go meals between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday. One meal per person.


The soup kitchen also has bagged lunch distribution sites on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a Pop-Up Pantry on Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot at the following locations:

 

Ridge - Dollar General, 13270 Point Lookout Rd.

Piney Point- Chief's Restaurant, 44584 Tall Timbers Rd.

Charlotte Hall - April's Pools, on the corner of Rt. 5 and Rt. 6

Bushwood – Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 23080 Maddox Rd.


For more information on the St. Mary’s Caring program, call 301-863-5700.


The Department of Social Services has launched a local Food Hotline for residents needing assistance with food supply and can be accessed by calling 240-895-7000.

 

For additional community resources, please visit the St. Mary’s County Government Community Resource map.

0
comments


Calvert County Government to Reopen; Buildings Remain Closed to Public

Calvert County Government offices will reopen Monday, April 27 at 8:30 a.m.; however, buildings will remain closed to the public until further notice, as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. The county remains under a local state of emergency.
 
“The closure period has given us time to focus on responding to this crisis while reducing the health risk to county staff and their families, so we can safely and effectively provide services to citizens – but now is not the time to become complacent,” said Board of County Commissioners President Kelly McConkey. “Staff have worked diligently over the past weeks to adjust protocols and prepare to safely reopen county government offices to employees, in accordance with health and distancing guidelines. We are proud of their commitment during this unprecedented challenge. Let us all stay the course and look out for one another, and we will get through this.”
 
In accordance with statewide mandate, all senior centers and community centers remain closed. Some county parks remain open to Calvert County residents for passive activities only, such as walking, biking, running and hiking; limited park hours and other restrictions on park use and capacity are still in effect. Additionally, public transportation will operate with reduced service.
 
A complete list of services is located on Calvert County’s virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Department of Economic Development and Visit St. Mary's Launch Restaurant BOOST Gift Card Program

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development, in partnership Visit St. Mary’s MD, have launched a program to support local restaurants in St. Mary’s County facing economic hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Restaurant BOOST Gift Card Program, a gift card investment and value-added program, will support locally owned, locally operated restaurants throughout the County.  This program is designed to bring much needed revenue directly to our restaurant partners.

The program is simple - customers purchase a $25 gift card that will be valued at $35 for participating restaurants in St. Mary’s County.   This is a great value for current or new customers, provides immediate cash to the restaurant, keeps local restaurants on the minds of our citizens, and provides an easy way for our local residents to give back to the small local business community. 

"The service industry is at the heart of who we are,” stated Jason Aul, Executive Director for Visit St. Mary’s MD. “Our hope is to provide much needed support to the restaurants that make St. Mary’s County an amazing and unique place to visit and to live.”

 
The first round of funding was generated through the county’s Department of Economic Development, with additional funding currently being secured by Visit St. Mary’s MD and the community at large. “The goal is to give local restaurants a much-needed boost during this challenging time,” says Chris Kaselemis, Director of the county’s Department of Economic Development. “Our restaurants – and our broader hospitality industry – support thousands of jobs throughout the county. We are excited to provide additional resources to not only prop up restaurants, but to give our residents an opportunity to support them as well.”
 
Interested restaurants are encouraged to apply through our online form. Customers can purchase gift cards directly through each restaurant. An updated list of all participating restaurants can be found at www.BoostStMarys.com.
 
Visit St. Mary’s MD and St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development will run this program for as long as there is funding to support it.
 
There is also a GoFundMe campaign for the program to encourage broader community support. Every dollar given through the GoFundMe campaign will go to support the program and the broader community.
 
Restaurants currently planning on participating in the program include:
 
 
Ruddy Duck Seafood and Alehouse
Linda’s Café
Social
Olde Town Pub
Stoney’s at Clarkes Landing
El Pollon Chicken
WJ Dent & Sons / Chief’s Bar
Morris Point
The Cow and the Fish
The Front Porch
Bollywood Masala
Salsas Mexican Café
Kevin’s Corner Kafe
And more to come!
 
For any questions, please contact Jason Aul, Executive Director of Visit St. Mary’s MD, at Jason@VisitStMarysMD.com.

0
comments


State Board of Elections Provides Guidance for June Primary Voting Procedures

LEONARDTOWN, MD - A 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be held Tuesday, June 2, 2020. The Maryland State Board of Elections is committed to educating voters on the changes made to election procedures due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. These changes are made to ensure voters can exercise their fundamental right to vote while also safeguarding the public’s health during this pandemic.
 
This election will be conducted by mail, with at least one in-person voting location in every county and Baltimore City available for those who are unable to vote by mail.
 
Here are commonly asked questions about this election and guidance for residents on how to vote safely and conveniently. For further questions, please visit www.elections.maryland.gov or contact the State Board at 1-800-222-8683.
 
What is the date for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election? Tuesday, June 2, 2020
 
What is the safest way to vote?
 
To reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail. The State Board of Elections will mail ballots to all eligible voters. No postage is needed to return your ballot - you will get a postage paid return envelope with your ballot.
 
Do voters need to request a ballot?
 
No. The State Board of Elections will mail ballots to all eligible active voters.
 
When will ballots be mailed?
 
Ballots will be mailed in early to mid-May.
 
If a voter has requested a ballot, does the voter need to request another ballot? No. All eligible voters will receive a ballot for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election.
 
What is the deadline by which voters must mail in their voted ballots? Voted ballots must be postmarked on or before June 2, 2020.
 
What if a voter can’t vote by mail?
If a voter cannot vote by mail, there will be at least one voting location in each county and Baltimore City. The voting locations will be open on June 2 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The State Board will announce the precise locations soon, and voters unable to vote by mail are encouraged to check www.elections.maryland.gov for those locations.
 
If a voter has already requested an absentee ballot, does the voter need to do anything?
 
No. The voter will receive a ballot in early to mid-May.
 
How do voters know if they are registered to vote?
 
If you aren't sure if you are registered, or at what address, check your voter registration status by visiting www.elections.maryland.gov and clicking “Look up your Voter Info.” If you do not have internet access, call 1-800-222-8683 and ask a State Board of Elections representative to check your registration.
 
What kind of identification is required to cast a ballot by mail?
 
If you are a registered voter and voted before, no identification is required to receive or submit a ballot by mail. A very small number of newly registered voters may need to provide ID with their voted ballots. If you have to provide ID, there will be instructions with your ballot.
 
Can voters register to vote online?
 
It is possible to register to vote in Maryland elections online. Visit www.elections.maryland.gov and click “Register to Vote” to learn more. The deadline to register to vote is Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
 
Is identification required to register to vote?
 
No, but you must provide some information so election officials can verify your identity.
 
If you use the State Board’s online system to register, you must enter your Maryland driver's license number or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) issued state ID number, the date MVA issued your license or ID card, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you reside outside of the United States or are a member of the military or spouse or dependent of a member of the military, you must enter the last 4 digits of your US Social Security number. If you provide a license or State ID number, your signature on file with the MVA will become your official voter registration signature. If you provide a Social Security number, it will be used as your official voter registration signature.
 
If you use the paper application to register, you must also provide your Maryland driver's license number or MVA-issued state ID number if you have one. If you don’t have one, you must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have either number, check box 6c. If you check box 6c, you might be required to show ID before voting for the first time.
 
How will voters know that their ballots will be counted?
 
You can check that your ballot was counted by visiting www.elections.maryland.gov and clicking “Look up your Voter Info.” If you do not have internet access, call 1-800-222-8683 and ask a State Board of Elections representative to check the status of your voted ballot. The information will be posted about 10 days after the election.
 
How do voters update their address?
 
Give the local board of elections where you currently live your new address information. You can use the voter registration application to make the change, or you can submit in writing your new address. Voters must update their address with their local board of elections. For instructions on updating your address, please visit the State Board of Elections website at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/address.html. The deadline to update your information is Wednesday, May 27.
 
St. Mary’s County residents can get more information at the Board of Elections website www.stmarysmd.com/supervisorofelections or call 301-475-4200, ext. 71625.

0
comments


Charles County Partners to Protect the Homeless During COVID-19

Charles County has been working with several local organizations and agencies to protect the homeless community and other vulnerable populations throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Charles County Department of Emergency Services has partnered with the Health Department, Department of Social Services, Sheriff’s Office, and Lifestyles of Maryland on a plan for care that does not involve gathering into a group or crowd and how best to prevent community spread within vulnerable populations.

 

“We know that our homeless population is especially at risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and faces unique challenges to ensuring quarantine and isolation if infection occurs,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “That’s why the county has taken proactive measures to ensure that we are providing direct outreach and assistance to keep them healthy and house them when necessary.”

 

An agreement is underway to partner with Lifestyles of Maryland to provide sanitation stations that will be delivered to homeless encampments. The stations will provide portable toilets and handwashing sinks to support hygiene and prevent community spread of COVID-19. A plan has also been put in place to provide shelter to those who become ill and test positive for COVID-19, so they can be safely quarantined until they recover.

 

Commissioner President Collins stated that “These strategies are in place to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of homeless individuals who are at higher risk due to their circumstances during this extraordinary time.”

0
comments


Maryland Congressional Delegation Discusses Skyrocketing Demand for Unemployment Assistance with State Labor Secretary

WASHINGTON – Several members of the Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today discussed with Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany P. Robinson the unprecedented challenges to the state’s unemployment insurance program. The conversation followed up on a letter the delegation sent last week to Secretary Robinson offering support and assistance in ensuring that Marylanders in need are able to receive unemployment insurance in a timely manner.

 

“Our shared efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 have placed a major strain on our economy, and the steep rise in the number of Marylanders requesting unemployment assistance underscores this stark reality,” said Senator Cardin. “Team Maryland is dedicated to finding ways to help all impacted Marylanders, and today’s conversation with Secretary Robinson was a chance to learn more about the challenges, both short-and long-term, that we face as a result of this crisis.”

 

“As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the livelihoods of thousands, ensuring Marylanders can access badly needed unemployment assistance must be a top priority. Due to the unprecedented needs and high demand, many of our constituents continue to have trouble signing up and receiving these funds. I appreciate Secretary Robinson speaking with us today on how we can work together to address the challenges outlined in our delegation letter and make sure Marylanders are able to receive the help they need at this critical time,” said Senator Van Hollen.

 

“Families around the state are experiencing severe financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and Congress has responded by expanding unemployment assistance and providing an additional $600 per week for those who are unemployed in the CARES Act,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Secretary Robinson and her team are working to respond to thousands of individuals calling in each day, and I appreciate their work to help families access unemployment assistance during this unprecedented crisis. However, I share the frustration of many of my constituents who are experiencing long wait times in accessing help. We must continue to work together to ensure that those seeking assistance can access it in a timely manner, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in the federal Delegation to address this challenge and ensure our state has the resources it needs to help families struggling during this unprecedented time.”

 

“Responding to this historic pandemic is going to take coordination on the federal, state and local levels and I want to thank Maryland’s labor leadership for their outreach and communication to the Congressional delegation,” said Congressman Ruppersberger. “We are hearing from many worried and frustrated constituents who are now out-of-work and need help accessing benefits as soon as possible. We heard today that Maryland’s employees are working overtime to process these claims and we stand ready to assist with this unprecedented demand any way we can.” 

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Marylanders are out of work and experiencing serious financial challenges,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Congress moved quickly to strengthen Unemployment Insurance and help hardworking families make ends meet. However, the unprecedented demand for these benefits has caused significant delays in processing claims. I appreciate the work of Secretary Robinson and her team at the Maryland Department of Labor to address the extraordinary volume of claims and provide assistance, but more must be done in order to help Marylanders weather this crisis. The Maryland Congressional Delegation will continue to work tirelessly with our partners across the state to ensure that Maryland families can access these critical Unemployment Insurance benefits.”

 

“It is encouraging to hear that the many self-employed Marylanders who qualify for unemployment insurance under the CARES Act will now be able to more easily access the system and get the help they need,” said Representative Harris.

 

“Maryland’s unemployment insurance program is serving as a lifeline for thousands of families across our state facing economic hardship due to this public health crisis. We must ensure that this critical program works to get help to all those in need across our state – especially the additional $600 Congress has provided every week to every eligible unemployed worker,” said Congressman Brown. “I’ve heard directly from constituents their frustrations with system malfunctions or onerous wait times. I’m committed to working with Secretary Robinson and her team at the Maryland Department of Labor to resolve these issues to provide relief for Marylanders during these difficult times.” 

 

“I thank Secretary Robinson and her team for their strong efforts to help Marylanders seeking unemployment benefits. Tens of thousands of our people are newly out of work, experiencing a loss of business, or forced to accept reduced work hours during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Representative Raskin. “Like my colleagues, I have heard from countless frustrated constituents who have relayed difficulties in accessing these benefits, including overwhelmed phone lines, lack of timely response, and flaws in the initial online application portal.  I heard an excellent plan today for addressing these problems and moving to a one-stop online portal to simplify and streamline the process. I remain committed to doing everything I can to ensure our constituents can apply for and receive the unemployment benefits they desperately need during this crisis.”

“I’ve heard directly from hundreds of constituents that we need to do a better job at getting Marylanders the support they need to stay afloat during these tough times,” said Congressman Trone. “Addressing the significant increase in unemployment claims is a monumental task, and I’m appreciative of the work of the Maryland Department of Labor to get relief to Maryland workers and families. But we must continue to push to decrease wait times and get money straight to the pockets of Marylanders who need it most as soon as possible.”

 

0
comments


Information Sought in Assault and Vandalism

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information from the community in an assault and vandalism investigation. On Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 12:50 pm, the victim was assaulted by three black males at the air pump at the Wawa convenience store in Lexington Park. The victim’s vehicle was also damaged during the incident. The suspects were seen traveling in a black or dark blue Crown Victoria car with silver rims.
 
Anyone with information about the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Courtney Edwards at 301-475-4200, ext. 78003 or email courtney.edwards@stmarysmd.com. Case # 20911-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Calvert County Extends Expiration Date for Plans and Permits Due to State of Emergency

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces the expiration of permits, site plans, subdivisions, road plans and storm water management plans has been extended until 30 days after the state of emergency is terminated and the catastrophic health emergency is rescinded. On March 12, 2020, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order granting government organizations in Maryland the authority to make the extension. 
 
Calvert County government continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19, including resources, guidance and closures, through a virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. Additionally, the Calvert County Health Department has launched www.CalvertCountyCOVID19.com to help residents keep up with important health information and guidance from reliable sources.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and on Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Van Hollen Statement on Bipartisan Interim COVID-19 Relief Package

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement in response to the bipartisan agreement reached on the interim COVID-19 relief package:

 

“As the coronavirus wreaks havoc on public health and our economy, it’s crucial that we act quickly to address challenges as they arise. While this interim measure falls short on many fronts, it is a major improvement over the shortsighted proposal initially offered by Leader Mitch McConnell. It not only replenishes both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and grant programs, but also makes important changes to help main street and minority-owned businesses better access the funds. Additionally, to reopen our economy, we need robust, reliable testing. This bill begins to address the inexcusable lack of COVID-19 testing by holding the Administration’s feet to the fire to increase our country’s testing capacity.

 

“But the Administration resisted other changes to help small businesses. This included our proposal to allow businesses greater flexibility in the use of relief funds and eliminate barriers the Administration unilaterally imposed which have prevented many from receiving practical relief. They also rebuked our efforts to include funds for our state and local governments – shortchanging Maryland’s communities and emergency responders. And – despite an increase in COVID-19 cases in Washington, DC – Republicans still refuse to provide the people in our nation’s capital with appropriate emergency funds, which directly impacts our regional response to this crisis. The fight on these fronts is not over.

 

“Our healthcare providers, small businesses, states, and local communities will need more resources – and soon. Clearly our work here is not done.”

0
comments


NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Low-Level Helicopter Testing at Webster Outlying Field April 23, 2020

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the Webster Outlying Field are advised that low-altitude helicopter testing events are scheduled to take place April 23, 2020 from 11 a.m.– 3 p.m.
 
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.

0
comments


Commissioners Approve Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance to Fund COVID-19 Expenditures

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Following a Public Hearing, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County approved a supplemental Appropriation Ordinance on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
 
The $3M from the FY19 unassigned fund balance will be used toward addressing COVID-19 related expenditures. Funds from the Commissioner's Emergency Reserve will be restored, and the remaining balance directed to the COVID- 19 project.
 
The Public Hearing may be viewed on-demand on the St. Mary’s County Government YouTube channel.
 
For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, ext. 1342.

0
comments


Restricted Access to Calvert County Courthouse Extended Through June 5

The rapidly evolving health emergency regarding the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires the Maryland court system to continually review and evaluate contingency planning efforts. The Calvert County Courthouse located at 175 Main St. in Prince Frederick will remain under restricted access through June 5, 2020.

By way of the Administrative Order dated April 14, 2020, all courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, and the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Courts and the clerks’ offices of the District Court continue to be restricted to emergency operations and closed with limited exceptions, as outlined below, through June 5, pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.

The following mandatory matters shall continue to be scheduled and heard in the Circuit Court, in keeping with the urgency of those matters and consistent with statutory requirements, either in person or remotely pursuant to the Administrative Order on Remote Electronic Participation in Judicial Proceedings, June 18, 2018, with the court to notify all participants necessary to the proceeding:

·         bail reviews/bench warrants

·         arraignments for detained defendants

·         juvenile detention hearings

·         juvenile shelter care hearings

·         peace order petitions (juvenile respondents)

·         emergency evaluation petitions

·         quarantine and isolation petitions

·         extradition cases

·         body attachments

·         extreme risk protective order appeals  

For all other emergency matters including those listed below, the administrative judge or his or her designee will review the petition, determine whether it must be heard in person, or can be heard with remote electronic participation, or can be scheduled after the emergency period has ended, or can be resolved without a hearing:

·         CINA matters

·         emergency delinquency hearings

·         emergency Habeas Corpus petitions  

·         emergency issues in guardianship matters

·         domestic violence protective orders

·         appeals from peace orders

·         family law emergencies

·         temporary restraining orders

·         criminal competency matters

·         motions regarding:

o   extreme risk protective orders

o   domestic violence protective orders

o   peace orders

·         contempt hearings related to peace or protective orders

·         matters involving locally incarcerated defendants


 

All other matters, including jury trials scheduled to be heard beginning March 16, 2020, through the end of the COVID-19 emergency are hereby postponed, unless otherwise scheduled for telephone and/or video hearings when practicable.

Essential court personnel will be available to the public by telephone between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Maryland Electronic Court (MDEC) continues to be available for electronic filing and is required to be used for all MDEC counties. For pleadings not required to be filed electronically, filings will be received by mail and may be received via drop box installed in the rear parking lot of the courthouse.

Any questions or concerns relative to cases or proceedings should be directed to:

·         Circuit Court: 410-535-1600

·         District Court: 443-550-6700

Calvert County Government continues to take precautionary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and limit the number of people infected. Residents, employees and media are encouraged to monitor Calvert County’s virtual resource center for updates and information resources: www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.

Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


April 21st Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, April 21, the Board of Commissioners received an update from the Maryland Department of Health on how county nursing homes are being impacted by COVID-19. Dr. Howard Haft, executive director at Maryland Primary Care Program of the Maryland Department of Health, shared that 120 nursing home residents in Charles County have tested positive for COVID-19 and the state is currently working to create a new statewide reporting system across all nursing home facilities with standardized data.

 

Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an overview of the Emergency Operation Center’s work, including continued daily coordination with local and state affiliated agencies. She also reported 52 individuals who are county first responders, career and volunteer fire and EMS, and law enforcement who are in quarantine and 12 in isolation. The department has received 201 homemade masks from residents to be used by public service personnel in the county.

 

Budget Work Session

 

The Board of County Commissioners held a budget work session to review the fiscal 2021 General Fund, CARES Act Analysis, and Governmental Capital Improvement Program. County Commissioners also provided their fiscal 2021 budget proposals on the Governmental Capital Improvement Program. The Fiscal 2021 Budget Public Hearing will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 5 at 6 p.m. Residents can view the public hearings on Charles County Government Television (CCGTV) which airs on Comcast Channel 95 and Verizon Channel 10 or at [www.CharlesCountyMD.gov]www.CharlesCountyMD.gov. Residents without internet access may call 301-645-0570 to listen to the meeting.

 

Briefings

Department of Community Services and Department of Planning and Growth Management staff briefed the Commissioners on the Homeless Shelter Work Group, which works to identify the most appropriate strategy for delivering homeless shelter services, including consideration of a permanent shelter location.
Department of Public Works staff provided an update on Billingsley Road safety improvements.
Department of Public Works and Scott Law Group provided a briefing on a zoning request for the property of Mallard’s Pond to allow a higher density on the property and approval of the zoning classification placed upon the property by the Town of La Plata. Commissioners deferred the request and asked that staff contact the Charles County Public Schools for additional information before voting on the request.
Department of Public Works provided a briefing on a request to prohibit heavy commercial vehicle parking on streets in the Kingsview neighborhood. Commissioners tabled the request.
Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following items:

A budget amendment increase of $115,000 to increase available funds in the Business Development Load Fund to address current needs of businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
A budget amendment increase of $40,600 to cover EnerGov permitting credit card fees and a contingency transfer of $31,600 to cover EnerGov permitting credit card fees within the Inspection Fund.
A budget transfer request of $1.4 million to fund COVID-19 Hazard Pay for career first responders. 
The revised fiscal 2021 budget calendar.
Revisions to the State and Local Legislative Package Process/Guidelines Standard Operation Procedure.
The Commissioner Committee Assignment List.
A letter of support for the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary War Route, an organization supported locally by the Maryland Veterans Museum, for their Maryland Humanities Grant program application. 
Proclamations

Commissioners approved:

A proclamation declaring April 19-25 as National Volunteer Week in Charles County and recognized the service and commitment of the county’s first responders and volunteer fire and emergency services volunteers.
Next Commissioners Session: April 28, 2020

 

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

0
comments


Charles County Constant Yield Tax Rate Public Hearing Scheduled for April 29

Due to the ongoing state of emergency, the Board of County Commissioners will be holding the Constant Yield Tax Rate public hearing for fiscal 2021 virtually on Wednesday, April 29 at 6 p.m.

 

Comments may be submitted starting Wednesday, April 29 at 8 a.m. through Friday, May 1 at 5 p.m.  via:

E-Comment: www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/ConstantYield.
Phone: Call 301-645-0652 to leave a message.
Mail: Send to Commissioners of Charles County, 200 Baltimore Street, Maryland, 20646 (must be received by Tuesday, May 5).
Residents can view the public hearings on Charles County Government Television (CCGTV) which airs on Comcast Channel 95 and Verizon Channel 10 or at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov. Residents without internet access may call 301-645-0500 to listen to the meeting.

 

Information on the constant yield tax rate will be available on Board Docs by Thursday, April 24 at https://go.boarddocs.com/md/chrlsco/Board.nsf/Public.

 

For more information, call the Charles County Commissioners Office at 301-645-0570. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

0
comments


Detectives Investigate Homicide on Aldermans Place In Waldorf

Homicide on Aldermans Place: On April 20 at 2:10 p.m., officers responded to the 2000 block of Aldermans Place in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they located the victim, Trevon Marquise Smiley, 26, of Waldorf, who had been shot multiple times. As he was being transported to a hospital, Smiley succumbed to his injuries. A preliminary investigation revealed Smiley was standing outside an apartment building when he was shot. The person who shot him has not yet been identified. Detectives are pursuing leads and working to establish a motive. Additional details are not available at this time; however, the shooting does not appear to be random. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Riffle at (301) 609-6501. Tipsters wishing 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. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. The investigation is ongoing.

0
comments


Medical Tents Positioned at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital for COVID-19 Preparedness

LEONARDTOWN, MD (April 20, 2020) – Although MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital has been treating patients who have tested positive with COVID-19, hospital capacity and supplies—including personal protective equipment, ventilators and medications—continue to be in good supply, according to hospital administration.
 
“We continue to work with the St. Mary’s County Health Department and Department of Emergency Services to plan for a possible surge of COVID-19 positive patients at our hospital,” said Stephen Michaels, MD, chief operating and chief medical officer of MedStar St. Mary’s. “Our leadership meets on a daily basis to discuss the status of the hospital in addition to ways we can prepare for an influx of patients.”
 
As part of preparations for a potential surge in demand on hospital resources, medical tents are being erected on the grounds of the hospital to be used for patient care, if needed. The structures will be completely outfitted with the features needed to provide a safe environment in which staff can deliver care for patients. 
 
“Because of the social distancing and actions taken by our residents and businesses in the past several weeks, we now anticipate less of a surge than originally expected in our county,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer, “We hope the medical tents will not be needed; however, given the difficulty predicting the impact of this virus, we want to be fully prepared to care for our residents should the need arise.”
 
“Just as other hospitals throughout the country have continued to prepare for the spread of the virus, we, too, must be ready to face the potential surge head on using all of the tools and knowledge available to us. MedStar Health has done an outstanding job of deploying resources and communicating with all of its entities to ensure that we are ready,” said Michaels. “We wanted the public to know that these temporary structures are here if needed, but—based on the current trends—we are optimistic they will likely not be put into use.”
 
Residents should continue to focus on staying home. If you need to go out for essential items or work, wear a face covering, practice social distancing, and continue infection prevention measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 
 
For local COVID-19 data, updates and information, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4911 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m  - 5:00 p.m.

0
comments


Statement From State's Attorney Tony Covington Regarding Governor's Executive Order Of April 18th, 2020

Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-04-18-01 on Saturday, April 18, 2020 which, in the light of COVID-19, details some circumstances and factors that Division of Correction (DOC) prisoners may be released early from confinement.  While the Order applies to all inmates in the custody of the DOC, it does not apply to those inmates in the custody of local detention centers like the Charles County Detention Center.  Nevertheless, I welcome this executive order and view the spirit contained within it as guidance for the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in Charles County. 
 
As the State’s Attorney, I am intent that my office does everything it can to help prevent the spread and impact of COVID-19. While doing so, the public must also be protected from criminal behavior in our streets. This intersection of public safety based on a pandemic, on one hand, and public safety based on crime, on the other hand, makes decision-making more difficult than ever before. The Charles County community, however, should be confident that, based on my observations, all of the decision-makers in the Charles County CJS are making fully informed and well-considered decisions that they sincerely believe are in the best interest of everyone – including detained individuals – in our community.
 
From the beginning of this crisis, the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) has worked with the other branches of the CJS to reduce the jail’s population. Even though at the start of the crisis the detention center was occupied at less than 30%, the CJS still sought to reduce the population as low as possible while at the same time maintaining public safety. Many actions have been taken. For instance, at the Sheriff’s request, the Courts and the SAO cooperated to, almost immediately, put an end to work release and weekend sentences at the jail, thereby reducing the number of people coming in and out of the detention center daily.  
 
The SAO has been reviewing the situation of every detainee in the detention center, whether or not a detainee or counsel has made a request for release, to determine whether their release would be appropriate and, if so, under what circumstances would they be released.  As a result, many detainees have already been granted some type of release either by way of furlough, a reconsideration/modification of sentence, home detention, case dismissal, etc.
 
Also, well before the Governor’s latest order on this subject, the SAO has reviewed the situation of a number of inmates under the jurisdiction of DOC and housed someplace other than our local detention center.  At the time of this press release, at least one of those individuals has been released.
 
Because of the proactive and robust efforts by the Charles County CJS to reduce our jail population, the number of cases that fall under the umbrella of the Governor’s new order may be small.  That notwithstanding, the SAO, with the Governor’s order in mind, will re-look at the situation of every detainee/inmate in the local jail and make our recommendations to the Court if and when appropriate.
 
I ask everyone to follow the advice of public health experts and comply with all executive orders concerning COVID-19.  It truly can be a matter of life or death.

0
comments


Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

April 20, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2:05 pm, the suspect walked out of the Lexington Park Foot Locker store with a pair of shoes without paying for them. The suspect is described as a white female, about 5’ 5” tall, approximately 170 lbs with several face piercings, wearing a black hooded coat with fur around the hood and black leggings. She was last seen getting into a newer model silver Toyota Camry driven by another person.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the person or this incident is asked to call DFC Shawn Shelko at 301-475-4200, ext. 78147 or email shawn.shelko@stmarysmd.com. Case # 12671-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Arrests Made in Armed Robbery

On April 14, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 21800 block of FDR Boulevard in Lexington Park, for the reported robbery. Investigation determined the two victims were seated in a vehicle when two suspects, known to the victims, entered the backseat of the vehicle. Shortly after entering the vehicle, one suspect displayed a handgun and demanded money from the victims. The suspects obtained money and stole personal property from the victims before fleeing the area on foot.
 
One suspect, a male age 16 of Leonardtown, was located hours after the incident and was arrested. Gavon Phillip Jones, age 18 of Lexington Park, was located on April 16, 2020, and arrested. Both suspects were transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center and charged with the following:
 
Armed Robbery
 
Robbery
 
Assault First Degree
 
Assault Second Degree
 
Theft
 
Handgun Use/Crime of Violence
 
The juvenile suspect in this incident was charged as an adult and has been released from the detention center on pretrial supervision. Due to a recent change in Maryland law the name and photograph of the juvenile will not be released until the court makes a finding at the waiver hearing to determine the jurisdiction of this case. Jones remains incarcerated at the detention center on a no bond status.
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Corporal Skyler LeFave at (301) 475-4200 extension 71983 or by email at Skyler.LeFave@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

0
comments


Charles County Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund for Businesses

Charles County-based businesses that have suffered economic setbacks due to the current COVID-19 crisis have a new source of financial assistance.  Charles County has launched its COVID-19 Business Relief Fund to provide microloans to local businesses to help with expenses during this time.  The fund was created through a $200,000 allocation by the Board of County Commissioners. The county’s Economic Development Department will administer the loan program.

 

"It's important to get this funding to the business community quickly to help our businesses in any and every way possible," said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq.  "Protecting the health of our residents is our top priority, but we cannot forget that this is an economic crisis, too."

 

The COVID-19 Business Relief Fund was created to provide financial assistance to Charles County small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  Proceeds can be used to provide capital for operating expenses, payroll, suppliers, rent, and other business-critical cash operating costs. 

 

“Getting this program up and running has been a team effort, with involvement from a number of departments,” said Chief of Business Development Lucretia Freeman-Buster, who will oversee the loan program.  “Our County Government fiscal and IT teams worked with us to streamline the process and deploy technology resources so that businesses can download applications, fill them out, and submit their loan packages online.  We will also be able to do online closings once loans are approved.”

 

Businesses can apply for up to $5,000 from the COVID-19 Business Relief Fund.  Payments—principal and interest—will be deferred for the first year, after which borrowers will have two payback options.  They can pay back half the loan in six months and have the remainder forgiven, or they can opt to take up to five years to pay back the loan in full.  The Board of Charles County Commissioners voted to have the repaid funds go to the Charles County Charitable Trust when borrowers use the first option.

 

The Board of Commissioners also approved alterations to the Economic Development Department existing revolving loan funds to provide additional financial assistance to Charles County businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.  The existing programs are the Business Development Loan Fund, which is targeted to minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned businesses and the Target Industry Incentive Loan Fund, which is for any business in the county’s target industries, including professional services, healthcare, federal contracting, innovative entrepreneurial activity, technology, research and development, and value added agri-business.  Under those programs, businesses may apply for loans up to $10,000 with principal deferred and interest only payments for the first eight months.  Applicants must fit the loan criteria and be able to demonstrate economic hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Loan information and criteria are available online at www.MeetCharlesCounty.com/charles-county-covid-19-business-loans/.  Applicants can request a loan application and instructions for submitting loan application packages.

0
comments


Detectives Apprehend Shooting Suspect

On April 17, 2020 at approximately 2:21 p.m., deputies from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 300 block of Serenity Court in Prince Frederick, MD for report of shots fired. Deputies arriving on scene observed a black Kia SUV leaving the area with several bullet holes in the vehicle’s window. 
 
Investigation revealed a group of individuals were at a nearby residence in the area when the shooting occurred, one of which was observed with a handgun.
 
The suspect was identified as Desmond “DEZ” Nicholas Fitzgerald (pictured attached).  Detectives from the Calvert County Criminal Investigations Bureau apprehended the suspect on April 18, 2020 in St. Mary’s County, MD. Fitzgerald is facing charges for Attempted First Degree Murder.
 
Anyone with any additional information about this incident is asked to call Detective Jernigan at (410) 535-1600 ext. 2772, or email at sarah.jernigan@calvertcountymd.gov. Citizens may remain anonymous and use the ‘Submit a Tip’ feature on our new mobile app. To download visit: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a39520678  
 
The shooting incident remains under investigation.

0
comments


Update: Officers Looking For Missing Teen (Photo)

Miss Parker has been located:

 

St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is looking for missing person D'Jeanae M. Parker. 15y/o black female of Leonardtown. Please contact the Sheriff's Office (301-475-8008) with any information.

0
comments


Charles County Department of Health Continues COVID-19 Investigation and Response in Area Nursing Homes

The Charles County Department of Health has identified 101 cases of COVID-19 in county nursing homes and assisted living facilities, including those at Sagepoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

 

The Charles County Department of Health continues to work closely with the Maryland Department of Health to support COVID-19 preparedness and response capacity in all facilities. To maintain patient confidentiality, no additional details will be provided.

 

For additional information on COVID-19, visit the Charles County Department of Health’s website at http://www.charlescountyhealth.org or call the county health department’s COVID-19 call center at 301-609-6717or 301-609-6777. The call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

0
comments


2020 Presidential Primary Election Information

A 2020 Presidential Primary Election will be held Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020. The Maryland State
Board of Elections is committed to educating voters on the changes made to election procedures
due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. These changes are made to ensure voters can exercise
their fundamental right to vote while also safeguarding the public’s health during this pandemic.
This election will be conducted by mail, with at least one in-person voting location in every
county and Baltimore City available for those who are unable to vote by mail.
Here are commonly asked questions about this election and guidance for residents on how to
vote safely and conveniently. For further questions, please visit www.elections.maryland.gov or
contact the State Board at 1-800-222-8683.
1. What is the date for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election?
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
2. What is the safest way to vote?
To reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, voters are strongly encouraged to
vote by mail. The State Board of Elections will mail ballots to all eligible voters. No postage
is needed to return your ballot - you will get a postage paid return envelope with your
ballot.
3. Do voters need to request a ballot?
No. The State Board of Elections will mail ballots to all eligible active voters.
4. When will ballots be mailed?
Ballots will be mailed in early to mid May.
5. If a voter has requested a ballot, does the voter need to request another ballot?
No. All eligible voters will receive a ballot for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election.
6. What is the deadline by which voters must mail in their voted ballots?
Voted ballots must be postmarked on or before June 2, 2020.
7. What if a voter can’t vote by mail?
If a voter cannot vote by mail, there will be at least one voting location in each county and
Baltimore City. The voting locations will be open on June 2nd from 7 am to 8 pm. The State
Board will announce the precise locations soon, and voters unable to vote by mail are
encouraged to check www.elections.maryland.gov for those locations.
8. If a voter has already requested an absentee ballot, does the voter need to do anything?
No. The voter will receive a ballot in early to mid May.
9. How do voters know if they are registered to vote?
If you aren't sure if you are registered, or at what address, check your voter registration
status by visiting www.elections.maryland.gov and clicking “Look up your Voter Info.” If you
do not have internet access, call 1-800-222-8683 and ask a State Board of Elections
representative to check your registration.
10. What kind of identification is required to cast a ballot by mail?
If you are a registered voter and voted before, no identification is required to receive or
submit a ballot by mail. A very small number of newly registered voters may need to provide
ID with their voted ballots. If you have to provide ID, there will be instructions with your
ballot.
11. Can voters register to vote online?
It is possible to register to vote in Maryland elections online. Visit
www.elections.maryland.gov and click “Register to Vote” to learn more. The deadline to
register to vote is Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
12. Is identification required to register to vote?
No, but you must provide some information so election officials can verify your identity.
If you use the State Board’s online system to register, you must enter your Maryland driver's
license number or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) issued state ID number, the date MVA
issued your license or ID card, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you
reside outside of the United States or are a member of the military or spouse or dependent of
a member of the military, you must enter the last 4 digits of your US social security number. If
you provide a license or State ID number, your signature on file with the MVA will become
your official voter registration signature. If you provide a social security number, it will be
used as your official voter registration signature.
If you use the paper application to register, you must also provide your Maryland driver's
license number or MVA-issued state ID number if you have one. If you don’t have one, you
must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have either
number, check box 6c. If you check box 6c, you might be required to show ID before voting
for the first time.
13. How will voters know that their ballots will be counted?
You can check that your ballot was counted by visiting www.elections.maryland.gov and
clicking “Look up your Voter Info.” If you do not have internet access, call 1-800-222-8683
and ask a State Board of Elections representative to check the status of your voted ballot. The
information will be posted about 10 days after the election.
14. How do voters update their address?
Give the local board of elections where you currently live your new address information. You
can use the voter registration application to make the change, or you can submit in writing
your new address. Voters must update their address with their local board of elections. For
instructions on updating your address, please visit the State Board of Elections website at
www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/address.html. The deadline to update your information
is Wednesday, May 27th.

0
comments


Free Wireless Internet Access In Nine St.Mary's School Parking Lots For Students And Staff

LEONARDTOWN, MD - Free WiFi access is now available to all students and staff in the parking lots of nine St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS). Access is restricted to individuals with an official SMCPS email address.
 
The SMCPS Department of Information Technology Services (ITS) evaluated several alternatives and determined that an extension of the existing SMCPS network signal to school parking lots provided the best short- and long-term value. SMCPS reallocated existing technology funds from the Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget to prioritize internet access for our students and staff.  Schools with parking lot WiFi signals are:
 
 
• Ridge Elementary
• George Washington Carver Elementary
• Great Mills High
• Leonardtown High
• Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center
• Evergreen Elementary
• Dynard Elementary
• Chopticon High
• Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary
 
 
SMCPS chose the above locations as a way to support students across St. Mary’s County. Efforts are underway to seek grant funding to extend this service to all SMCPS schools. The parking lot WiFi access is provided through a permanent connection to the existing SMCPS network which will remain accessible throughout and following this public health crisis.
 
“Access to a wireless signal in our school parking lots is a valuable benefit for our students and staff”, said SMCPS Superintendent Dr. J. Scott Smith. “The SMCPS ITS department moved quickly to identify and install an option that will provide internet access during our current crisis and well into the future.”
 
Students and staff can park in the bus loops, front, and side parking lots of the above-listed schools, remain in their cars, and complete essential work on the internet.  At Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary, a WiFi signal is available in both the front and rear parking lots. The hotspots will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Accessing the SMCPS network through this connection provides all the access and restrictions as connecting from within the building. Individuals may need to experiment with parking lot location to achieve the best signal strength for their particular device. SMCPS ITS staff continue to optimize this WiFi access for signal coverage and device type. 
 
SMCPS uses video surveillance to monitor parking lots and the exteriors of all school buildings. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office will periodically patrol the areas around schools. Schools are closed to the public, but critical staff members are still working.
 
“We know internet access is not available to some families for a variety of reasons,” Smith said. “Providing this access in our school parking lots is a creative way to begin to level the playing field and is one more way we are supporting our families, students, and staff during this challenging time.”
 
Directions to access the hotspot:
• Pull into the school parking lot
• Open your WiFi connection or network connection screen
• Look for the network name “smcpsConnect”
• Login using your SMCPS network credentials
• Additional direction for logging into the network can be found at: www.smcps.org/dci/online  

0
comments


CSM Donates College's Medical Supplies and Equipment; Nursing Students Volunteer for the Front Lines of Pandemic Response

When the national call to action sounded for public donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in mid-March, College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Health Sciences Division Chair Dr. Laura Polk rallied her CSM colleagues – and got to work. She immediately organized staff and faculty to gather the college’s PPE and medical supplies for local health care providers who were preparing for the surge of COVID-19 patients in the nation’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Among the items the CSM colleagues packed up to donate to Calvert Health, Charles Regional Medical Center, MedStar St. Mary’s and Southern Maryland hospitals were more than 22,000 pairs of non-sterile gloves; 2,500 pairs of sterile gloves; 1,000 face masks; 1,400 isolation gowns and gallons of antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Polk was also able to donate two ventilators to the Maryland Department of Health for state-wide allocation. CSM’s donations to the state’s pandemic response equaled more than $30,000 in equipment and supplies. The college has also made its campuses available for storage space or emergency staging to the tri-county emergency management teams and experts.
 
But Polk didn’t stop there.
 
Along with joining the CSM faculty’s tireless efforts to bring CSM to a virtual learning environment, she collaborated with the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) and helped develop a process that identified three levels of care that CSM nursing students – and college nursing students from around the state – could register for in order to assist in the COVID-19 response. The ‘Nursing Clinical Extern Portal’ has now been in place for several weeks and it complements the volunteers who are staffing the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps.
 
“To date, we have a least one dozen faculty and students who have registered for the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps,” confirmed Polk. “And of the 270 nursing students currently in our programs, more than 60 students signed up as Clinical Externs to help with acute care staffing across the state. That equates to more than 20 percent of our nursing students who are volunteering to go the front lines in any way they can – all the while keeping up with their course work.”
 
CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy shared that she isn’t surprised by the faculty, staff and students’ efforts.
 
“I think it is extraordinary the way that everyone is ‘leaning in’ to answer the call to help with things we never thought we’d have to deal with,” Murphy said. “But that is exactly what the CSM family does day-in, and day-out.”
 
“To me, it’s all about fulfilling our mission,” Polk said. “We are here to help our learners be the best they can be and we’re here to build collaborative community partnerships. These are the very days when we absolutely need to be giving back to, and assisting, our community partners in every way that we can.”
 
Students on the Front Lines
 
Shannon Windsor, 26, of Dentsville, is a fourth-semester nursing student and one of the CSM students ‘leaning in.’ Three weeks away from graduating with her ADN [associate degree in nursing degree], she signed up for both the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps and MIEMSS’ ‘Nursing Clinical Extern Portal’ and has already served on the front lines at the VEIP-turned COVID-19 testing center in Waldorf. Windsor called the experience that had her administering 25 tests the first day, and 30 tests the second day, ‘eye-opening.’ 
 
“It was very controlled,” she explained. “It was good to visualize it and learn as much as I possibly could from seasoned nurses. I know there is tremendous value in what I am doing right now, because in three or four months, after I graduate, I will be caring for COVID-19 patients as a nurse in the field, not as a nursing student.”
 
Windsor said her classes picked up the pace with pandemic training, as well.
 
“In our clinical settings now – even though we’re online – we are doing pandemic scenarios,” she said. “Our instructors went right to work to deepen our knowledge.”
 
“To say I am proud of our faculty and students for stepping up to help in every possible way, would be an understatement. We strive to promote students' commitment to their respective health profession and the community, and it has been amazing to see them respond,” Polk said.
 
Coronavirus Update
 
CSM last week announced that it will maintain a virtual learning environment for its students for the rest of the spring semester and faculty and staff will continue to operate remotely through May 31. CSM’s campuses remain restricted to pre-approved and authorized personnel. This date may again be extended as CSM stands united with the nation in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
 
Along with limiting public access to campuses, CSM has made several operational changes that can be tracked at ready.csmd.edu/covid-19/.  Please visit the website often for resources and updates.
 
Students should make sure they are monitoring their CSM student email accounts, as well as the MyLearning course shells for their individual courses, and stay in close contact with their professors if they have any questions about their courses.
 
CSM remains in close contact with local, state and federal authorities, and will share information as quickly as possible when and if these new operating conditions change. 

0
comments


Update on COVID-19 Response Feeding Programs Offered Through Community Partners

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools will provide a drive-up lunch service Monday-Friday from April 20-24, 2020, at the locations listed below from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily. Meals will be offered to all children 18 years and younger free of charge. Parents and children can drive up to these locations and receive meals that they can take home during current school closures.
 
Leonardtown Elementary School
 
22885 Duke Street
 
Leonardtown, MD 20650
 
 
 
Greenview Knolls Elementary School
 
45711 Military Lane
 
Great Mills, MD 20634
 
 
 
Margaret Brent Middle School
 
29675 Point Lookout Road
 
Mechanicsville, MD 20659
 
 
 
Lexington Park Elementary School
 
46763 Shangri-La Drive
 
Lexington Park, MD 20653
 
For questions regarding the school lunch service program, please email foodservices@smcps.org.

0
comments


Calvert County Government Closure Extended Through April 24

Calvert County Government offices will remain closed through Friday, April 24, as a measure to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The closure was originally set to end April 17.
 
“Closing government is a decision we take as seriously as the safety of citizens, staff and their families,” said Board of County Commissioners President Kelly McConkey. “Our essential personnel have been performing admirably under challenging circumstances to maintain essential government functions for county residents. We are grateful for the service of county staff and all essential workers in our community, and everyone supporting those individuals, as we wait for the effects of social distancing to be seen.”
 
A complete list of services affected by the closure is located on Calvert County’s virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. This information will continue to be updated regularly, and residents, employees and media are encouraged to monitor the page for further updates, guidance and resources.
 
Citizens are strongly urged to follow public health guidance to protect yourself and limit the number of people infected. Please keep the following guidance on your mind throughout this crisis:
 
·         Avoid gatherings, both public and private.
 
·         Stay home as much as possible; go to stores only when necessary for essential items and avoid taking children and other family members with you if you can.
 
·         Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
 
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
 
·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
 
·         Protect others by staying home if you are sick.
 
·         Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
 
·         Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.
 
·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Charles County Department of Health Announces COVID-19 Cases in Nursing Homes

Today the Charles County Department of Health is announcing an official count for COVID-19 cases at nursing homes throughout the County. As of Wednesday, April 15, 90 residents and 23 employees at six nursing homes and senior living facilities through the county have tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Department has been closely monitoring this evolving situation and is working closely with nursing homes to respond and ensure that the most vulnerable residents receive proper testing, treatment, and care.

 

Dr. Howard Haft, who is Executive Director of the Maryland Primary Care Program at the Maryland Department of Health, has been temporarily assigned by Deputy Secretary of Health Fran Phillips to oversee the COVID-19 response in Charles County. Dr. Haft is a former state Deputy Secretary of Health and a Charles County resident who has delivered primary care in the community for many years.

 

“Just as we have seen across the state and the country, our nursing home population is at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 virus,” stated Dr. Haft. “We understand the heightened concern of those who have loved ones in these facilities. I want to assure them that through testing, we are identifying patients and staff, both with and without symptoms, so we can do whatever is necessary to prevent the spread of this virus. We know is especially hard to contain COVID-19 in nursing facilities and that’s why it’s a top priority right now.”

0
comments


Mechanicsville Native Serving On the USS Truman

Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Zachary Tanner, from Mechanicsville, Maryland, tapes an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72, in the hangar bay of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in the Atlantic Ocean April 14, 2020. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is conducting operations in the Atlantic in support of maritime security operations. Truman has spent at least one day underway for 30 of the last 34 months, in direct support of global security around the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bela Chambers)

 

0
comments


Department of Aging & Human Services Event Updates

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Due to continued COVID-19 emergency public closures, Law Day, originally scheduled for Friday, May 1, at all three Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern), has been canceled. Individuals already registered for this event to meet with a lawyer and fill out an Advance Health Care form will be contacted by phone.
 
The 20th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, initially scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, has been rescheduled. This event will now take place Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 11 a.m. at the 5 South Event Center in Callaway, Md. The Department of Aging & Human Services appreciates the public’s understanding during this time and looks forward to honoring the Officers of the Year and local law enforcement agencies this summer.
 
For more information, please contact Sarah Miller, Community Programs & Outreach Manager, at 301-475-4200, ext. 71073, or at sarah.miller@stmarysmd.com.

0
comments


St. Mary's Countywide Prekindergarten/Head Start Application On Hold

LEONARDTOWN, MD – State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon has announced that Maryland public schools will be closed through April 24, 2020.  In the interest of public health and safety, at this time, the 2020-2021 Prekindergarten/Head Start application is on hold and the process will be delayed. 
 
When the Governor’s Executive Order allows schools and offices to reopen, there will be a follow up press release noting the dates, times, etc., that parents can go to their home school office to apply.  Additional information will be communicated at a later date.

0
comments


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces more than $45 Million for Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today announced $45,657,990 for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund through the U.S. Department of Education. Provided through the CARES Act, the $3 billion allocated nationally through this fund is intended to support school districts and institutions of higher education in planning for and coordinating long-term closures and purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students. Schools throughout Maryland have been closed since March 16th and will operate through online learning through at least April 24th.
 
“Teachers, administrators, and state educational staff are moving mountains to continue to deliver a quality education to students across the state,” said the delegation. “While all districts need support, it is especially critical that this funding reaches those that face the biggest challenges in moving to online learning, including those in rural areas and areas with a high concentration of low-income students. We will continue to fight for the resources needed by the State of Maryland to adapt to this global pandemic.”
 
Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Education will distribute funding to the most significantly impacted local school systems. This award is one piece of the total $30.75 billion in emergency education funding provided under the CARES Act’s Education Stabilization Fund. The delegation previously announced more than $170 million for Maryland’s institutions of higher education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. More than $207 million is expected to be announced at a later date for all 24 of Maryland’s school districts through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. 
 
The delegation has previously announced funding for Maryland through the CARES Act including $107 million for airports, $742 million for hospitals and health care providers, $15.6 million for community health centers and $48 million to Maryland local government jurisdictions.

0
comments


New Unemployment Insurance Filing Instructions

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Effective April 1, 2020, claimants are encouraged to file according to a new system, which has been designed to make the process easier for claimants.
 
To file an initial regular unemployment claim online or through our call centers, please file your claim according to your last name as detailed below:
 
·         If your last name starts with A-F, file your claim on a Monday.
 
·         If your last name starts with G-N, file your claim on a Tuesday.
 
·         If your last name starts with O-Z, file your claim on a Wednesday.
 
·         Filing is open to all by phone on Thursdays and Fridays; online on all Thursdays through Sundays.
 
·         Filing later in a week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim.
 
 
Claimants are strongly encouraged to utilize the online NetClaims application to file claims. This online application is available 24/7. It is strongly encouraged to file during non-peak hours (8 p.m. - 7 a.m.) for faster processing.
 
Claim center telephone hours have been further extended and open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. To contact a center, please call 410-949-0022.  Claims may only be filed by phone or online, not by email.
 
If someone is having difficulty placing a call or accessing the website, he or she can email ui.inquiry@maryland.gov. Employers can email dluiemployerassistance-labor@maryland.gov or contact 410-767-2412..
 
For more information on COVID-19 business resources in St. Mary’s County, visit our resource center at www.yesstmarysmd.com.

0
comments


Calvert County Government Clarifies Guidance on Grocery Shopping Days

The Board of County Commissioners seeks to clarify recent news reports about restrictions on local shopping, specifically the days which consumers may shop in grocery stores. The public is advised there are currently no restrictions in Calvert County, Maryland. Citizens may continue to shop at their convenience.
 
Confusion arose when the Calvert County Health Department issued suggested consumer guidance regarding grocery store shopping days on their website to help local grocers minimize the number of people in grocery stores. Calvert County citizens and businesses should be aware that this was simply a suggested practice by the Calvert County Health Department.
 
For more information about health information and guidance from the Calvert County Health Department at www.CalvertHealth.org and the health department COVID-19 online information center at www.CalvertCountyCOVID19.com.
 
Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus for further updates, guidance and resources. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Update on Charges Relating to Physical Child Abuse Case from March

UPDATE: On April 14, McKay was charged with first-degree murder. He is being held in the Charles County Detention Center with no bond.
 
Man Charged in Connection with Physical Child Abuse: On March 30 at 2 a.m., officers responded to the 2000 block of St. Thomas Drive in Waldorf after a man called and reported his 13-month old daughter was having trouble breathing. When officers and paramedics arrived, the child was unresponsive. She was transported to a hospital and then flown to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Upon examination and other medical testing, detectives learned the toddler sustained trauma consistent with child abuse. She was in critical condition. Detectives subsequently arrested the toddler’s father, Robert Earl McKay, III, 29, of Waldorf, and charged him with child abuse, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault. The child’s mother was at work when the 911 call came in. Further, no other children reside at the residence.
 
On March 31, the victim, Divinity Ose McKay, was pronounced deceased. Since then, detectives worked with the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office and on April 14, McKay – who was still being held in the Charles County Detention Center – was charged with first-degree murder. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective A. Worley at (301) 609- 6518. The investigation is ongoing.
 
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit www.ccso.us.
 
Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive 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, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips. For more information about the P3 program, click on this link: www.p3intel.com. 

0
comments


Assault in Lexington Park Under Investigation

On April 12, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 21600 block of Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, for the reported assault. A male victim, age 61 of no fixed address, was located on scene suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to an area trauma center and remains in critical but stable condition. Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) responded to the scene and continued the investigation.
 
This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Taylore Nauman at (301) 475-4200 extension 78109 or by email at Taylore.Nauman@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

0
comments


Calvert County Health Department Announces COVID-19 Consumer and Employee Safety Enhancements, Effective April 16

The Calvert County Health Department has issued an order for enhanced consumer and employee safety. The order identifies additional directives for businesses to protect customers and employees to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The following new measures will take effect Thursday, April 16:
 
·         Customers should wear face coverings in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and all retail establishments. Cloth masks/coverings are acceptable to be used as face coverings.
 
·         Retailers should purchase face coverings for employees and encourage employees to wear a face covering, especially for staff who are in contact with customers.
 
·         Employers should not prohibit any employee from wearing a face covering.
 
·         To lessen overcrowding, all grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and retail establishments should limit occupant capacity to no more than five people per 1,000 square feet of retail space, including employees.
 
·         Retailers should promote social distancing spaces of six feet between customers at checkout lines, queues outside of stores and service counters. Appropriate signage and floor markings should be displayed.
 
·         Retailers should provide disinfectants, such as hand wipes, for use by customers in areas adjacent to baskets and carts.
 
·         Retailers should provide employees with access to clean and sanitary restrooms stocked with cleaning products, such as soap and sanitizer. Supervisors should allow employees to wash their hands at a least once per hour.
 
The order will remain in effect until the governor’s declaration of a state of emergency for the state of Maryland expires.
 
For more information about health information and guidance from the Calvert County Health Department at www.CalvertHealth.org and the health department COVID-19 online information center at www.CalvertCountyCOVID19.com.
 
Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus for further updates, guidance and resources. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Health Order Requires Masks in Public Areas of Charles County Effective April 15

The Board of County Commissioners, in partnership with the Charles County Health Department, announced that beginning Wednesday, April 15, the public will be required to wear face coverings in grocery stores, pharmacies, retail establishments, and public transportation. The order is aimed at protecting shoppers, employees, drivers, and passengers from the spread of COVID-19. A face covering can be a homemade cloth mask, scarf, bandana, or other means of snugly covering the mouth and nose.

 

Masks are not advised for children under two years of age, or for people who have difficulty breathing.  Masks made for use in health care settings, such as N95 masks, should be reserved for health care workers. Although there is no civil or criminal penalty for shoppers, businesses have the right to turn away customers.

 

The health order also requires businesses to establish and enforce capacity limits by allowing a smaller number of customers in a store at any given time. Businesses are required to have enough space so customers waiting in line can practice physical distancing of at least six feet.

 

Businesses must provide face coverings for employees, whether the employees interact with customers or not. Employees should wear face coverings to protect themselves and customers. In addition, employees should be provided with access to clean and sanitary restrooms which are stocked with cleaning products such as soap, water, and hand sanitizer.  Employees must be allowed to wash their hands every 30 minutes at a minimum.

 

Other safety measures aimed at protecting workers and shoppers include implementing physical distancing measures for workers, customers and visitors. Appropriate signage must be displayed. Businesses which use shared equipment, such as baskets or hand carts, are encouraged to provide sanitation equipment, such as disinfectant wipes or alcohol swabs, for individual use. Businesses are also encouraged to install clear, physical barriers between cashiers and customers, where possible.

 

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the county’s COVID-19 website at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov.

0
comments


Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

Warrant Service - On 4/7/2020, Trooper Moorman and Trooper First Class Matthews, responded
to the Lothian Firehouse, Lothian, MD, to make contact with a trooper from the Maryland State Police,
Glen Burnie Barrack. Once on scene Trooper Moorman and Trooper First Class Matthews took
custody of Steven Edward Justice, who had an active warrant (Violation of Probation - 2nd Degree
Assault) through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Chase was transported to the
Calvert County Detention Center and the warrant was served without incident.
 
Stolen Vehicle/Vehicle Pursuit/Use of Force - On 04/8/2020, Trooper First Class Oleksak,
responded to Mom and Pops Liquors, St. Leonard, for a vehicle theft report. While onscene a broadcast
came out for reckless operations that fit the vehicle description that was reported stolen. Calvert
County Sheriff’s Office Deputies as well as Trooper First Class Matthews, Trooper First Class
Whitman, Trooper Brown, and Trooper Moorman responded to the general area in an attempt to locate
the vehicle. Trooper First Class Matthews located the vehicle in question and activated his emergency
equipment lights northbound on Mackall Road. The vehicle did not acknowledge his emergency
equipment and accelerated onto Broomes Island Road. A pursuit was initiated and the vehicle
continued Westbound on Broomes Island Road back towards the location of Mom & Pops Liquor, St.
Leonard. The vehicle abruptly entered the driveway behind the Mom and Pops Liquor, Trooper First
Class Oleksak, Trooper First Class Matthews, and Trooper First Class Whitman apprehended the
juvenile suspect in a downstairs room as the juvenile pretended to sleep. The juvenile resisted slightly
as he was being handcuffed. There are no injuries to the juvenile or any responding police units. The
stolen vehicle was returned to the victim on the scene with no damage. The juvenile suspect was
transported to the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack where he was charged and released
to his father’s custody.
 
DUI/CDS Arrest/Firearm Seizure - On 04/10/2020, Trooper First Class Stull conducted a
routine traffic stop on Rousby Hall Road, in the area of Clubhouse Drive, Lusby, for traffic violations.
A probable cause search was conducted on the vehicle, CDS- Not Marijuana was located in the vehicle
and a Winchester 60A, 22 caliber rifle. The driver was identified as Lance Craig Latham 2nd.
Latham was shown to be prohibited from possessing all firearms. Latham was subsequently placed
under arrest for DUI, CDS-not marijuana, and possessing a firearm. Latham was transported to the
Maryland State Police, Prince Frederck Barrack for processing prior to being incarcerated at the
Calvert County Detention Center. All CDS and firearms were packaged and processed at the Maryland
State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack.
 
Warrant Service - On 4/12/2020, Trooper White, responded to Patuxent Plaza, Solomons, MD, to
make contact with a trooper from the Maryland State Police, Leonardtown Barrack. Once on scene
Trooper White took custody of Santo Alberto Chase, who had an active warrant (FTA - Driving
Uninsured Vehicle) through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick Barrack. Chase was
transported to the Calvert County Detention Center and the warrant was served without incident.

0
comments


Charles County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

Detectives Investigate Shooting / Crime Solvers Offering Cash Reward: On April 12 at 2:44 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Brookside Place in Waldorf for the report of the sound of gunshots. When officers arrived, they learned a male, age 22, had been shot multiple times and was driven to the hospital by an acquaintance. Detectives are working to establish a motive, but believe the shooting was not random. The victim’s injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective N. Garner at (301) 609-6488. Tipsters wishing 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. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. The investigation is ongoing.
 
Commercial Armed Robbery: On April 11 at 2:38 a.m., officers responded to a convenience  store on Smallwood Drive West for the report of a robbery. Investigation revealed three males entered the store, approached an employee, displayed handguns and demanded money. One of the suspects grabbed the cash drawer and all three suspects fled. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Wimberly at (301) 609-6491. Tipsters wishing 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.

0
comments


Comptroller Provides Updated Revenue Forecast in Light of COVID-19

- To provide Maryland’s fiscal leaders with
an assessment of the state’s current revenue forecast due to the COVID-19
pandemic, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Bureau of Revenue Estimates (BRE)
Director Andrew Schaufele today outlined a potential shortfall of approximately
$2.8 billion during the final quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, which ends June 30. The
economic impact to the state’s business community and working families
represents a loss of nearly 15 percent to the state’s annual general fund.
The following are Comptroller Franchot's remarks, as prepared for delivery during
a virtual press briefing held via Facebook Live:
“Before we discuss the economic impact, I must salute the steady leadership of
Governor Hogan and his focus on ensuring that Maryland has the resources and
support it needs to save lives and stop the spread of this deadly virus.
"As Maryland's chief fiscal officer, I have -- for the entire duration of my tenure as
Comptroller -- repeatedly sounded the alarms on the need for our State to put away
as much money possible to help us weather fiscal and economic storms that may
come our way. The storm has finally arrived, and it is stronger and more
devastating than we’ve ever seen before. Thousands of businesses have had to
close their doors, and hundreds of thousands of Marylanders now find themselves
without a job.
“The loss of jobs is unprecedented. In just three weeks, 240,000 Marylanders have
filed unemployment claims. That's a staggering figure, yet it doesn't begin to take
into account the impact on families who depend on those salaries to put food on
the table and to provide shelter, heat and electricity. They are left to make difficult
choices of which bills to pay as they await unemployment funds and stimulus
checks.
“We’re seeing levels of unemployment, both here in Maryland and nationally, that
will far exceed those of the Great Recession more than a decade ago. Just
yesterday, our Labor Department announced that another 108,508 people filed
new unemployment claims in Maryland last week. To put this in perspective, the
Labor Department reported just 2,090 filings for the week that ended on March 6.
Meaning that in just under a month, our state’s new unemployment filings have
increased by nearly 5,200 percent.
“Those numbers, as unfathomable as they are, do not reflect those who have been
unable to file for unemployment, despite their repeated attempts to do so, simply
because the system – like those across the entire country – is simply overwhelmed.
“They also do not take into account those who are still technically employed, but
have had their hours, wages and salaries reduced substantially. And those numbers,
as any economist is quick to point, do not capture those who have simply given up
the search for employment and have dropped out of the labor market. Whether or
not they show up as official statistics in the State of Maryland’s database, each and
every one of these people are snapshots of a terrifying moment in time.
“The next steps we plan to take will be to submit these revenue estimates through
the usual process. In the coming months, and for the foreseeable future, the
Governor, the Board of Public Works and the General Assembly will have to make
very difficult decisions to protect our state’s short-term and then long-term fiscal
stability.”
The following are remarks as delivered by BRE Director Andrew Schaufele:
“A reduction of 22 percent of withholding is a decline never seen before in the
history of our state and it’s not just the magnitude of this crisis, it’s also the timing.
Never before have we seen such a torrent of negative economic news hit with only
three months left in the fiscal year. The average monthly withholding impact could
be a loss of $185 million. What we have presented today represents, hopefully the
worst case scenario and is based on the possibility that we will be under strict stayat-home orders until the end of June. If there is a positive note, the private sector is
still able to maintain 78 percent of wages – a testament to the strengths of our
labor force and Maryland’s close ties to the federal workforce.
“Regardless of the shifting, it is the absolute shuttering of businesses that is driving
this impact down. We find that we would lose, on average, 59 percent of all sales
tax in a full month – or almost $250 million. It is worth noting that some share of
the sales tax will be recaptured at a later date as pent-up demand for products is
realized.
“There is uncertainty regarding whether or not the absolute magnitude of online
ordering has increased – we think it has – however, much of that revenue is not
designated for the general fund. It is deposited into the Blueprint Fund for
Education.”
Some key points from the revenue forecast:
Industries throughout the state have been impacted, some immediately and
directly. Hotels and eateries, for example, account for almost eight percent of W2s
and two percent of withholding taxes. The State of Maryland should expect to lose
90 percent of that after one full month of staying at home. Approximately 458,000
Marylanders work in the hospitality industry.
The rest of the income tax is adversely impacted as well, with non-wage earners
seeing their profits wiped out and gains from investments delayed or taken as
losses – those amounts average about $75 million per month.
While consumer spending is reduced, it is also shifting. Maryland, in general, does
not to tax some of the categories that are seeing an increase in spending such as
most food at grocery stores.
The impacts are amplified due to the General Fund’s reliance on revenue sources
immediately and directly affected from the pandemic. For example:
• Withholding taxes, which are affected by lost jobs, reduced hours, furloughs
and even a lack of regular turnover, account for 45 percent of the entire
general fund.
• Sales tax, which was immediately affected by Governor Larry Hogan’s
emergency orders to close most businesses to protect public health,
accounts for 25 percent of the entire general fund.
• In addition, deep impacts are seen in reduced corporate income taxes and
lottery sales, as well as other smaller contributors in loss of funds from
items such as court fees.

0
comments


Cardin, Van Hollen, Democratic Colleagues Press Trump Administration to Ensure Workers Receive Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today joined 32 Democratic Senate colleagues in pressing the Department of Labor to ensure workers Congress intended to be covered by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program receive the benefits they deserve.  
 
“[P]arts of the guidance appear narrow or ambiguous, which could make states think they need to exclude workers who Congress clearly intended to receive unemployment compensation through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program,” the senators wrote. Cardin is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, while Van Hollen is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
 
The senators are requesting the Department of Labor clarify its guidance pertaining to workers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 without receiving a test, workers with COVID-19 who take time off of work, workers without child care options in summer months, workers unable to get to work due to stay-at-home orders, workers with underlying health conditions like asthma, and self-employed workers like gig workers who are unable to work due to plummeting demand for their services.
 
The letter was also signed by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Angus S. King Jr. (I-Maine), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.). 
 
Full text of the letter is available here and below:
 
April 13, 2020
 
The Honorable Eugene Scalia
 
Secretary of Labor
 
U.S. Department of Labor
 
200 Constitution Ave. NW
 
Washington, DC 20210
 
Dear Secretary Scalia:
 
Thank you for entering into agreements with states and territories and issuing some of the key guidance needed to implement new federal unemployment compensation programs on April 4 and April 5, 2020 (Unemployment Insurance Program Letter [UIPL] Numbers 15-20 and 16-20). This guidance is essential to start getting more unemployment benefits to workers across the country, including self-employed and other workers who are not covered by the traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.
 
We understand that the examples of covered workers provided in the guidance are not intended to be exhaustive. However, parts of the guidance appear narrow or ambiguous, which could make states think they need to exclude workers who Congress clearly intended to receive unemployment compensation through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
 
We request that the Department of Labor (the Department) issue additional guidance on the issues described below no later than Friday, April 17. Understanding that you are still working diligently to release guidance for several CARES Act programs, if you are unable to issue clarifying guidance by Friday, April 17, we request a written response to this letter providing a timeline for issuing clarifying guidance and detailing how you intend to address these issues.
 
The Department’s guidance for sections 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(aa), (bb), and (ff) reference circumstances under which an individual testing positive for COVID-19 is a possible qualification for a person receiving PUA. In the CARES Act, Congress deliberately used language referring to a “diagnosis” rather than “tested positive”, knowing testing shortages, delays in test results, and guidance instructing people to stay home rather than travel to medical facilities could make testing-based criteria difficult to meet. Furthermore, if someone suspects they have COVID-19 but can care for themselves at home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends they recover at home to avoid infecting others.
We are pleased that the language in the Department’s guidance says that someone may qualify for PUA if they have tested positive or received a diagnosis, but we request that the Department make crystal clear that while a positive test would be sufficient to qualify for PUA under these provisions, a qualifying diagnosis never requires a positive test. Any diagnosis from a health care provider, including one made via phone or telehealth, is also sufficient for a person to qualify for PUA. 
 
The two examples provided in UIPL 16-20 Attachment I (C)(1)(a) of the guidance for an individual who might qualify for unemployment benefits under section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(aa) of the CARES Act based on their own illness both involve an individual who must quit a job. This provision of the CARES Act also covers any individual who is forced to take unpaid time off work for the reasons described, regardless of whether their employment relationship is formally severed. The guidance should be clarified to ensure that such individuals are covered.
Section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(dd) of the CARES Act says an individual may qualify for PUA if “a child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID–19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work.” The guidance in UIPL 16-20 Attachment I (C)(1)(d) provides accurate examples of situations in which a caregiver could qualify for PUA under this provision.
However, the guidance later states that “a school is not closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, for purposes of section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(dd), after the date the school year was originally scheduled to end.” Many families rely on child care, summer camp, or other facilities (including school facilities) to care for their children in the summer and those facilities may remain closed as a result of COVID-19. The guidance should be clarified to confirm that individuals may qualify under section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(dd) during the summer months, for families that rely on any of those facilities.
 
Section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(ee) of the CARES Act says that an individual who is “unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID–19 public health emergency” may qualify for PUA. The example of a quarantine provided in UIPL 16-20 Attachment I (C)(1)(e) of the Department’s guidance describes “a state or municipal order restricting travel” preventing an individual from getting to work. We are concerned that using the language of “restricting travel” may be too narrow to capture all of types of quarantine orders that are covered under this provision of the CARES Act. The guidance should clarify that such an order includes any stay-at-home, shelter-in-place, social distancing, or other order that requires individuals to stay home in quarantine to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Similarly, UIPL 16-20 Attachment I (C)(1)(g) references a “state or municipal order restricting travel” with respect to section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(gg) of the CARES Act. This should also be clarified as described above.
 
Section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(ff) of the CARES Act says that an individual who is “unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19” may qualify for PUA. The examples specified in the Department’s guidance describe a person who suspects they are infected with COVID-19 and a person who is immune-compromised because of a serious health condition.
The reference to a person “whose immune system is compromised by virtue of a serious health condition” in the guidance does not cover the wide range of reasons a health care provider may advise self-quarantine. For example, while the CDC considers older Americans more at risk of serious complications from COVID-19, states may not think they are covered under Department’s guidance. Furthermore, workers with certain health conditions (such as a respiratory condition) may not technically have a compromised immune system but would be at increased risk from COVID-19 and may need to self-quarantine. As we learn more about COVID-19, we may discover that there are other populations at risk too.
 
The Department needs to clarify that anyone advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to increased risk of COVID-19 should be covered by PUA, regardless of the underlying reason for their increased risk.
 
We are pleased that the Secretary established additional criteria under section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(kk) of the CARES Act to clarify that self-employed individuals such as independent contractors who may not have one specific place of employment are covered by PUA, in keeping with the intent of the legislation. While we believe that such workers are covered by the text of the law, we appreciate the Department’s action to eliminate ambiguity and ensure these workers receive benefits.
However, to avoid any confusion about who should qualify under UIPL 16-20 Attachment I (C)(1)(k), the Department must clarify that an independent contractor who is unable to work and forced to suspend work activities because there is reduced demand for their services also qualifies for PUA benefits. Many independent contractors have seen demand for their services dry up as a direct result of COVID-19. In the example of a ride share driver, a driver should be able to claim PUA when they are forced to suspend their work because there are too few customers seeking rides. For an independent contractor, losing many or all of their customers overnight is analogous to an employee being laid off by an employer, or, as the Department’s guidance notes, their “place of employment” being closed. Congress created the PUA program with the intent to cover workers like independent contractors and gig workers who may not have traditional employment relationships, but who have suddenly lost their livelihoods during this time of crisis. We believe that that the CARES Act definitively covers such workers, and the Department should clarify its guidance to reflect this.
 
The Department’s guidance says that “States should bear in mind that many of the qualifying circumstances described in section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I) are likely to be of short term duration.” Although we agree that some individuals may qualify for PUA for only a short period, many applicants will rely on PUA for longer periods, especially if this public health crisis persists. Furthermore, the way an individual qualifies for PUA may vary from week to week. For example, someone could first qualify if they get sick with COVID-19, then their child’s school may close as they recover, and they would qualify based on the new circumstance.
The Department’s guidance should encourage states to consider this as they create PUA application systems. It would be inefficient for both the claimant and the state workforce agency if individuals have to file a new initial application each time their qualifying circumstance changes. Individuals continue to qualify for benefits as long as they continue to meet at least one of the qualifying circumstances described in section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I), even if the precise provision under which they qualify changes.
 
We have heard conflicting reports of whether the Department’s guidance allows for the addition of the $600 federal supplement to PUA benefits in U.S. territories that do not have UI programs. The guidance the Department has issued for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and PUA is ambiguous on this matter. 
Section 2102(d) of the CARES Act says that for an individual who lives in these territories, “the assistance authorized under subsection (b) for a week of unemployment shall be calculated in accordance with section 625.6 of title 20, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor thereto, and shall be increased by the amount of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation under section 2104.” This language makes clear that the “amount of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation” ($600) should be included in the PUA benefit amount for anyone qualifying for PUA in any of the territories. We would appreciate if the Department would clarify this matter to facilitate the administration and payment of benefits in these territories.
 
In addition to the concerns we have raised above, we know that states will have additional questions as they continue to implement PUA and other CARES Act programs. We urge the Department to respond to questions from states as quickly as possible to avoid causing any delay in the processing of benefits.
 
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

0
comments


St. Mary's County Announces First Local Deaths from COVID-19

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The St. Mary’s County Health Department is reporting the first two deaths related to COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County. Both individuals were female residents in their 60s.

 

“On behalf of my fellow Commissioners, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to these families. In St. Mary’s County, when one mourns, all mourn. This is a difficult time, and we are heartsick. To all members of our community, please continue following the Stay at Home Order and pay extra attention to social distancing when you must be out in the community,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy.

 

“This loss of two of our own community members is heartbreaking,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We will keep their families and friends in our prayers and hope that they may find some comfort during this very difficult time. The actions of every community member are vital as we prepare for what is ahead and brace for the impact we will see from this virus. Please stay home as much as possible and follow the recommendations to help control the spread of this illness.” 

 

For local COVID-19 case count, updates and information, visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4911 Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m.  - 5:00 p.m.

 

For information about St. Mary’s County Government COVID-19 response and operations, visit https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.

0
comments


Public Health Directive And Order For Enhanced Consumer and Employee Safety In St. Mary's

Pursuant to Code of Maryland Regulations, Sec. 10.06.01.06


I, Meenakshi Garg Brewster, Health Officer for St. Mary' s County, finding it necessary for the control and medical containment of 2019 Novel Coronavirus ("SARS­ CoV-2") and the disease that it causes - Coronavirus Disease 2019 ("COVID-19"), hereby direct the following measures to be implemented to ensure consumer and employee safety in grocery stores (including farmers' markets), pharmacies, retail establishments, and public transportation.
1.    Customers of at least two years in age will be required to wear face coverings in grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail establishments (including large chain retail). Cloth face coverings or other masks are acceptable to be used.
2.    Drivers and passengers of at least two years in age of public transportation, including public ride-share services, will be required to wear face coverings. Cloth face coverings or other masks are acceptable to be used.
3.    Require grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail establishments to establish capacity limits by setting limits on number of clients in the facility at a given time, and queues outside that promote social distancing spaces for customers while waiting.
4.    Require grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail establishments to provide their employees with access to clean and sanitary restrooms stocked with cleansing products, such as soap and sanitizer. Employers must allow employees to wash their hands at a minimum of every 30 minutes.
5.    Require employees to wear cloth face coverings or other masks. Employers must provide such coverings or make provisions for employees to obtain.

21580 Peabody Street, P.O. Box 316, Leonardtown, MD 20650 www.SMCHD.org    Facebook.com/SMCHealthDepartment Twitter: @SMCHD_gov
 
6.    Require compliance with existing state and local sanitat ion requirements and statutes. Any complaints will be followed and investigated according to standard protocols and policy.
7.    Require implementation of physical distancing measures for workers, customers and visitors. Appropriate signage must be displayed.
8.    Recommend employers of businesses who use shared equipment, such as baskets or hand carts, to provide sanitation equipment, such as disinfecting wipes or alcohol-based wipes with at least 70% alcohol, for individual use.
9.    Recommend installation of physical barriers (e.g. Plexiglass) between cashiers and customers, where possible.

THIS DIRECTIVE AND ORDER IS ISSUED UNDER MY HAND THIS 13TH DAY OF APRIL 2020, AND IS EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020.

Meenakshi G. Brewster, MD, MPH Health Officer, St. Mary's County

0
comments


CSM Extends Remote Operations and Online Learning Through May 31; Campuses Remain Closed

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announced that it will maintain a virtual learning environment for its students for the rest of the spring semester and faculty and staff will continue to operate remotely through May 31. CSM’s campuses remain restricted to pre-approved and authorized personnel. This date may again be extended as CSM stands united with the nation in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
 
“At times like this, it is difficult to find the words to address all the emotions that come with so many uncertainties,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “But we believe that we will get through these challenging days together – and we will be stronger for it, on the other side.”
 
Along with limiting public access to campuses, CSM has made several operational changes that can be tracked at ready.csmd.edu/covid-19/.  Please visit the website often for resources and updates.
 
Students should make sure they are monitoring their CSM student email accounts, as well as the MyLearning course shells for their individual courses, and stay in close contact with their professors if they have any questions about their courses.
 
CSM remains in close contact with local, state and federal authorities, and will share information as quickly as possible when and if these new operating conditions change. All updates can be found at http://ready.csmd.edu/.

0
comments


Charles County Schools Closing Meal Distribution Sites Today Only

Due to inclement weather, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is closing all meal distribution sites today, Monday, April 13, 2020. The closing also cancels distribution of laptops and instructional packets. Principals will reschedule laptop distribution and CCPS will reopen meal distribution sites on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

0
comments


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces $742 Million for Hospitals and Health Care Providers to Support COVID-19 Response

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today announced the award of $742,225,306 for Maryland hospitals and health care providers through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF). Created through the CARES Act, this program was designed to enable health care providers to cover the costs of responding to COVID-19.

 

“Maryland’s hospitals and health care providers are taking extraordinary steps to protect public health and save lives,” said the delegation. “Cost constraints and the need to operate within existing funding structures must not inhibit their ability to respond effectively. Future distributions from this emergency fund must be allocated in a transparent manner, ensuring that all of Maryland’s hospitals have the resources they need, including those in emerging hotspots such as the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, and should recognize the essential role of other health care providers who treat vulnerable and low-income populations.”

 

Approximately $400 million will be allocated to hospitals and $342 million to outpatient health care providers. These awards represent Maryland’s share of the initial $30 billion awarded nationwide today. Congress allocated a total of $100 billion for the program, the remainder of which will be disbursed at a later date.

 

Through the CARES Act, Maryland has also received $15.6 million for community health centers announced Wednesday and $48 million to Maryland local governments announced by the delegation last week. Separately, the delegation has announced a total of $17.1 million in CDC funding through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act to support the Maryland health system.

0
comments


Detective Investigating Murder--Suicide at Hotel on O'Donnell Place

Detectives Investigating Murder / Suicide: On April 10 at 7:40 p.m., officers responded to the Hilton Garden Inn at 10385 O’Donnell Place in Waldorf to check on the welfare of a man and woman after receiving information from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) in Indiana that they had just received a tip indicating one of the occupants of the room may have killed a female acquaintance in the hotel room and then committed suicide. Further, the tip to Indianapolis authorities indicated the male had also possibly killed an acquaintance at his residence in Indianapolis earlier in the week. While IMPD officers followed up on the tip in their jurisdiction, officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Team were able to make entry into the hotel room where they discovered Shereese Desire Curbeam, 36, of Waldorf deceased from a gunshot wound. The male in the room, Daniel Clark, 47, of Indianapolis, was also found deceased with a gunshot wound. A gun was recovered from the scene. Authorities in Indianapolis confirmed the discovery of a deceased female, who was known to Clark, inside his apartment. Detectives are working with investigators from the IMPD to establish a motive and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective J. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. Tipsters wishing 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 app. The investigation is ongoing.

0
comments


Maryland Delegation Members Call on State to Provide Full Race, Ethnicity, and Zip Code Data on COVID-19 Patients

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin as well as Representatives Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) sent a letter to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urging him to release complete COVID-19 demographic data on race and ethnicity, broken down by zip code. In their letter, the Members emphasize that the demographic data released today, showing COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on black Marylanders, only furthers the need for more granular data. Additionally, they ask Governor Hogan to ensure the data is being used to inform Maryland’s response efforts, targeting relief towards those most heavily impacted.
 
The Members write, “We appreciate your recent announcement that Maryland will begin to collect and publicly report data on race and ethnicity for individuals tested for COVID-19 and the first reports of this information today. We share your concern about the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 appears to be having on black Marylanders and believe that this initial data demonstrates a need for more granular reporting by zip code. Additionally, we urge you to report complete and comprehensive data for all patients as expeditiously as possible and ensure that this data is informing Maryland’s COVID-19 response efforts.”
 
They stress, “Based on Maryland’s initial limited data, we are seeing alarming trends with respect to race and ethnicity. For the 5,529 COVID cases that have race and ethnicity data available, 37% of patients are black and black residents comprise of 44% of COVID-related deaths, despite the fact that African Americans only make up 30% of the state’s population. We are seeing similarly concerning trends from other states and localities as well.”
 
The Members underscore the importance of this issue, noting, “If we are to have our best chance at combatting this public health crisis, we need full visibility into how this virus is affecting our communities.”
 
The Members also write that, while the CDC should work to collect this data on a national basis, “Unfortunately, we have seen many instances of leadership failures from this Administration, and as a result, states have stepped up to fill these voids. Maryland can do that here by ensuring the reporting of complete, accurate, and robust data for our state.”
 
The full text of the letter is available here and below.
 
Dear Governor Hogan,
 
Thank you for your efforts and your collaboration with the Maryland Congressional Delegation to prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. We appreciate your recent announcement that Maryland will begin to collect and publicly report data on race and ethnicity for individuals tested for COVID-19 and the first reports of this information today. We share your concern about the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 appears to be having on black Marylanders and believe that this initial data demonstrates a need for more granular reporting by zip code. Additionally, we urge you to report complete and comprehensive data for all patients as expeditiously as possible and ensure that this data is informing Maryland’s COVID-19 response efforts.
 
This data on race and ethnicity is critical to fully understanding whether certain groups face higher risks for contracting the virus or are experiencing more adverse outcomes. More granular data aggregated by zip code will help better understand the actual risks of infection and mortality in different communities, as well as inform response efforts to ensure testing and other resources are targeted in the most effective way.
 
Based on Maryland’s initial limited data, we are seeing alarming trends with respect to race and ethnicity. For the 5,529 COVID cases that have race and ethnicity data available, 37% of patients are black and black residents comprise of 44% of COVID-related deaths, despite the fact that African Americans only make up 30% of the state’s population. We are seeing similarly concerning trends from other states and localities as well. According to data from Louisiana – where about one-third of the State’s population is black – black residents comprise about 70 percent of COVID-related deaths. In Chicago, African-Americans account for more than half of positive tests and more than 70 percent COVID-related deaths.
 
We need to be able to definitively confirm whether COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on people of color and use this data to implement public health strategies and allocate resources to mitigate this impact. We also know that health disparities continue to plague a number of our communities, which makes this data even more important. If we are to have our best chance at combatting this public health crisis, we need full visibility into how this virus is affecting our communities.
 
We believe that it is important for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin publicly reporting this data when it is received from state and local health officials across the nation. Unfortunately, we have seen many instances of leadership failures from this Administration, and as a result, states have stepped up to fill these voids. Maryland can do that here by ensuring the reporting of complete, accurate, and robust data for our state.
 
Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. We look forward to working with you on this issue.
 
Sincerely,

0
comments


Relief Funds Available for Charles County Non-Profits

The Board of County Commissioners has provided the Charles County Charitable Trust with relief funds of $100,000 to assist non-profits that support Charles County’s individuals and families most impacted by the pandemic crisis.
 
Submission Deadline:  Wednesday, April 22, 2020
 
Grant Period: Funds must be spent by Aug. 31, 2020
 
Eligibility:
 
Applicants must have IRS recognition as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and operate in Charles County.
Proposed program activities benefit Charles County residents.
Review Process:
 
Each application is reviewed for completeness and then forwarded to the Charitable Board of Directors. Key factors include: 
Evidence of need or problem existing in the community.
Specific information on how the organization plans to address that need or problem, including expected outcomes.
Based on organizational history and current resources.
A presentation of charity’s fiscal situation and its proposed budget for the planned services .
Notification of Awards: Thursday, May 7, 2020
 
 To Apply: Visit www.charlesnonprofits.org/covid-19
 
This grant is not a part of the Fiscal 2021 Charitable Trust’s Nonprofit Grant Awards Program, which will begin on July 1. 
 
For additional information or assistance, email Susan Petroff at [spetroff@charlesnonprofits.org]SPetroff@CharlesNonprofits.org. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

0
comments


Wanted: Dana Marie Royster

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Dana Marie Royster for Second-Degree Escape from the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Royster did not return to a rehabilitation center in Frederick as required.
 
Royster is 36 years old, is 5’4” tall and weighs 130 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes.
 
 
Anyone with information on Royster’s whereabouts are 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 Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Identity Needed for Motor Vehicle B&E Suspect

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in several motor vehicle breaking-and-entering investigations. The suspect is described as a white female, about 5 feet tall and was wearing a dark winter coat and brown shorts. The suspect has been entering unlocked vehicles in the Greenview Knolls and Heards Estates neighborhoods in Great Mills and removing items.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or these incidents is asked to call Deputy Bianca Salas at 301-475-4200, ext. 78160 or email bianca.salas@stmarysmd.com. Case # 21385-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

0
comments


Help Fight COVID-19 Through Mask Donations

The Department of Emergency Services and the Charles County Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Services are seeking donations of cloth masks from the public to assist first responders, volunteers, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are turning to our community members to ask for your help.
 
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not suggest cloth material as the first line of defense against COVID-19, cloth masks and gowns work well for other low-risk, routine situations and can help conserve precious supplies of N-95 respirator masks and other equipment. Donations needed include handmade face masks, other types of masks, Tyvek coveralls, shoe covers, shower caps, and disinfectant sprays.
 
Play a major part in helping our community and first responders stay healthy and prevent the further spread of the virus. Residents and businesses that wish to donate may coordinate drop-off or pickup by calling 301-609-3435 or email DESdonations@CharlesCountyMD.gov.

0
comments


Leonardtown To Hold Virtual Town Hall Meeting

The Town of Leonardtown will hold a Virtual Town Council meeting on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
 
 A YouTube link has been provided: https://so.md/ltown
 
This meeting includes a 4:15 p.m. Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 194 - Adopting the Budget and Setting the Real Property
 
Tax Rate for FY21.
 
You can find information on Town Council meetings and supporting documents on BoardDocs at  https://www.boarddocs.com/md/tolmd/Board.nsf/ and this month’s meeting once the meeting has been featured.
 
The link to BoardDocs can also be found on the Town’s website at on the left side panel of the front page under Quick Links. www.leonardtown.somd.com

0
comments


Staying Apart is Key to Preventing New COVID-19 Outbreaks

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – April 9, 2020 – Calvert County Government and the Calvert County Health Department remind residents that staying home and avoiding contact with anyone who is not a member of your household is vitally important to Calvert County’s ability to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
 
“These last few weeks have been challenging and we know it will be even more difficult to stay apart during important religious holidays like Easter and Passover, that are traditionally observed together as families and faith communities,” said Board of County Commissioners President Kelly McConkey. “But it is critical for residents to stay home and avoid hosting or attending gatherings to prevent the coronavirus from suddenly spreading further throughout our community.”
 
The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and each face-to-face interaction is an opportunity for it to spread. Although older adults and anyone with chronic health conditions are at risk of more serious complications, people of any age and degree of health are at risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus.
 
Residents are urged to stay informed as the situation is changing rapidly. The county government continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19, including resources, guidance and closures, through a virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. Additionally, the Calvert County Health Department has launched www.CalvertCountyCOVID19.com to help residents keep up with important health information and guidance from reliable sources.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and on Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Van Hollen, Cardin Host Call with School Superintendents Across Maryland

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) hosted a call with school superintendents from districts across Maryland to discuss the impact of coronavirus on their students and educators. Senators Van Hollen and Cardin fought to secure resources for schools within the recently passed CARES Act.
 
 “Today’s conversation was a chance to hear directly from our school superintendents on the challenges they’re facing and how we can help. They made one point clear: we need to close the digital divide and give every student the ability to succeed through distance learning – both now and after the pandemic. That means ensuring that every student has access to the internet and computers at home. We were successful at getting over $250 million in additional funds for Maryland schools in the last bill, and I urge the State to use these funds to start closing this gap right away. I will continue fighting tooth and nail to include dedicated funds for this purpose in the next relief package,” said Senator Van Hollen, who has pressed Senate leadership to provide dedicated funding to address the homework gap within coronavirus relief packages and has asked the State to allocate applicable funds from the CARES Act to this effect.
 
“Our school superintendents are consistent in telling us their need for significant federal investments to purchase technology and expand internet connectivity for students as we move through and beyond this crisis,” said Senator Cardin. “We’ll keep fighting to ensure that they get the resources they need to keep Maryland’s students engaged and progressing in their development.”

0
comments


Having a Health Emergency? Don't Hesitate to Get Help

Residents should not avoid the emergency room if experiencing signs of a medical emergency.
 
Even during a pandemic, emergency systems in Calvert County are equipped and ready to help anyone experiencing serious symptoms. Whether or not the emergency is related to COVID-19, these cases are still considered urgent and anyone experiencing a medical emergency is urged to call 911 or go to the emergency room.
 
For the safety of patients and staff, CalvertHealth Medical Center is following strict protocols, which include providing medical screening on all patients entering the facility. Those who show signs of respiratory illness or are suspected of having COVID-19 are placed into a private room in the emergency department while being treated.
 
Patients who suspect they may have the virus are advised to call ahead to the hospital so staff can be prepared to receive them with the appropriate precautions. Patients can contact CalvertHealth by phone at 410-535-8345.
 
A medical emergency includes any injury or illness for which a lack of immediate treatment may cause harm, including the following, among others:
 
·         Choking
 
·         Trouble breathing
 
·         Persistent severe vomiting or diarrhea
 
·         Coughing or throwing up blood
 
·         Passing out or fainting
 
·         Cardiac arrest or stopped breathing
 
·         Severe chest pain or pressure
 
·         Sudden weakness on one side of the body
 
·         Broken bones
 
·         Deep wounds
 
·         Heavy bleeding
 
·         Severe burns
 
·         Severe allergic reaction with swelling and trouble breathing
 
·         Accidental poisoning or overdose
 
·         Electrical shock
 
·         Head injury with fainting or confusion
 
·         Neck or spine injury with a loss of feeling or movement
 
·         Suicidal ideation and intentions
 
·         Seizures
 
COVID-19 patients with fever, cough or shortness of breath and serious symptoms such as rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, high or very low temperatures, confusion, trouble breathing or severe dehydration should seek emergency medical care.
 
CalvertHealth Medical Center is located at 100 Hospital Road in Prince Frederick. For more information, visit www.CalvertHealthMedicine.org.
 
Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus for further updates, guidance and resources. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


CCPS Meal Distribution Sites Return to School Campus Locations

The United States Department of Agriculture has granted additional waivers to the Child Nutrition Department of Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS), allowing for increased flexibility in meal site locations. For this reason, CCPS grab ‘n go meal distribution sites currently operating in non-school parking lots will be relocated to their previous school locations. This change provides additional space to accommodate increased traffic and will allow program staff improved access to additional supplies and equipment, as needed.  
Beginning Wednesday, April 15, grab ‘n go meal service will be offered from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the following locations:
 
Windy Hill Middle School Parking Lot (Bus Drop-off Area):
9560 Boyds Turn Rd. Owings, MD 20736
 
Calvert High School Parking Lot:  
520 Fox Run Blvd. Prince Frederick, MD 20678
GPS Address:  600 Dares Beach Rd. Prince Frederick, MD 20678
 
Southern Middle School Parking Lot:  
9615 H.G. Trueman Rd. Lusby, MD 20657
 
Patuxent High School Parking Lot:  
12485 Southern Connector Blvd. Lusby, MD 20657
 
Because meal distribution sites will be closed on April 13 due to spring recess, families received additional food on Wednesday, April 8. Regular distribution will resume on Wednesday, April 15.  
All sites remain open to all children, so families are welcome to select whichever site is most convenient.  

0
comments


Update: New Hours for St. Mary's County Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing

Beginning Thursday, April 9, the hours for drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will change to 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Testing will continue to be available Monday through Friday and is offered in front of the Outpatient Pavilion.
 
Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (including cough, fever, and shortness of breath) should call their primary health care provider or call ahead to a local urgent care or the hospital’s Emergency Department. Anyone who is experiencing a medical emergency, should call 9-1-1.
 
Community members may call the COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911 for COVID-19 information. Health Department nurses are available through the hotline to discuss concerns and assist in coordinating testing for those who do not have a primary care provider.
 
In order to be tested in the drive-thru, individuals must:
 
Be a St. Mary’s County resident
Have a prescription for testing from a primary care provider or the St. Mary’s County Health Department
Present a valid photo ID
Remain in their vehicle and an associate will come out to them
Please only consider testing if you have symptoms and think you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
 
Test results are not immediate; results may take up to a week to become available. Individuals tested will receive a follow-up call from the physician that wrote the order/prescription for their testing (their primary care provider or the Health Department). In the meantime, anyone with symptoms and concern for COVID-19 awaiting test results should stay at home and avoid close contact with others. If you need medical attention call ahead.
 
Community members, healthcare providers, and local business owners are encouraged to visit the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s website for local COVID-19 updates and information at www.smchd.org/coronavirus.

0
comments


Southern Maryland Libraries Expand Access to Thousands of Online Magazines

Public library customers in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties can now access more than 3,200 free online versions of the most popular magazines through expanded offerings from digital media provider RBdigital. The service is funded through the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association, Inc. (SMRLA).
 
The online platform features unlimited access to full-color digital versions of popular magazines like National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and thousands more. Customers can view new releases and back issues instantly for desktop reading or mobile streaming with no holds or checkout limits. There are plenty of offerings for kids too, including titles like Highlights, National Geographic for Kids, American Girl and more.
 
To learn more about digital magazine access and other services for online content, visit your public library website:
 
·       Calvert Library – https://calvertlibrary.info
 
·       Charles County Public Library – https://www.ccplonline.org/
 
·       St. Mary’s County Library – https://www.stmalib.org/
 
Access to digital magazines and other downloadable materials is also available on the Collection of Southern Maryland’s Online Services (COSMOS) website.
 
Formed in 1959, SMRLA leverages economies of scale to support the three Southern Maryland library systems with efficient, coordinated services. SMRLA operates the tri-county circulation and online catalog system known as COSMOS (Collections of Southern Maryland’s On-Line System); provides access to downloadable books, ebooks, online research and information resources, and other free electronic services; runs the region’s interlibrary loan system for books and materials; and organizes in-service training for library staff.
 
For more information about the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association, visit smrla.org.

0
comments


St. Mary's County COVID-19 Call Center Operational Changes

Released in coordination with the St. Mary’s County Health Department
 
LEONARDTOWN, MD – Due to diminished need, as evidenced by reduced call volume, the St. Mary’s County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Call Center will eliminate Saturday hours beginning Saturday, April 11.  Additionally, the call center will have reduced hours Friday, April 10, due to the Good Friday holiday - the call center will be open from 8 a.m. – noon on that date. The call center will resume normal weekday hours Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. beginning Monday, April 13.
 
The call center was opened March 12 in response to community demand for further information and questions regarding the rapidly evolving virus. Community members should still consult with their primary care physician with personal health questions; however, for general questions about COVID-19, residents may call the hotline at:
 
301-475-4911
 
Language line interpretation services are available during all hotline operational hours for Spanish and other languages, including Punjabi, French, Arabic, Mandarin, Neali and more.
 
While the virus that causes COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus, daily precautions recommended to prevent respiratory illnesses are the same:
 
Follow social distancing guidance from national, state and local government officials
If you are sick, stay at home (except for necessary medical evaluation) and away from others in your household
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water is unavailable use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Wear a cloth face mask when possible
Community members, healthcare providers, and local business owners are encouraged to visit the SMCHD website for local updates and information at www.smchd.org/coronavirus.
 
For St. Mary’s County Government operations and status updates, please visit our website https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.

0
comments


Calvert County Parks to Close for Easter Weekend

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – April 8, 2020 – The Department of Parks & Recreation announces all county parks will be closed to the public during Easter weekend as a further precaution in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The parks will be closed beginning Friday, April 10 through Sunday, April 12.
 
Additional closures and operational changes are listed on Calvert County’s virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus, under the heading “Calvert County Updates.” This information will continue to be updated regularly, and residents, employees and media are encouraged to monitor the page for further updates, guidance and resources.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Notice of Pubic Hearing to Consider Proposed Ordinance for Supplemental Appropriations Related to COVID-19 Response

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a Public Hearing Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 9:15 a.m. in the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown, MD, to consider a proposed ordinance for supplemental appropriations to the County’s FY2020 General Fund Operating Budget.

The Commissioners will consider a supplemental appropriation of $3 million to fund costs related to emergency expenses associated with COVID-19. The source would be the FY2019 fund balance that was not applied in the FY2021 recommended budget. This action allows the County to continue to respond to the needs of its citizens during this emergency.

Due to social distancing guidelines at this time the public hearing will not be open to the public. The press may attend. The Public Hearing may be viewed on Channel 95 and YouTube. Citizens may also listen to the Public Hearing by calling 301-579-7236; Access code: 963443.

In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:

a.       Written Comments via email: csmc@stmarysmd.com

b.      Mail: P.O. Box 653 Leonardtown, Md, 20650

c.       Call 301-475-4200 x 1234 to speak via telephone during the public hearing.

d.      Submit a three-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com from Friday, April 10, 2020, at 8 a.m. thru Thursday, April 16, 2020, 5 p.m.

All submissions will be considered by the Commissioners at the Public Hearing.

0
comments


April 7th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, April 7, the Board of Commissioners received an update from the Charles County Health Department on the latest efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Dr. Suzan Lowry, MD FAAP, the Charles County Health Officer, shared information on the testing, treatment, and prevention efforts for COVID-19 locally. Residents are reminded to call the Department of Health’s call center at 301-609-6717 for urgent questions and concerns. Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an overview of the Emergency Operation Center’s work, including continued daily coordination with local and state affiliated agencies.

 

Commissioners were also briefed by the Department of Human Resources and Department of Fiscal and Administrative staff on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This federal bill requires public employers, including Charles County Government, to comply with its policies. Two parts of the bill directly affect county leave and pay policies: (1) Emergency Paid Sick Leave for up to two weeks must be provided; and (2) Emergency Family and Medical Leave for up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave must be provided. They summarized the requirements for employees to be provided with emergency sick leave; the pay caps, calculations, and process for obtaining paid sick leave; and the eligibility and entitlement for 12 weeks of emergency family and medical leave. Commissioners approved the removal of caps on paid sick leave so eligible full-time employees will receive up to 75, 80, or 84 hours of emergency paid sick leave based on their work schedule. Part-time employees are paid based upon the average hours they are scheduled to work. 

 

Economic Development Department staff presented options for a COVID-19 Relief Fund for Small Businesses, administered as either a grant or loan for those needing assistance. They also shared a proposal for the Economic Development existing revolving loan funds to be modified and provide financial assistance. The Commissioners voted to administer the COVD-19 Relief Fund for Small Businesses as a loan with options for partial loan forgiveness if 50 percent of the loans are paid back more quickly as donations to the Charles County Charitable Trust. Additionally, Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff presented a special report on nonprofit assistance for organizations providing local emergency relief. Commissioners approved a proposal for the Charles County Charitable Trust to administer a grant program An application process and a budget template was presented, that will be used for nonprofit organizations to apply for grants that directly support COVID-19 relief efforts.

 

Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff presented the Third Quarter Report for the fiscal 2020 General Fund. Staff provided information on the revenues, expenditures, and the estimated year-end fund balance. The fiscal 2020 Adjusted Budget includes $12.9 million of fund balance use. Due to declining revenues from lower business property taxes as a result of COVID-19, a total of $14.3 million will be needed to offset the estimated net operating loss.

 

Budget Work Session

 

The Board of County Commissioners held a budget work session to review the fiscal 2021 Proposed Enterprise Fund Budgets Summary and fiscal 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Program. County Administrator Mark Belton is scheduled to present the fiscal 2021 proposed budget on Tuesday, April 21 at the next Commissioner meeting.

 

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following items:

A resolution to temporarily postpone the Charles County Tax Sales to May 2021 as a result of economic hardship facing many citizens due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A petition to the Planning Commission regarding the Waldorf Station Development Agreement, which designates capital improvements including required environmental permits, road improvements, land dedication, stormwater management facility, and school capacity allocations contingency. The agreement also delineates public benefit commitments; development stages; development review process; and several other compliance requirements as the development plan is implemented.
Fiscal 2021 Transportation Priority letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation, which articulates the county’s priorities for state transportation funding. Charles County requested that the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit be funded for the Project Planning Phase of the Project Development process. The letter reiterated the value in integrating the project with land-use planning that is vital to higher-density, transit-oriented development in Waldorf and White Plains.
A response to the Charles County Board of Education’s letter summarizing the challenges of distance-learning implementation due to lack of broadband access in rural areas of the county.
Designated exceptions to the Ghostwriter-Automated Signing Machine Use Policy until the State of Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted.
Proclamations

Commissioners approved:

A proclamation declaring April 2020 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Charles County and encouraging all residents to support programs and activities that strengthen families and benefit children in order to help prevent child abuse.
A proclamation designating April 19-25, 2020 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week in Charles County and to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This recognition presents an opportunity to ensure that all victims of crime are offered accessible and appropriate services in the aftermath of crime.
Next Commissioners Session: April 21, 2020

 

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

0
comments


Calvert County Extends Local State of Emergency

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – April 7, 2020 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) today voted to extend the declaration of a local State of Emergency for Calvert County for an additional 30 days.
 
The declaration was executed by BOCC President Kelly McConkey on March 17. The state of emergency will expire 60 days after the declaration first went into effect, unless terminated earlier.
 
“We are doing everything in our power to protect our citizens and to support the healthcare community and first responders,” said McConkey. “This action enables us to remain at a heightened state of readiness, with the flexibility we need to respond swiftly as this crisis evolves. We thank the citizens of Calvert County for their support and call on everyone to continue to stand together in this challenging time.”
 
The county continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19 through a virtual resource center on its website, including any precautionary measures, guidance and closures. Residents, employees and media are encouraged to regularly monitor the page and use the resources available at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.
 
Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack

Traffic Complaint / DUI / Warrant Service - On 04/01/2020, Trooper Brown responded to the 200 block of Village Center Drive, Lusby, for reports of a traffic complaint in that area. Trooper Brown located the vehicle and conducted a routine traffic stop. The driver, Jacob John Joseph Mishou, and passenger, Deandra Vonzell Claggett, were positively identified. Through a wanted check, it was shown that Claggett had an active warrant (Forgery) through Calvert County Sheriff's Office. The Calvert County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and took custody of Claggett. Mishou was put through field sobriety on scene and was arrested for Driving Under the Influence.
 
Warrant Service - On 04/01/2020, Trooper First Class Rucker responded to the Maryland State
Police, Prince Frederick Barrack to make contact with Braden Jerome Allen, who had an active
warrant (FTA - Driving While Suspended) through the Maryland State Police, Prince Frederick
Barrack. Allen was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where the warrant was served without incident.

0
comments


Local Resource Guide Developed On Telehealth Options for Behavioral Health Support

The COVID-19 pandemic may cause strong feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness and uncertainty in our community. Older people, people with chronic illnesses, youth, health care workers and first responders, and people with mental health conditions may be particularly impacted by the stress of the pandemic. 
 
 
The St. Mary’s County Health Department has created a Telehealth Resource Guide to provide information on local behavioral health resources (mental health, substance use, and crisis services) that are providing support through phone or video during this pandemic. Reaching out for help may provide relief and tools to cope during this stressful time. Individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans and monitor for any new or worsening symptoms.
 
 
“Today is the start of National Public Health Week, a time to highlight the importance of health issues to our whole community,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “As we in public health partner with our community agencies and residents to face this unprecedented challenge, we must all remember to care for one another and for ourselves. Call to check on your loved ones and neighbors, and please share these support resources.”
 
For local COVID-19 updates and resources, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus - click on Mental Health, Substance Use & Crisis Support for more information on mental health and coping during the pandemic.

0
comments


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces $6.4 Million in Federal Funding to Support State Health Care System As It Responds to COVID-19

WASHINGTON – The full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, today announced $6.4 million to support Maryland’s health care system as it responds to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Funding comes through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Combined with the $10.2 million in COVID-19 response funding previously announced by the delegation, Maryland has now received $17.1 million as a result of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act with more federal support on the way.

 

“As the demands on our healthcare system grow on a daily basis during the COVID-19 crisis, these federal funds will help meet the most immediate needs of Maryland hospitals, health centers, and laboratories on the front lines,” said the delegation. “Working closely with Governor Hogan, Team Maryland will continue to fight for the resources our state urgently needs and to support health care workers throughout Maryland.” 

 

Per the CDC, the funding announced today will go toward lab equipment, supplies, staffing, shipping, infection control, surge staffing, monitoring of individuals, and data management. The funding will also supplement an existing cooperative agreement to state jurisdictions through the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) to enhance surveillance capabilities.

 

This funding is allocated by the CDC to states and local jurisdictions identified as having the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases and jurisdictions with accelerating COVID-19 cases. Nationally, more than $186 million will be allocated this week through this funding source.

0
comments


Lilly Appointed as Director of Emergency Services

Charles County Administrator Mark Belton is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Lilly as director of the Department of Emergency Services. Lilly assumed this role on March 14, 2020.
 
As director of the Department of Emergency Services, Lilly oversees 9-1-1 Communications, Emergency Medical Services, Animal Control, Emergency Management, the Tactical Response Team, and False Alarm Reduction.  She also serves as the liaison and coordinator between the department and local, county, state, federal, and non-governmental agencies including the Charles County Volunteer Fire and EMS Associations.
 
Lilly has 14 years of experience in emergency services.  She joined Charles County Government in April 2009 as the chief of the Emergency Management Division and most recently served as the assistant director of Emergency Services.  In the assistant director role, she supported the director of Emergency Services with managing the administration, operations, and financial functions of the department. This also included employee engagement, budget development, administration and management of Emergency Services programs, interagency liaison, and assistance in planning, organizing, and directing the operation of Emergency Services. Prior to that, from 2005 to 2009, Lilly served as a manager and emergency planner with St. Mary’s County Department of Public Safety where she supervised Animal Control, Emergency Management, and volunteer emergency services coordination. 
 
“Michelle’s skillset to handle any major emergency has allowed her to step into this leadership role during a critical time, as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County Administrator Mark Belton. “It is with confidence I welcome Michelle into this role for Charles County Government and its residents.”
 
Lilly said, “With my emergency background and experience, I look forward to supporting the residents of Charles County, the Volunteer Fire and EMS Community, and the Department of Emergency Services as we work together as a team to keep our community safe and prepared.”
 
Lilly is certified through the International Association of Emergency Managers as a Certified Emergency Manager, holds a Maryland Professional Emergency Management Program Certification issued by the Maryland Emergency Management Association, and holds certifications and trainings through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
 
Lilly has a Master of Public Health from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences from Mountain State University, in Beckley, West Virginia.

0
comments


Charles County Sheriff's Office Adopts Therapy Dog As Part of New Comfort K9 Program

Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce the implementation of a new initiative aimed at helping victims of crime in Charles County: the Comfort K9 Program. This program, which has been in the planning phase for several months, will be aimed at providing emotional support to victims of crime, particularly children. The Comfort K9, a Golden Retriever, will work directly with a detective assigned to the Special Victims Unit (SVU) in the Criminal Investigations Division.
 
 
Detective Sergeant Kristen Clark, who supervises the SVU, developed the concept for the CCSO’s Comfort K9 Program after researching the work of therapy dogs with other police departments around the country. Research has proven that therapy dogs have increased disclosure rates in children during the forensic interview process from 34% to over 80%. “Our Comfort K9 will assist detectives who are conducting forensic interviews with children or other victims of crime who may need emotional support,” said D/Sgt. Clark. “This canine can also provide comfort for victims who are testifying in court cases.”
 
K9 Liberty is a 10-month-old female Golden Retriever who received her training at Applejack K9 Academy, home of the Elite Registry of Working Dogs, in Charlotte Hall, MD. She will continue to work with her trainers as she begins her role with the CCSO and transitions to working with her handler, Detective Nina Garner, who serves in the SVU. “We are grateful to the staff at Applejack for the top notch training they have provided Liberty in preparing her for the important work she will do in our community,” said Detective Garner.
 
“Victims of violent crimes have experienced significant trauma, and we are committed to helping them through the criminal justice process,” said Lieutenant Andrew Schwab, Commander of Persons Crimes. “The Comfort K9 Program will be a vital part of that process, especially for adolescent victims.”
 
Photos, announcements, and updates about Liberty will be provided on the CCSO Facebook page.
 
“We are looking forward to working with our new therapy dog partner,” said Sheriff Berry. “She will undoubtedly be a positive addition to the CCSO family and will provide an invaluable service.”

0
comments


State Police Urge Voluntary Compliance Of Faith Community During State Of Emergency

(PIKESVILLE, MD) -- As state and local law enforcement officers are working throughout Maryland
to educate citizens about the Governor's Executive Order and to enforce the law when necessary, State
Police Superintendent Colonel Woodrow Jones III is urging the faith community to be informed and to
voluntarily comply with the order as it applies to holding services.
"Maryland's law enforcement officers are dedicated to helping keep our citizens as safe as possible and
are working diligently around the state to ensure the Governor's Executive Order is complied with,"
Colonel Jones said. "My hope is that our faith community leaders recognize the importance of the
safety measures that have been implemented and will not risk the health of their congregations by
holding services in a way that violates the regulations put in place during this emergency. Technology
provides us all with unique alternatives that I hope will be implemented as a necessary and important
option until it is safe to once again gather to worship in the way you choose to."
The Governor's Executive Order prohibits groups of more than 10 people from assembling and those
groups of 10 or less must maintain social distancing of at least six feet between individuals. Churches,
synagogues and mosques have been included in the list of 'non-essential businesses' that are required to
close their normal operations. Some minimal operations at a religious facility can continue and have
been defined by the Governor's Office of Legal Counsel as follows:
1. Drive-In Religious Services: Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other similar religious
facilities of any faith (“religious facilities”) may conduct “drive-in” services, where participants
gather in their vehicles near the religious facility and participate in the service together by remote
means, subject to the following requirements, which are intended to protect public health, safety,
and welfare:
a. Participants may leave their homes to travel by vehicle to and from the religious facility,
and must remain in their vehicle at all times.
b. No vehicle may contain more than 10 persons, in accordance with paragraph III of the Order.
c. Participants may not interact physically with clergy, staff, or participants in other vehicles.
This includes, but is not limited to, collecting donations by basket or plate.
NEWS RELEASE
 
All persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
News releases are a service of the Maryland State Police.
Contact the Office of Media Communications at 410-653-4236 or e-mail at msp.media@maryland.gov.
Maryland State Police News Release
MARYLAND STATE POLICE
2. Limited In-Person Services: Clergy may conduct limited in-person services at their respective
religious facilities, and participants may leave their homes to travel to and from the religious
facility for such services, subject to the following requirements, which are intended to protect
public health, safety, and welfare:
a. No more than 10 persons, including clergy, staff and participants, may be present inside the
religious facility during the service.
b. Participants may not interact physically with clergy, staff, or participants. This includes, but
is not limited to, collecting donations by basket or plate.
c. Participants, clergy, and staff must (i) be at least six feet apart from one another at all times,
except for participants that are part of the same household; and (ii) comply with all applicable
guidance from the CDC and MDH regarding social distancing.
d. There must be at least a four hour gap between the end of one in-person service and the
beginning of the next in-person service. The religious facility should be cleaned between
services, in accordance with CDC cleaning and disinfection guidance.
3. Minimal Operations at Religious Facilities: Clergy and other staff of religious facilities are
permitted to continue conducting minimal operations under paragraph IV.c of the Order, provided
that they comply with all applicable guidance from the CDC and MDH regarding social distancing.
In the case of religious facilities, the term “minimal operations” includes, but is not necessarily
limited to, facilitating remote services.
Individuals in violation of the Governor's Executive Order may be arrested and charged with a
misdemeanor offense that, upon conviction, could result in up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000
fine, or both. Those organizing/leading events and those attending in violation of the Governor's
Executive Order could each be charged. 

0
comments


St. Mary's County Transit System to Implement Service Reductions

LEONARDTOWN, MD – To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, PLEASE USE PUBLIC TRANSIT FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Essential travel means taking trips to work, hospitals, health care providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, schools, to provide care for family members, and other similar destinations. By reducing unnecessary travel, transit becomes safer for those who depend on it, especially essential health care workers, and for those who operate it.
 
For the health and safety of all, St. Mary’s County Transit System (STS) has enacted enhanced daily wipe-down of buses and paratransit vehicles; and disinfecting areas with high passenger touchpoints.
 
Effective, April 6, to more efficiently deploy resources to core bus service, STS will temporarily discontinue the following bus routes: Rt. 3, Rt.6, Rt.14, Rt.7 on Saturdays.  Riders needing assistance with trip planning can contact the STS Transit Information Contact Center from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 301-475-4200 ext. 1120 or 1121.
 
Service Status
 
St. Mary’s County STS Bus System will implement **New** service reductions on all parts of the STS System modes effective Monday, April 6, 2020.
 
Local Fixed Route Bus - to minimize operator contact, passenger must place fare or ticket in the fare box or show their monthly pass or daily pass while boarding the bus.
No more than 9 passengers are allowed on the bus at a time. Additional riders must wait until the following hour to ride the bus. First responders and medical service workers will be given priority boarding.
Monday through Friday STS will follow these supplemental schedules:
Rt. 7 Southern Route- Every hour, 6 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Rt. 11 Great Mills/California Route- Every hour, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rt. 12 Leonardtown Route NB/SB- Every hour, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday STS will follow these supplemental schedules:
 
 
Rt. 11 Great Mills/California Route- Every hour, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rt. 12 Leonardtown Route NB/SB- Every hour, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
 
Sunday Service
No Service on Sunday, April 12, 2020, in observance of the Easter Holiday.
Sunday schedule starting April 19, 2020:
 
 
Rt. 11 Great Mills/California Route – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rt. 12 Leonardtown – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
 
Mobility - ADA and SSTAP paratransit service will continue to book and provide medical trips such as dialysis, chemotherapy, hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, as well as trips to pharmacies and grocery stores.
All other trips are canceled until further notice.
All eligibility certification will continue as usual, please mail or make an appointment.
 
 
STS Transit Office - STS office will be open on a limited basis, residents are asked to call the STS dispatcher at 301-475-4200, ext. 1120 for an appointment for the purchase of tickets or passes or request a paratransit application or employment application to be mailed. Tickets and Passes are also available for purchase from the STS Drivers.
 
   Lost & Found - retrieval of lost & found items may be delayed unless they are related to safety and security, such as medical devices, cell phones and personal identification.  Please call the STS dispatcher at 301-475-4200, ext. 1120.
 
COVID-19 Prevention Tips
 
These everyday preventive steps have proven effective at slowing the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu:
 
·         Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
 
·         Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
 
·         Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow.
 
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.
 
·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
 
·         If you are sick, stay home, except when seeking medical care.
 
Stay informed by visiting the St. Mary’s County Government website at www.stmarysmd.com.

0
comments


Tri-County Animal Shelter Limits Hours and Availability to Appointment-Only

In order to keep the public and employees safe during COVID-19, the Tri-County Animal Shelter is changing its operating hours to 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and adoptions are available by appointment only. To make an appointment, please email animalshelter@charlescountymd.gov or call 301-932-1713.  You can also view available pets online at: www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/services/animal-care-control/tri-county-animal-shelter/-fsiteid-1.
 
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

0
comments


Suspects in Multiple Burglaries Arrested and Charged

Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested and charged two suspects in connection with a series of recent burglaries at businesses in the Waldorf area. Between March 21- March 24, at least ten businesses were broken into. In each case, the suspects broke out the glass doors or windows of the business to gain entry. Once inside, they stole small amounts of cash and other items. Following this series of incidents, detectives initiated an investigation. A break in the case came late on March 24. At approximately 11 p.m., Officer C. Caywood and Officer W. Adams were patrolling a shopping area in Waldorf when they observed a male loitering in front of a store. As they approached, the man ran to a car and fled, almost striking one of the officers. The car was found abandoned a short time later. Based on that incident and other leads detectives had been pursuing, investigators identified two suspects. On March 27, Detective R. Smith obtained arrest warrants for Jamari Deandre Hagens, 19, of White Plains, and Dionte Dwayne Lewis, 26, of Waldorf. Hagens was arrested on March 27 and Lewis was arrested on March 31. The suspects were charged with burglary, destruction of property, theft and other related charges. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective Smith at (301) 609-6504. Tipsters wishing 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 app. The investigation is ongoing.
 
 

0
comments


Survey for Local Healthcare Workers - Workforce Reserve for COVID-19

 In an effort to prepare the healthcare workforce and optimize resources at the local level for COVID-19 response, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is issuing a survey to healthcare workers in order to establish reserve capacity. This effort will help identify those workers who may be able to assist with the frontlines of this pandemic.
 
SMCHD asks any licensed or previously licensed healthcare worker who may be willing to volunteer or work above and beyond their current employment (whether you are unemployed, retired, or you are currently working and could possibly work additional hours) to please complete the following survey as soon as possible.
 
 
www.surveymonkey.com/r/SMC-reserve
 
 
“The dedication of our local healthcare workforce to support and serve our community during this time of great need is exceptional,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We understand the stress and physical demands that are being placed on our healthcare system even as we prepare for a medical surge.”
 
Please consider lending support for fellow frontline healthcare workers needing respite by helping to build local reserve capacity. The willingness of healthcare workers to serve our community in this crisis demonstrates their commitment to the health of our residents and to one another.
 
If you have any questions about the survey, please email smchd.healthprovider@maryland.gov or call (301) 475-4330.

0
comments


Maryland Delegation Pushes FEMA for Urgent Medical Supplies Needed for Statewide Fight Against COVID-19

Latest bipartisan request comes among reports that Maryland has received only a third of the items requested previously from FEMA
 
“Lack of PPE increases the likelihood of the virus spreading and the probability of healthcare practitioners becoming infected. If healthcare practitioners are infected, this directly impacts the outcome of sick Marylanders, depleting our critical staffing supply.”
 
WASHINGTON – Team Maryland, the full Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone, continue to fight for essential resources needed in Maryland to protect the health and safety of Marylanders. The latest time-sensitive request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state and overall MD-DC-VA region. In a letter to the regional FEMA director, the delegation identified six priority requests to FEMA: ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing supplies, swabs, pharmaceutical supplies for medical surge sites, and mobile medical labs. The delegation also urged approval of the Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) under the Individual Assistance (IA) portion of the Major Disaster Declaration for Maryland.  The Major Disaster Declaration was approved on March 27, 2020, but approval of CCP for Maryland is still under review.

0
comments


Hollywood Man Charged with Theft

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has received several reports of an individual knocking on doors in the Hollywood area, claiming to need money for a family emergency or to visit a hospitalized family member. Many citizens provided this individual with checks or money. An investigation has determined the suspect was providing false information to citizens in order to obtain money and checks. The individual was described as a white male, operating a white Hyundai sedan.
 
The suspect has been identified as Carroll Ignatius Norris Jr., age 46 of Hollywood. On March 23, 2020, Norris was charged via a criminal summons for the reported thefts. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking any additional victims who wish to report a theft involving Carroll Norris, to contact Deputy First Class Dale Smith at (301) 475-4200 extension 78098 or by email at Dale.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.

0
comments


COVID-19 Response Feeding Programs Offered Through Community Partners

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools will provide a drive-up lunch service from April 6-17, 2020, Monday-Friday, at the locations listed below from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily. Please note there will be no school site meal distribution on the designated holidays of Friday, April 10, 2020, and Monday, April 13, 2020. Meals will be offered to all children 18 years and younger free of charge. Parents and children can drive up to these locations and receive meals that they can take home during current school closures.
 
Leonardtown Elementary School
 
22885 Duke Street
 
Leonardtown, MD 20650
 
 
 
Greenview Knolls Elementary School
 
45711 Military Lane
 
Great Mills, MD 20634
 
 
 
            Margaret Brent Middle School
 
29675 Point Lookout Road
 
Mechanicsville, MD 20659
 
 
 
Lexington Park Elementary School
 
46763 Shangri-La Drive
 
Lexington Park, MD 20653
 
For questions regarding the lunch service program, please email foodservices@smcps.org.
 
 
 
St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, 20850 Langley Road, Lexington Park is distributing take-and-go meals between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday. One meal per person.
 
 
The soup kitchen also has bagged lunch distribution sites on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a Pop-Up Pantry on Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot at the following locations:
 
 
Ridge - Dollar General, 13270 Point Lookout Rd.
 
Piney Point- Chief's Restaurant, 44584 Tall Timbers Rd.
 
Charlotte Hall - April's Pools, on the corner of Rt. 5 and Rt. 6
 
Bushwood – Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 23080 Maddox Rd.
 
 
For more information on the St. Mary’s Caring program, call 301-863-5700.
 
 
Sheetz is proud to announce a new Kidz Meal Bagz program providing free food to help children and families in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meal Bagz will be available all-day starting Thursday, April 2, and will include a turkey sandwich, chips and a drink.
 
Families interested in taking advantage of the free Kidz Meal Bagz program should go to participating Sheetz locations and ask an employee at the register for a meal. Families will be offered one bag per child and meals will be available daily while supplies last.
 
The Kidz Meal Bagz program will be available at 293 stores across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The program began April 2, 2020 and is scheduled for a period of two weeks at which time it will be reevaluated based on community need.
 
A full list of participating Sheetz locations can be found here: https://www.sheetz.com/news/kidzmeals

0
comments


Construction to Relocate Section of Lawrence Hayden Road Completed

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation has completed construction to relocate the section of Lawrence Hayden Road between Airport View Drive and Primevere Drive in Hollywood, MD.
 
Drivers should be aware a new traffic pattern has been established and will open to the public on April 9, 2020.
 
For more information, call the Department of Public Works and Transportation at 301-475-4200, ext. 73560

0
comments


Update: Toddler in Child Abuse Case Pronounced Deceased

UPDATE: The victim in this case, Divinity Ose McKay, succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on March 31. The Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office will determine further charges. The investigation is ongoing.
 
Man Charged in Connection with Physical Child Abuse: On March 30 at 2 a.m., officers responded to the 2000 block of St. Thomas Drive in Waldorf after a man called and reported his 13-month-old daughter was having trouble breathing. When officers and paramedics arrived, the child was unresponsive. She was transported to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center for treatment. Detectives responded to the hospital to conduct an investigation. As detectives began gathering information, the girl’s father, Robert Earl McKay, III, 29, of Waldorf, assaulted one of the investigators. He was arrested, charged with assault and taken to the detention center. The child was subsequently transported to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and admitted in critical condition. Upon examination and other medical testing, detectives learned the toddler sustained trauma consistent with child abuse. Detectives also charged McKay with attempted murder, child abuse, first-degree assault, and second-degree assault. In addition, while serving a search warrant at McKay’s residence, detectives found a regulated firearm, which he is prohibited from possessing due to a previous felony conviction. The child’s mother was at work when the 911 call came in. Further, no other children reside at the residence. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective A. Worley at (301) 609- 6518.  

0
comments


Calvert County Reports First Fatality Due to COVID-19

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – April 1, 2020 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announces the first known COVID-19 death of a Calvert County resident.
 
“This is a tragic loss and we ask all county residents to join us in sharing our heartfelt condolences and prayers with the family,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “This brings home the seriousness of the situation we face. In this profoundly difficult time, we call for the entire Calvert County community to stand together – stay informed, take precautions and be good neighbors. We will use every resource available to protect the health of our community and support our health care workers and first responders.”
 
“Our medical team went to extraordinary efforts to care for the patient,” said President and CEO of CalvertHealth Medical Center Dean Teague. “We also extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of this individual. We know this is a challenging time for our community, and we are working tirelessly to protect our staff, our patients and the community.”
 
Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus for further updates, guidance and resources. Updates will continue to appear on the Calvert County Government website, www.CalvertCountyMd.gov, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and Comcast Channel 6.

0
comments


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of March 23 – March 29 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,008 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Burglary: 20-16905
On March 28, 2020, Deputy Gough responded to Cove Point Road in Lusby for the report of a burglary. The complainant advised that around 9:30pm, an unknown suspect(s) attempted to steal a four-wheeler and a dirt bike sitting outside their shed, but when the complainant approached the shed, the suspect fled on foot into Cove Point Park. 
 
Damaged Property: 20-16551
On March 26, 2020 Deputy Plant responded to Main Street in Prince Frederick for a burglary in progress. The complainant advised that they heard glass breaking in the residence next door, and then observed two male suspects flee the area through the woods. Deputy Plant observed several broken windows to the side and rear of the residence. The value of damaged property is $500.  
 
Theft: 20-16044
On March 23, 2020, Deputy W. McDowell took a report of a theft that occurred on Silver Rock Road in Lusby. The complainant advised that sometime between 6:00pm on March 22nd and 12:30am on March 23rd, an unknown suspect(s) stole their Ambrose Disposable garbage can from the driveway. The value of stolen property is $75.
 
Theft: 20-16113
On March 23, 2020, Deputy Kwitowski took a report of a theft that occurred at Weis Market in Lusby. The complainant advised that sometime between 4:00am and 8:30am on March 23rd, an unknown suspect(s) stole the rear tag from their work van while it was parked in the parking lot. The value of stolen property is $25.
 
Arrests:
 
On March 24, 2020, Deputy Gough responded to Roy Roger’s in Solomons for the report of a suspicious person. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised a male suspect was at the restaurant yelling at and harassing customers in the drive thru. Upon arrival, Deputies made contact with Dennis Marvin Erich, Jr (51), who immediately became disorderly and began yelling profanities at the Deputies on scene. Deputies detected the strong odor of alcohol emanating from Erich’s breath and person and placed him under arrest. Erich was then transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Intoxicated Public Disturbance, Disorderly Conduct, and Assault- Second Degree.
 
On March 25, 2020, Deputy W. McDowell assisted Deputy Deleon in a traffic stop on South Solomons Island Road at Cove Point Road in Lusby. Upon making contact with the driver of the vehicle, Diandre Jhavahn Harrison (26), Deputies detected the strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. Harrison was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in two plastic torn off baggies containing suspected marijuana, an additional small bag containing a suspected marijuana, a green mason jar containing several small glassine baggies of suspected marijuana, as well as a separate glassine baggie containing a pill suspected to be Alprazolam. Harrison was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.
 
On March 27, 2020, Deputy Kwitowski responded to North Solomons Island Road in Huntingtown to assist Deputy Ward with a disorderly subject. Complainants advised that Leigh Anne Bauer (34) was on their property and was refusing to leave. Upon making contact with Bauer, Deputies detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from her person. Deputies advised Bauer she was not allowed to be on the property and gave multiple commands to leave which Bauer refused. Bauer was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Trespass: Private Property, and Disorderly Conduct. 

0
comments


Twenty-three COVID-19 Cases In St. Mary's - Community Spread Confirmed

The St. Mary’s County Health Department has confirmed additional positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in St. Mary’s County residents, bringing the total case count to twenty-three. Additionally, there is now strong evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County. Community spread is the passage of illness from person to person without known risks, such as travel or contact with a confirmed case.
 
“With community spread, everyone could be at some risk for COVID-19,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “The risk of being in public places is now similar to being in a location where someone may have been while contagious with the virus. It is critical that our community members stay at home as much as possible and take precautions.”
 
SMCHD will no longer issue notifications for public exposure risks, as general risk to the community in public spaces is evident. Residents should focus on staying home, social distancing from others, and infection prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, stay away from others. If you need medical attention, call ahead to your primary care doctor or healthcare facility, or use 9-1-1 if in a medical emergency. 
 
For local COVID-19 case count, updates and information, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4911 Monday - Saturday from 8:00 a.m  - 5:00 p.m.

0
comments


Great Mills Man Arrested for Robbery

On March 24, 2020, at approximately 6:40 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported robbery in the 20800 block of Callaway Village Way. Investigation determined an unknown male wearing a hooded jacket, entered the business and brandished a knife. The suspect assaulted the victim and stole currency from the cash register and fled the scene in a black vehicle.
 
During the robbery investigation, deputies were notified of an assault involving a similar vehicle, in the 45600 block of Buckshot Way in Lexington Park. Investigation determined the suspect, later identified as Devon Tyler Lee, age 18 of Great Mills, was operating a black Tahoe and repeatedly rammed the victim’s occupied vehicle. When deputies arrived on scene the Tahoe was located abandoned. It was later determined the Tahoe had been reported stolen several days prior to the robbery and assault. Through the course of the investigation it was determined Lee was the suspect in the robbery and the stolen vehicle had been used to flee the robbery scene.
 
On March 27, 2020, Lee was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Lee was charged with the following:
 
· Armed Robbery
 
· Robbery
 
· Dangerous Weapon-Conceal
 
· Dangerous Weapon-Intent/Injure
 
· Assault First Degree
 
· Assault Second Degree
 
· Theft
 
· Motor Vehicle-Unlawful Taking
 
Lee remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no bond status. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Detective Trevor Teague at (301) 475-4200 extension 78128 or by email at Trevor.Teague@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

0
comments


REVISED: March 31 Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, March 31, the Board of Commissioners received an update from the Charles County Health Department on the latest efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Dr. Suzan Lowry, MD FAAP, the Charles County Health Officer, shared information on the testing, treatment, and prevention efforts for COVID-19 locally. Residents are reminded to call the Department of Health’s call center at 301-609-6717 for urgent questions and concerns; starting Wednesday, April 1, the call center hours have expanded to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Sundays. Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an overview of the Emergency Operation Center’s work, including continued daily coordination with local and state affiliated agencies.
 
Budget Work Session
 
The Board of County Commissioners held a budget work session to review the fiscal 2021 General Fund Revenue Outlook and fiscal 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Program, as well as fiscal 2021 Fees and Charges. Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided an update on the request for a relief fund in response to COVID-19.
 
Briefings
 
The Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services provided an update on the requested Relief Fund for COVID-19, including the potential for Charitable Trust’s involvement regarding nonprofit organizations and Economic Development Department’s involvement which would include temporary modification to the Target Industry Incentives Loan Fund and Business Development Loan Fund to address COVID-19 as it relates to local businesses. The County Commissioners approved a motion to move $200,000 into a relief fund for local businesses and $100,000 for a relief fund for nonprofit allocation by Charitable Trust. Economic Development Department also reminded residents to visit their website at www.MeetCharlesCounty.com for business resources in relation to COVID-19.
 
Approval Items
 
Commissioners approved the following items:
 
Resolution 2020-05 to extend the Charles County State of Emergency declaration until April 30.
A fiscal 2020 budget transfer request to support the cost of installing a temporary filtration system to meet contractual obligations with Competitive Power Ventures. 
A fiscal 2020 budget transfer request to fund contract management services which will assist with timely completion of projects.
A fiscal 2020 contingency transfer request in order to install a permanent pump-around connection at the Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Reclaimed Water Pump Station which allows for needed repairs.
A fiscal 2020 budget amendment increase to match funds awarded by the county for the USDA Rural Housing Preservation Grant. 
Charles County’s participation in the Joint Statement on Regional Cooperation Agreement among Maryland Capital Region Local Economic Development Organizations.
Next Commissioners Session: April 7, 2020; Additional details to be provided on BoardDocs by April 2.
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

0
comments


 

 

 

 

 

 

News