Star Local News Archives for 2020-06

Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of June 22 – June 28 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,486 calls for service throughout the community. 
 
Burglary: 20-32758, 20-32800
On June 24, 2020, Deputy Grierson responded to Catalina Drive in Lusby for the report of a burglary. The complainant advised that sometime between June 22nd and June 23rd, an unknown suspect(s) stole a hose and various gardening tools from the shed at their residence, as well as cut the lock to the garden shed owned by Chesapeake Ranch Estates Gardens and stole a red gas can. The total value of stolen property is $252.
 
Damaged Property: 20-32367
On June 22, 2020, Deputy Gott responded to Giant in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that between 8:10am and 9:03am, an unknown suspect(s) damaged their front bumper and stood on it while it was parked in the parking lot. The value of damaged property is $200.
 
Damaged Property: 20-33499
On June 27, 2020, Deputy R. Evans responded to San Gabriel Road in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that they heard a loud noise outside the residence and observed glass in a window was damaged. The value of damaged property is $300.
 
Theft: 20-32773
On June 24, 2020, Deputy Aurich responded to Stayman Court in Dunkirk for the report of a theft. The complainant advised on June 23rd, an unknown suspect(s) stole a package containing a water slide that was delivered to the residence. The value of stolen property is $700.
 
Theft: 20-32783
On June 24, 2020, Sergent Naecker responded to Scaggs Road in Owings for the report of a theft. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) stole a card containing money that was to be delivered to their residence. The value of stolen property is $40.
 
Theft: 20-32784
On June 24, 2020, Deputy Mason responded to Cypress Swamp in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised between 4:30pm on June 23rd and 7:45am on June 24th, an unknown suspect(s) cut the lock on the front gate and stole a bundle of lumber. The value of stolen property is $500.
 
Theft: 20-32851
On June 24, 2020, Deputy Grierson responded to Shamrock Court in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime on June 5th, an unknown suspect(s) stole a package containing a prescription medication that was delivered to the residence. The value of stolen property is $8.
 
Theft: 20-32865
On June 24, 2020, Deputy R. Shrawder responded to Leason Cove Drive in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between January 1, 2019 and June 24, 2020, an unknown suspect(s) stole the registration plate from a trailer parked across from the residence. The value of stolen property is unknown. 
 
Theft: 20-32871
On June 24, 2020, Deputy Gough responded to Sequoia Way in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between 3:00pm and 7:00pm on June 20th, an unknown suspect(s) stole two Men’s wedding bands from an Amazon package that was delivered to the residence. The value of stolen property is $14.95. 
 
Arrests:
 
On June 22, 2020, Deputy Holt conducted a traffic stop on East Chesapeake Beach Road at Bayfront Park. Upon making contact with the driver, Karl Frederick Kistler (56), and the passenger, Jennifer Leigh Monahan (37), Deputy Holt observed open sores on Monahan’s arm, and she began to nod off while speaking to him. Both occupants were removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in two cut straws containing a white powdery residue suspected to be heroin, one plastic baggie containing ten vials of a white powdery substance suspected to be heroin. Also located was a kit containing 8 syringes, 25 glass smoking devices, 3 filters, and 35 capsules containing a white powdery substance suspected to be heroin. Both Kistler and Monahan were placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where they were each charged with 
 
CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.
On June 27, 2020, Deputy Savick responded to Discount Liquors in Huntingtown for the report of a disorderly subject. The complainant advised the subject, Walter Jay Brown, Sr. (61), was yelling numerous profanities and spitting on customers while yelling at them. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised Brown was issued an indefinite Trespass Order on 5/19/2019. Brown was also issued a Criminal Citation earlier in the day for trespassing at the store earlier in the day on June 27th. Deputy Savick placed Brown under arrest and could detect the strong odor or alcohol emanating from Brown’s person.  Brown was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespass: Private Property. 

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Joint Resolution Signed to Advance Equity in Public Safety, Education and Health

Joint Press Release:
 
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office
 
St. Mary’s County Public Schools
 
St. Mary’s County Health Department
 
LEONARDTOWN, MD (June 30, 2020) – Yesterday, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, St Mary’s County Public Schools and the St. Mary’s County Health Department signed a Joint Resolution to Advance Equity in St. Mary’s County. Sheriff Tim Cameron, Health Officer Dr. Meeena Brewster and Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Scott Smith launched a multi-sector Equity Task Force to examine the issues of opportunity, access and equity in our county.
 
Public health, public education and public safety are interlocking components of our community, and their commitment to equity and racial justice impacts the lives of all citizens directly and indirectly. Equity is the absence of disparities among groups of people that would have otherwise arisen because of their socioeconomic status, geographical area, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender or racial/ethnic group.
 
“We have the power, together, as a community to take meaningful steps to address equity and racial justice,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer.
 
“In working together, our agencies are working toward eliminating barriers to ensure access and opportunity,” Sheriff Cameron said.
 
"I am proud to work together with the conviction and dedication of the Sheriff's Office and the Health Department to lead by bringing people together for this important work,” stated Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools.
 
The Equity Task Force agencies will collaborate in implementing organizational changes and community initiatives that promote equitable outcomes in health, education and public safety. Task Force partners will also conduct a comprehensive review of their respective institutions’ policies and practices from the lens of Equity.
 
To view a recording of the event, please visit: ? St. Mary’s County Public Schools Youtube Channel

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Hallowing Point Park Second Entrance to Open

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – June 30, 2020 – The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation announces the newly constructed second entrance to Hallowing Point Park will open for use beginning Monday, July 6. The new roadway extends from the back of Hallowing Point Park to Jibsail Drive, on the east side of the Calvert County Industrial Park, and provides secondary access for those entering and exiting Hallowing Point Park.
 
Motorists are advised to follow directional signs posted in the area for entering and exiting the park, as traffic patterns will be adjusted. Motorists may access the second entrance from Jibsail Drive or Skipjack Road. Drivers exiting from the rear of the park must use Ketch Road and Skipjack Road to access Hallowing Point Road (MD 231).
 
Drivers may only make right turns into and out of the main park entrance onto MD 231.
 
Completion of the second entrance concludes the first phase of traffic safety improvements in the area of Hallowing Point Park. Additional phases will include further roadway modifications in the surrounding area to optimize the safe flow of traffic into and out of the park.
 
Hallowing Point Park is located at 4755 Hallowing Point Road in Prince Frederick.
 
For updates on Parks & Recreation services, park availability, field closures and more visit Parks & Recreation at www.Facebook.com/CalvertCountyParks. Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Cardin Responds to Reports Russia Offered Bounties for Killing U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

“U.S. troops, their families, and the American people deserve to know when this threat was revealed, who knew about it and when.”

 

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

 

“I am severely troubled by reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as should anyone who cares for the wellbeing of our brave service members. That the White House sat on this news for months without action or notification to Congress is a breach of national security. It is imperative that the U.S. – especially the president of the United States – take seriously any threat against our troops overseas. President Trump has continually chosen to trust Vladimir Putin over the American intelligence community. U.S. troops, their families, and the American people deserve to know when this threat was revealed, who knew about it and when.”

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Statement From States Attorney Tony Covington Regarding Civilian Review Board

On June 3, 2020, I issued a statement that, among other things, advocated for the creation of a Civilian Review Board (CRB) to review citizen claims of excessive force by police in Charles County. On June 12th and 26th,  Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry, issued releases that, among other things, advocated for the re-constitution of the Board of Public Safety (BPS) to provide “review and oversight of the entire criminal justice system in Charles County.”  I have been repeatedly asked if the Sheriff is proposing the BPS as a substitute for a CRB. I do not know the answer to that question.  I can say, however, that I would not support any use of the BPS as a substitute for a properly organized CRB.
 
I have many reasons why I would not support the BPS as an oversight body for excessive force complaints that I will not address in this release.  To hear my reasons, please listen to our “Civilian Review Board” podcast which can be found on the State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO) website, www.CCSAO.us.
 
So everyone is clear on the type of CRB that I will support, below I have outlined the structure/make-up of what I believe would be an effective CRB. This list is not exhaustive nor is it touted as the only way an effective CRB can be organized.  For more details about the makeup of a CRB, again please listen to our “Civilian Review Board” podcast.
 
Civilian Review Board (CRB)
 
The CRB will review all use of force resulting in death or serious bodily injury, all instances of use of deadly force and any citizen complaint of excessive use of force.
The CRB will be independent from and operate independently from all police agencies.
The CRB will be comprised of 9 volunteer members who must be residents of the County.  None of the CRB members will be elected officials, police officers of any jurisdiction, or a person with a vested interest in the County or a police agency.
The CRB members will be selected by a combination of the County Board of Commissioners, Charles County legislative delegation, County police agencies, Ministers Coalition, and willing community groups like the Women of Action Charles County, NAACP, Lifestyles etc.
In addition to the 9-member board, there will be a non-voting police advisor and a non-voting legal advisor attached to the CRB.
Initially, CRB will have a full-time investigator and a full-time administrator. Staff may increase depending on the volume of cases.
The CRB will have the same subpoena authority that all State’s Attorneys in Maryland have under Maryland’s Criminal Procedure Article, Section 15-108.
After review, the CRB will issue a report of its findings to the public.
If appropriate, the CRB will make public recommendations to the involved police agency and the State’s Attorney.
The CRB report and recommendations shall be maintained and available to the public.
 
 
Tony Covington
 
State’s Attorney, Charles County, MD

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Update: Sheriff's Office Looking For Missing Woman (Photo)

Update: Ms. Tompkins has been found. 

 

The Sheriff's Office is attempting to locate missing person Tami Tompkins; white female 5'6" 175lbs last seen in the Park Hall area at approximately 12:45 AM on 6/30/20 wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans, no shoes with a hair in pony tail (see photo). Anyone with information please contact the Sheriff's Office. 

 

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Calvert County Announces Independence Day Schedule

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Friday, July 3, 2020, in observance of Independence Day. In addition:
 
·         Meals on Wheels will not be delivered Friday, July 3. However, participants are provided shelf-stable meals in advance. Requests for meal delivery can be made through the Office on Aging at 410-535-4606 or OOAmailbox@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
·         There will be no county bus service Friday, July 3.
 
·         The Appeal Landfill and county convenience centers will be open Friday, July 3 and closed Saturday, July 4. The Mt. Hope, Appeal and Barstow convenience centers will reopen Sunday, July 5 with normal operating hours and the Appeal Landfill will remain closed.
 
·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office will be closed Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4.
 
·         The Solomons Septage Receiving Facility will be open Friday, July 3 and closed Saturday, July 4. On-call crews will be available for water and sewer service emergencies only at 410-535-3491.
 
·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open July 3-5 with normal hours. Modified policies and procedures for golfers and staff have been implemented to comply with distancing requirements and protective guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The course is open to all users.
 
·         Kings Landing Park will be open Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.
 
·         Flag Ponds Nature Park will be open Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Calvert County residents only.
 
·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp will be closed Friday, July 3 and will reopen Saturday, July 4. The nature center is closed until further notice, but park trails will be open. 
 
·         Kings Landing pool will be open Friday, July 3 from 6-7 a.m., close at 7 a.m. for team swim practice and reopen from noon to 7 p.m. Cove Point pool will be open Friday July 3 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Both pools will be open Saturday, July 4, noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 5, noon to 7 p.m. for lap swim only. Access is limited to Calvert County residents only and pool time will be limited to one hour. To prevent lines and wait times, swimmers must reserve a swim time through the WebTrac online registration system at https://webtrac.co.cal.md.us/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/splash.html. Walk-ins will not be admitted.
 
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point, Cove Point and Solomons Town Center parks will be open. Parks close at civil twilight.
 
·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground will be open to Calvert County residents only. Holiday weekend hours of operation are Friday, July 3, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Breezy Point Beach is limited to 100 people. 
 
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed Friday, July 3 through the holiday weekend. The shelter will reopen Tuesday, July 7 by appointment only.
 
·         Calvert Library locations will be accepting curbside appointments on Friday, July 3, 1-5 p.m. Library locations will be closed on Saturday, July 4.
 
The following facilities remain closed until further notice as a preventative measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19:
 
·         The Edward T. Hall Indoor Aquatic Center remains closed.
 
·         County senior centers remain closed.
 
·         Community centers remain closed.
 
·         The Calvert Marine Museum and Museum Store remain closed.
 
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.  

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Appointment-Free COVID-19 Testing Available in Lexington Park

LEONARDTOWN, MD (June 29, 2020) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is now offering daily appointment-free COVID-19 testing, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the SMCHD Harm Reduction Program Office, located at 46035 Signature Lane in Lexington Park, MD 20653 (co-located with the U-Haul Moving & Storage of Lexington Park). Community members may walk up for testing, parking is available. If you need assistance or any accommodations, please contact the Harm Reduction Program Office at (301) 862-1680. No prior test order is required.
 
LEONARDTOWN, MD (29 de junio de 2020) - El Departamento de Salud del Condado de St Mary’s (SMCHD) ahora ofrecerá pruebas de COVID-19 sin cita de lunes a viernes de 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. en la Oficina de Harm Reduction Program (Programa de Reducción de Daños), en 46035 Signature Lane Lexington Park, MD 20653 (ubicada junto con U-Haul - los camiones de mudanza y almacenamiento en Lexington Park). Los miembros de la comunidad pueden presentarse para las pruebas, y habrá estacionamiento disponible. Si necesita ayuda o alguna acomodación, comuníquese con la Oficina de Harm Reduction Program al 301-862-1680. No se requiere orden de prueba previa. 
 
If you have health insurance coverage, please bring your insurance card with you to the testing site. Uninsured community members are welcome, also. Insurance coverage is not required and testing is provided free of charge (no out-of-pocket cost, co-payment, co-insurance, etc.).
 
Si tiene cobertura de seguro médico, traiga su tarjeta de seguro al sitio de prueba. Los miembros de la comunidad sin seguro médico también son bienvenidos. No se requiere cobertura de seguro y las pruebas se proporcionan de forma gratuita (sin costo de bolsillo, copago, coseguro, etc.).
 
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 will receive information with further instructions at the test site and should continue to self-isolate at home while waiting for results, which should be available within approximately two to five days.
 
Please visit the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s website for local COVID-19 updates, data, and information at 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.) to get your questions answered.
 
La prueba COVID-19 requiere que se inserte un hisopo en la parte posterior de la nariz de la persona durante varios segundos. La mayoría de las personas experimentan molestias menores a lo sumo. Todas las personas evaluadas recibirán información con más instrucciones en el sitio de prueba y deben continuar aislándose en su hogar mientras esperan los resultados, que deben estar disponibles en aproximadamente dos a cinco días.
 
Visite el sitio web del Departamento de Salud del Condado de St. Mary's para obtener actualizaciones, datos e información local de COVID-19 en www.smchd.org/coronavirus o llame a la Linea Comunitaria de COVID-19 al 301-475-4911 (lunes - viernes de 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) para obtener respuestas a sus preguntas.

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Summer Meals Program Continues In St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools’ Judy Center and Food and Nutrition Services is pleased to announce its free summer meals program in partnership with a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.  Meals are for children 18 years and younger free of charge.  Details about the grab and go lunch pick-up and weekly activity bag pick-up are included below.
 
Monday through Thursday, during the weeks of July 6th – August 13th, SMCPS’ Food and Nutrition Services will operate a Grab and Go Lunch pick up at Lexington Park Elementary School and Greenview Knolls Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Parents or guardians may visit either site to pick up a nutritious meal for their child.
 
Additionally, on Wednesdays, July 8th – August 5th, the SMCPS’ Judy Center will be offering weekly learn at home activity bags at Lexington Park Elementary School and Greenview Knolls Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
 
For more information regarding weekly activity bags please contact the Judy Center at 301-863- 4068.  For additional information regarding grab and go lunch, please contact Food and Nutrition Services at foodservice@smcps.org.

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Charles County Sheriff's Office Announces Progress on Policing Strategies and Initiatives

On June 12, Sheriff Troy D. Berry issued a press release outlining several initiatives he planned to implement immediately to enhance the confidence and trust between the residents of Charles County and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. The Agency is providing an update for Sheriff Berry’s initiatives:

 

·       Request the Charles County Board of Commissioners immediately allocate $1.5 million of funding to initiate the Sheriff’s Body Worn Camera program:

UPDATE: On June 17, Sheriff Berry participated in a public forum with the Board of Charles County Commissioners and discussed funding for body-worn cameras.  The discussion indicated that at this time the funding is not available (perhaps due to COVID-19 budgetary constraints) for fiscal year 2021. If the Commissioners decide not to fund the program, the Sheriff will continue to work toward starting a body-worn camera program through grants and other state and federal funding.

 

·       Request additional support and funding from the Charles County Board of Commissioners to continue and enhance the Sheriff’s De-escalation, Conflict Resolutions and Use of Force training; and ensure the Sheriff’s Office continues prohibiting neck restraints and head strikes during normal arrest incidents:

UPDATE: After speaking with the Board of Commissioners, the Agency was assured funding for the most up-to-date training relating to de-escalation, conflict resolution, and use of force would be made available. Beginning June 1 (with no additional funding necessary), every officer was scheduled for a mandatory refresher course on arrest techniques. These techniques and our policies currently and have always prohibited neck restraints and chokeholds during normal arrest procedures.

 

·       Complete a comprehensive internal review and evaluation of all use of force policies:

UPDATE: On June 15, the Commander of the Office of Professional Responsibility began a comprehensive review of the Agency’s use of force policies. The Commander will ensure our policies are consistent with legally recommended guidelines and best police practices. This review will also include our training, reporting and investigations into each use of force incident.

 

·       Request the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Charles County State Delegation immediately appoint members to the vacant positions on the existing “Board of Public Safety” to provide review and oversight of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office and Courts in accordance with County Code 125:

UPDATE:  During the public forum with the Board of County Commissioners on June 17, Sheriff Berry suggested re-instating the Charles County Board of Public Safety as soon as possible. This board, which is made up of mostly citizens of Charles County, would provide oversight of the entire criminal justice system in Charles County to include the Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Judicial System. After much discussion, the Board of County Commissioners deferred the need for oversight to the State of Maryland General Assembly for the 2021 legislative process. 

 

·       Establish a Youth Advisory Council for police and community relations comprised of youth from our communities:

UPDATE: The Sheriff’s Office is currently working with community leaders to determine the best ways to proceed in developing and selecting representatives to participate and serve on the council. The Sheriff is committed to ensuring a diverse group with the fresh perspectives and insight only the youth can bring to a discussion.

 

·       Request the Board of County Commissioners to allocate necessary funding to enhance pre-trial services and supervision for arrested persons in our community:

UPDATE: Recently, the Maryland Parole and Probation notified the courts that they would no longer provide pre-trial services in Charles County. The Sheriff has developed a framework for a process to ensuring individuals charged with a crime continue to be provided these critical services while awaiting trial. Sheriff Berry is committed to working with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and partnering with the County and the Courts to ensure pre-trial services remain available in Charles County.  These services are crucial in providing an alternative to incarceration for those are awaiting trial.

 

·       Conduct a Southern Maryland Law Enforcement Summit in partnership with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office to discuss improving law enforcement best practices:

UPDATE: On Friday, June 19, Sheriff Berry (Charles County) joined Sheriff Timothy Cameron (St. Mary’s County) and Sheriff Mike Evans (Calvert County) for the Southern Maryland Sheriff’s Public Safety Summit to discuss training protocols to ensure the three agencies, which share the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, are teaching best practices to all staff members. During the summit, the Sheriffs decided to enhance the training curriculum for use of force, de-escalation, cultural diversity, bias based profiling and other topics. Further, each agency collaborated and discussed policies related to use of force, complaint processes, and the duty to intervene among other issues.

 

      “Updating our community and keeping the dialogue open regarding these initiatives is very important to me. I want my community members to know I welcome any oversight of the Sheriff’s Office. I believe only good can come from having body-worn cameras and I am committed to holding officers accountable for misconduct,” said Sheriff Berry. “I have always been a proponent of providing excellence in police services, and I am an advocate for positive change as a leader who not only cares about the men and women of our Agency, but of each and every person here in our Charles County community.”

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Mechanicsville Man Arrested for Shooting in California

UPDATE: During the course of the investigation by detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Nikko Muhammad Mason Coates, age 19 of Mechanicsville, was identified as the suspect responsible for the shooting.
 
 
Investigation determined on June 12, 2020 the victim confronted Coates about property that Coates had stolen. During the confrontation, Coates shot the victim in the abdomen and fled the scene. On June 24, 2020, Coates was located in Lexington Park and arrested. Coates was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and charged with the following:
 
Attempted 1st Degree Murder
 
Attempted 2nd Degree Murder
 
Armed Robbery
 
Robbery
 
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
 
Handgun in Vehicle
 
Firearm Use/Violent Crime
 
Assault 1st Degree
 
Assault 2nd Degree
 
Theft
 
Coates remains incarcerated at the detention center on a no-bond status.
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension 71953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@stmarysmd.com.
 
Original Release: On June 12, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 23000 block of Sugar Maple Court in California, for the reported shooting. A male victim, age 19 of Mechanicsville, was located on scene and determined to have sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The victim was transported via helicopter to an area trauma center for treatment.
 
Anyone in the area at the time of the shooting, or anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension *71953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Temporary Sign Display Ordinance for Businesses Revised

The Department of Planning and Growth Management is making changes to the administration of the County Zoning Ordinance pertaining to Temporary Signs to assist local businesses in communicating their operating status during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Starting immediately, the Department of Planning and Growth Management is offering an expedited, free, streamlined approval process for portable signs or banners to be displayed continuously until Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, unless otherwise stated on the approved permit.

 

To apply for a free temporary sign permit, visit the Citizen Self Service Portal to create an account or to sign in at https://land.CharlesCountyMD.gov/EnerGov_Prod/SelfService#/home. Once in the CSS Portal, choose the option to apply for a “Banner” permit.

 

This ordinance change does not pertain to commercial business properties within the incorporated towns of La Plata and Indian Head. The Charles County Zoning Ordinance, Section 297-319 F, can be found at https://ecode360.com/27248260.

For questions, contact Ms. Ashleigh Goedeke of the Department of Planning and Growth at GoedekeA@CharlesCountyMD.gov or 301-645-0632. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

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Detectives Seek Public's Help Locating Critical Missing Man from Waldorf

HELP NEEDED LOCATING CRITICAL MISSING MAN: Charles County Sheriff’s detectives are seeking the public’s help in locating Charles Paul Midnight, 76, of Waldorf who was reported missing on June 25 at 12 p.m. Mr. Midnight was last seen leaving his residence in the 3000 block of Ryon Court. He left in a burgundy Ford Focus, four-door, with Maryland registration 2DS0602. The car has damage to the lower side on the driver’s door and damage to the mirror on the passenger side. Midnight is 5’9”, 170 lbs., and was wearing a purple short-sleeve polo style shirt, black jeans, and black slip-on shoes. He walks with a limp on his right side. A family member indicated he has dementia and may be headed to North Carolina, where he once lived. Midnight does not have a cell phone with him. Detectives are pursuing leads and ask that anyone with information regarding Midnight’s whereabouts call Detective E. Weaver at 301-609-6571 or the non-emergency line at (301) 932-2222. The investigation is continuing

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Public Comments Needed for Nuisance and Urban Flooding Plan

The Department of Emergency Services is developing a Charles County Nuisance Flood Plan to address the County’s increase in flooding outside its mapped flood plains. If you have experienced flooding in Charles County, we are encouraging residents to go to Map Your Flooding Survey website, where you can record and describe your flooding event(s).  Public comments and the mapping survey will be open until Aug. 12 at 4 p.m.

 

The County has developed a webpage in coordination with the Maryland Environmental Service to tell the story of nuisance and urban flooding in Charles County at the Charles County Nuisance and Urban Flooding Storymap webpage.  This website identifies known flood locations as well as its effects and recommendations to help reduce flooding and increase community resiliency.

 

A public meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. to present the Nuisance Flood Plan, including public comment received.

 

For those without internet service or who would prefer to schedule an in-person appointment, contact the Department of Emergency Services at  Flooding@CharlesCountyMD.gov, 301-609-3429, or by mail at Charles County Department of Emergency Services, Attn: Nuisance Flood Plan, 10425 Audie Lane, La Plata, MD 20646.

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Fire Marshal Warns Aerial Luminaries Known As 'Sky Lanterns' Are Prohibited In Maryland

State Fire Marshal Geraci would like to remind Maryland residents and visitors that using aerial luminaries, commonly referred to as "Sky Lanterns," is prohibited throughout the State.
 
The Office of the State Fire Marshal regularly receives requests from the public concerning these devices, typically constructed with oiled rice paper on bamboo frames, which are released into the atmosphere. A candle or fuel cell is ignited within the device, causing the trapped air inside to become heated. The hot air allows the lantern to rise and float away with the upper air currents. Once airborne, they may travel significant distances away from the release site and return to earth, often before the flame is fully extinguished. This action can result in combustibles at the landing site to become engulfed in flames, potentially creating an uncontrolled fire involving a structure or vegetation.
 
The fire risk associated with these devices encourages fire safety officials to restrict their use in the best interest of public safety.
 
Attached is a video received from a concerned citizen from Essex, Baltimore County, Maryland. The surveillance video captures a sky lantern floating into the yard, landing in the grass, and continuing to burn for approximately one and a half minutes. Luckily, the device did not fall on the pool cover or any of the structures on the property. The citizens became aware of the event after waking the next morning and finding the burnt remnants, see photos attached. The video can be found at the link: https://youtu.be/JNmbG0kP4K4
 
The images below show the remains of sky lanterns, which have fallen into citizens' yards recently. "The use of sky lanterns during any celebration can turn into tragedy if they land on someone's house, over any flammable materials or people," states State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. "We must protect the lives and property of the citizens we serve. These devices represent a threat to public safety and aviation."

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Charles County Sheriff's Office National Night Out Event is Moving from August to October this Year

Change of Date for this Year’s National Night Out: To ensure our community remains safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, at the recommendation of the National Association of Town Watch, is postponing National Night Out from August 4 to a tentative date of Tuesday, October 6, 2020. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to help make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Typically, these events include block parties, cookouts, and other fun events. For decades, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office has received awards and acknowledgement from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention for having some of the largest numbers of neighborhoods registered to participate. For more information about NNO in Charles County, contact Ms. Connie Gray, our Community Organizer, at (301) 932-3080. For more information about National Night out in general, click on this link: https://natw.org/.
 

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St. Mary's County Government Independence Holiday Operations

Leonardtown, MD – All St. Mary’s County Government administrative offices will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance the Independence Day holiday. 

 

Landfill and Convenience Centers
The St. Andrews Landfill and the six Convenience Centers, will be closed on Saturday, July 4, 2020. The Landfill and Convenience Centers will be open for normal business hours July 3 and July 5. For hours of operation and information on services, please visit https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/recycling-solid-waste/.

 

Libraries
All three St. Mary’s County library locations (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed July 4 and 5. Libraries will operate under COVID-19 Operations on July 3. For information please visit https://www.stmalib.org/update.

 

Recreation and Parks
For details on current operations, please visit https://www.stmarysmd.com/docs/RPReOpeningsFinalUpdate2b.pdf.

 

Senior Services
All St. Mary’s County Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Transit Systems

The St. Mary’s Transit System (STS), and the Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will be closed on Saturday, July 4, 2020 in observance of Independence Day. The STS will be open for normal business hours prior to and after the holiday. SSTAP will return to its normal schedule on Monday, July 6. Visit our website for bus routes and information on STS or SSTAP.

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Arrest Made in Lexington Park Shootings-Xxtreme Kleen Car Wash

UPDATE:  During the course of the investigation by detectives from the St. Mary’s Criminal Investigations Division, Trevon Charles Brooks, age 27 of Lusby, was identified as the suspect who shot two individuals at the Xtreme Kleen Car Wash. On June 24, 2020, Brooks was located in Calvert County and arrested. Brooks was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, and charged with the following:
 
Attempted 1st Degree Murder (two counts)
Assault 1st Degree (two counts)
Assault 2nd Degree (two counts)
Reckless Endangerment (two counts)
Handgun in Vehicle
Firearm Use/Violent Crime
Loaded Handgun on Person
 
Brooks is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center awaiting an appearance before a District Court Commissioner. 
 
Anyone with information on this incident, or anyone who was at the scene of the shooting that has not provided a statement is asked to contact Detective Melissa Hulse at (301) 475-4200 extension 71996 or by email at 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. 
 
Original Release- On June 14, 2020 at 10:20 a.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Xtreme Kleen Car Wash, located at 21609 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, for the reported shooting. Investigation determined that two male victims, ages 21 and 31 years old, had been shot while at the car wash. Both victims were transported via helicopter to area trauma centers for treatment. One victim was treated and released and the remaining victim remains hospitalized. 
 
Anyone with information on the shootings, or anyone in the area of the car wash at the time of the shootings, is asked to contact Detective Melissa Hulse at (301) 475- 4200 extension *71996 or by email at 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. 

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of June 15 – June 21 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,353 calls for service throughout the community. 
 
Damaged Property: 20-31563
On June 18, 2020, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to Matthew Drive and Hunting Creek Road for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between 10:30pm on June 17th and 6:30am on June 18th, an unknown suspect(s) spray painted graduation signs placed in front of the neighborhood. The value of damaged property is $200.
 
Damaged Property: 20-31633
On June 18, 2020, Deputy Ostazeski responded to Strathmore Lane in Solomons for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between June 5th and June 7th, an unknown suspect(s) removed the chain from a fence that was installed. Between June 7th and June 18th, an unknown suspect(s) removed the fence’s T-posts from the ground and threw them into the water. The value of damaged property is $175.
 
Damaged Property: 20-31678
On June 18, 2020, Deputy Gott responded to Lore Pine Lane in Solomons for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between 7:00pm on June 13th and 8:00am on June 14th, an unknown suspect(s) cut two banana trees in the backyard. The value of damaged property is $130.
 
Mail Tampering: 20-31857
On June 19, 2020, Deputy Keeley responded to Queensberry Drive in Huntingtown for the report of mail tampering and theft. The complainant advised on between April 28th and June 19th, an unknown suspect(s) stole two Amazon packages that were delivered to the residence, and opened an envelope inside the mail box, stealing the check that was inside. The value of stolen property is $63.
 
Mail Tampering: 20-31866
On June 19, 2020, Deputy Grierson responded to Cortana Drive in Port Republic for the report of mail tampering and theft. The complainant advised that sometime between May 24th, and 9:00am on May 25th, an unknown suspect(s) stole a card containing a check that was placed in the mail. The value of stolen property is $50.
 
Theft: 20-31049
On June 15, 2020, Deputy Beisel responded to Frederick Avenue in North Beach for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between 4:23pm and 6:00pm on June 14th, an unknown suspect(s) stole a package containing Hollister shorts that was delivered to the residence. The value of stolen property is $24.99.
 
Theft: 20-13215
On June 16, 2020, Deputy Grierson responded to Stagecoach Trail in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between October 2019 and March 2020, an unknown suspect(s) stole the registration plate from a boat trailer parked on the property. The value of stolen property is $20.
 
Theft: 20-31690
On June 18, 2020, Deputy Gott responded to Spring Cove Drive in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between 6:00am and 11:00am on June 18th, an unknown suspect(s) stole the registration plate from a boat trailer while it was parked at Fisherman’s Wharf in Solomons. The value of stolen property is $60.
 
Theft: 20-31800
On June 19, 2020, Deputy Gough responded to South Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised an unknown suspect(s) stole a package containing a guitar and CD set that was delivered to the residence on April 2nd. The value of stolen property is $65.
 
Theft: 20-31821
On June 19, 2020, Deputy Keeley responded to Southern Maryland Boulevard in Dunkirk for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between June 9th and June 11th, a black tandem car trailer carrying an orange Kubota ZG23 zero turn lawn mower was stolen from the yard. The total value of stolen property is $4,500.
 
Theft: 20-31848
On June 19, 2020, Deputy R. Shrawder responded to Blair Road in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised during the overnight hours of June 18th and June 19th, an unknown suspect(s) stole an 18ft. Seanymph boat and blue trailer from the residence. The value of stolen property is $2,000.
 
Theft: 20-31863
On June 19, 2020, Deputy Gough met with a complainant at the Sheriff’s Office who was reporting a theft that occurred at Giant in Prince Frederick. The complainant advised sometime between 1:00pm and 1:30pm, an unknown suspect(s) stole their wallet containing a Maryland Driver’s license as well as credit and debit cards, while shopping in the store. The complainant was advised by their bank that the cards had been used in multiple stores in Prince Frederick and Dunkirk. The total value of loss is $835.
 
Arrests:
On June 19, 2020, Deputy Mason and Deputy Barger responded to McDonald’s in Prince Frederick to assist in an Information Exchange following a traffic accident. While on scene, witnesses advised they observed the driver of the striking vehicle, Kyle Dylan Dishner (27), moving items around inside the vehicle and throwing items out the window into a handicap parking spot and towards the sign. Deputy Barger located a broken glass container in the handicap parking spot as well as three clear capsules containing a white powdery substance suspected to be heroin. Deputy Barger detected the strong odor of marijuana emanating from Dishner’s vehicle and a search was conducted which resulted in clear capsules containing a white powdery residue suspected to be heroin, three cut straws containing suspected heroin residue, and a torn plastic bag containing multiple small baggies with suspected marijuana residue. Deputies also located a plastic tube, thrown by Dishner, containing three additional capsules of suspected heroin. Dishner was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Nor Marijuana. 
 
On June 20, 2020, Deputy Barger responded to Dunkin Donuts in Prince Frederick for the report of trespassing. Upon arrival, Deputy Barger observed Dylan Shane Chapman (19), walking from the drive thru exit to another sidewalk. Calvert County Emergency Communications advised Deputy W. McDowell had issued Chapman a trespass warning on June 18, 2020. Chapman was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespass: Private Property. 

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Charles County Government July Holiday Schedule

The County Administrator wishes to remind residents of changes to operating schedules for the month of July. 

 

Friday, July 3

County offices will be closed for telephone inquiries and virtual services.  As a reminder, County buildings remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
 

Saturday, July 4

The Charles County Landfill and Recycling Center, Pisgah Recycling Center, Gilbert Run Recycling Center, Breeze Farm Recycling Center, and Piney Church Road Mulch Facility will be closed.
VanGO services will not be operating.
 

Operating status for other County affiliated agencies:

Charles County Public Library: www.ccplonline.org
Charles County Health Department: www.CharlesCountyHealth.org
 

For questions about County Government holiday closures, contact the Public Information Office at 301-885-2779 or PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Update: Wanted for Stalking-Wayne Joseph Brooks

Mr. Brooks has been located. 
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Wayne Joseph Brooks, age 28 of Leonardtown. Brooks is a white male, 6’4” and weighs 190 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. Brooks has active warrants for the following charges:
 
Stalking
 
Violation of Protective Order
 
Violation of Probation/False Statement to Officer
 
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Wayne Joseph Brooks is asked to contact Detective Elizabeth O’Connor at (301) 475-4200 extension 78075 or by email at Elizabeth.OConnor@stmarysmd.com. For immediate assistance contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Update: Sex Offender Wanted for Failing to Register-Kyle Jones

Mr. Jones has been located.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Kyle Wayne Jones, age 27, of no fixed address. Jones is wanted for failing to register as a sex offender and is classified as a Tier III lifetime registrant/offender. Jones is a white male, 5’4” and weighs 220 pounds. Jones has brown hair and brown eyes and frequents the Lexington Park area.
 
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Kyle Wayne Jones, is asked to contact Detective Melissa Hulse at (301) 475-4200 extension 71996 or by email at Melissa.Hulse@stmarysmd.com. For immediate assistance contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Man Charged with Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substance (Heroin, Fentanyl and Cocaine) for Second Time in Seven Months

Narcotics Detectives Recover Large Quantities of Heroin, Fentanyl, Crack and Cocaine: In November 2019, members of the Narcotics Enforcement Section served a search warrant at a hotel room in which Sean Michael Allen, 26, of Indian Head, was staying. Allen had been under investigation for distributing narcotics to include heroin, fentanyl, crack and cocaine. During the search warrant, 28 grams of fentanyl and 28 grams of crack was recovered as well as heroin and cocaine. Allen was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics and held without bond at the Charles County Detention Center until February 2020 when he was released on personal recognizance. Since his release, detectives became aware Allen was again dealing heroin and other narcotics and another investigation was initiated. On June 19, detectives obtained a search warrant relating to the new investigation. While serving the warrant, Allen attempted to flee but was apprehended. During the arrest, one officer was injured. Officers found Allen in possession of two grams of fentanyl. After searching Allen’s hotel room, detectives recovered drug packaging and production equipment, fentanyl, 28 grams of crack cocaine, and 34 grams of a heroin/fentanyl mixture. Allen was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin/fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute narcotics and other related charges. He is being held at the Charles County Detention Center with no bond. Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call (301) 609-5880.  

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Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 1:20 pm, the suspect placed five steaks under his coat and left the Weis Market store in Callaway without paying for them. The suspect was last seen getting into a black Chevy Tahoe driven by another person.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl. Gray Maloy at 301-475-4200, ext. 78035 or email gray.maloy@stmarysmd.com. Case # 38700-20
 
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

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Linda Vassallo Appointed Deputy County Administrator

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Vassallo as the new Deputy County Administrator, effective July 1. 
 
“Linda is a staple in this community and has done tremendous work during her many years of service with Calvert County Government,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “She has a proven track record of excellent public service and we look forward to working with her as she transitions into this new leadership role.”
 
“Linda’s 24 years of service with Calvert County Government, combined with her vision, judgment, and ability to communicate make her a perfect fit for this job,” said County Administrator Mark Willis. “Linda’s experience and leadership qualities gives her a unique perspective that will serve this community well. I look forward to working more closely with her in this new role.”
 
Vassallo replaces Wilson H. Parran, who will continue to serve as the Deputy County Administrator through June 30.
 
“Wilson’s wide range of business and government expertise and leadership experiences have helped Calvert County Government grow as an organization, and his thoughtfulness and ability to connect with people will be a standard for future leaders to follow,” said Willis. “As Wilson transitions, we must pause and say thank you for his many years of dedicated and loyal service. I will miss his counsel very much.”
 
Vassallo is currently director of the Calvert County Department of Communications & Media Relations (CMR). Hired as the county’s first marketing and communications specialist in 1996, she quickly rose through the ranks to become the director of Economic Development in 1999 and was the first female economic development director in the tri-county area.
 
She transitioned to her current role in 2017, where she stood up the county’s first CMR department. She assembled a high-performing team of professionals that leads the county’s public outreach efforts today. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has led her team by providing internal and external emergency communications, and by sending timely and important information to Calvert County citizens.
 
Vassallo also spearheaded two of the county’s most important economic legacies: local coordination of the two Dominion Cove Point LNG expansions and worked to build an economic base that played a part in Calvert County Government earning its first triple-A rating from all three rating agencies.
 
“I have been incredibly fortunate to work for this organization and the extremely talented county government employees these past 24 years,” Vassallo said. “The opportunity to stand up a new department was one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks of my career, and I will miss working and leading the CMR professionals on a daily basis. However, I look forward to this exciting new opportunity and I would like to thank the Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator and Deputy County Administrator for their support and confidence.”
 
Vassallo also held several public information, public affairs and marketing positions prior to joining county government in 1996. She worked with several organizations such as the United States Enrichment Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
 
Vassallo earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Towson University. She is currently a board member of The Patuxent Partnership and Leadership Southern Maryland Leadership Council, and is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Maryland.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Maryland Joins OffenderWatch Network, Statewide System for Managing Registered Sex Offenders

BALTIMORE (June 22, 2020) — Maryland in April became the 21st state in the U.S. to join the OffenderWatch sex offender registry network through statewide implementation, which allows law enforcement agencies to save thousands of hours in administrative time and improve investigations with accurate, detailed record keeping. The implementation of OffenderWatch will help Maryland agencies work more efficiently to manage offenders at the local, state and federal levels.

 

Every Maryland law enforcement agency that manages or accesses registered sex offender data, including sheriff’s offices, police departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, will be able to collaborate on sex offender records, aid each other in investigations, and easily share notifications with the public. Maryland residents can also sign up for free email alerts when a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

 

Sign up for free alerts when a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood on the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services website: http://www.socem.info/.

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Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash on Smallwood Church Road

Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash: On June 20 at 11:21 p.m., officers responded to the area of Smallwood Church Road near Mason Springs Road in Indian Head for the report of a motor vehicle crash. A preliminary investigation showed Rudolph Cleveland Posey, Jr., 63, of Nanjemoy, was operating an SUV southbound on Smallwood Church Road when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. Posey was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. PFC D. Walker of the Traffic Operations Unit is investigating. 

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New Criteria for St. Mary's County Grant Program Captures Entities in Operation Since March 1, 2019

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The criteria for St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Fund has been expanded to allow St. Mary’s County’s youngest businesses and non-profits to meet the eligibility requirements. As of June 22, 2020, the relief program will allow businesses and non-profits that have been in continuous operation since March 1, 2019, to apply; previously limited to entities in continuous operation since Feb. 1, 2018.

 

The grant program has a budget of $2 million. Small businesses and non-profits with 15 or fewer employees are eligible for grants of $5,000 and entities with 16 to 30 employees are eligible for grants of $7,500 (grant amount not to exceed yearly average of two months revenue). We anticipate that over 300 grants will be issued.

 

Grants may be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.

 

Eligible businesses and non-profits can submit an online application at  https://www.yesstmarysmd.com/grants/

 

You are encouraged to call or email if you have any questions concerning eligibility or required application documents. Please contact Kellie Hinkle, Deputy Director Kellie.Hinkle@StMarysMD.com 240-925-7178.

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Household Hazardous Waste Collection on July 11

The Department of Public Works is holding a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, July 11.
 
What:                                  Household Hazardous Waste
 
Where:                                Department of Public Works building (10430 Audie Lane, La Plata)
 
When:                                  Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
 
Long lines are anticipated, so we are asking our residents to be patient and remain in your vehicle until it is your turn to be served.  Residents are asked to maintain 6 feet of social distancing while at the event, and facial coverings are required when interacting face to face with staff. 
 
Items accepted: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.
 
Unacceptable materials: bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition.  Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites.  Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified.  This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener, or sawdust to aid in drying it out.
 
For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

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Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision In Port Tobacco

(Port Tobacco, Maryland) – On Thursday, June 18, 2020, at approximately 2252 hours, Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded for a report of a motor vehicle collision on Maryland Route 6 (Port Tobacco Road) in the area of Buck Mountain Place in Port Tobacco, Maryland. Due to the seriousness of the collision, the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack requested a Collision Reconstruction Specialist (CRS) to assume the investigation. Senior Trooper W. Scarlett of the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded as requested.
A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers indicates a 2014 Ford Focus operated by Jaycee Lynn Vermillion (20 yoa) of Port Tobacco, Maryland was traveling westbound on Maryland Route 6 in the area of Buck Mountain Place. The operator of the Ford, Ms. Vermillion lost control and the Ford traveled off the roadway, struck a driveway, became airborne and traveled through a wooded area. The Ford then overturned, ejecting Ms. Vermillion. Ms. Vermillion was transported to the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center with life threatening injuries. On Friday, June 19, 2020, at approximately 1937 hours, Ms. Vermillion succumbed to her injuries and was
pronounced deceased. Speed, driver error and drug impairment are suspected factors in this collision.
 Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Duty Officer at the
Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack at (301) 392-1200.
The investigation is continuing and being investigated by Trooper A. Sabock and Senior
Trooper W. Scarlett (CRS) of the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack. (20-MSP-020852)

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING: Community Development Block Grant Funds for Southern Maryland Continuum of Care

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary's County will hold a public hearing on July 7, 2020 at 9:30 AM in the Chesapeake Building located at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown, Maryland to accept the Community Development Block Grant Funds for the Southern Maryland Continuum of Care.
 
Copies of the grant are available for viewing https://www.stmarysmd.com/pio/docs/2020-117NewsReleasePublicHearingCDBGCOCGrant.pdf
 
Public Hearings may be viewed on Channel 95 and YouTube, due to social distancing guidelines at this time the public hearings will not be open to the public. The press may attend.
 
In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:
 
a.      Written Comments via Email: csmc@stmai•ysmd.com
 
b.     Mail: PO Box 653 Leonardtown, Md, 20650
 
c.      Call 301-475-4200 x 1234 to speak via telephone during the public hearing.
 
d.     Submit a 3-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com no later than 5 PM Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
 
Citizens may listen to the Public Hearing by calling 301-579-7236; Access code: 963443.
 
All submissions will be considered by the Commissioners at the Public Hearing and/or the seven (7) days following the Public Hearing.
 
Public Hearing Guidelines are subject to change.

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Update: Identity Needed in Burglary to Motor Vehicles

The suspect has been identified...
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a burglary to motor vehicle investigation. On Monday, June 15, 2020, the victim reported that someone broke into the victim’s parked school buses and appeared to be living in them. The buses were parked at the 22600 block of Three Notch Road in California.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl. Gray Maloy at 301-475-4200, ext. 78035 or email gray.maloy@stmarysmd.com. Case # 37604-20
 
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

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Water Park And Bayfront Park Planned To Open July 1st For Local Residents

Chesapeake Beach, MD, June 19, 2020- During the June 18th Town Council meeting,
the Mayor and Town Council unanimously approved the opening of Town amenities,
temporarily, in a restricted manner due to COVID-19 capacity limitations in place. The
Chesapeake Beach Water Park will open for Town and Calvert County residents, and
their guests, on July 1, 2020. Bayfront Park, aka Brownies Beach, will open to Town
residents only, and their guests, on July 1, 2020, by Resolution #R-20-3.
“The goal of the Mayor and Town Council is to provide our residents a safe local
place of enjoyment this summer, while providing jobs to our local youth. The
Chesapeake Beach Water Park and Bay Front Park have consistently served as an
outreach of employment training for our local youth bringing close to 300
employment positions to Town and Calvert County residents and it is important to
maintain our employment opportunities.” stated Mayor Patrick J. “Irish” Mahoney.
The Chesapeake Beach Water Park staff looks forward to entertaining Town and Calvert
County residents and are following all safety guidelines set forth by the MDH on 6-10-2020
in their document, titled “Amended Directive and Order Regarding Swimming Pools”.
 
“Providing a safe environment and enjoyable guest experience for you, your family and
your guests is our top priority. We can’t wait to see you July 1st”, stated the General
Manager of the Chesapeake Beach Water Park Marilyn VanWagner.
Visit the Chesapeake Beach Water Park website to purchase your tickets in advance,
view a live countdown to opening day, buy season passes or schedule swim lessons at
www.chesapeakebeachwaterpark.com. Residents are asked to have their ID available
with a Town address or their utility bill showing a Town address to gain their discounted
access to the Water Park and free access to the Beach. For more information regarding
Bayfront Park rules and restrictions please visit www.chesapeakebeachmd.gov. 

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Van Hollen, Carper Introduce Legislation to Strip the President's Ability to Federalize D.C. Police, Control D.C. National Guard

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) have introduced legislation to strip the President’s authority to control the District of Columbia National Guard and to federalize the Metropolitan Police Department. These measures have proven all the more necessary after the President’s recent use of force against peaceful protesters in D.C. The bills have been previously introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), but have never before been introduced in the Senate. 

 

“The President’s use of force against peaceful protestors in D.C. was a gross violation of their First Amendment rights. No governor would allow the President to march troops into their state without express approval – and yet, the District of Columbia is denied that basic right. It’s clear from Trump’s recent actions that the President must be immediately stripped of this authority. As we continue working to secure statehood for the District of Columbia, this basic principle of self-governance must also be addressed,” said Senator Van Hollen.

 

“The fact that the President of the United States deployed the National Guard against peaceful protestors in the District of Columbia for a photo-op is abhorrent to me – not just as someone who has served in the military, but just as a human being. And the only reason the President was able to carry out that order is because D.C. is not a state – and therein lies the problem,” said Senator Carper, who introduced the first Senate D.C. statehood bill in 2013. “This most recent incident has made clear that, while we work on the important issue of D.C. statehood, the District of Columbia should be granted control over its National Guard and Metropolitan Police Department – autonomy that every single state enjoys. The bills I am introducing today with Senator Van Hollen would give the mayor of D.C. the same control over its National Guard that all 50 states have and fix a law that currently allows a power-hungry President to take control of the city’s police department. If we are to have a healthy democracy, we cannot let what happened to peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square happen again.”

 

The District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act would name the Mayor of Washington, D.C. as Commander-in-Chief of the D.C. National Guard, giving the Mayor the same control over the D.C. National Guard that the governors of the states and the three territories with National Guards have over their respective National Guards. As exemplified recently, under current law, the President is Commander-in-Chief of the D.C. National Guard. 

 

The District of Columbia Police Home Rule Act would repeal the provision in the Home Rule Act that gives the President the authority to federalize the Metropolitan Police Department. The Home Rule Act provides that, “whenever the President of the United States determines that special conditions of an emergency nature exist which require the use of the Metropolitan Police force for Federal purposes, he may direct the mayor to provide him, and the mayor shall provide, such services of the Metropolitan Police force as the President may deem necessary and appropriate.” Mayor Bowser’s office confirmed that during the recent protests, the White House asked about federalizing the MPD.

 

Recently, a coalition of over 100 groups, including leading civil rights, labor, democracy and environmental groups, sent a letter calling on Congress to give D.C. control over the D.C. National Guard and repeal the President’s authority to federalize the D.C. police department.  

 

In addition to Senators Van Hollen and Carper, the D.C. National Guard Home Rule Act is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

 

In addition to Senators Van Hollen and Carper, the D.C. Police Home Rule Act is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

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Beware of Phone Scammers Spoofing Sheriff's Office

June 18, 2020:
 
Recently, citizens have reported receiving fraudulent calls claiming to be law enforcement officers with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, demanding money or gift cards with the threat of arrests.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens that the agency does not solicit money or gift cards, nor does the Sheriff’s Office call citizens with threats of arrest.
 
The recent scammers have also spoofed the Sheriff’s Office main phone of 301-475-8008 when calling.
 
If you receive a fraudulent call from a scammer portraying themselves as a member of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, call 301-475-8008 or make a report online at firstsheriff.com.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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COVID-19 Testing Event Scheduled for 6-23-20 in Lexington Park

LEONARDTOWN, MD (June 18, 2020) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department, in partnership with the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad will offer COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (while supplies last). Community members may walk-up or drive-thru for this testing event, located at:
 
Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad - Station 39
21685 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Blvd.
Lexington Park, MD 20653
 
LEONARDTOWN, MD (18 de junio de 2020) - El Departamento de Salud del Condado de St. Mary en asociación con el Escuadrón de Rescate Voluntario de Lexington Park ofrecerá la prueba COVID-19 el martes 23 de junio del 2020 de 9:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m. (mientras duren las reservas). Los miembros de la comunidad pueden caminar o conducir hasta este evento de prueba, ubicado en:
 
Escuadrón de Rescate Voluntario del Parque Lexington - Estación 39
21685 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Blvd.
Parque Lexington, MD 20653
 
Please pre-register for this testing event by calling the COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911 (Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). Pre-registration is not required, however, those who pre-register may have reduced wait times, depending on volume and allows for social distancing preparations onsite. 
 
If you have health insurance coverage, please bring your insurance card with you to the testing site. Uninsured community members are welcome, also. Insurance coverage is not required and testing is provided free of charge (no out-of-pocket cost, co-payment, co-insurance, etc.).
 
Pre-inscríbase para este evento de prueba llamando a la línea comunitaria de COVID-19 al 301-475-4911 (de lunes a viernes de 8:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m.). No es necesario registrarse previamente, sin embargo, aquellos que se registran previamente pueden tener tiempos de espera reducidos, dependiendo del volumen y permitira preparaciones de distanciamiento social en el sitio.
 
Si tiene cobertura de seguro médico, traiga su tarjeta de seguro al sitio de prueba. Los miembros de la comunidad sin seguro médico también son bienvenidos. No se requiere cobertura de seguro y las pruebas se proporcionan de forma gratuita (sin costo de bolsillo, copago, coseguro, etc.).
 
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 will receive information with further instructions at the test site and should continue to self-isolate at home while waiting for results, which should be available within approximately two to five days.
 
Please visit the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s website for local COVID-19 updates, data, and information at www.smchd.org/coronavirus.
 
La prueba COVID-19 requiere que se inserte un hisopo en la parte posterior de la nariz de la persona durante varios segundos. La mayoría de las personas experimentan molestias menores a lo sumo. Todas las personas evaluadas recibirán información con más instrucciones en el sitio de prueba y deben continuar aislándose en su hogar mientras esperan los resultados, que deben estar disponibles en aproximadamente dos a cinco días.
 
Visite el sitio web del Departamento de Salud del Condado de St. Mary para obtener actualizaciones, datos e información local de COVID-19 en www.smchd.org/coronavirus.

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Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision in Sunderland

On June 17, 2020 at approximately 1:34 p.m., members of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Bureau and Crash Reconstruction Team responded to a single vehicle crash on MD Rt. 2 in the area of Wayside Drive in Sunderland, MD. 
Upon arrival, units located a gray 1987 Dodge pickup truck off the roadway against a tree with a single occupant.
Preliminary investigation revealed the Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling northbound on MD Rt. 2 north of Wayside Drive when the truck left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck a tree.  The driver of the vehicle was identified as Louis William Parks, 74 of Deale, MD.  Parks was transported to CalvertHealth Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
DFC. W. Beisel of the Crash Reconstruction Team is conducting the investigation into the events leading up to the crash.  Anyone with information about the collision is asked to contact DFC. Beisel at (410) 535-2800 or via email; william.beisel@calvertcountymd.gov.

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Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision In Bryantown

(Bryantown, Maryland) – On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at approximately 2017 hours, Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded for a report of a motor vehicle collision on Maryland Route 5 (Leonardtown Road) in the area of Trotter Road in Bryantown, Maryland. Due to the seriousness of the collision, the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack requested a CollisionReconstruction Specialist (CRS) to assume the investigation. Trooper First Class M. Posch of the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack responded as requested.
A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers indicates a 2004 BMW 525I operated by Meleigha Chalai Williams (23 yoa) of Port Tobacco, Maryland was traveling southbound on Maryland Route 5 in the area of Trotter Road. Witnesses advised the BMW was passing vehicles while traveling on the shoulder at a high rate of speed. The operator of the BMW, Ms. Williams lost control and the BMW struck a guardrail on the right side of southbound Maryland Route 5. The BMW then crossed the southbound lanes, entered the median where the BMW overturned and the operator was ejected from the BMW. Ms. Williams sustained injuries that were not compatible with life and was pronounced
deceased on the scene. Speed, driver error and alcohol/drug impairment are suspected factors in this collision.
 Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Duty Officer at the
Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack at (301) 392-1200.
The investigation is continuing and being investigated by Trooper S. Williams of the Maryland
State Police La Plata Barrack and TFC M. Posch (CRS) of the Maryland State Police Leonardtown
Barrack. (20-MSP-020562)

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Commissioners Approve Budget Amendment to Complete Construction of Turf Fields

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have approved a request from the Department of Recreation and Parks for additional funding to complete construction of multisport turf fields at Chancellors Run Regional Park (CRRP), Chaptico and Lancaster Parks. The additional funding of $92,500 will be used for soil stabilization at CRRP and additional concrete curbing at all three parks.

 

In his appearance before the Commissioners, Arthur Shepherd, Director of Recreation and Parks, said turf construction at all three parks will be complete by the end of June and the public is already making use of these new fields.

 

For additional information on St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks programs and projects, visit our webpage at www.stmarysmd.com/recreate.

 

Commissioner meetings may be viewed live on St. Mary’s County Government Channel 95 or on demand on the county YouTube Channel.

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Identities Needed for Assault Suspects (Photos)

June 17, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identities of the individuals pictured in an assault investigation. On Monday, June 15, 2020 at 8:20 pm, the suspects assaulted the victim in front of the Big Lots store in Lexington Park after the victim exited the 2000 Liquor store.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identities of the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Michael Meyers at 301-475-4200, ext. 78137 or email Michael.meyers@stmarysmd.com. Case # 37473-20
 
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

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Application Open for COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Grant

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – June 17, 2020 – Applications are now being accepted for the Calvert County COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Grant. The grant was developed to provide assistance to local for-profit and nonprofit businesses that have experienced adverse financial impacts or expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The grant application will remain open until June 24, 2020, at 11:59 a.m. Closing date is subject to change based on the number of applications received.
 
Those interested in applying for a grant can reach the application portal by visiting www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/COVID19ReliefFund. Applicants are encouraged to review eligibility criteria prior to applying. FAQs can be viewed online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/COVID19ReliefFundFAQ.
 
The county government will provide up to $1.25 million in grants to Calvert County businesses and up to $500,000 for nonprofits providing services in Calvert County that meet grant criteria. The grant may be used for expenditures related to business interruption or unusual expenses incurred due to the public health emergency. Repayment is not required for any funds received through the grant program.
 
Grants will be awarded by business type in the following amounts:
 
·         Sole Proprietor: $1,500
 
·         Micro Business (1-15 employees): $5,000
 
·         Small Business (16-30 employees): $7,000
 
·         Nonprofits: Up to $10,000
 
To be considered eligible to receive a grant, both for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations must
 
·         Be in good standing with the State of Maryland;
 
·         Be current on all county tax liabilities;
 
·         Have no outstanding/open zoning or permitting code enforcement issues;
 
·         Have been operational and earning revenue prior to Jan. 1, 2019; and
 
·         Be able to demonstrate significant financial impact caused by COVID-19.
 
In addition, businesses must
 
·         Have a physical commercial location in Calvert County;
 
·         Not be a franchise or national chain (unless locally owned and operated);
 
·         Have annual revenues less than $2 million; and
 
·         Have no more than 30 full-time equivalent employees.
 
Nonprofit organizations must
 
·         Be in compliance with the Maryland Solicitation Act;
 
·         Be in good standing with the Maryland State Department of Assessments & Taxation; and
 
·         Be in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service.
 
The relief program is funded through the Maryland Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
 
Questions about the grant may be emailed to grant@calvertcountymd.gov. For business assistance, call the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583. For nonprofit assistance, call the Department of Community Resources at 410-535-1600, ext. 8803.
 
The county continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19 at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Raises Funds To Help Local Community During Pandemic

LUSBY, MD (June 17, 2020) – Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant employees answered the call recently when the United Way of Calvert County requested help for local non-profits supporting those impacted by the pandemic.  

 

Calvert Cliffs launched a fundraising campaign that challenged employees to see which department could donate the most money to local non-profit organizations.  The station’s employees stepped up to the challenge, donating more than $52,000 dollars between April 20 and May 15. Exelon Generation matched the employees’ contributions and the station was able to donate a total of $105,000. An additional $10,000 was donated by Calvert Cliffs to local food charities as part of the station’s annual charitable contributions to the local community.

 

“This is our community; we live and work here and want our families and communities to thrive.  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been directly affected or doesn’t know someone who hasn’t been impacted during these unprecedented times.  Whether it’s donating food, repairing homes for veterans or a dollar donation, we are here for the community,” said Calvert Cliffs Site Vice President Tom Haaf.

 

United Way of Calvert County has partnered with End Hunger, Farming 4 Hunger and other pantries, providing coordination of volunteers, managing shifts and deliveries, and soliciting cash and food donations for food kits for those in need. They continue to manage resource information to the community from local and state officials and remain a partner in solving ongoing needs as they arise.

 

“Our community is a better place because of the employees at Calvert Cliffs that are so generous with their time and donations to support our nonprofit community. The need is great, and it is not going away, so we cannot thank them enough”, said Kelly Chambers, CEO United Way of Calvert County.

 

Calvert Cliffs’ $10,000 donation to local food charities included End Hunger Calvert, which received $7,500 in support of supplying food and resources to 73 partner feeding organizations throughout southern Maryland including food pantries and mobile distribution sites. Funds also supported Farming for Hunger, which received $2,500 to assist with supporting an advanced growing season and increased food production allowing more families to be fed, sooner than originally planned.

 

Calvert Cliffs is located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Calvert County and is Maryland’s only nuclear energy facility. The station is home to two pressurized water reactors capable of generating more than 1,800 megawatts combined, providing approximately 80 percent of Maryland’s clean energy and powering more than 30 percent of all homes and businesses in the state.

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State Fire Marshal Warns Of Fake Online Fireworks Poster

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has been made aware of a fictitious online poster circulating on various social media accounts, referencing Independence Day celebrations and Social Distancing. The author would have the reader believe Governor Hogan has issued a directive on a specific way to handle sparklers as well as a limited time celebrating outdoors. This poster is simply fake and was produced without the authority of the Governor's Office or the Office of the State Fire Marshal. We would not direct citizens on a specific time to be outside and recommend the latest CDC guidelines on how to properly socially distance. Due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, many applicants have elected to not hold most outdoor displays, however, citizens are permitted to use legal fireworks in approved areas. Fireworks are PROHIBITED in Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince George's, Harford, and Howard Counties as well as Ocean City.   
 
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is the lead agency on the regulation of explosives and fireworks in Maryland, and its duties include the issuance and renewal of licenses of firework shooters, explosive blasters, explosive manufacturing, and explosive sales throughout Maryland. The agency is also responsible for issuing a Permit for Fireworks Display once the applicant has met specific criteria. The Office of the State Fire Marshal will process any application which it receives and will grant approval upon meeting guidelines. Check the Maryland State Fire Marshal website at www.firemarshal.mdsp.org  for listed public fireworks displays throughout the state.
 
         For those individuals who insist on the use of consumer fireworks:
 
Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
Do not allow small children to use fireworks.
Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
Have a bucket of water or hose available
Fully extinguish remains of fireworks in water before disposal.
Continue to exercise personal responsibility in order to keep ourselves, our family members, our neighbors, and our coworkers safe
 “Fireworks have been a long tradition of the 4th of July holiday celebrations. Please make safety your number one priority so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.” adds the State Fire Marshal. “By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate fireworks injuries in Maryland.”
 
Fake poster is below:

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Shooting in California Under Investigation

On June 12, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 23000 block of Sugar Maple Court in California, for the reported shooting. A male victim, age 19 of Mechanicsville, was located on scene and determined to have sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The victim was transported via helicopter to an area trauma center for treatment.
 
Anyone in the area at the time of the shooting, or anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Daniel Sidorowicz at (301) 475-4200 extension *78043 or by email at Daniel.Sidorowicz@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Commissioners Approve FY2021 Budget and Additional Allocation for St. Mary's County Board of Education

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County unanimously approved the St. Mary’s County Board of Education FY2021 budget appropriation for $109,542,921, of recurring funding and the Capital Improvement Budget including $18,115,327, of which $12,734,346 is county funding during the joint Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and Board of Education Meeting Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
 
Also, during the joint meeting, the Commissioners approved $400,000 to purchase student laptops enabling more students to have the equipment needed to participate in distance learning opportunities during the COVID19 pandemic.
 
The replay of joint meeting may be viewed on the St. Mary’s County Government YouTube page.

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Detectives Investigating Triple Shooting that Left One Man Dead and Two Others Injured

On June 15 at 7:45 p.m., an officer on routine patrol observed a disabled car near the intersection of Acton Lane and Western Parkway in Waldorf. Upon checking on the occupants, he observed two victims, a 39-year-old male and a 25-year-old male, with gunshot wounds. Both victims were flown to a hospital where they were admitted with serious injuries. At the same time the officer was tending to the victims, a 911 call was received indicating a shooting had just occurred in the 2400 block of Shawnee Lane, which is near Acton Lane. When officers arrived, they located Kwasi Louard-Clark, 34, of Waldorf, deceased with apparent gunshot wounds. A preliminary investigation revealed all three victims were together on Shawnee Lane when the suspect fired multiple rounds from a handgun, striking the men. The two victims in the car were able to flee to Acton Lane. Officers tracked the suspect and he was located nearby.  He was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun and officers discovered he had an injury to his head. He was arrested without incident. Richard Middleton, 37, of Brandywine, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and other related charges. The shooting is not random and detectives are continuing to investigate the motive. Anyone with information related to this homicide is asked to call Det. 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 mobile app.

Richard Middleton, 37, of Brandywine

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Calvert County Offers Free Class to Teach Residents How to Spot Hazardous Weather

The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, in partnership with the National Weather Service (NWS), will host a free virtual training session to teach Calvert County residents how to spot and report hazardous weather. The session will be held Tuesday, June 30, 2020, from 6-8 p.m.
 
The SKYWARN® basic training course offers residents in-depth information on recognizing features associated with developing, mature and dissipating thunderstorms that cause hazardous weather including lightning, flooding, hail, tornadoes and downbursts. Attendees will also learn basics about winter weather and tropical hazards.
 
At the end of the training course, attendees will be assigned a SKYWARN® spotter number, which is maintained in the official database at the NWS in Sterling, Virginia. Attendees will also be directed how to report vital weather information to the NWS. Citizens who have attended this course previously, but want a refresher, are encouraged to attend.
 
Citizens can sign up for the class online at www.weather.gov/lwx/skywarn. Registration closes Sunday, June 28 at 1 p.m. and is required for participation in this course. For more information, please contact the Division of Emergency Management at 410-535-1600, ext. 2638.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Commissioners Recognize 2020 Census Benchmark for St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners recognized St. Mary’s County 2020 Census response rates with a proclamation during their business meeting, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Commissioner President Randy Guy stated, “St. Mary’s County has reached an important milestone in meeting and exceeding the 2010 final response rate with more than four months before the end of the 2020 census self-response phase.” He went on to encourage all St. Mary’s County citizens to complete their census forms “…it’s very important to the county.”
 
An accurate Census count is essential for providing information that will impact St. Mary’s County for the next decade. Data from the Census determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts and determines federal funding allocations.
 
“St. Mary’s County has been actively contributing to 2020 Census awareness and participation activities since late last fall. We recognize the importance of counting every person in St. Mary’s County and it is exciting to see our efforts are paying off,” said Bill Hunt, Director of Land Use and Growth Management and chairman of the St. Mary’s County Complete Count Census Committee.
 
Regional Census representatives also congratulated the county for the success, “The U.S. Census Bureau would like to extend our congratulations to the people of St. Mary’s County for their high response rate,” said Fernando Armstrong, Regional Director for the Philadelphia Region of the U.S. Census Bureau. “Your response matters and will help your community get the accurate count it needs to secure federal funding for critical public services and political representation.”
 
For information about participating in the 2020 Census, please visit the St. Mary’s County Government Census webpage.

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How-to-Adopt-a-Stream Workshop

Looking to make a difference in your community? The Alice Ferguson Foundation and Charles County Government are holding a virtual training on how to Adopt-a-Stream in Charles County on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.  Adopting a stream means you are taking action for clean land, safe water, and healthy lives. The workshop will equip volunteers with information to track trash in the Charles County streams. Attendees will also gain valuable tools as to how to successfully host trash cleanup efforts with volunteers. Consider taking this virtual training to learn how you can join in!
 
To register for the training, visit our Eventbrite online at bit.ly/CharlesCountyAAS, email sbattersby@fergusonfoundation.org, or call Paula Proctor at 301-396-5237.

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One Man Dead, Two Injured After Shooting In Waldorf

Charles County deputies say one man is dead and two men were injured after a triple shooting that happened in Waldorf Monday evening.
 
According to the police department, the shooting happened in the area of 2400 Shawnee Lane.
 
Deputies say they found one adult victim with critical injuries on scene and two other shooting victims in a car nearby on Acton Lane near Western Parkway.
 
One man died was pronounced dead on the scene and two men were sent to the hospital to be treated, deputies say.
 
There is no word on a description of the suspect(s) at this time as deputies continue to investigate.
 
Anyone with information is asked to call the Charles County Sheriff's Office at (301) 932-2222.

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Young Boy Injured In Lexington Park Fire

Early Saturday morning, firefighters were called to 20741 Hermanville Road for the report of a fire. Forty two firefighters fro the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department responded and had the blaze under control in about fifteen minutes. After an investigation by the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office, it was determined at the time of the fire, the home was occupied by a 72 year old female and a 12 year old male.  The occupants were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors in the home.  The 12 year old juvenile was transported to an area hospital with smoke inhalation.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Housing Authority Opens Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List

The Department of Community Services Housing Authority Division is accepting applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List.  Online applications will be accepted at www.WaitListCheck.com/MD1338, starting Wednesday, June 24, at 8 a.m. through Wednesday, July 1, at 4:30 p.m.  Applications will be accepted online only, 24 hours a day.

 

Preference is given to elderly, disabled, and veteran households, as well as those who live or work in Charles County. There is not an advantage to applying early, as selection is through a lottery process.

 

The 300 applicants selected via the lottery, will be added to the Charles County Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List and contacted for enrollment at a later date.  The results of the lottery and application status will be available online by July 10 at www.WaitListCheck.com/MD1338.  Applicants that are not selected will need to reapply when the list reopens.

 

Applicants may use any computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access to apply. Those without internet access can use locations that have free wi-fi, such as the Charles County Public Library branch parking lots and public businesses. Applications will not be available at the Department of Community Services building, and fax or email requests will not be accepted.

 

Applicants and family members can each only be listed on one application. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply or be an emancipated minor as defined by law. Applicants selected to be on the waiting list must meet eligibility requirements and preferences at the time of enrollment.

 

Persons with disabilities that need help completing the online application are to call 301-934-0120, by Monday, June 29, 4:30 p.m. to receive a referral for assistance. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Information Sought in Lexington Park Shooting

On June 14, 2020 at 10:20 a.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Xtreme Kleen Car Wash, located at 21609 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, for the reported shooting. Investigation determined that two male victims, ages 21 and 31 years old, had been shot while at the car wash. Both victims were transported via helicopter to area trauma centers for treatment. One victim was treated and released and the remaining victim remains hospitalized.
 
Anyone with information on the shootings, or anyone in the area of the car wash at the time of the shootings, is asked to contact Detective Melissa Hulse at (301) 475- 4200 extension *71996 or by email at 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.

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Identity Needed for Burglary Suspect (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a burglary investigation. On Monday, June 1, 2020 at 1:18 am, the suspect broke into the Slice House restaurant in Leonardtown and took an undisclosed amount of cash.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy John Gardiner at 301-475-4200, ext. 78150 or email john.gardiner@stmarysmd.com. Case # 34271-20
 
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

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Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7:25 pm, the suspect walked out of the California Walmart store with a LG subwoofer without paying for it. The suspect was last seen getting into a red Hyundai Accent with Tennessee tags 9N55L3.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Tyler Payne at 301-475-4200, ext. 78010 or email tyler.payne@stmarysmd.com. Case # 35125-20
 
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

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Charles Charles County Sheriff's Office Announces Enhanced Policing Strategies and Community Relations

To enhance the confidence and trust between the residents of Charles County and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Troy D. Berry will be moving forward immediately with the following requests and initiatives:

 

·       Request the Charles County Board of Commissioners immediately allocate $1.5 million dollars of funding to initiate the Sheriff’s Body Worn Camera program

 

·       Request additional support and funding from the Charles County Board of Commissioners to continue and enhance the Sheriff’s De-escalation, Conflict Resolutions and Use of Force training;

 

·       Ensure the Sheriff’s Office continues prohibiting neck restraints and head strikes during normal arrest incidents;

 

·       Complete a comprehensive internal review and evaluation of all use of force policies;

 

·       Request the Charles County Board of Commissioners and the Charles County State Delegation immediately appoint members to the vacant positions on the existing “Board of Public Safety” to provide review and oversight of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office and Courts in accordance with County Code 125;

 

·       Establish a Youth Advisory Council for police and community relations comprised of youth from our communities;

 

·       Request the Board of County Commissioners to allocate necessary funding to enhance pre-trial services and supervision for arrested persons in our community;

 

·       Conduct a Southern Maryland Law Enforcement Summit in partnership with the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office to discuss improving law enforcement best practices. 

 

“We pledge to make positive changes, to work directly with our community, and continue a strong, open dialogue. Out of a tragedy, we can learn and grow as a community,” said Sheriff Berry.

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Public Hearing Scheduled for Proposed Increase in Calvert County Board of Appeals Members

 The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will hold a public hearing Tuesday, June 23, 2020 to consider and receive comments on a proposal to increase Calvert County Board of Appeals members from three to five. The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room at 175 Main St. in Prince Frederick.
 
The Board of Appeals reviews applications for variances, special exceptions and expansion or replacement of non-conforming uses and has the authority to:
 
·         Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative officer in the enforcement of the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance.
 
·         Hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance.
 
·         Grant variances from certain terms as specified in the Calvert County Zoning Ordinance.
 
In keeping with social distancing guidelines and to protect the health of citizens and staff, the public is encouraged to participate in the meetings by viewing the live stream on www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. The public can also call either of the following toll-free numbers to participate remotely:
 
·         U.S. toll-free number: 888-475-4499 or 877-853-5257
 
·         Meeting ID: 899 4188 8251
 
·         Passcode (if asked): #
 
·         Request to Speak: *9
 
Written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., Monday, June 22, 2020, and may be submitted by emailing COMMISS@calvertcountymd.gov or may be mailed to the BOCC at 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678.
 
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or linguistic barriers should be requested by contacting the BOCC office at 410-535-1600, ext. 2202.
 
For additional information, contact the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-1600, ext. 2334, or via email at pz@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Calvert County Government Announces Local Guidance in Accordance with Stage Two Recovery

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces that Calvert County will take parallel actions following Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement to include expanded services for indoor dining and outdoor amusements, beginning Friday, June 12, 2020, at 5 p.m., under Stage Two of the Maryland “Roadmap to Recovery.”
 
Local businesses and citizens should review the state guidelines, available online at https://governor.maryland.gov/recovery. Local business guidance is available on the Department of Economic Development’s Navigating Recovery resource page at www.eCalvert.com/303/Navigating-Our-Recovery. Businesses may also contact the Calvert County Department of Economic Development by email at info@ecalvert.com or by calling 410-535-4583.
 
Outdoor Pools: The Department of Parks & Recreation announces that Kings Landing Park and Cove Point Park pools will reopen for lap swim only beginning Monday, June 15. Kings Landing pool will be open 6-7 a.m. and noon to 7 p.m. Cove Point Park pool will be open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
Access is limited to Calvert County residents only and pool time will be limited to one hour. To prevent lines and wait times, swimmers must reserve a swim time through the WebTrac online registration system at https://webtrac.co.cal.md.us/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/splash.html. Walk-ins will not be admitted.
 
Swimmers must maintain adequate physical distancing at all times and must wear a mask when not in the water.
 
Parks & Recreation staff continues to work with the Calvert County Health Department on reopening strategies for open swim, swim programs and additional facilities. Further information will be provided at a later date. For questions, please contact the Department of Parks & Recreation at 410-535-2600, ext. 2649.
 
Indoor Dining: Calvert County restaurants that added temporary outdoor seating during Stage One and that intend to maintain this option during the state’s reopening phases must work with the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning and the Calvert County Health Department to ensure adherence to reopening requirements.
 
The combination of reduced indoor seating and temporary outdoor seating may not exceed the approved occupancy of the establishment.
 
In addition, dine-in establishments must ensure:
 
·         Adequate physical distancing between tables
 
·         High contact surfaces are disinfected after each use
 
·         Face coverings are worn by staff interacting with the public and each other (if less than 6 feet apart in the kitchen)
 
·         Restrooms are provided for dine-in locations
 
·         Large groups are minimized
 
·         Health survey forms are provided for staff to complete prior to returning to work
 
·         Use of disposable menus, condiments and flatware
 
·         Adequate training is provided to staff
 
For questions, please contact the Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-2348 or the Calvert County Health Department at 410-535-3922, ext. 10 or 15.
 
The county continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19 on its virtual resource center at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Calvert County Announces COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Grant

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces a COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Grant to provide assistance to local for-profit and nonprofit businesses that have experienced adverse financial impacts or expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The county government will provide up to $1.25 million in grants to Calvert County businesses and up to $500,000 for nonprofits providing services in Calvert County that meet grant criteria. The grant may be used for expenditures related to business interruption or unusual expenses incurred due to the public health emergency. Repayment is not required for any funds received through the grant program.
 
The grant application will open Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at noon and will remain open until June 24, 2020, at 11:59 a.m. Closing date is subject to change based on the number of applications received.
 
Grants will be awarded by business type in the following amounts:
 
·         Sole Proprietor: $1,500
 
·         Micro Business (1-15 employees): $5,000
 
·         Small Business (16-30 employees): $7,000
 
·         Nonprofits: Up to $10,000
 
To be considered eligible to receive a grant, both for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations must
 
·         Be in good standing with the State of Maryland;
 
·         Be current on all county tax liabilities;
 
·         Have no outstanding/open zoning or permitting code enforcement issues;
 
·         Have been operational and earning revenue prior to January 1, 2019; and
 
·         Be able to demonstrate significant financial impact caused by COVID-19.
 
In addition, businesses must
 
·         Have a physical commercial location in Calvert County;
 
·         Not be a franchise or national chain (unless locally owned and operated);
 
·         Have annual revenues less than $2 million; and
 
·         Have no more than 30 full-time equivalent employees.
 
Nonprofit organizations must
 
·         Be in compliance with the Maryland Solicitation Act;
 
·         Be in good standing with the Maryland State Department of Assessments & Taxation; and
 
·         Be in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service.
 
Business owners and executive directors interested in receiving a grant are encouraged to review eligibility criteria and application requirements online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/COVID19ReliefFund. Those interested in applying are encouraged to create a user name and password prior to the application period. Interested business owners may also send an email to grant@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
The relief program is funded through the Maryland Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
 
Questions about the grant may be emailed to grant@calvertcountymd.gov. For business assistance, call the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583. For nonprofit assistance, call the Department of Community Resources at 410-535-1600, ext. 8803.
 
The county continues to share the latest updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19 at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus. Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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St. Mary's County Government Announces Local Road to Recovery Stage 2 Expansion

LEONARDTOWN, MD – On Wednesday, June 10, 2020, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland would expand Stage Two of the Maryland Strong Roadway to Recovery.
 
Beginning Friday, June 12, 2020, at 5 p.m. re-openings include other recreational establishments and food service establishments re-opening at 50% capacity and following established guidelines.
 
Beginning Friday, June 19, 2020, at 5 p.m. re-openings include casinos, racetracks and simulcast betting facilities; fitness centers; and indoor recreational establishments re-opening at 50% capacity and following established guidelines.
 
In response, St. Mary’s County Government is adopting similar measures with the updated St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery expanding re-openings in Stage 2, as well. Please note that St. Mary’s County is permitted to be more restrictive than the state of Maryland, but not less restrictive.
 
As recovery continues, please remember to maintain physical distancing, wear face coverings and follow all safe health precautions.
 
Residents may access the  St. Mary’s County COVID19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery, the Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery, the Maryland Strong Back to Business Pledge and the guidelines on our website at https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.

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St. Mary's Transit System to Resume Regular Public Transit Services

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Effective June 15, St. Mary’s Transit System regular bus service will resume Monday through Friday, extending some routes to 9 p.m.  

All riders are required to wear a face cover before boarding buses. There is a nine-passenger limit on each bus, additional riders should wait for the next bus or call the STS dispatch number for assistance, 301-475-4200 ext. 1120 or 1121 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.

For the health and safety of all, St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) will continue daily wipe-down of buses and paratransit vehicles; and disinfecting areas with high passenger touchpoints.

St. Mary’s Transit System service fixed routes guidelines and continued routes: 

Monday through Friday STS will resume the following routes:

Rt. 1 – California Route – Northbound and Southbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 

Rt. 2 – Charlotte Hall Route – Northbound and Southbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 

Rt. 3 - Great Mills Route – Northbound and Southbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 

Rt. 4 - County Span -Northbound and Southbound every even hour 6 a.m. to 5/7 p.m.
 

Rt. 5 - Calvert Connection-every odd hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 

Rt. 7 - Southern Route- every hour, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday through Saturday STS will resume the following routes:

Rt. 6 - Northern Route – Every odd hour 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 

Rt. 7 - Southern Route- Saturday only every odd hour, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 

Rt. 11 -Great Mills/California Route- Every hour, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 

Rt. 12 -Leonardtown Route Northbound/Southbound - every hour, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 

Rt. 14 -County Span Route Northbound/Southbound every even hour, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 
 Sunday STS will resume the following routes:

 

Rt. 11 - Great Mills/California Route – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
 

Rt. 12 - Leonardtown Route – 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.

 

Riders needing assistance with trip planning can contact the STS Transit Information Center from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at 301-475-4200 ext. 1120 or 1121. For additional information and to view bus schedules, please visit our website at https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/sts-transit/.

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GIS-Enabled Website Established for Local Businesses Operating Status

The Economic Development Department and the Charles County Chamber of Commerce announce a new GIS-enabled website, www.CharlesCountyBacktoBusiness.com, to inform customers about local businesses’ operating status. Users can search by business type, location, and other pertinent criteria. A map is also available showing the business locations with their services, hours, websites, and other additional information.

 

“We hope this will be a very beneficial tool for both businesses and residents as Charles County moves forward with Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery,” said EDD Director Darréll Brown. “We’re pleased with the number of businesses who have added their information to the site so far, and we hope to see many more.”

 

Charles County-based businesses are encouraged to add their business by clicking “Add a Business” at the top right side of the page as well as add their website URL, social media information, hours, contact information, take-out status, etc. Once added, the business will show up in a user search on a Charles County map. This website is free to register and access.

 

Charles County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bonnie Grady said, “The Chamber supports Charles County businesses of all sizes.  The partnership with the Economic Development Department provides an additional resource to businesses and residents along with the other tools already available on the Chamber’s website, at www.CharlesCountyChamber.org.” 

 

For questions about the Back to Business website, contact Michelle DeSoto at DeSotoM@MeetCharlesCounty.com or 301-885-1347 or contact the Charles County Chamber of Commerce at 301-932-6500. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Mechanicsville Man Arrested for Handgun in a Vehicle

On June 6, 2020, Deputy Raley responded to the 43700 block of Wildewood Parkway in California, for the reported weapons violation. The witness advised he was forced out of a vehicle and the vehicle operator then discharged a firearm in the area. A short time later Deputy Budd located a vehicle traveling north bound on Route 235, being operated by a male with facial hair, matching the description of the vehicle and suspect provided by the witness. Dep. Budd conducted a vehicle stop and identified the operator to be Chad William Bowen, age 26 of Mechanicsville. Located on the vehicle’s floorboard was a loaded firearm. Bowen is prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition due to a previous conviction.
 
Bowen was arrested and charged with the following:
 
Handgun in Vehicle
 
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
 
Possession of Regulated Firearm by Prohibited Person
 
Possession of Ammunition by Prohibited Person
 
Handgun on Person
 
Loaded Handgun on Person
 
Reckless Endangerment
 
Bowen was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and has since been released on pretrial supervision.
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Dep. Benjamin Raley at (301) 475-4200 extension 78076 or by email at Benjamin.Raley@stmarysmd.com.

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UPDATED: Walk-up COVID-19 Testing Event in Lexington Park

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has scheduled a Walk-Up COVID-19 testing event for St. Mary’s County residents. The testing will be held Wednesday, June 17, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., (while supplies last) – additional dates/locations will be announced at a later time. The Walk-Up testing event on June 17th will be at: 
 
SMCHD Harm Reduction Program Office
46035 Signature Lane
Lexington Park, MD 20653 
 
 Please pre-register for this testing event by calling the COVID-19 Community Hotline at 301-475-4911 (Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). Pre-registration allows for less wait time and social distancing at the test site.
 
 In order to be tested, individuals must:
 
Arrive by foot or non-motorized transport (e.g., bicycle, wheelchair)
Lives in St. Mary’s County 
Present a form of identification (unless a minor) - photo ID, birth certificate, bill/paystub
If you have health insurance coverage, please bring your insurance card with you to the testing site. Uninsured residents are welcome, also. Insurance coverage is not required to participate and testing is provided free of charge (no out-of-pocket cost, co-payment, co-insurance, etc.) to all residents.
 
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 will receive information with further instructions at the test site and should continue to self-isolate at home while waiting for results, which should be available within approximately two to five days.
 
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.

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Calvert County Board of County Commissioners Approves FY 2021 Budget

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a $319 million fiscal year (FY) 2021 general fund operating budget. FY 2021 begins July 1, 2020.
 
The general fund budget for FY 2021 is a balanced budget with a $642,755 surplus. The budget reflects an increase of $5.9 million compared to the FY 2020 general fund budget of $313 million. The increased revenue is primarily due to the county’s payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement with Dominion Energy Cove Point.
 
“The budget reflects the highest priorities of Calvert County and our commitment to sound financial management for the good of the community,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “This budget takes steps to address fiscal and operational sustainability to keep us in a strong financial position, while supporting access to educational, recreational and other life-enriching opportunities for all citizens.”
 
The BOCC adjusted the proposed budget to add $340,000 of FY 2021 surplus funds to hire four contract deputies to meet security requirements at the circuit courthouse.
 
The budget includes a $4.1 million increase to funding to Calvert County Public Schools, which makes up more than 45% of the general fund operating budget and 24% of the six-year capital projects budget. Calvert County Public Schools funding is set at $134.7 million using a formula agreed upon by the BOCC and the Calvert County Board of Education. Public schools funding is $3.2 million or 2.5% more than the state required maintenance of effort amount.
 
The FY 2021 operating budget also includes:
 
·         A $0.005 reduction to the property tax rate, from $0.937 to $0.932.
 
·         A step increase (salary increase) for county employees plus a 1.42% cost of living adjustment for a total salary increase of about $2 million.
 
·         An Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) contribution of $7.3 million, the full Actuarial Determined Contribution (ADC), has been provided for in this budget. As the county continues to make significant progress funding this $243 million liability for the public schools and governmental employees, the annual ADC has been reduced by two-thirds over OPEB’s funding history.
 
·         $6.2 million is provided to the Highway Maintenance Division to fund the road paving program.
 
·         $10.8 million will be transferred to the capital projects fund.
 
The budget includes an updated fee schedule for the Department of Planning & Zoning for development review, permitting and inspection services for residential and commercial projects. The changes will offset the costs of staff time and county resources to provide a fiscal benefit to the county and its citizens.
 
The six-year, $336 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2021-2026. School construction and renovation account for the largest category totaling $80.5 million, with significant resources going toward Beach Elementary School and Northern Middle School. The Enterprise Fund is the next largest category of the CIP budget, totaling $79.5 million.
 
Residents are encouraged to review the approved budget online. For more information about the FY 2021 budget, contact the Calvert County Department of Finance & Budget at 410-535-1600, ext. 2435.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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Governor Hogan Announces Next Stage Two Reopenings, Including Indoor Dining and Outdoor Amusements

Next Round of Safe and Phased Reopenings Begins on Friday, June 12; Reopenings on Friday, June 19 to Include Gyms, Casinos, Malls
Encourages Protesters to Get Tested, Expands COVID-19 Testing in Baltimore City
State Superintendent Announces Reopenings for Summer Instruction, Child Care, and Outdoor High School Sports
 
ANNAPOLIS, MD—With key statewide health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction, Governor Larry Hogan today announced additional safe and phased reopenings through Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’
 
“This truly is one of the most daunting challenges our state has ever faced, but sometimes the worst times have a way of bringing out the very best in Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “And while I cannot promise you that we will fully recover from all these problems quickly, I will tell you that together we have faced and overcome daunting challenges before, and that we will get through these tough and difficult times together.”
 
The state’s critical health metrics continue to trend in a positive direction. Hospitalizations have dropped below 1,000, and to their lowest point in 61 days. ICU beds are also at an eight-week low. The state’s positivity rate has declined to 7.2 percent, and the positivity rate has dropped to single digits in 23 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions.
 
REOPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 12 AT 5 PM:
 
INDOOR DINING. Restaurants can resume indoor operations at 50 percent capacity, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association. Maryland Department of Health directives.
 
OUTDOOR AMUSEMENTS. Outdoor amusements and rides, including miniature golf and go-kart tracks, may resume with appropriate health and safety protocols. Capacity restrictions at pools will be increased to 50 percent with strict safety guidelines still in place. Guidelines and best practices.
Read the updated executive order.
 
REOPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 19 AT 5 PM: 
 
INDOOR FITNESS ACTIVITIES. After an extra week of sanitization and safety preparations, indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities may begin to safely reopen at 50 percent capacity with strict health, distancing, and sanitization measures. Guidelines and best practices.
 
CASINOS, ARCADES, AND MALLS. Casinos, arcades, and malls may also begin to resume operations with strict safety protocols.
 
SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE REOPENINGS
 
GRADUATION CEREMONIES. The governor is encouraging local school systems to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies with appropriate capacity and social distancing measures in place.
 
SCHOOL BUILDINGS. School systems may now begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings. School systems are encouraged to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.
 
CHILD CARE PROVIDERS. All child care providers may begin to reopen, and the number of individuals child care providers can have in one room has been expanded to a maximum of 15.
 
OUTDOOR HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS. Outdoor high school sports may begin to resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines that were previously announced for youth sports programs.
 
EXPANDED TESTING IN BALTIMORE CITY. State officials are encouraging anyone who has recently attended peaceful demonstrations to get tested for COVID-19. As part of this effort, beginning next week, the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland National Guard will open multiple high-volume COVID-19 testing sites across Baltimore City, including at the Baltimore Convention Center.
 
REOPENING GUIDANCE. As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.
 
COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH. Stage Two will continue to be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that allows local leaders to allow reopenings at their discretion.

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Commissioners Expand Broadband Service to Under Served Areas

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Maryland Rural Broadband to establish a pilot project for broadband expansion in St. Mary’s County. The Commissioners leveraged $2,972,088 CARES funding and a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband to deliver broadband internet to underserved areas in St. Mary’s County.
 
This grant will fund the purchasing and procurement of the Phase III cable plant expansion and will significantly improve broadband access to citizens living in rural St. Mary’s County areas. The upgrade is expected to be complete this calendar year.
 
The grant was accepted during the Commissioners regular business meeting Tuesday, June 9, 2020, and the meeting is available for viewing on the St. Mary’s County Government YouTube channel.

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MetCom Reports Progress on the Hickory Hills Water Storage Tower

CALIFORNIA, MD – The Metropolitan Commission is pleased to announce completion of the foundation and ring wall (at right) for its long awaited composite water storage tank. Located behind the Hickory Hills Shopping Center and Nissan dealership on MD 235, this new tank replaces the existing 500,000 gallon facility built in 1992. The derrick, used to hoist the forms for the construction of the concrete shaft composing the new two million gallon water tank, is now in place (bottom right) and visible to motorists on MD 235. It is important to note that the top of the derrick’s mast is at the same elevation that the new tower will be upon completion. The next phase of construction includes installation of the forms and the pouring of concrete for the construction of the tower shaft.
 
The budget for this new tank is $6.297 million; an additional $0.997 million was allocated for a new 700 gpm well, replacing the old well built in 1982. This project, funded through a low interest loan from the Department of Housing and Community Development, will help stabilize water system pressures throughout Lexington Park and improve water storage deficiencies to meet the current water demands of the community. A new well house, pump controls, disinfection/metering/telemetry equipment, a stand by diesel generator and demolition of the existing tower are also included in the contract.
 
George Erichsen, MetCom’s Executive Director stated, “We are very pleased to be pressing forward on the construction of what will be the largest MetCom water tower in our inventory.” (Artists rendering at left) Construction is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2022. The project has come to fruition due to the efforts of MetCom staff and project designer, (WR&A).
 
MetCom operates 17 elevated water storage towers, 37 ground storage towers, and 28 water supply and distribution systems throughout the county, including 67 wells supplying approximately 1.4 billion gallons of water each year. To learn more about our planned projects, please visit our website at www.metcom.org and select Capital Improvement Projects under the Engineering tab.

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Construction Underway on Water Line Improvements Along Prince Frederick Boulevard

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – June 10, 2020 – The Calvert County Department of Public Works announces construction work is currently underway on a water line improvement project in Prince Frederick.
 
ECM Corporation is installing approximately 4,500 linear feet of 12-inch water line along the Prince Frederick Boulevard corridor. Work is taking place on the northbound side between Allnut Court and West Dares Beach Road. Part of the construction in this area will occur along the grass right-of-way adjacent to the northbound paved shoulder of Prince Frederick Boulevard, while the remainder will be located out of the right-of-way. Construction in this area is expected to continue through mid-July.
 
Construction will then move to the area between MD 231 and West Dares Beach Road. This construction will occur in the paved shoulder of the northbound lane. Construction in this area is expected to continue into the fall.
 
Traffic in the construction area will be managed with a combination of a flagging operation with alternating one-way traffic and a lane-shift operation, which will maintain two-way traffic during construction. While working hours will generally be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., flagging operations with alternating one-way traffic will be confined to the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
Motorists are advised to slow down, stay alert and use caution when traveling through work zones.
 
For questions or concerns regarding this project, please contact the project manager, Andy Hipski, at 410-535-1600, ext. 2342, or email Andy.Hipski@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

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County Landfill Resumes Normal Operations Starting June 20

The Charles County Landfill (12305 Billingsley Rd, Waldorf) and the Piney Church Road Mulch Facility (5370 Piney Church Road, Waldorf) will resume normal hours of operations beginning Saturday, June 20. These changes are contingent on the continued successful observance of COVID-19 precautions.
 
Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
Saturdays only: 7:30 a.m. to noon, mulch loading is available for non-commercial trucks and trailers at no charge.
 
Residents are asked to maintain 6 feet of social distancing while at the Landfill or Recycling Centers. Facial coverings are required when interacting face to face with staff.
 
For more information, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/Landfill or call the Recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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Arrest Made In Calvert County Homicide Of Elderly Woman

Maryland State Police announce the arrest of David H. Johnson, 48, who they believe is the suspect in the homicide of 71-year-old, Rose M. Long. She was found dead in her home Monday morning.
 
State Police said, "Thanks to an alert citizen who spotted the stolen vehicle, the suspect wanted in connection with the murder of a woman found dead yesterday in her Calvert County home was arrested early this morning by a Maryland state trooper and a Calvert County deputy sheriff."
 
Johnson, of Prince Fredrick was charged on an arrest warrant Tuesday morning with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, burglary and theft.
 
Police say additional charges are pending and he is being processed at the Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack, where he will be taken to the county central booking center for an initial appearance before a court commissioner.
 
Monday morning, around 10:30 a.m. state troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack responded to the home of Rose M. Long, 71, of the 200 block of Stafford Road, Prince Frederick, Md., after a relative found suspicious circumstances at the home. Troopers found the victim deceased in the home. Troopers reported that the home was in disarray and troopers found evidence of an assault.
 
Police say, overnight investigators were able to develop information and evidence that identified the suspect as Johnson. Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson and a search was initiated for him. A lookout for the victim’s vehicle, which was missing from her home, had been issued last night.
 
Shortly before 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, a motorist spotted the victim’s vehicle and called police.
 
A Prince Frederick Barrack trooper and a Calvert County deputy sheriff located and stopped the car on Route 4 at Skinners Turn Road in Owings, Md. The driver, identified as Johnson, reportedly got out of the car and was arrested without incident.
 
Investigators believe Johnson had been staying at a home in the victim’s neighborhood during the past few months. Prior to that, they believe he was living in Washington, D.C.
 
A motive for this crime has not been established at this time.
 
An autopsy is expected to be conducted today on the victim’s body. The investigation is continuing.

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Congressional Delegation Presses Hogan to Fix Unemployment Insurance System and Deliver Urgently Needed Economic Relief Due to Marylanders

WASHINGTON – The Maryland congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin, and David Trone are calling on Governor Larry Hogan to fix Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim system and improve delivery of critical financial  insurance benefits to Marylanders still struggling during this public health emergency.

 

“We have previously weighed in with both the U.S. Department of Labor and your administration to urge you to address a myriad of problems preventing or delaying workers getting their benefits,” the lawmakers wrote Tuesday. “We continue to hear from many constituents every day who are encountering problems, and that are, apparently, far from resolved. Some of these problems include errors processing weekly certifications, performance of the state’s BEACON online system, and inaccurate denials of benefits.”

 

The delegation added: “Our offices have complied with the Department’s request to send daily reports to designated points of contact with information for constituents who have contacted us. The Department in turn has not provided clear information on when the constituents will be contacted, and what the average turnaround time is for completion of these inquiries. We are left unable to effectively respond to our constituents because the Department has been deficient in providing this information.”

 

They concluded: “In order to better coordinate the work by the federal and state governments, we ask that Secretary of Labor Robinson immediately assign a staff member to be the liaison to our delegation and task this individual with the responsibility of sending timely responses to, and resolutions of, Congressional casework received by the Maryland Department of Labor.”

 

The full letter can be found here and below:

 

June 9, 2020

 

The Honorable Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.

Governor of the State of Maryland

State House

100 State Circle

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

 

Dear Governor Hogan:

 

As members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation, we write to convey the concerns that we have heard from our constituents who are trying to obtain unemployment benefits during this challenging time. The unemployment insurance (UI) program is an extremely important federal-state partnership for the people of Maryland and the nation, which involves the collection of billions of dollars of federal and state unemployment insurance taxes. When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in the United States, Congress acted quickly to provide unprecedented UI assistance to workers – and to states charged with processing UI claims – given the impact of the pandemic on businesses, employees, and the economy generally.

 

The UI provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act include expanded benefit eligibility to workers not otherwise covered by UI, such as the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers; a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits; and a $600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits. The UI provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provide various types of assistance to states, including up to $1 billion in emergency administrative grant funding, of which Maryland received roughly $16.8 million. This law also removes through December 2020 the current requirement in UI law for states to have a waiting week for their regular UI programs.

 

As you know, we have previously weighed in with both the U.S. Department of Labor and your administration to urge you to address a myriad of problems preventing or delaying workers getting their benefits. We continue to hear from many constituents every day who are encountering problems, and that are, apparently, far from resolved. Some of these problems include errors processing weekly certifications, performance of the state’s BEACON online system, and inaccurate denials of benefits.

 

To fix these errors, claimants often must contact the Maryland Department of Labor (MDOL), where they struggle to get an answer. We have heard from constituents who have waited on hold for long periods of time without speaking to an MDOL representative. When our constituents try to contact MDOL by e-mail, they tell us their messages often go unanswered.

 

Federal law does require that the temporary programs enacted by the CARES Act operate in tandem with the fundamental eligibility requirements of the federal-state UI program. The CARES Act programs have new eligibility requirements that states must apply in order to ensure that only eligible individuals receive benefits, in order to maintain program integrity. Specifically, states must maintain weekly certification processes to ensure continuing eligibility of UI claimants and must complete required checks for interstate wages. However, states have certain flexibility in how to implement these requirements, and each state has implemented these new UI benefits in a different manner.

 

We are deeply grateful for the hard work of rank-and-file employees at MDOL to process claims and provide assistance. These workers corroborate what we hear from claimants, with their own reports of short-staffing and failing technology that date back to before the pandemic.

 

We well understand the challenges for the states in standing up new systems to implement the expanded federal-state UI program. It has been difficult for all states. Maryland has had trouble with expansion of UI benefits while maintaining compliance with federal program integrity rules such as weekly certifications. But it has been more than two months since the CARES Act was signed into law on March 27.

 

At the state level, Maryland Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson recently made changes to the BEACON One-Stop unemployment insurance portal. Maryland will now allow all regular unemployment insurance claimants to file weekly claim certifications for all prior weeks they have missed in just one computer session, instead of multiple computer sessions. Maryland directed these claimants, who were previously limited to filing one prior week at a time, to check their BEACON portal to see if there are new claim certification weeks available to file. If there are multiple weeks available, claimants can file them all to ensure that their claim filings are up to date. The system will also now allow claimants to reactivate claims that had become inactive.

 

When constituents’ UI inquiries are not satisfactorily addressed by the Maryland Department of Labor, constituents are then left to direct their inquiries to elected officials, often contacting multiple federal delegation members, state delegates, and state senators. We understand that many of these applications require adjudication. However, not providing timely updates leaves our constituents desperately frustrated. We therefore request that the Department of Labor develop a process to provide timely information directly to applicants about the status of their applications.

 

Our offices have complied with the Department’s request to send daily reports to designated points of contact with information for constituents who have contacted us. The Department in turn has not provided clear information on when the constituents will be contacted, and what the average turnaround time is for completion of these inquiries. We are left unable to effectively respond to our constituents because the Department has been deficient in providing this information.

 

We have received many inquiries from constituents as to the status of their UI applications or benefits, and our staff is working hard to address their concerns. In order to better coordinate the work by the federal and state governments, we ask that Secretary of Labor Robinson immediately assign a staff member to be the liaison to our delegation and task this individual with the responsibility of sending timely responses to, and resolutions of, Congressional casework received by the Maryland Department of Labor.

 

As we stated in our April 14, 2020 letter to Secretary Robinson, it would be helpful to immediately identify for the federal delegation any continuing problems or concerns at the federal level in terms of administering the UI program, and where additional federal relief or assistance is requested. You have pointed to issues with the federal Department of Labor causing “tremendous difficulties” in delivering benefits. We therefore require specific information on how we can help on a regular basis. The Department should also provide the delegation with: (1) the number of Marylanders who have been initially approved for benefits; (2) the total number of Marylanders who have consistently received their benefits, uninterrupted, on a weekly basis; and (3) the number of pending applications.

 

As the Maryland Congressional Delegation, we are committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to delivery urgently needed relief to Marylanders who are unemployed and face economic hardships not seen since the great Depression. We look forward to working closely together to address challenges in the proper administration of the UI system, which again is a joint federal-state partnership with billions of dollars withheld in federal and state UI taxes. We will continue to work in Congress to enact additional urgent measures to provide assistance to state and local governments, businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations during this pandemic.

 

Sincerely,

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Calvert County Extends Local State of Emergency to Continue Enhanced Readiness

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) today voted for a third extension to the declaration of a local state of emergency for Calvert County. The resolution extends the declaration for an additional 30 days in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but does NOT impact Stage Two reopenings.
 
“Extending our local declaration of emergency simply allows the county to remain at a heightened state of readiness that enables staff to respond immediately in the event of an increase in COVID-19 cases,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “It does not impact our ability or intent to continue with a phased reopening. There are many unknowns as we confront the short- and long-term impacts of this pandemic, so we will take every precaution to protect the health of our residents as we continue toward recovery.”
 
The declaration was initially executed by McConkey on March 17. The BOCC voted in April and May to extend the declaration for an additional 30 days each. The state of emergency will expire 120 days after the declaration first went into effect, unless terminated earlier.
 
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.

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Commissioners Sign Memorandum of Agreement with College of Southern Maryland for Small Business Development Center Services

LEONARDTOWN, MD – As part of their ongoing support for small businesses, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved a Memorandum of Agreement between the county and the College of Southern Maryland to continue the operating services of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The agreement allocated $37,500 from their FY21 budget and was approved during their regular business meeting Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
 
The SBDC provides market research, cash flow analysis and topic-specific training and ongoing mentoring to small-business owners and startups located in St. Mary’s County and is part of a federally funded program from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 
For more information regarding the SBDC and other business-related services, please contact Chris Kaselemis, Director of Economic Development at 301-475-4200, ext. 1405.

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Identity Needed for Burglary Suspect (Photos)

June 9, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a burglary investigation. On Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 5:45 pm, the suspect forced entry into the victim’s shed and removed lawn maintenance equipment at the rear of a business at the 21800 block of Three Notch Road in Lexington Park.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Travis Wimberly at 301-475-4200, ext. *8086 or email travis.wimberly@stmarysmd.com. Case # 29861-20
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of June 1 – June 7 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,403 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Damaged Property: 20-28606
On June 3, 2020, Deputy Hardesty responded to Rousby Hall Road in Lusby for the report of damaged property. Deputy Hardesty observed a total of seven street signs that had been marked with profanity along Rousby Hall Road. The value of damaged property is $999.
 
Damaged Property: 20-29052
On June 5, 2020, Deputy Anderson responded to Solomons Town Center Park in Solomons for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised an unknown male suspect was observed riding a red dirt bike through the turf field on June 4th at 5:00pm. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Theft: 20-28406
On June 2, 2020, Deputy Hardy responded to Hallowing Point Road in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime on May 22nd, an unknown suspect(s) stole two packages from their mailbox. A third package was opened, but left inside the mailbox. The value of stolen property is $28.
 
Theft: 20-28821
On June 4, 2020, Deputy Plant responded to Llewelyn Lane in Huntingtown for the report of a theft. The complainant advised between 10:00am and 4:00pm on June 2nd an unknown suspect(s) stole a Dell Pro Series laptop, a Samsonite computer bag, a Makita skill saw, bank statements, a birth certificate, and a passport from their work van. The total value of stolen property is $2,650.
 
Theft: 20-29272
On June 6, 2020, Deputy Sampson met with a complainant at the Calvert County Sheriff’s office who was reporting a theft. The complainant advised that between 7:00pm and 8:00pm on June 5th, an unknown suspect(s) stole the handicap parking placard from their vehicle while parked at Walmart in Prince Frederick. The value of stolen property is unknown. 
 
Arrests:
 
On June 1, 2020, Deputies responded to the Prince Frederick Shopping Center in Prince Frederick to assist with the demonstration. While attempting to clear the parking lot, Deputies made contact with Demetrious Carrol Holland (29) and Shamiya Shawnte Taylor (20) who refused to leave the premises. After multiple requests to leave the premises, Holland and Taylor continued to yell profanities and refused to leave. Holland and Taylor were placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where they were charged with Disorderly Conduct and Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order. 
 
On June 2, 2020, Deputy Freeland responded to the area of Cove Point Park to assist other deputies in locating a suspect involved in a firearms complaint. Deputies located the suspect, Michael Gene Newkirk (31), inside his vehicle. Newkirk was removed from the vehicle and detained while a search was conducted, resulting in a hypodermic syringe containing suspected heroin, a small tea cup candle holder with burn residue, a small cotton wad, and a Suboxone film strip. Newkirk was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, and CDS Administer Equipment Possess/Distribute.   
 
On June 4, 2020, Deputy Wilder responded to Rousby Hall Road in Lusby for the report of a vehicle theft. The complainant advised between 4:00am and 7:40am on June 4th, an unknown suspect(s) stole a small motorhome that was parked in the lot for cleaning service. While gathering information on the stolen motorhome, Deputy Wilder and complainant’s observed an unknown male drive the motorhome back onto the property. The driver of the motorhome, Bruce Craig Bluteau, Jr. (51), was stopped and removed from the vehicle. The complainant advised there was damage to the hitch area in the rear of the motorhome that was not there when the vehicle was dropped off for cleaning service. Bluteau was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Motor Vehicle/ Unlawful Taking, Theft: $1,500 to under $25,000 and Malicious Destruction of Property/ Value <$1,000.
 
On June 5, 2020, Deputy Anderson was conducting a routine patrol check in the area of Rousby Hall Road and Clubhouse Drive when he observed a truck parked at the entrance of Clubhouse Drive. The driver of the truck, Stephen Charles Quijada (26), was inside the vehicle and appeared to be passed out. Deputy Anderson observed Quijada to be holding a hypodermic needle and after multiple attempts, Quijada woke up and exited the vehicle. While speaking with him, Deputy Anderson observed Quijada’s lack of balance a slurred speech. Quijada was detained and a search of the vehicle was conducted which resulted in an additional used hypodermic needle, a plastic water bottle cap containing a cotton filter with suspected white cocaine residue, and a cellophane wrapper containing suspected white cocaine residue. Quijada was placed under arrest and was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS; Possession- Not Marijuana and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.  
 
On June 6, 2020, Deputy Sampson conducted a traffic stop on S Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick. While approaching the vehicle, Deputy Sampson observed the driver, Brian Keith Therres (37), fumbling around inside the car, and then observed an empty gun holster in the Therres’ lap. Deputy Gough arrived on scene to assist and Therres was removed from the vehicle and detained. A search of the vehicle was conducted which resulted in a loaded, black Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm handgun wrapped inside a white shirt on the passenger seat, as well as an additional 10 round magazine loaded with Winchester 9mm rounds. Deputies also recovered ten unopened Buprenorphine and naloxone sublingual strips, and a pill bottle containing four suspected Clonazepam pills, two suspected Buprenorphine pills, three unknown pink pills, an empty 24oz can of Bud Light, two empty Bud Light Bottles, and two empty Fireball whiskey shot sized containers. Therres was observed to have incoherent, slurred speech and lack of balance. Therres was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Loaded Handgun on Person, Loaded Handgun in Vehicle, Handgun on Person, Handgun in Vehicle, and CDS Possession- Not Marijuana.

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Charles County Announces the Small Business Relief Grant Program

The Charles County COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant Program, a $2.5 million plan, is designed to provide grants to local businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The money for the grant program comes from the County’s CARES Act distribution, which Charles County Government recently received.  The program will be administered by the Charles County Economic Development Department.  Businesses with zero to four employees will be eligible for grants up to $5,000.  Those with a minimum of five and no more than 75 full-time equivalent employees may apply for up to $10,000 in grant funding. Half a million dollars is designated to go to businesses that are agriculture and aquaculture related.
 
“Assisting our local businesses is a top priority to this Board of Commissioners,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq.  “Each Commissioner is committed to providing resources to help businesses with losses due to business interruptions or to expenses related to reopening safely.”
 
Businesses may use funds from the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for expenses such as payroll, inventory, rent, utilities, and costs related to prevention measures for protecting employees and customers from the virus, such as personal protective equipment, signage, barriers, and other items. The grant funds are for expenditures occurring between March 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020.
 
Eligible businesses are those that are for-profit, headquartered in Charles County, been in operation for at least one year as of May 2020, and able to provide evidence of financial disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses may be organized under any legal structure, including sole proprietors and independent contractors without (W2) employees.   Agriculture and aquaculture related businesses meet the same eligibility requirements listed above, including the grant amount based on the number of employees.  Businesses that qualify for this designation can include farms and farm stores, agritourism enterprises, equestrian operations, value-added operations, and enterprises engaged in the harvesting of seafood. 
 
“Each business, each industry is different.  In developing the criteria for this business grant, we wanted to provide the maximum flexibility for businesses to be able to use this money in a manner that best meets their specific needs,” said Economic Development Director, Darréll Brown. “Even the businesses that have been opened during this crisis had challenges, including revising their operations and adjusting their business models.  It not just about losses; it’s about extra expenses, too.”
 
Visit www.meetcharlescounty.com/charles-county-covid-19-business-grants for Information about the program, FAQs, eligibility requirements, and the program application. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

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Police Searching For Suspect In Elderly Woman's Murder

Maryland State Police are investigating the apparent murder of a Calvert County woman who was found dead in her home Monday.  
 
The victim is identified as Rose M. Long, 71, of the 200-block of Stafford Road, Prince Frederick, Md.  She was pronounced dead in her home.  Her body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.  
 
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday, troopers at Prince Frederick Barrack responded to a call from a relative of the victim who had gone to visit her.  When troopers arrived at the home, they found the victim deceased in the living room.  Troopers observed items in the home in disarray and found evidence of an assault.  
 
Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators responded to continue the investigation.  The preliminary investigation indicates the victim, who lived alone, was assaulted and killed in her home sometime within the past two days.  Investigators determined the victim’s car was missing and may have been taken by the suspect.  The victim’s car is identified as a maroon 2000 Toyota Camry, MD registration AKE947.  A lookout has been issued for the vehicle.  Anyone who may see this car is urged to contact police immediately.  
 
State Police crime scene technicians continued to process the scene and homicide investigators are continuing a neighborhood canvas to identify anyone who may have seen anything suspicious or have any information regarding a suspect in this crime.  Assistance is being provided by investigators from the State Police Criminal Enforcement Division and troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack.  
 
Anyone with information about this apparent murder is urged to contact Maryland State Police immediately at 410-535-1400.  Callers may remain anonymous.

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Cardin, Bicameral Democrats Call for Nationwide Police Overhaul

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), an original cosponsor of the Justice in Policing Act and lead sponsor of the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (S. 2355) and Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (S. 3063), called on Republicans to join Democrats in finally passing comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation.

 

“Before they first put on a badge, police officers take an oath to uphold the law. Most do so with the best intentions and carry out their duties with a willingness to help their communities. But, in far too many communities across the country, the system in which they work has been failing. People are dying at the hands of police, predominantly people of color. Accountability has been inextricably tied to public videos rather than doing the right thing. Incremental reform is no longer an option when it comes to police reform. We have been patient, but we must do better to protect the civil rights, human rights and the lives of men, women and children in this country. Congress must finally pass a comprehensive plan to improve training and community relations, hold police accountable and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

 

“To that end, I have been proud to work with my colleagues Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kamala Harris on creating a package of police reforms that shows where we need to be as a nation with a fair and just system of laws. The package focuses on three major pillars: accountability, data collection, and training and policies. I was proud that two major pieces included in the Justice in Policing Act are from bills that I have introduced for many Congresses: The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (S. 2355) and the Law Enforcement Trust and Accountability Act (S. 3063).

 

“The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act is designed to enforce the constitutional right to equal protection under the law by eliminating racial and religious-based discriminatory profiling at all levels of law enforcement by changing the policies and procedures. It allows police to focus their work more accurately rather than wasting resources on blanket stereotypes.

 

“The Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act takes a comprehensive approach at how local police organizations can adopt performance-based standards to ensure that instances of misconduct will be minimized through training and oversight. The bill provides that if such incidents do occur that they be properly investigated. 

 

“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to focus on our common humanity and respect for the rule of law. There are examples of best practices in community policing that should be a guide nationwide. Let us work together to ‘guarantee equal justice under law’ and fulfill the promise of our Constitution ‘in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure domestic tranquility.’”

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SMECO Awards Scholarships

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has awarded four scholarships to high school seniors for 2020 to students who live in the Cooperative’s service area. Scholarships are based on the applicants’ scholastic achievement, financial need, and school and community involvement. SMECO has awarded scholarships to 112 students in the 28 years since beginning the program in 1993. Each of the following students will receive a $1,500 college scholarship: Aaliah Amosu, Chloe Harsha, Jordan Homan, and Alyssa Mazzone.
Aaliah Amosu, graduate of St. Charles High School in Charles County, plans to attend George Washington University to pursue a career in computer engineering. She took third place in Robotics and Intelligent Machines in the Fairfax County Regional Science Fair in 2018. She is a member of the Girl Scouts, Vex Robotics team, Math Team, and Academic Quiz Bowl team. Amosu received Principal’s Honors and a Scholar Athlete award, served as Executive Secretary in the Student Government Association (SGA), and played field hockey. Hayley Ressler, a teacher at St. Charles, said, “Aaliah is a wonderfully bright, friendly, and ambitious young woman who always strives to do her absolute best.” Amosu is the child of Adenike and Olasunkanmi Amosu of Waldorf, Maryland.
Chloe Harsha, is a graduate of Leonardtown High School (LHS) in St. Mary’s County. Harsha plans to study animation and visual arts at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. An accomplished artist and musician, Harsha enjoys working in the theater with the LHS ROSE Players and has volunteered hundreds of hours over the years in community theater productions at the Newtowne Players and Historic Sotterley. She has served as sound designer, scenic artist and paint manager, and played in leading, supporting and ensemble roles. Harsha also served as the president of the new National Art Honor Society chapter at LHS. Harsha is the child of Laura Underwood of California, Maryland.
Jordan Homan, graduate of La Plata High School (LPHS) in Charles County, plans to attend the University of Maryland and study psychology. She is the child of Robert and Linda Homan of Bel Alton, Maryland. As a freshman, Homan was the Maryland Young Writers high school student winner for fiction for her short story, “It Will Always Come Back Around.” Homan participates in multiple extracurricular activities, including National Honor Society, SGA, Key Club, Best Buddies, and Operation Christmas Child. She won the Director’s Choice Award as a junior and participated as a cast member in the LPHS theater department’s musical productions throughout her high school years. On multiple occasions, she was named to the Principal’s Honor Roll and received Academic Excellence Letters, Certificates of Academic Excellence, and an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Distinction award.
Alyssa Mazzone, graduate of Patuxent High School in Calvert County, plans to study computer science and specialize in cyber security at the University of Maryland. Mazzone’s extracurricular activities include Cougars Elite competitive cheerleading, junior varsity basketball, and the theater’s musical productions. She has been the Varsity Cheerleading Captain for two years and was named All American Cheerleader in 2016 and 2019. She received Minds in Motion Academic Athlete awards, as well as awards for Academic Excellence in AP Computer Science and Photography. Mazzone has participated in numerous community service activities and fund-raisers including Relay for Life, Christmas in April, Karsyn’s Carnival, March of Dimes, Friendship Dances, and Wobble Before You Gobble 5K runs. She also won the Miss Maryland Teen USA Humanitarian Service Award in 2018. Mazzone is the child of Brian and Darlene Mazzone of Lusby, Maryland.
SMECO provides scholarships to local students who excel in their endeavors and who show promise in their chosen field of study. 

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COVID-19 Testing Recommended Following Recent Demonstrations

Following the large gatherings of residents for demonstrations held in the county this month, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) and St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office encourages participants to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and consider testing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The health department is increasing testing options locally for residents this week in order to accommodate testing demand.
 
"These peaceful protests were important and timely for our community as we work together toward positive change -- as we simultaneously continue to be cautious about residents gathering in groups," said Sheriff Tim Cameron. 
 
"Our health department is grateful for the efforts of the protest participants to wear face coverings and social distance as best as possible," said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary's County Health Officer. "These events were large gatherings and we are still in a pandemic. I encourage those who participated to get tested if they develop any symptom of COVID-19."
 
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: 
 
Coughing
Shortness of breath
Fever
Chills or shaking
Muscle pain
Headache
Sore throat
New loss of taste or smell
Fatigue
Diarrhea
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you have been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider to arrange for testing. Anyone who cannot access or does not have a healthcare provider may contact the St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Call Center at 301-475-4911 to arrange testing through the St. Mary's County Health Department. The local COVID Call Center is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
 
For more information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing and local response efforts, please visit http://www.smchd.org/coronavirus/. 

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Cardin Calls for Attorney General Barr to Resign

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement:

 

“It is time for Attorney General William Barr to resign. For the last year and a half, he has taken every opportunity to prove that he is serving as the personal attorney and strongman for the president of the United States rather than the people’s lawyer, which is the real role of the United States Attorney General. Rather than defend the rule of law, William Barr has bent it in every direction possible to match President Trump’s Twitter rants, autocratic whims and partisan agenda.

 

“Mr. Barr has used the Justice Department to pursue conspiracy theories designed to undermine Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation and report, as well as the unanimous view of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. He stepped in – at the sentencing stage – to dismiss charges against Michael Flynn, who admitted twice to lying to the FBI about his relationship with Russian officials, the extent of which continues to unravel – and not for the better. This week, Mr. Barr reached a new low, when he ordered the forcible clearing of peaceful protesters at Lafayette Park in advance of the president’s photo op at a church. The country watched live on television as peaceful protesters, exercising their constitutional First Amendment rights to peaceably assembly and to petition their government for redress of grievances, were suddenly rushed by police. This is unacceptable and a horrendous breach of faith in the Constitution and breaks the trust between our law enforcement and our citizens.

 

“Defending democracy and the rule of law, the very freedoms we as a nation hold dear, is hard work. It is made harder when the very individuals sworn to uphold the law work so hard to undermine it.  The Justice Department is the only Cabinet agency named after an ideal, and Mr. Barr has forfeited his ability to effectively lead it.”

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Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision In Bryantown

(Bryantown, Maryland) – On Friday, June 05, 2020, at approximately 1408 hours, Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded for a report of a motor vehicle collision on Maryland Route 5 (Leonardtown Road) south of Olivers Shop Road in Bryantown, Maryland. Due to the seriousness of the collision, the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack requested a Collision Reconstruction Specialist (CRS) to assume the investigation. Senior Trooper W. Scarlett of the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded as requested.
A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers indicates a 2018 Hyundai Elantra operated by Carla Cecil Hall (50 yoa) of Pomfret, Maryland was traveling southbound on Maryland Route 5 south of Olivers Shop Road. The Hyundai traveled off the roadway and subsequently collided with a group of trees. Ms. Hall sustained injuries that were not compatible with life and was pronounced deceased at Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata, Maryland.
 Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Duty Officer at the
Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack at (301) 392-1200.
The investigation is continuing and being investigated by Trooper C. Hussey and Senior
Trooper W. Scarlett (CRS) of the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack. (20-MSP-018950)

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Calvert County Courthouse Implements Phased Reopening Through Oct. 5, 2020

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, with new changes to operations and court proceedings effective 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020.
 
By order of Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Administrative Order dated May 22, 2020, beginning 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020, there shall be a progressive, phased return to full operations by the courts in the Maryland Judiciary, court offices, administrative offices, units of the Judiciary, the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Court and the clerks’ offices of the District Court. The Courthouse continues to be restricted to emergency operations and closed to the public with limited exceptions, as outlined below, through Oct. 5, 2020, pending further order of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
 
There are five phases described in the Administrative Order, each phase representing an increase in the level of operations by the courts in the Maryland Judiciary. The courts are currently in phase I with phase II commencing 5 p.m. on June 5. Phases I and II are detailed in this release and Phases III through V will be released prior to commencement date. Phase V is scheduled to commence on Oct. 5. Access to the courts and each of the phases are subject to modification by the Administrative Judge for the Circuit Court for Calvert County.
 
PHASE I: March 16, 2020 through 4:59 p.m. on June 5, 2020
 
The following emergency and urgent matters shall be scheduled or heard, either in person or remotely. The court shall 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, including, but not limited to:
 
·         CINA matters, consistent with FCCIP Subcommittee of the Maryland Judicial Council recommendations of April 3, 2020
 
·         Emergency delinquency hearings, including motions related to juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or committed, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the circuit courts sitting as juvenile courts to the COVID-19 emergency as it relates to those juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or in commitments, filed April 13, 2020
 
·         Emergency habeas corpus petitions  
 
·         Emergency issues in guardianship matters
 
·         Domestic violence protective orders
 
·         Appeals from peace orders
 
·         Family law emergencies, including time urgent matters related to special juvenile immigrant status
 
·         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, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it relates to those persons who are incarcerated or imprisoned, filed April 14, 2020.
 
 
 
PHASE II: 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020, through July 19, 2020
 
Phase II represents an expansion of matters that can be heard by courts both remotely and on-site. Phase II shall include Phase I matters and the following matters listed below. To the extent that Phase II Matters may be handled remotely, courts are encouraged to do so. For any proceeding that will be held during Phase II, the court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding.
 
CIVIL:
 
·         Emergency evaluation petitions 
 
·         Quarantine and isolation petitions
 
·         Emergency Habeas Corpus petitions
 
·         Body attachments
 
·         Temporary restraining orders
 
·         Scheduling conferences
 
·         Status conferences
 
·         On the record appeals
 
·         Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
 
 CRIMINAL: 
 
·         Mail reviews, bail reconsiderations, and bench warrants including matters involving locally incarcerated defendants, consistent with the Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Trial Courts of Maryland to the COVID-19 Emergency as it relates to those persons who are incarcerated or imprisoned, filed April 14, 2020
 
·         Arraignments for detained defendants
 
·         Extradition cases
 
·         Matters addressing competency; criminal responsibility issues not requiring witness testimony status; and discovery and Hicks issues
 
·         Deferred sentencing – for non-incarcerated defendants
 
·         Plea agreements without recommendations for sentences of incarceration; deferred sentence matters; and motions that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
 
FAMILY:
 
·         Scheduling conferences
 
·         Status conferences
 
·         Uncontested divorces and other uncontested family law matters
 
·         Domestic violence protective orders
 
·         Domestic violence, peace, and extreme risk protective order appeals
 
·         Family law emergencies that have been determined to require an expedited hearing, including time urgent matters related to special juvenile immigrant status
 
·         Emergency issues in guardianship matters
 
·         Temporary restraining orders
 
·         Default hearings
 
·         Exceptions hearings not requiring witness testimony (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)
 
·         Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both 
 
JUVENILE COURT
 
CINA (DEPENDENCY): Priority scheduling for those juveniles turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase II.
 
·         Shelter care hearings 
 
·         CINA matters, including, if not contested and/or by proffer, adjudications, dispositions, permanency plan, and permanency plan reviews
 
·         Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) by consent and/or by proffer
 
·         Exceptions hearings (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only)  
 
·         Family Treatment/Recovery Court review hearings
 
·         Guardianships under juvenile causes
 
·         Adoptions concerning CINA and TPR juveniles
 
·         Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
 
 
 
JUVENILE (DELINQUENCY): Priority scheduling for those juveniles turning 21 within 90 days of the beginning of Phase II; returning from placement; with issues with permanency plans; closures of cases; and possible placement on the juvenile and or adult sexual offender registries.
 
·         Juvenile detention hearings
 
·         Peace order petitions (juvenile respondents only)
 
·         Arraignments and first appearances
 
·         Emergency delinquency hearings, including motions related to juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or committed, consistent with the administrative order guiding the response of the circuit courts sitting as juvenile courts to the COVID-19 emergency as it relates to those juveniles who are detained, committed pending placement, or in commitments, filed April 13, 2020
 
·         Adjudication with agreed to-plea and/or by proffer (6) disposition with consent and/or by proffer
 
·         Disposition reviews
 
·         Delinquency juvenile treatment plans and reviews
 
·         Closure of probation and jurisdiction of Juvenile Court not requiring testimony
 
·         Juvenile expungements not requiring testimony
 
·         Juvenile permanency plans and reviews, if not contested or by proffer or both
 
·         Juvenile waivers, if consented to and not requiring testimony
 
·         Exceptions hearings not requiring witness testimony (uncontested or consented to or requiring legal argument only) 
 
·         Matters that can be handled remotely or without testimony or both
 
 
 
 
PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS: Including drug, mental health, family/dependency recovery, DUI, veterans, juvenile drug and truancy courts. Any other matters that can be scheduled, heard or resolved in accordance with Section (i) of the Administrative Order on the Progressive Resumption of Full Function of Judiciary Operations Previously Restricted Due to the COVID-19 emergency, filed May 22, 2020, are encouraged to be taken up by the circuit courts during Phase II. Phase III is scheduled to commence on July 20, 2020. Prior to July 20, an update relative to Phase III will be released to the public.
 
All other matters, including jury trials are hereby postponed through the end of the COVID-19 emergency, unless otherwise scheduled for telephone and/or video hearings when practicable by the Circuit Court for Calvert County.
 
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
 
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 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.

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Wanted Sex Offender: Gary Ignatius Branson

June 5, 2020:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Gary Ignatius Branson, a lifetime registered sexual offender.
 
Branson, 34 of Lexington Park, is wanted on a warrant for failing to register as required by the sex offender registry and additional unrelated warrants. Branson is a black male with brown eyes and black hair, standing 5’11,” weighing 230 lbs.
 
 
Anyone with information about Branson’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective Cpl. Melissa Hulse at 301-475-4200, ext. 71996 or email melissa.hulse@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

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St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services Teen Court Program Goes Virtual

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services Teen Court program is proud to have successfully transitioned to a virtual system, the first in the state to have done so. According to Global Youth Justice, Inc., St. Mary’s County Teen Court is now one of only 25 programs throughout the country hosting virtual Teen Court sessions.
 
Teen Court is a juvenile justice diversion program offering first-time misdemeanor offenders, ages 11-17 and first-time traffic offenders under the age of 18, the opportunity to accept accountability for their minor crimes without having to incur a permanent criminal record or traffic court fines and points. Teen Court is a voluntary program that allows juvenile offenders to be judged by a jury of their peers.
 
The 90-day processing requirement for juvenile cases was not changed when the courts closed in Maryland due to the COVID-19 emergency, said Gregory Jones, Teen Court Coordinator with the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services’ Human Services Division. When the courts closed, Jones had cases already scheduled for hearings and others waiting to be processed. Without an effective alternative the only thing that could be done was to forward them to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services for formal processing, where the offenders would potentially get a juvenile criminal record, the very thing Teen Court is designed to prevent.
 
“We would be very remis if we didn’t do absolutely everything we can to give these children the second chance that Teen Court provides,” Jones said.
 
With this in mind, Jones began researching the few virtual programs that existed at that time, finding ones in Texas and Arizona that could potentially be reworked to suit the needs of the St. Mary’s County program. Security, confidentiality, and functionality were some of the major challenges these programs faced. With the security breaches and licensing requirements of some of the programs, the search continued for one that could meet the requirement of security, confidentiality, ease of access, and the ability to electronically move the offender and their parents during jury deliberations to a waiting area like was done when the cases were heard in the District Courthouse.
 
With the assistance of the St. Mary’s County Information Technology Department, an existing video conferencing program was found to have some features which would meet the operating requirements without disconnecting any of the participants. Having a virtual alternative
to in-person court sessions also provides Teen Court with a very valuable backup tool moving forward, Jones said.
 
In addition to holding the actual court hearings virtually, Jones can conduct the intake interviews for new cases as well as the exit interviews following the completion of the hearing. He is able to scan the necessary paperwork and contracts and forward them to the parents via email. The development of these procedures not only facilitates addressing the cases still pending but allows for additional ones to be accepted until in-person court sessions can safely resume.
 
Michelle Lowe, Teen Court Bailiff and jury monitor, is pleased to be involved in the virtual Teen Court and believes it sends a strong message to both the volunteers and the teens with cases being heard.
 
“Moving online makes them realize the importance of the program in general; moving online shows that we believe it to be an important part of what we do,” Lowe said.
 
While work was being done on the technical aspects of the virtual court session, Jones had to rewrite procedures designed for the in-person court sessions to operate in the virtual courtroom. He scheduled test sessions with the Teen Court adult, teen and Community Judge volunteers to walk through the evolving procedures, refine the technical operation of the virtual program and validate the operating procedures in a realistic setting.
 
“Credit truly goes to all the Teen Court volunteers who make this program happen. It still never ceases to amaze me the insight, dedication, and fairness of our teen volunteers. They are absolutely phenomenal,” Jones said.
 
Teen Court hearings are normally held the second and fourth Monday of each month, but they are currently being held more frequently to allow them to get through the backlog that built up while the virtual program was being developed and to accommodate the longer amount of time virtual hearings take.
 
Teen Court utilizes the services of teen volunteers ages 11 - 17 as jurors and adult volunteers who serve as community judges, jury monitors, bailiffs and administrative aids.
 
“[Teen Court] is for teens and about teens, this really falls up the alley of the volunteers. We’re dependent upon our young people to make this program work and they’ve been pulling us along,” said Charlottis Woodley, Teen Court Community Judge, of the virtual program. She has been with the program for over eight years.
 
“Overall, [virtual Teen Court] has been very successful,” said Katie O’Toole, a Teen Court juror who has been with the program for a year. Aside from some technical difficulties initially, the sanctions and order of procedures have been smooth, she said.
 
For more information, contact Teen Court Coordinator Gregory Jones at Gregory.Jones@stmarysmd.com.

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St. Mary's County Government Announces Local Road to Recovery Stage 2

LEONARDTOWN, MD – On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Governor Hogan announced that beginning at 5 p.m., Friday, June 5, Maryland would begin Stage two of the COVID-19 Recovery, Safe and Gradual Reopening of Workplaces and Businesses.
 
These reopening’s include personal services, and businesses that are not part of the critical infrastructure sectors identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency such as manufacturing, construction, and professional businesses like information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking and financial institutions, insurance agencies, design studios, advertising and architectural firms, and media production companies may open Friday, June 5, at 5 p.m. following established guidelines.
 
In response, St. Mary’s County Government is adopting similar measures with the updated St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery. Entering Stage 2, as well. Effective June 8, many of the St. Mary’s County Government Departments and Offices will offer appointments to the public. Please note that St. Mary’s County is permitted to be more restrictive than the state of Maryland, but not less restrictive.
 
As recovery continues, please remember to maintain physical distancing, keep gatherings to 10 or fewer, wear face coverings and follow all safe health precautions.
 
Residents may access the  St. Mary’s County COVID19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery, the Maryland Strong Back to Business Pledge and the guidelines on our website at https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.

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Calvert County Government to Begin Stage Two Recovery in Accordance with State

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – June 4, 2020 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announces that Calvert County will follow Gov. Larry Hogan’s action to begin Stage Two recovery, effective Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m.
 
As recovery begins, statewide limitations on gatherings, physical distancing measures and other protective health guidelines remain in place to continue reducing the spread of COVID-19.
 
 “We are pleased to announce that Calvert remains in a strong position to continue moving forward with recovery,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “Getting back to normal is important not only for the economic health of our region, but also for the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of our citizens. We will continue our gradual reopening cautiously, while making every effort to minimize the risk to public health.”
 
The governor’s executive order allows for the reopening of non-essential businesses, additional personal services and extended public transportation services. Local businesses and citizens should review the state guidelines, available online at https://governor.maryland.gov/recovery. Local business guidance is available on the Department of Economic Development’s Navigating Recovery resource page at www.eCalvert.com/303/Navigating-Our-Recovery. Businesses may also contact the Calvert County Department of Economic Development by email info@ecalvert.com or by calling 410-535-4583.
 
County government is open, however buildings remain closed to the public. Calvert County provides updated information on services and facilities:
 
Parks & Recreation
 
·         Calvert County playgrounds, basketball courts and skate parks will open to the public on Friday, June 5.
 
Public Transportation
 
·         Beginning Monday, June 8, Calvert County Public Transportation will operate regular service along all routes.
 
·         Saturday transit service will remain canceled until further notice. Passengers needing paratransit/ADA transportation should continue to contact the transportation office at 410-535-4268 to schedule a ride.
 
·         Citizens must wear masks or cloth face coverings on transportation buses and are encouraged to social distance as much as possible.
 
·         Transportation services will remain limited to 10 people or less per vehicle, including the driver.
 
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 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.

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NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Low-Level Nighttime Helicopter Testing at Webster Outlying Field June 9-12, 2020

Noise Advisory - NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Low-Level Nighttime Helicopter Testing at Webster Outlying Field June 9-12, 2020
 
PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the Webster Outlying Field are advised that low-altitude nighttime testing helicopter testing events are scheduled to take place June 9 to June 12, 2020 from 5 p.m.– 10 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.

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Commissioners Announce Move to Stage Two on June 5

On Thursday, June 4, the Board of Commissioners held a special meeting to discuss moving into Stage Two of Maryland’s “Roadmap to Recovery.”  They voted unanimously to move forward with reopening non-essential businesses, including additional personal services, in accordance with Stage Two of Governor Hogan’s executive order that becomes effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5. All businesses must comply with the Governor’s guidance and follow best practices, which are available online at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.

 

This decision authorizes the following non-essential businesses and activities to open beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5:

Manufacturing, construction, large and small retail shops, specialty vendors, wholesalers, and warehouses.
Offices for information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking and financial institutions, design studios, advertising and architectural firms, and media production companies.
Real estate offices, travel agencies, insurance agencies, and auto dealer showrooms.
A complete list of these non-essential businesses and activities is available online. Additionally:

Personal services have expanded to include tattoo parlors, tanning salons, massage parlors, nail salons and related esthetic services. These services must operate at no more than 50 percent capacity and by appointment only.
Charles County Commissioners previously initiated the County’s initial move to Stage One, which allowed certain retail businesses, houses of worship, and hair salons and barbershops to reopen at no more than 50 percent capacity beginning on Friday, May 29.

 

Before making these decisions, Commissioners received briefings to gather data and other relevant information from County Attorney Wes Adams; Dr. Howard Haft, who is county’s response to COVID-19 for the Charles County Health Department; Director of the Department of Emergency Services Michelle Lilly; and Chair of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Tom Blandford. After considering the feedback, legal advice, and additional information from public health experts, they decided to move forward with the decision to move into Stage Two.

 

“Charles County’s decision to safely move into Stage Two relies upon each of us to continue wearing facemasks, social distancing, and following all federal and state guidance to protect the public’s health,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “I remind all citizens that the safest place is still at home – especially if you are older or have underlying health conditions that could make you more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Please exercise caution and make the best decision for you and your family.”

 

For the latest updates on the Coronavirus, including how to protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you are infected, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov. Re-opening guidance for public spaces, workplaces, and businesses is available at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

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

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REVISED NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING to Consider a County Ordinance Entitled Stormwater Pollution and Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination

LEONARDTOWN, MD - NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a Public Hearing Tuesday, June 9, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Chesapeake Building located at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown, Maryland to consider a new County Ordinance entitled Stormwater Pollution and Illicit Discharge, Detection and Elimination as required by the State’s General Permit for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Permit No. 13-IM-5500, a discharge permit for stormwater.
 
The New Ordinance follows the guidelines and requirements provided by the State and is intended to address regulatory compliance with the Federally mandated National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System permit requirements. The County’s permit activities including those being addressed by the Ordinance are focused on providing assurance that all necessary actions are taken to meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP Phase III). Citizens are encouraged to attend and participate in the public hearing.
 
Note that as a result of the evidence and comments made at the public hearing, amendments may be made to the proposed Ordinance.
 
Due to social distancing guidelines, Public Hearings are not open to the public. However, Public Hearings may be viewed on St. Mary’s County Government Channel 95 and YouTube. Citizens may also choose to listen to the Public Hearing by calling 301-579-7236; Access code: 963443. Members of the press may attend.
 
Citizens wishing to comment during the Public Hearing are invited to call in to 301-475-4200 x 1234 on June 9 to speak during the public hearing. Citizens may also submit a three-minute Video Clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com from May 21, 2020, to June 16, 2020.
 
Comments may be submitted via email to michael.canova@stmarysmd.com, or via U.S. mail to: P.O. Box 653 Leonardtown, Md, 20650.
 
The proposed Ordinance may be viewed on the Engineering Services page of the County Government website  at https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/engineering-services/.

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Tips For Flushing Building Water Systems and Device

As businesses begin the re-entry process following extended closures, the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission (MetCom), is sharing important tips to ensure your internal plumbing system is also ready. If your commercial or retail business has been closed for an extended period of time and is connected to public water supply, we recommend these precautions to ensure your internal plumbing system has clean, fresh water flowing before you open for business.
 
MetCom’s treated water supply ensures that your water continually meets state and federal safe drinking water guidelines. Unfortunately, disinfectants will dissipate from stagnant water inside of plumbing during long periods of little to no water flow. The stagnant water has the potential to introduce the growth of bacteria and other potential pathogens in your plumbing, including hot water tanks. The good news is that there is an easy and simple way to ensure that your internal plumbing is ready to go for you, your customers and occupants. Please flush your system using the following tips:
 
ü If available in larger buildings, obtain a list or schematic of tagged valve locations and devise
 
a process for flushing procedures.
 
ü Disconnect hoses and close valves to prevent backflow or siphoning of contaminants back into
 
plumbing.
 
ü Flush hot and cold water through all points of use (e.g., showers, sink faucets)
 
ü Flushing may need to occur in segments (e.g., floors or individual rooms) due to facility size and
 
water pressure.
 
ü The purpose of building flushing is to replace ALL water inside building piping with fresh water.
 
ü Flush the building zone by zone. The first zone to be flushed should be the one nearest the building
 
water supply and then working outward from the supply.
 
ü Cold water lines should be flushed before hot water.
 
ü Remove all aerators from faucets before turning on water.
 
ü Run water though all outlets. Most important to be flushed are drinking fountains, ice machines, refrigerators with ice machine and faucets used for drinking water or food preparation, kitchen sink sprayers and showers.
 
ü Run water through each line for a minimum of 10 minutes.
 
ü Repeat the process for your hot water lines.
 
ü Replace all point-of-use filters, including filters in appliances like a refrigerator.
 
ü Follow additional flushing guidance at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html
 
The Metropolitan Commission tests our water supply constantly and is committed to ensuring the water that we provide to our customers is safe to drink. These simple, easy steps will help ensure the water in your business is fresh. For additional assistance or questions, please contact the St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission at 301.737.7400 or our authorized Cross-Connection Control Program Contractor HydroCorp Toll Free at 844.493.7641.

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Governmental Center Peace March on Friday

June 4, 2020:
 
Following the successful peaceful demonstration held Wednesday night in Leonardtown, a second march is planned on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 7 p.m., at the St. Mary’s County Governmental Center in Leonardtown. The event is slated to begin with a brief remark from “Emmanuel,” one of the young-adult originators of the event, followed by a peaceful march in the area.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office continues to support the right of the community and citizens to conduct peaceful assembly and stands with those in the face of social injustice. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office again intends to facilitate this peaceful demonstration and ensure safety to its participants and observers.
 
Motorists in Leonardtown should be aware of increased foot traffic on Friday evening.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Governor Hogan Announces Beginning of Stage Two of Maryland's COVID-19 Recovery, Safe and Gradual Reopening of Workplaces and Businesses

Additional Reopenings to Include Personal Services, State Government Agencies
Stage Two Will Continue Flexible, Community-Based Approach; Jurisdictions to Decide Timing of Reopenings
Clinical Lab at University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Genome Sciences Now Fully Operational for COVID-19 Testing
Marylanders Cautioned to Remain Vigilant as Gradual, Phased Reopening Continues
 
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland will begin to move into Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with a safe and gradual reopening of workplaces and businesses, along with additional personal services. This comes after the state’s positivity rate dropped to single digits, and total current hospitalizations fell to their lowest level in more than seven weeks.
 
As with Stage One, Stage Two will be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings. All 24 of the state’s jurisdictions have now entered Stage One.
 
“Moving into Stage Two is an important step forward for our state after what has been a very difficult period,” said Governor Hogan. “The people of our great state have endured so many significant personal, medical, and economic challenges. But in the face of the most daunting challenge in our lifetime, the people of Maryland have been resilient, they’ve never lost hope, and they are showing what it truly means to be Maryland strong.”
 
NEW UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE LAB FULLY OPERATIONAL FOR COVID TESTING. The governor also announced today that, as part of the state’s long-term testing strategy, the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences clinical lab is now fully operational and beginning to process COVID-19 tests, including the tests the state acquired from South Korea. In April, the governor announced an initial $2.5 million investment in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore to launch this large-scale testing initiative. This signature, state-of-the-art lab will be the backbone of the state’s sustained testing strategy, pre-positioning the state for any second wave and the coming flu season.
 
STAGE TWO BEGINS FRIDAY, JUNE 5 AT 5:00 PM:
 
To begin Stage Two, Governor Hogan announced that he will be lifting the order requiring the closure of non-essential businesses. The list of open businesses in Maryland will include manufacturing, construction, large and small retail shops, speciality vendors, wholesalers, warehouses, and offices including information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking and financial institutions, insurance agencies, design studios, advertising and architectural firms, and media production companies. Read the governor’s order here.
 
Additionally, real estate offices, travel agencies, auto dealer showrooms, bank branches and various other offices may all safely reopen with public health and safety guidance recommendations in place. This guidance includes:
 
Wearing face coverings whenever face-to-face interaction takes place.
Conducting temperature checks for workers and other personnel.
Limiting the proximity of employees by rotating employee hours.
Instituting split schedules, shifts, or shorter work weeks.
Staggering start, break, or shift times.
Employees who can telework should continue to do so whenever possible.
 
ADDITIONAL PERSONAL SERVICES. Additional personal services including nail salons, massage therapists, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors may resume operations at up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only, and with appropriate health and safety guidelines.
 
REOPENING OF STATE GOVERNMENT. Maryland state government will also begin returning to more normal operations on Monday, June 8. The Motor Vehicle Administration and other customer-facing agencies will begin reopening select branches to customers on a limited basis by appointment only. Staff will be required to wear face coverings and will have plexiglass dividers at each station. With more Marylanders back to work, transit will begin to return to a more normal schedule and the Maryland State Department of Education will continue with its gradual plan to reopen child care centers.
 
REOPENING GUIDANCE. As additional industries and activities begin to resume, the Maryland Department of Commerce continues to develop and issue guidance and best practices to help businesses reopen safely. These resources are available at open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness.
 
NEXT STEPS. State officials and the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Team will continue to watch the data closely, and if encouraging trends continue, the next step, likely coinciding with the end of the school year, will be to consider opening additional amusement, fitness, sporting, and other summertime activities.
 
Visit governor.maryland.gov/recovery for more information about the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’

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Charles County States Attorney Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

In 1963, while standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”  Since then those unspeakable horrors have relentlessly continued to be visited upon men of color.  The latest heartbreaking outrage is the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minnesota.
 
I offer my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family, loved ones and friends. I know, however, that condolences are not enough.  Neither is outrage. We have all been outraged and sent our sincere condolences to far too many victims already:  Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Kelly Thomas, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Antwon Rose II, O’Shae Terry. The list keeps growing —but it does not have to. To stop this list from getting longer, to stop the dreadful brutality, all of us, today, right now, must couple our sincere outrage and sympathies with purposed, solution-focused action. With action we can achieve the change we want and need. The action must come from leaders and citizens alike.  It is everyone’s responsibility. 
 
As a leader here in Charles County, I want to tell you about actions I am taking to hopefully be a part of the solution to this curable national problem. To begin, I am calling upon the recently formed Charles County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) to immediately schedule forums or meetings to allow community organizations and citizens to present their solution-focused, actionable proposals designed to eliminate police brutality. We must first devise an action plan before we can execute it. 
 
 I am also calling for a Charles County Civilian Review Board that will review allegations of abuse and brutality by police officers.  Please understand this is not a criticism of our local police agencies.  My long-time advocacy of such a body stems from the recognition that no matter how “good” a police agency is, for the community to believe accountability is possible, the system of review must be designed to be impartial and transparent. A civilian review body, like those operating in many jurisdictions throughout the land, provides that structure.
 
Also, I have reached out to the police agencies operating in Charles County to review protocols and procedures for the investigation and prosecutorial review of brutality allegations.  Likewise, I am reviewing with my prosecutorial colleagues across the State legislative proposals that will improve accountability. 
 
Sadly, for the umpteenth time, Americans have had to take to the streets to demand accountability and justice for another soul killed by the police. Now is the time for the unjustifiable killing of black men to stop.  Our lives matter too.  
 
To make the killings stop all of us must engage in persistent, consistent, and permanent action. In short, we must follow through.  If we do, we can ensure that George Floyd’s death continuously has meaning. Let his death not be in vain. Instead, let his death mark the day when we, as one nation, under God, began the eradication of police brutality so one day soon we can —at least on this point — “be satisfied.”

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Juvenile Charged After Vacant La Plata House Fire

 Deputy State Fire Marshals have charged a fourteen-year-old female with arson charges stemming from a fire that occurred yesterday in the 9600 block of Docs Place in LaPlata. Firefighters requested investigators after extinguishing a fire in a vacant, two-story, single-family dwelling.
 
On June 1, 2020, at approximately 7:30 p.m., firefighters from Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding departments responded and discovered the vacant home ablaze. It took nearly 60 firefighters twenty minutes to bring the fire under control. No injuries were reported, and fire caused an estimated $200,000.00 in damages. Deputy State Fire Marshals determined the fire was an intentional act and, during the course of the investigation, identified a female juvenile as the person responsible.
 
The juvenile has been charged with 1st Degree Arson and Malicious Burning and will be referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.

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Community Message from Sheriff Mike Evans

My first priority has always been and will continue to be the safety of all Calvert County citizens.  I am appalled by the death of George Floyd by a law enforcement officer and my condolences go out to his family. I want to make it clear that the men and women of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office perform their duties and enforce the law without partiality or prejudice. Our deputies receive extensive training and continuing education in conflict resolution and de-escalation. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office was the first in the Southern Maryland region to equip deputies with body cameras. Every use of force is documented and reviewed by command staff. I am proud to say these resources have demonstrated the professionalism of my staff. Should a deputy act in a manner contrary to agency policies and procedures, the incident will be thoroughly investigated by the Office of Professional Standards, and that deputy will be held accountable if misconduct occurred. From top to bottom, my staff takes great pride in the relationship we have with the community and appreciate the value of your trust and confidence.
Last evening, I together with law enforcement officers, Retired Police Chief Alphonso Hawkins and President of the Board of County Commissioner Kelly McConkey walked with Pastor Jeff Long and others conducting a peaceful march.  Law enforcement protected the participants by stopping traffic, joined them as they prayed on the courthouse lawn and concluded the peaceful march at the Prince Frederick Shopping Center.  Pastor Long thanked all the participants, law enforcement officers and ended the march stating it was a success.
Unfortunately, after a peaceful march a small fraction of individuals were determined to make a positive event into one of negativity through their own separate agenda. These individuals marched onto Duke Street toward the Courthouse without regard for their safety or the safety of others.   As your Sheriff, it is my duty to enforce the law for everyone’s safety.   I along with other community leaders pleaded with these individuals to keep this event peaceful and respect its positive intent.  After a considerable amount of time, it was made clear that they would not deter from their agenda.   I made the decision to take enforcement action to clear the street.   The individuals were informed that if they did not disburse, they could be arrested and as a last resort, tear gas was deployed to disburse the crowd in hopes of avoiding arrests.   There were two arrests, no reported injuries and minor damage to one sheriff’s vehicle.
Most importantly, I want to thank the community who joined us in a peaceful march and to tell all of our citizens we hear you and support you.  
I am available twenty-four seven, to speak or meet with any member of our community. Without you, we could not continue to keep our county the safe place it is. As always, if you see something, say something.

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Meal Services Continue In St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) meal preparation and distribution sites have been approved to reopen for full-service food preparation and distribution. St. Mary’s County Public Schools will resume no-contact, drive-up lunch service Thursday, June 4, 2020, and continue service through June 18, 2020, 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 our current school closures.
 
The sites for drive-up lunch service will be: 
 
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.

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Commissioners Issue Statement on Death of George Floyd, and Reaffirm Commitment to Racial Equity

Today the Charles County Board of Commissioners are issuing an official statement condemning the law enforcement actions that led to the death of George Floyd and many others before him. Commissioners also reaffirmed their commitment to racial equality and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the community. 

 

“We are disheartened, angered, and frustrated by the tragic way that George Floyd died while in police custody,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “We grieve along with his family, and all those who have been affected by racial injustice embedded in so many areas of our society. From healthcare, to education, employment, housing, and economic disparities, we must do our part as local leaders to pursue changes that address these inequalities and inequities.”

 

Commissioners expressed their support for citizens who are peacefully protesting these actions and demanding change, both locally and across the country. The community is encouraged to exercise their First Amendment rights by maintaining a civil dialogue at public protests. To keep the county and community safe from Covid-19 please remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

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Seeking Members for Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  has established a Sanctuary Advisory Council. Applications are being accepted to form a diverse group of community stakeholders that can advise NOAA on the sanctuary management plan and will serve as a liaison between NOAA and the community. Applications are being accepted through Wednesday, July 1.

 

The Sanctuary Advisory Council Is recruiting the following:

 

15 voting seats and 15 alternate seats from each of the following interests:

•             Maritime Archaeology and History (2 members, 2 alternates)

•             Cultural Heritage (1 member, 1 alternate)

•             Recreation (2 members, 2 alternates)

•             Business and Economic Development (2 members, 2 alternates)

•             Tourism and Marketing (1 member, 1 alternate)

•             Education (2 members, 2 alternates)

•             Research, Science and Technology (1 member, 1 alternate)

•             Recreational Fishing (1 member, 1 alternate)

•             Commercial Fishing (1 member, 1 alternate)

•             Citizen At-Large (2 members, 2 alternates)

Visit https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/mallows-potomac to apply. For more information, contact Sammy Orlando at Paul.Orlando@noaa.gov or 240-460-1978. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

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"Getting Back to Business" Virtual Town Hall for Calvert County Business Owners

As the gradual reopening of businesses and operations continues, the Calvert County Department of Economic Development, in partnership with the Calvert County Health Department and Calvert Library, will participate in a virtual town hall to help business owners operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide updated information on available resources.
 
The event, “Getting Back to Business” will be held Monday, June 8, from noon to 1:15 p.m. Calvert County Health Officer Dr. Laurence Polsky will lead an active discussion with business owners about the latest guidance on keeping employees and customers safe. Attendees will also hear from Department of Economic Development Director Kelly Slagle about new programs, services and grants available through Economic Development.
 
Register for the event through the Calvert Library website at https://calvertlibrary.libnet.info/event/4343426. Attendees must register at least one hour before the program to receive a link to the webinar. There is no cost to attend.
 
Business owners can stay informed about resources and assistance available at https://www.ecalvert.com/303/Navigating-Our-Recovery and the Maryland Department of Commerce Business Express COVID-19 online resource at https://BusinessExpress.Maryland.gov/Coronavirus. For questions or assistance, please contact the Department of Economic Development at info@ecalvert.com or 410-535-4583.
 
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 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.

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Commissioners Reaffirm County Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, Freedom and Justice

Leonardtown, MD – Following the recent death of George Floyd, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County reaffirm the County’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, freedom, and justice.

 

“We, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County recognize that the death of George Floyd was horrendous. We mourn with his family, his hometown and with the African American community. We condemn the egregious actions of those who took part in his death. We strongly condemn all acts of violence and support the rights of our citizens to protest peacefully.”

 

The Commissioners reiterated their stance on the inequitable treatment of any persons as stated in the 2018 Resolution Affirming the County’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, Freedom and Justice.

                                                                                      

For more information, contact ALisa Casas, Communications Director, at 301-475-4200, ext. 71342.

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Great Mills Woman Arrested for Multiple Burglary to Motor Vehicles

On May 28, 2020 at approximately 2:30 a.m., Deputy First Class Lawrence responded to the 22080 block of St. Clements Circle in Great Mills for the reported suspicious incident. The witness reported receiving a security alert notification of an individual on her property as well as hearing a car alarm activation in the area. DFC Lawrence checked the surrounding area on foot and observed an individual in the area utilizing a flashlight. DFC Lawrence observed the individual, later identified as Angela Lynne Deaton, age 38 of Great Mills, enter a vehicle. As DFC Lawrence approached the vehicle, he observed Deaton exit the vehicle carrying a backpack and shopping bag. DFC Lawrence contacted Deaton, who proceeded to discard the shopping bag and attempted to flee on foot. Deaton was quickly apprehended and property belonging to multiple residents in the area was located in the discarded bag.
 
Deaton was arrested and charged with five counts of Rouge and Vagabond and three counts of Theft. Deaton was developed as a suspect in a separate burglary to motor vehicle reported on May 15, 2020 in the 45400 block of Buttercup Lane in Great Mills. On May 28, 2020, Deputy Westphal responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and charged Deaton for the additional burglary to motor vehicle. Deaton was charged with the following:
 
Rogue and Vagabond
 
Theft: $100 to Under $500
 
Theft Scheme
 
Credit Card: Steal Another’s
 
Deaton is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no-bond status. Anyone with information on these incidents or anyone who has video surveillance during this timeframe is asked to contact DFC. Lawrence at (301) 475-4200 extension 78130 or by email at David.Lawrence@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Lexington Park Man Charged with Intent to Distribute, Possession

On Friday, May 29 2020, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice Narcotics Division executed search and seizure warrants at the home of Charlie Earl Horn Jr., 44 of Lexington Park.
 
During the search, Narcotics detectives located and seized a large quantity of US currency, various Controlled Dangerous Substances including suspected Oxycodone, Adderall, Xanax and MDMA, also known as Molly. Horn was arrested, transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and charged with two counts of CDS Possession with Intent to Distribute and three counts of CDS Possession – Not Marijuana.
 
The warrants were executed with assistance from the St. Mary’s County Emergency Services Team, K-9 Unit and members of the Vice Narcotics Division Support Team.
 
On Dec. 20, 2019, the Vice Narcotics Division executed a search warrant at the 46000 block of Columbus Drive in Lexington Park where Horn was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute and CDS Possession – Not Marijuana.
 
Within days of that arrest in December, the Vice Narcotics Division received additional complaints from multiple citizens advising that Horn had resumed selling CDS from his residence which led to the most recent search warrants.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

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Fire Destroys La Plata Home

Friday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. thirty firefighters from the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire at 8590 Mitchell Road, La Plata. It took them 20 minutes to control the fire. After an investigation is was discovered the occupants of the home were alerted by the smell of smoke in the home. Upon investigation, they found fire coming from within the dryer. All occupants were able to escape safely and are being assisted by family. The estimated loss in the fire was $600,000. 

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