Local News

Commissioners of St. Mary's County and MetCom Sign Memorandum of Agreement

Leonardtown, MD - The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission (MetCom) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Tuesday to increase efficiency and enhance collaboration between MetCom construction work and Department of Public Works and Transportation’s (DPW&T) roadway construction for the FDR Boulevard Project Phase 3.
 
 
John J. Carey, Chair, MetCom and Randy Guy, President, Commissioners of St. Mary’s County sign FDR Boulevard Project Phase 3 MOA, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at the regularly scheduled joint meeting.
 
The Phase 3 project will extend FDR Boulevard between Chancellor’s Run Road and Pegg Road, in Great Mills and Lexington Park and allows for respective contract work to be bid together as two lots in a single solicitation. This partnership allows for a streamlined project resulting in timely completion and improved road services to St. Mary’s County residents.
 
For more information, contact St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation, Engineering Division, at 301-863-8400, ext. 3560.

Identity Needed for Theft Suspects (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the persons pictured. On Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8 pm, three suspects entered the Dollar General store in Charlotte Hall and loaded bars of Dove soap, containers of Arm & Hammer detergent, Dove liquid body wash and Gain detergent pods into a large gray plastic tote, yellow hand baskets, a black backpack and a reusable shopping bag and left the store without paying for the merchandise.
 
The suspects were last seen getting into a black SUV with Washington DC tags beginning with GA, heading north on Route 5. Anyone with information about the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Kyler Kilgore at 301-475-4200, ext. *8029 or email kyler.kilgore@stmarysmd.com. Case # 28275-19
 
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff
 

May 21st Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, May 21, the Board of Commissioners received a briefing and introduction of a request for a zoning text amendment to allow the operation of permanent shelters in the General Industrial Zone. The request, submitted by Lifestyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc., would allow the organization to pursue additional steps toward opening a permanent homeless shelter in White Plains. A public hearing date is set for Tuesday, June 18, at 6 p.m.

 

Open Session Briefings

Commissioners received a briefing from the Planning Division on the county’s shoreline assessment and management plan. The assessment reviews much of the county’s 183 miles of shoreline to identify and prioritize areas for restoration. This plan identifies opportunities for implementation of shoreline restoration projects and is an efficient method to meet requirements of the county’s stormwater permit. The report prioritized 153 sites and 27 miles of shoreline for restoration based upon erosion rates, proximity to agricultural or residential sites, with a combination of sill systems and living shorelines as the primary method for restoration. The report will enable the county to be considered for state and federal grants, determine future restoration programs, provide a model for other counties to follow, and share information with the public.

 

Economic Development Department Director Darréll Brown and Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Steve Kaii-Ziegler updated Commissioners on school seat allocations within opportunity zones designed in the county. Staff consulted with Superintendent Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, her executive team, and the Board of Education to consider alternatives to the current school seat allocation policy. Staff requested additional time to develop preferred options for the Commissioners’ consideration prior to Aug. 1.

 

Chief Executive Officer Brandon L. Jones presented Commissioners with an update on Hospice of Charles County, which provides terminally ill residents and their families with support for routine, inpatient, and respite care. They provide patients with care in their homes, at extended care facilities, and at the Hospice House. He highlighted some common myths about hospice care and shared facts about the variety of ways it serves families and provides patient care. For more information about hospice services, visit www.hospiceofcharlescounty.org.

 

Dr. Suzan Lowry, the health officer for Charles County, presented a semi-annual update on the Charles County Health Department. She reviewed the department’s programs and services, and shared data on indicators assessing the health and well-being of residents. Dr. Lowry discussed strategies for improving public health and highlighted the department’s efforts to address public health priorities. 

 

Internal Auditor John Simpson briefed Commissioners on the work of the Internal Audit Oversight Committee. The committee is charged with reviewing the annual audit plan and internal audit reports, making recommendations, and ensuring there are no unjustified restrictions or limitations on the Internal Audit Office.

 

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following budget requests:

An fiscal 2019 inter-category budget transfer request to the Board of Education in the amount of $6.9 million to support instruction materials, student transportation, operations, and capital outlay.
A fiscal 2020 contingency transfer request to fund the county’s match for the Teacher’s Salary Incentive Grant Program. Staff presented an updated document that includes this change in the Board of Education funding in the fiscal 2020 approved budget.
 

Commissioners approved memorandums of understanding with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to pay a portion of the costs for the following programs:

A Geospatial Data Exchange and Index program;
Regional Law Enforcement License Plate Readers; and
Regional Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
 

Commissioners also approved a revised summer schedule to meet every two weeks in June and July.

 

Recognitions

Commissioners presented a proclamation to the county’s Emergency Medical Services staff and volunteers in recognition of May 19 – 25, 2019 as Emergency Medical Services Week. View photo in Flickr.


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of May 13th – May 19th deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,607 calls for service throughout the community. 
 
Burglary: 19-26949 
On May 16th, 2019 Deputy Flynt responded to Skinners Turn Road in Owings for the report of a burglary that had already occurred. The victim stated sometime between 5:00 pm and 7:15 pm on the reported incident day, an unknown suspect(s) entered the residence through a window and took a television that was later found in the front yard. The victim stated they saw a dark colored Honda type vehicle pull out of their driveway and sped away going eastbound on Skinners Turn Road. The television was recovered in the front lawn and no other items appeared to be missing at the time.  
 
Damaged Property: 19-26325 
On May 13th, 2019 Deputy Savick responded to Lord Calvert Bowl in Huntingtown for the report of damaged property. Upon arrival, the complainant/manager stated on Thursday May 9th at approximately 10:55 pm, a group of teenagers exited through the front glass door in a “rough-housing” type of manner, damaging the door and causing a “spider web” effect. The approximate value of damaged property is $300.  
 
Arrests: 
On May 13th, 2019 Deputy Mason conducted a traffic stop in the area of Clubhouse Drive and Catalina Drive in Lusby. Upon making contact with the driver, Kahnr Anthony Allegra (27), Deputy Mason could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath and the vehicle. Allegra advised that he was coming from Buckets Sports Bar and drank two or three beers. After completing Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, Deputy Mason found Allegra was unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Allegra was placed under arrest and a search of his vehicle was conducted which revealed suspected crack cocaine. Allegra was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, (Driving, Attempting to drive) vehicle while impaired by alcohol, person driving motor vehicle on (Hwy., public use property) on suspended license and privilege, and several other driving related charges. 
 
On May 13th, 2019 Deputy Parks responded to the Olympia Sports located in Prince Frederick for a reported theft. Upon arrival, the Calvert Control Center gave a description of the suspect. Deputy Parks was able to locate a man matching the description and made contact with Broderick Cortez Mackall (50), who stated he didn’t take any items from the store. While speaking to Mackall, Deputy Parks could detect a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath and person. While conducting an investigation into the stolen items, the manager stated they witnessed Mackall take a shoe and put it in his jacket. The manager then confronted Mackall about the shoe. Mackall then took the shoe out of his jacket and fled the store. Mackall admitted to putting the shoe in his jacket, but stated he put it back after being confronted and did not leave the store with the merchandise. Mackall was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with theft less than $100.  
 
On May 17th, 2019 Deputy Holt conducted a traffic stop in the area of 5th street and Greenwood Ave. in North Beach. Upon making contact with the vehicle occupants, Deputy Holt detected a moderate odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle. The driver, Nicholas Allan Thomas (27), was instructed to exit the vehicle, at which point he told Deputy Holt “No.” Deputy Holt instructed Thomas once more to exit the vehicle due to the strong odor of marijuana but Thomas refused. Deputy Fox and Sergeant Phelps arrived on scene to assist with successfully removing Thomas from the vehicle. Once Thomas was removed, he was placed in handcuffs. A search of the vehicle was conducted where numerous “tear offs” were found as well as loose tobacco and other leafy substances. Thomas’ information was given to the Calvert County Control Center and they advised his license was suspended. Thomas was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with failure to obey a reasonable/lawful order, resist/interfere with arrest, and obstructing and hindering.  
 
On May 19th, 2019 Deputy Bradley, while working security for the carnival being held in the Fox Run Shopping Center located in Prince Frederick, was contacted by the owner/manager for the report of an intoxicated person causing a problem with staff. The owner asked that the suspect be removed from the carnival due to his behavior. Deputy Bradley located the suspect, Justin Earl Asquith (27), who was on one of the rides. Once the ride ended, Deputy Bradley approached the suspect and began to speak with him. An odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected on his breath and his eyes were red and glassy. Asquith was informed that management wanted him to leave the carnival due to his apparent intoxication and behavior. Asquith stated he was not leaving but was instructed he needed to leave or he would be placed under arrest. Asquith was belligerent and argumentative the entire time with Deputy Bradley. As Asquith kept talking, he became louder and louder continuing to curse. Asquith walked towards the exit then turned around and held up both middle fingers towards deputies continuing to shout profanities. He was warned once more to stop swearing or be placed under arrest. He turned away, took several steps then turned back around again cursing at deputies. Asquith was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey a reasonable/lawful order. 

Summer 2019 Travel Season Kicks Off With Memorial Day

BALTIMORE, MD – As the unofficial start to summer approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)
reminds the nearly two million motorists anticipated to travel MDTA roadways this holiday to plan ahead, travel offpeak and put safety first. This total represents a 1.0% increase in traffic counts compared to last year.
MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 24, and Monday, May 27:


• Bay Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 340,000.
• John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 550,000.
• Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) – more than 590,000.
• Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) – more than 215,000.
• Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) – more than 190,000.

 

An additional 190,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined. All totals represent traffic in both directions.
The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:
• Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the

Bay Bridge this weekend include:
? Thursday/Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
? Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
? Sunday/Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
• Motorists traveling to and from the Eastern Shore should remain on US 50 to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents.
• Avoid the Flock!
? For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. To sign up for email/text alerts or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
? Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions or visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras.
• Get there faster with E-ZPass! E-ZPass transponders are FREE and no $1.50 monthly fee. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll online and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
• Need to rest or fuel up? Stop by the Maryland or Chesapeake House travel plazas along I-95 in northeast Maryland.
• Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in Baltimore during your holiday travels. Visit mdta.maryland.gov for toll rates.
Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority. The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Officers will step up seatbelt enforcement during the Click It or Ticket Campaign through June 2. Additional MDTA Police patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers at Maryland toll facilities throughout the holiday weekend. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles during the holiday weekend. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, May 24, to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 28.

 

Construction Reminders:
• I-895 Bridge Project currently features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel southbound bore. The northbound bore is closed until mid-June. Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.
• I-895 Patapsco River Flats bridge deck and superstructure replacement continues. Current traffic pattern features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 on I-895 across the Patapsco Flats bridge near Baltimore/Washington Parkway. Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.
For your SAFETY and the SAFETY of other motorists and emergency personnel:
• Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
• Buckle Up! Every Trip. Every Seat. Every Time.
• State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle
or tow truck with red, yellow or amber flashing lights. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
• Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
• Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
• Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge. Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.
• Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.
• Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.” If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
• When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:
• The location of the emergency;
• A call-back telephone number; and
• Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.
The E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Centers will be closed on Monday, May 27. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824.
For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. The MDTA thanks motorists for partnering with us. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 


Health Department Receives Funding for Behavioral Health Clinicians in Schools

LEONARDTOWN, MD (May 21, 2019) – St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) will be partnering with St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) in the 2019-2020 school year to place Behavioral Health Clinicians in each of the high schools, middle schools and Fairlead Academies. These clinicians will provide prevention and intervention services for students, focusing on topics such as:
 
Self-monitoring mood
Anger management
Depression and anxiety
Risk for substance use
Dealing with family substance use
Social and emotional skills
When adolescents learn social-emotional skills such as self-monitoring mood and addressing signs of anxiety, depression, and anger, they reduce their risk for substance use and can improve functioning at home, in school, with peers, and within the community.
 
“Student mental health and well being is priority in SMCPS and this partnership will provide additional tools for working with the whole child,” says Dr. James Scott Smith, SMCPS Superintendent.
 
Students at risk for mental health and substance-related disorders will participate in a twelve-week prevention/intervention program that focuses on mental health and wellness, building resiliency, and learning coping skills using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach. This program builds upon a successful pilot model that SMCHD and SMCPS have implemented in one school over the past two years.
 
“With increased youth mental health and substance use concerns across the country, these prevention and intervention services in school-based settings are a critical component of improved long-term behavioral health outcomes,” said Tammy Loewe, Behavioral Health Program Director at SMCHD.
 
To learn more about local behavioral health services, visit: http://www.smchd.org/behavioralhealth/

Public Assistance Sought In Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland To Identify Suspect Wanted In Cecil County Armed Home Invasion

(North East, MD) Maryland State Police continue to search in Maryland and neighboring states for one of numerous suspects wanted in connection with an armed home invasion in Cecil County.
 
Investigators believe the suspect pictured below, along with at least three others, was involved in an armed home invasion that occurred in an apartment complex in the North East area on April 25, 2019. Police believe the suspect(s) brandished handguns and violently assaulted a pregnant woman inside her apartment before fleeing the scene.  Police do not believe this is a random act of violence.
 
Investigators are seeking the assistance of citizens in both Delaware and in Maryland to help identify the man pictured below. Citizens are urged to contact the Maryland State Police via phone at 410-996-7814 or 410-996-7800 with any information.  The suspects in this case should be considered armed and dangerous.

St. Mary's County Local Management Board Seeking Citizens to Serve on Board of Directors

The St. Mary’s County Local Management Board is seeking citizens interested in serving on its board of directors.  The Local Management Board (LMB) serves as the primary structure in the county charged with creating an effective system of services, supports and opportunities that improve the lives for all children, youth and families. 
 
The LMB designs and implements strategies to maintain standards of accountability and influences the allocation of resources to build local partnerships, eliminate fragmentation and duplication of services.  Board members must be residents of St. Mary’s County, be willing to serve a three-year term and are expected to attend all board meetings.
 
The board meets on the third Friday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Room 14 of the Potomac Building, 41770 Baldrige Street, Leonardtown, MD.
 
If you are interested in this unique opportunity, please visit the website at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/boards/

Lexington Park Man Arrested For Calvert Bank Robbery

Detectives from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office spent countless hours over the past two weeks exploring all leads to apprehend the suspect in the PNC Bank Robbery that took place on May 9, 2019 in Owings, MD. Detectives were able to determine a suspect using all available technology in law enforcement investigations.
Leads took Detectives to Donald Edward Rankin, 63 of Lexington Park, MD, who has a lengthy criminal history to include illegal narcotic use and sexual abuse of a minor where he was currently wanted through a neighboring jurisdiction.
The investigation took detectives and members of the warrant apprehension unit to a hotel in Prince George’s County on May 18, 2019 where the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
Rankin was processed and charged with Armed Robbery, 1st Degree Assault, 2nd Degree Assault, Illegal Handgun Possession and Theft Over $1500. Rankin and is being held at the Calvert County Detention Center on a No Bond Status pending an additional bond review on Monday, May 20, 2019.
Detectives would like to thank the community for their assistance in this investigation and the many leads that were sent.

Man Killed In Mechanicsville Accident - Under Investigation

On May 18, 2019, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 40900 block of New Market Turner Road in the area of Rustin Family Way, for the reported motor vehicle collision. Upon arrival a 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, with three occupants, was located off the roadway into a tree. The operator of the vehicle, Avery Leslie Stokes, age 18 of Indian Head, and the front seat passenger Alexandra Catherine Howard, age 18 of Mechanicsville, were flown to area trauma centers for incapacitating injuries. The rear seat passenger, Thomas Edward Douglas, age 63 of Mechanicsville, was pronounced deceased on scene. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene and continued the investigation.
 
Preliminary investigation determined the vehicle was traveling eastbound on New Market Turner Road when for unknown reasons the vehicle crossed the centerline, overcorrected and left the roadway striking a tree. At this time driver error and lack of seatbelt usage appear to be contributing factors in the fatal collision. Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or any events leading to the collision is asked to contact Corporal Brandon Foor at (301) 475-4200 extension *2265 or by email at Brandon.Foor@stmarysmd.com.

Deceased Man identified in Early Morning Pedestrian Collision on Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro

Upper Marlboro, Maryland– Maryland State Police have identified the deceased Waldorf man stuck and killed in an early morning, pedestrian collision that occurred on Maryland Route 301 (Crain Highway) at Rosaryville Road in Prince George’s County on Sunday.
 
On scene investigation with troopers from the Forestville Barrack, members of the Maryland State Police CRASH Team, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed that Just before 5 AM Sunday morning, May 19, 2019, Adrian Harris, 26, of Waldorf, Maryland was walking southbound in the left travel lane of Crain Highway in the area of Roasaryville Road with his back to traffic when he was struck by a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze that was also traveling southbound. The driver of the Chevrolet, Lewis Walker, 24, of Waldorf stated that he believed he struck a deer in the roadway and pulled off in a safe area a short distance from the scene of the collision, where he activated the OnStar Services feature on his vehicle to report the collision. Lewis declined to have emergency services respond to the scene as he thought it was only a property damage collision with an animal.
 
At approximately 0538 hours, the MSP Forestville Barrack received a call regarding a person lying in the center median in the area of Southbound US Route 301 at Rosarvyille Road. Upon arrival on scene, the troopers located the body of Harris laying partially in the grass median. Prince George’s County EMS responded to the scene and pronounced Harris deceased at the scene.
 
Troopers located the Chevrolet Cruze driven by Walker a short distance away with front end and windshield damage. The Chevrolet was also occupied by the driver’s mother, Dorothy Jones, 56, of Waldorf. Both Walker and Jones cooperated with troopers during the investigation and there were no indications of impairment by alcohol or drugs from either.
 
A portion of southbound US Route 301 between Rosaryville Road and Frank Tippett Road remained closed for several hours for the investigation. The Maryland State Police CRASH Team, Maryland Department of Transportation, Office of Chief Medical Examiner, and Prince George’s County Fire/ EMS Department assisted with the lane closure and on-scene investigation. The investigation into the early morning collision is ongoing.
 
Citizens are reminded that Maryland law requires that anytime a driver is involved in a personal injury or property damage collision, the driver is required to remain at the scene and notify law enforcement officials. Additionally pedestrians should be sure to wear clothing or other accessories that are brightly colored or reflective for safety, especially when walking or running along roadways during hours of darkness and follow all pedestrian traffic laws.
 
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or has information that could assist with the investigation is asked to call the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack at 301-568-8101.

St. Mary's County Commission On Aging Seeking New Members

The St. Mary’s County Commission on Aging (COA) is seeking members with an interest in improving St. Mary’s County for its senior population.
 
The COA is integral in bringing awareness to the needs of the senior community. Commissioners of St. Mary’s County appoint volunteer members to the COA to represent the senior citizen community. Volunteers are needed to ensure the needs and concerns of the senior community are met. The COA provides the Commissioners with advice and assistance concerning county programs and resources offered for the senior residents of St. Mary’s County. Also, the COA works with the community to develop awareness and understanding of the problems and concerns of the senior population.
 
 The nominations for the COA are open; new appointments will be made in June. Please respond by May 30, 2019. Volunteers do not need to be senior citizens to become members of the COA. Please Contact Diane Gleissner at 301-475-4200 ext. 71700; or diane.gleissner@stmarysmd.com

Calvert County Government Announces Memorial Day Schedules

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2019, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition:
 
·         The county senior centers will be closed and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered. However participants are provided shelf-stable meals in advance.
 
·         There will be no county bus service Monday, May 27. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, May 28.
 
·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27. Online services are available.
 
·         All community centers will be closed on Monday, May 27.
 
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open normal hours.
 
·         The Appeal Landfill and county convenience centers will be closed Monday, May 27.
 
·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office will be closed. The Solomons Septage Receiving Facility will be closed.  On-call crews will be available for water and sewer service emergencies only at 410-535-3491.
 
·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open May 27 with normal hours.
 
·         The Calvert Marine Museum and store will be open May 27 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
 
·         Flag Ponds Nature Park, Battle Creek Cypress Swamp and Kings Landing Park will be open with normal park hours.
 
·         Kings Landing pool will open for the season Saturday, May 25 from noon-7:45 p.m. and will be open Monday, May 27. Normal pool hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon-7:45 p.m. through June 14. 
 
·         Cove Point pool will open for the season Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m. and will be open Monday, May 27 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Normal pool hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. through June 14. 
 
·         Edward T. Hall Indoor Aquatic Center will be open with normal hours May 27.
 
·         The Solomons Visitor Center will be closed May 27.
 
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed on Monday, May 27.
 
Information on Calvert County Government services can be found online at www.calvertcountymd.gov. Find Calvert County Government on Facebook.

St. Mary's County Government Operations for Memorial Day

Leonardtown, MD – In observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, all St. Mary’s County Government administrative offices will be closed.  Offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 28 at their normal times.
 
The St. Andrews Landfill, six (6) Convenience Centers and St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) will be closed on Monday, May 27.  The six (6) Convenience Centers and STS will be open for normal business hours on Sunday, May 26 and Tuesday, May 28. The St. Andrews Landfill (normally closed on Sundays) will be open on Saturday, May 25 and reopen Tuesday, May 28.
 
All three branches of the St. Mary’s County Library (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed on Monday, May 27.
 
All three Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed and there will be no Meals on Wheels deliveries on May 27.
 
The St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day throughout the holiday weekend.

CCSO Hosts First Ever Motor Operator School; Two Officers Successfully Complete 80-Hour Program

On Friday, May 10, members of the CCSO Special Operations Division along with members of the Command Staff celebrated the graduation of two Traffic Operations Officers from the CCSO’s first ever Basic Motor Operator School. Corporal Terrell Hemsley and Corporal Ray Brooks successfully completed the rigorous 80-hour program, which was instructed by Sergeant Don Belfield and took place at Regency Furniture Stadium in White Plains.
 
Traditionally, officers were afforded the opportunity to participate in Basic Motor Operator School at other agencies throughout Maryland. This was the first year that the CCSO hosted its own course. The program, which was coordinated and executed by Sgt. Belfield and certified through the Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission (MPCTC), included 80 hours of rigorous exercises. The officers were required to complete 16 different cone courses, off-road riding, a controlled fall, emergency braking, a long ride of over 200 miles, nighttime riding, and negotiating hills, to name a few. Upon completing Basic Motor Operator School, these officers will now join the ranks of others who participate in ceremonial escorts, presentations, and traffic enforcement.
 
At the graduation ceremony, Special Operations Section Commander Lt. Rey Aportadera commended Cpl. Hemsley and Cpl. Brooks for completing the intensive training as well as Sgt. Belfield for his dedication to making the program possible here in Charles County. “This strenuous program takes a great deal of determination and skill to complete, and we are proud that our officers were able to achieve that,” said Lt. Aportadera. “Sgt. Belfield and his motors expertise are invaluable to our Agency. We are grateful for the work he did in putting this program together.”

Wanted for Escape-Brandon Lee Bates (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Brandon Lee Bates, age 26 of Charlotte Hall. Bates has an active warrant for the charge of escape second degree for violating the conditions of his pretrial release. Bates was previously arrested on theft charges. Bates is 5’10” in height, weighs 175 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brandon Lee Bates is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension *1953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@stmarysmd.com. Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

University System of Maryland Chancellor Not Seeking Contract Extension

BALTIMORE, Md. (May 16, 2019)—The University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert L. Caret today announced that he informed the Board of Regents on May 8, 2019 that he will step down from his position on June 30, 2020 and does not wish to be considered for a contract extension.
 
“Returning to the state where my career in public higher education began was a dream come true, but now is the time for me to move on and explore other professional options,” says Caret.
 
Caret started his career at Towson University in 1974 as a faculty member in the Chemistry Department. He subsequently served as dean, executive vice president, provost and, eventually, president. Caret left the Towson provost position to become president of San Jose State University in California and was later recruited to return as Towson University’s president. In 2011, Caret was named president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. In 2015, he was wooed back once again, this time returning as chancellor of USM. 
 
“Maryland launched my academic career, invited me to become president of the campus that meant so much to me and then asked me to become system chancellor,” says Caret. “Three times, Maryland has asked an immigrant’s son from a mill town in Maine to be part of this remarkable public university, and I am truly grateful to have had these opportunities to serve.”
 
Caret says he has spent the past 45 years “doing the work I was meant to do.”
 
Linda Gooden, Chair of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland says “During Chancellor Caret’s tenure, the system has built upon its role as an economic engine and economic catalyst for the state, with the number of degrees awarded rising to more than 42,000 per year – a figure that includes at least 80 percent of Maryland’s bachelor’s degrees.” 
 
During Caret’s tenure, enrollment has increased from 164,000 to 176,000 students across the system, coinciding with an increase in diversity and inclusion. As the representation of minority students has risen at USM, so too have success levels for USM’s underrepresented minority students. 
 
Gooden adds, “Maryland’s higher education landscape is in a much better place due to Chancellor Caret’s innovative leadership, focus on growth and commitment to shaping young lives for tomorrow. He has made an indelible mark.” 
 
In addition to achieving increased enrollment, USM has worked hard to provide access to affordable, high-quality education by maintaining tuition affordability. As a result of the progress attained under Caret’s leadership, nearly 50 percent of USM undergraduate students now graduate without debt. And, USM’s sound management and fiscal policies have translated into savings of nearly $600 million and one of the nation’s top higher education bond ratings.
 
“As a young man growing up in a fading mill town, I instinctively understood that education was the answer -- that education was the ticket to a better life,” says Caret. “That was true then and it remains true today.”
 
Caret has ensured USM continues to instill a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in its students, Maryland and its citizens. In fiscal year 2018 alone, USM institutions, faculty, students and graduates attracted more than $1.4 billion in federal and privately funded research dollars. USM also established the Maryland Momentum Fund, a venture capital fund designed to provide early funding for start-up companies emerging out of USM research. To date, that fund has invested more than $1.8 million into USM-born start-up companies which has been matched with more than $5 million in outside investment funds.
 
“Public colleges and universities truly are the bridge to a more equitable society and are pathways to a better future, and we have to do everything we can to strengthen them and protect their vital mission,” Caret explains. 
 
During his years leading public university campuses and systems, Caret has been significantly involved with a number of national higher-education organizations. He recently served as chair of the National Association of System Heads and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board of Directors. He also sits on the board of the Business-Higher Education Forum, the Higher Ed for Higher Standards Advisory Council and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable. He serves on numerous boards in Maryland, including the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, e-Novation and BioHealth Innovation.
 
“I look forward to working with the Board and the Presidents over the next year to continue to move the System forward, to guide the seach committees in the hiring of the Presidents at the University of Maryland College Park and Coppin State University, to continue our efforts focused on student success, and the wide range of complex initiatives on our agenda,” says Caret.
 
Caret, age 71, is the son of a French-Canadian immigrant who ran a diner catering to mill workers in the small, coastal city of Biddeford, Maine. Biddeford’s mills closed during the 1950s and 1960s, and Caret has said that a defining experience for him was seeing many of the millworkers never earn another paycheck because they lacked the education and skills to find other work. Caret received his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Suffolk University in Boston.
 
The Board of Regents will announce the details regarding a search for a new chancellor at a later date.

Reps Announce More than $1.5 Million in Awards for Research at Maryland HBCUs

million in federal funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research at two of Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Morgan State University will receive close to $1.25 million for a project aimed at broadening opportunities for African-American students to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, entitled “PERSIST – Pathways to Enhance Retention of Students in Science to Transition.” Bowie State University will receive a $300,000 award to empower junior and mid-level faculty to expand the institution’s research capacity through a project entitled “Deciphering the Molecular Mechanisms Preceding the Aging Skeletal Muscle Phenotype.” Both grant awards begin in June of 2019
 
“I applaud Morgan State University and Bowie State University for being recognized by the National Science Foundation for their work in increasing the diversity of our STEM pipeline. These federal grant awards rightly recognize both the high caliber of the current researchers at these institutions, as well as the importance of ongoing federal investment to address racial disparities among researchers and students in the sciences,” said Senator Cardin. 
 
“These groundbreaking programs at Morgan State and Bowie State underscore the great work HBCUs are doing to encourage students interested in STEM – and this investment will boost their work and our entire economy,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “Ending racial disparity in STEM fields and giving students a pathway to success is critical for Maryland’s future, and I will continue working in Congress to make sure that we have the resources needed to provide the best education possible.”
 
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future.

Governor Hogan Announces $255 Million in Additional Education Funding

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today released $255 million in additional education funding for fiscal year 2020, continuing his commitment of record investment in K-12 education. Since taking office, Governor Hogan has invested more than $32 billion in K-12 education.
 
Additionally, in a letter to General Assembly leaders, the governor announced he is allowing Senate Bill 1030 - The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to take effect without his signature, citing concerns about lack of fiscal planning and inadequate accountability measures.
 
“Education has been—and continues to be—my top priority,” said Governor Hogan in the letter. “However, I have significant reservations about your short-sighted methods for implementing the Kirwan Commission’s final recommendations—namely that they will lead to massive increases in expenditures without providing the fiscal safeguards and much-needed accountability our students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers deserve.”
 
Fiscal Responsibility. During the 2019 legislative session, Governor Hogan backed many of the measures in the bill but reasonably urged that any additional spending to implement the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission be accompanied by robust fiscal safeguards. Calling the legislation “a blueprint without a design,” the governor expresses concern that “there is no plan—none—for how the State will fulfill its financial obligation based on the anticipated nearly $4 billion price tag.”
 
The latest Maryland Department of Budget and Management analysis indicates that full implementation of all Kirwan Commission recommendations would force the State to face a fiscal shortfall of approximately $18.7 billion. As a result, the Department estimates Maryland households would each be forced to pay an additional $6,200 more in taxes over the next five years.
 
Accountability. Additionally, after the Hogan administration introduced Accountability in Education measures two years in a row, the General Assembly included the governor’s Education Inspector General proposal in the presented bill. However, the measures proposed still fall short, with no structural mechanisms to fix perpetually failing schools.
 
“While it is encouraging that the legislature agreed to my proposal for an Inspector General to root out corruption and mismanagement, the bill still falls short of the accountability we need,” wrote the governor.
 
In the letter, the governor points to the state’s failure to make good on the work of the Thornton Commission, noting that more funding alone has not always added up to better outcomes for students and families.
 
“We simply cannot repeat the same mistakes that have failed Maryland students, their parents, teachers, and the taxpayers of our state for decades,” he concluded. “In the coming months, I look forward to working with you to develop a fiscally responsible proposal that both increases accountability and improves performance outcomes.”

Charles Officers Apprehend Four Robbery Suspects

On May 8 at 11:36 p.m., officers responded to a motel in the 11000 block of Crain Highway in Glasva for the report of a citizen armed robbery. The victim reported two suspects, one who was armed with a gun, approached him as he was sitting outside his room and demanded his money and medication. The victim complied and the suspects fled in a gray Audi passenger car which was occupied by a driver and a passenger. M/Cpl. Kuhnow located the suspects’ vehicle traveling north on Route 301 in the area of Preference Drive. He initiated a traffic stop and the suspects were taken into custody. Joseph Robert Ellsworth Hayes, 22, of Nanjemoy; Jeffrey Carter, 23, of Bryans Road; Annaya Rachel Liverpool, 22, of Virginia and Teziah Marquis Randall, 18, of Bryans Road were charged with robbery, second-degree assault, and other related charges. Further, prior to entering the detention center, a body scanning machine revealed hidden contraband on Hayes. Forty pills, the same amount stolen from the victim, were recovered. PFC J. Harley is continuing the investigation.


 

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