Local News

Charles County Commissioners Announce April Public Meetings

The Charles County Commissioners invite the public to attend the April public meetings as scheduled below. The purpose of the meetings is to take questions from those in attendance and to discuss items of importance to the citizens and the community.
Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq.
“Community Conversation with the Commissioner President”
Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
Lancaster Neighborhood Center (4150 Lancaster Circle, Waldorf)
 Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed., Commissioner (District 3)
“Town Hall Meeting for District 3”
Monday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Waldorf West Library (10405 O'Donnell Place, Waldorf)
Future meeting dates are available at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov. 
For more information, contact the Citizen Response Office at CitizenResponse@CharlesCountyMD.gov or call 301-645-0550.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

SKYWARN® Flood Course Offered on April 25

Do you have an interest in weather specifically heavy rain and flooding? The National Weather Service Forecast Office and the Charles County Office of Emergency Management will offer a free SKYWARN® Flooding Training on Thursday, April 25 at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata) from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Help your local National Weather Service (NWS) office by providing the ground truth on the atmosphere observed from radar, satellites, and various reporting stations.
An NWS meteorologist will teach this class and provide related materials. Attendees will be trained to recognize different types of flooding, learn how it is forecast and what causes it to occur, and get an in-depth look into the science of hydrology. The SKYWARN Basics course is NOT required prior to attending this course.
At the end of the course, you will be assigned a SKYWARN® spotter number which will be maintained in the official database at the NWS in Sterling. You will also be directed how to report this vital weather information. Past participants are welcomed to attend for a refresher class.  To register, go to www.weather.gov/lwx/skywarn.  Registration is required.
For more information, contact Jennifer Adams at AdamsJen@CharlesCountyMD.gov or 301-609-3430. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Firefighter Fight Fire In Waldorf Saturday Night

Firefighters from the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department (Westlake) station responded to called to an accidental fire at 10329 Saltbush Court in Waldorf Saturday night. The fire was found in the attached garage of the home and was due to an electrical failure of an extension cord.  The garage was not protected by a sprinkler system.  The fire burned through an interior wall into a small bathroom which was protected by a sprinkler system.  The sprinkler in the bathroom activated and extinguished the fire. The estiamted loss in the fire is $100,000. No one was injured in the fire. 

Gun and Methamphetamine Seizure

On 3/16/2019 Troopers from the Maryland State Police Frederick Barrack conducted a traffic stop of a Green BMW after determining the operator of the car had a suspended drivers license.  Upon making contact with the vehicle occupants several criminal indicators were observed and a K-9 scan was requested.   Prior to the K-9 scan the operator of the vehicle indicated he had a firearm in the vehicle.  The firearm, a .40 caliber semi automatic handgun, was loaded and concealed between the driver seat and the center console.  One of the passengers then admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle.  A search of the vehicle was conducted where a small amount of marijuana, THC oil, 3 baggies of methamphetamine, a crack pipe, a methamphetamine pipe and various prescription pills were located.   The driver who claimed ownership of the firearm was prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.  Sean M McCarter of Kennett Square, PA was arrested and charged with:
Possession CDS not marijuana
Illegal Possession of Ammo
Firearm Possession w/felony conviction
Handgun in vehicle
Loaded handgun in vehicle
Handgun on person
Loaded handgun on person
Kelly Brooks of Quarryville, PA was charged with:
CDS Possession not marijuana
Amy Barksdale of Delta, PA was charged with:
CDS Possession not marijuana
Possession CDS paraphernalia

Calvert County Parks Return to Normal Summer Hours

The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation announces that all parks will return to their normal summer hours Saturday, March 16, 2019.
The summer hours of operation for Dunkirk District Park, Hallowing Point Park and Cove Point Park are 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., through mid-November. Other park hours will vary based on location and amenities. Park hours are posted at the entrance of each county park or available online. Visit Calvert County parks and take advantage of the many features offered including playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields and picnic areas.
Learn more about the Department of Parks & Recreation and its comprehensive program of recreational activities offered in community centers, aquatic facilities, the public schools and the county parks by visiting online at CalvertCountyMd.gov/ParksandRecreation.
Information on Calvert County Government services can be found online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Find Calvert County Government on Facebook.

NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Webster Field March 25-28, 2019

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - Communities surrounding the Outlying Field Webster are advised that two fixed wing propeller aircraft night testing events are scheduled to take place March 25 through March 28, 2019 from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.
NAS Patuxent River appreciates the patience of residents and will continue to take precautions to lessen the impact of flight operations on the community.  For more information, call Pax River's toll-free noise hotline at 1-866-819-9028.

ID Needed for Motor Vehicle B&E Suspect (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured. On Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 2:34 a.m., the suspect entered the victim’s unlocked vehicle in the 46100 block of Nancy Court in Lexington Park. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Phillip Henry at 301-475-4200 ext. *8012 or email phillip.henry@stmarysmd.com. Case # 14840-19
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured. On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at 7:50 p.m., the suspect placed a can of beer and bottle of alcohol inside of his coat and left the Canopy Liquors store in Lexington Park without paying for them. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Matthew Beyer at 301-475-4200, ext. *8004 or email matthew.beyer@stmarysmd.com. Case# 8630-19
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

NAS PAX RIVER Sets Noise Advisory for Webster Field April 5-8, 2019

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Communities surrounding the Outlying Field Webster are advised that two fixed wing propeller aircraft night testing events are scheduled to take place April 5 through April 8, 2019 from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
NAS Patuxent River appreciates the patience of residents and will continue to take precautions to lessen the impact of flight operations on the community.  For more information, call Pax River’s toll-free noise hotline at 1-866-819-9028.

Statement from Governor Hogan on House Passage of Budget

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today released the following statement in response to the passage of the FY 2020 budget in the Maryland House of Delegates:
“In January, we introduced a thoughtful and common sense budget that highlights our administration's commitments, including our top priority - education. We funded important initiatives that would provide our students with safe classrooms that encourage growth and learning; however, it seems some members of the House do not share that same commitment.
“The egregious cuts outlined in the budget that passed today - including over $16 million in cuts to funding that would enhance school safety, increase accountability, and provide better opportunities for our kids - are the height of hypocrisy and a disservice to our students, teachers, and parents. These cuts include: the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line, which is critical to keeping our classrooms safe; the Office of Education Accountability, which is providing transparency and exposing wrongdoing in local school systems; funding for underserved children to attend innovative public charter schools; the bipartisan BOOST program; and our proposal to expand the Promise Scholarship program to allow qualifying students to get a college education.
“While numerous legislators have supported these innovative proposals in the past, they have opted to now put them on the chopping block - all to score political points. Our kids deserve better, and we will continue to advocate for greater accountability in our schools to ensure that funding goes where it belongs - in the classroom with teachers and students.
“Additionally, despite the tremendous progress our administration has made in growing Maryland’s economy, the House has proposed $11 million in cuts to important job creation initiatives and workforce development programs, which will adversely impact Maryland’s hard-working citizens. The House also announced a $6 million cut to our administration’s SmartWork Program, which assists in the recruitment and retention of state employees working in high-demand fields, including correctional officers and nurses, by helping repay their student loans. This cut will severely limit the number of Marylanders who can benefit from this initiative.  
“Despite these setbacks, during the remaining weeks of session, our administration remains committed to working with both the House and Senate leadership in a bipartisan fashion to achieve real results for the people of Maryland.”

Maryland State Police To Increase Patrols Over St. Patrick's Day Weekend

(PIKESVILLE, Md.) —With St. Patrick’s Day coming up on Sunday, Maryland State Police are urging those who plan to celebrate with alcohol to be safe and smart and avoid impaired, distracted and aggressive driving.
With an increase in impaired drivers expected throughout the state this weekend, state police will be conducting saturation patrols at each of the 23 barracks focusing on impaired, aggressive and distracted driving. Enforcement this weekend will be bolstered by impaired driving saturation patrol funds from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office.
Initiatives will include saturation patrols in areas known to have a higher number of DUI crashes or arrests and sobriety checkpoints, which are also conducted in locations where experience indicates they are most appropriate.   Additional troopers will be assigned as needed. During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day holiday (March 16 to 18, 2018), state police made 105 DUI arrests, 32 criminal arrests and 15 drug-related arrests. Troopers also issued 1,141 speeding citations, 90 seat belt citations and 2,700 other citations.
The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort Team, otherwise known as the SPIDRE team, will also be out in full force this weekend. From March 8 to 11 alone, the SPIDRE team made 17 DUI arrests. Since its inception in May 2013, the SPIDRE team has more than 2,900 DUI arrests, 130 criminal arrests and nearly 9,000 traffic stops while also issuing close to 20,000 citations and about 4,500 warnings. The goal of the SPIDRE team is to focus on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, 558 people died on Maryland’s roads and roughly one-third of those involved impaired driving in 2017. Impaired drivers injured 3,200 in 2017. All of these deaths and injuries were preventable.
If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:
Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
Always buckle up.
Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.
If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:
Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
Serve plenty of food an non-alcoholic beverages
Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
Take away the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.

Free Mulch Available to Charles County Residents

The Department of Public Works Environmental Resources Division is pleased to announce that free mulch is available for Charles County residents while supplies last.  Mulch loading takes place on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon only at the Piney Church Facility. Commercial entities are prohibited. 
Locations and Hours:
(Residents must bring a pitchfork or shovel to load themselves.)
Breeze Farm Recycling Center (15950 Cobb Island Road, Cobb Island):  Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Piney Church Road (5370 Piney Church Road, Waldorf): Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturdays only: 7:30 a.m. to noon loading is available for non-commercial trucks and trailers at no charge.
Pisgah Recycling Center (6645 Mason Springs Road, La Plata): Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, call the Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

New Paddle-In Camping Opportunities on the Potomac River

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Park Service announced the completion of a project to expand and enhance paddle-in camping opportunities in Southern Maryland.
The improved access allows longer overnight paddling excursions along the Potomac River with beautiful landing spots at Point Lookout State Park and Newtowne Neck State Park, both located in St. Mary’s County.
“The new and improved paddle-in campsites will allow residents and visitors looking for low-impact recreation to explore the beaches, tributaries and wetlands of the Potomac River in Southern Maryland,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Corresponding water access and trail maps will make people aware of the various ways to explore the numerous waterways, hopefully developing and enhancing a visitor’s connection to the watershed.”
The work involved improvements to 15 existing campsites at Hoffman Point and the Green Loop at Point Lookout, adding amenities and upgrading infrastructure to improve the visitor experience. These campsites are close to the shoreline and are also near existing piers with floating dock facilities that are ideal for canoe and kayak access.
Newtowne Neck offers a more primitive camping experience, with beautiful views of the bays and river, miles of sandy beach, and new trails through the property’s forests and meadows.  The construction of two new primitive paddle-in campsites, located to provide a quiet and secluded “backcountry” experience, are ideal for multiday and overnight paddling trips on Breton Bay,  Potomac River and St. Clement’s Bay.
The National Park Service provided funds for the project, and the Maryland Park Service Veterans Conservation Corps have been working on the project since the spring.

Lady Gaga Confirms New Album, Denies Pregnancy Rumors

Lady Gaga confirmed on Twitter that she is working on a new album while denying rumors that she is pregnant. "Rumors I'm pregnant? Yeah, I'm pregnant with #LG6," the singer said on Tuesday in reference to her sixth studio album. Gaga's next album will be a follow-up to 2016's Joanne which featured the single "Million Reasons."

College Entrance Exam Cheaters Had Students Fake Learning Disabilities

A college entrance exam policy that was meant to help students with disabilities was exploited to enable cheating in an explosive school admission scandal. At least 50 people - including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin - were charged with cheating on admission tests and bribing coaches in what's being described as the biggest school admissions scandal ever prosecuted by federal authorities. In the scandal parents had their children “purport to having learning disabilities” so they could get medical documentation for it and take advantage of the College Board's special accommodations for students with disabilities. With medical proof, those students could then take their ACT or SAT college entrance exam at one of two special centers that give students with disabilities extra time to complete the test or allow them to take it alone under the supervision of a proctor. These special centers were also at times controlled by the scam group Edge College & Career Network and this is where the cheating occurred. In some cases bribed test administrators provided answers for students or corrected them or had someone else pose as the student to take the test, according to the documents. The doctored exams were then sent back to the testing organizations for grading. Clients paid $15,000 to $75,000 per test, according to the documents, “with the payments typically structured as purported donations” to a charity run by a cooperating witness.

Denzel Washington In Talks To Join Warner Bros' 'Little Things'

Denzel Washington is in talks to join the cop thriller “Little Things.” Washington would play Deke, a jaded Kern County police officer with the uncanny ability to spot the “little things” in an investigation and a willingness to break the rules. That unstable combination comes to a head when he must team up with an LASD detective named Baxter to track down a serial killer.

Calvert County Department of Public Safety to Offer Free Community Training

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – March 13, 2019 – The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, is hosting free monthly training sessions to better prepare citizens of all ages for emergencies. The training sessions will focus on subjects such as responding to an active shooter situation, performing CPR and assisting injured persons prior to professional help arriving. Training will be held on the following schedule:
A.L.I.C.E (March 26, June 18 and Sept. 24 from 7-9 p.m.)
A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training is an instructor-led class that provides preparation and a plan for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event.
CPR and AED Training (April 23, July 30 and Oct. 22 from 6-9 p.m.)
This American Heart Association training is a video-based, instructor-led course that teaches adult and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use, infant CPR, and how to relieve choking in adults, children and infants. Limit for this training is 12 participants.
You are the Help Until Help Arrives (May 21, Aug. 27 and Nov. 19 from 7-9 p.m.)
This course provides citizens the tools to assist an injured person prior to professional help arriving.
All classes will be held at the Harriet E. Brown Community Center in Prince Frederick.
            “These training classes will provide citizens basic knowledge of how to be better prepared for incidents that might occur in the county,” said Emergency Management Division Chief Alfred Jeffery. “The information gained in these classes will help citizens make informed decisions to protect themselves and their families in the event of an emergency.”         
            Citizens can visit www.calvertcountymd.gov/training to learn more about the training, or register by calling 410-535-1600, ext. 2638 or by email at oem@calvertcountymd.gov. Please provide your name, contact information and number of individuals participating. For more information about the Division of Emergency Management, visit online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/EmergencyManagement. Like county government on Facebook.

Recreation and Parks Accepting Applications for Water Safety Instructors at the Great Mills Pool

Leonardtown, MD - Recreation and Parks is seeking certified WSI (Water Safety Instructors) for swim lessons, starting in June 2019 for the Great Mills Pool.


To apply, applicants can obtain an application at the Recreation and Parks main office in Leonardtown; 23150 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, MD 20650, at the Great Mills Pool next to Great Mills High School, or  go online to St. Mary’s Recreation and Parks and click on www.stmarysmd.com/docs/rpjobopenings.pdf then click on application for employment.


For further information, please call the Great Mills pool at 301-866-6560.

Governor Hogan Statement on School After Labor Day

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan today released the following statement on the passage of Senate Bill 128 through the House of Delegates:
“This is just politics at its worst. As if it isn’t bad enough that members of the legislature are attempting to reverse our common sense initiative to start school after Labor Day, they are now using heavy-handed tactics to unfairly influence the ballot process and any petition to bring this issue directly to Maryland voters.
"In 2016, after years of public outcry, I took action to return to the tradition of starting school after Labor Day. This is the same action that was recommended by the legislature’s own commission, supported by the former governor, and favored by more than 70% of the people of Maryland.
"Now this popular idea is being threatened by out-of-touch politicians and special interests. Members of the Maryland Senate should heed the calls of the overwhelming majority of Marylanders - reject this legislation and repudiate this thinly veiled attempt to manipulate the will of our citizens."

March 12th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, March 12, Economic Development Director Darrell Brown and Redevelopment Manager Taylor Yewell provided a briefing to County Commissioners on the School Seat Allocation Policy in Opportunity Zones. Brown and Yewell discussed the possibility for potential alternatives or an exemption to the school seat allocation policy within the county’s three opportunity zones. Policy alternatives could advance redevelopment options and attract new investments in opportunity zones. It will also help support growth in areas that are essential to secure funding for transit projects. Commissioners directed staff to explore alternatives in collaboration with the Charles County Board of Education and returning with recommendations later this spring.
Open Session Briefings
Broadband Task Force: Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall and Chief of Information Technology Evelyn Jacobson provided an update on the Broadband Task Force. Updates included the establishment of the Broadband Task Force, which has held three meetings, and establishment of several sub-committees within the Task Force. The 11 members of the Broadband Task Force Committee were introduced. Staff will return to provide a full update on the Task Force in April.
Military Support Update: Economic Development Director Darrell Brown and Atlantic Strategies Group military affairs consultants John Bohanan and Jennifer Dione briefed Commissioners on collaboration with the Indian Head Naval Base to attract activities and investments there. They are working closely with county staff to bring research activities and private sector industries, like the forthcoming Velocity Center, that support base activities outside the gate in Indian Head.
Work Session
Department of Planning and Growth Management Assistant Chief John Mudd presented a briefing on the Town Center South Development Rights and Responsibility Agreement Amendment #4 and proposed agreement to make Lidl US Operations, LCC as the successor of Lot #13. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2 at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room.
Approval Items
Commissioners approved a Fiscal 2020 Transportation Priority Letter to be sent to Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn. The letter includes top priority transportation improvement projects, including completion of the project planning for the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit project and construction of a controlled access highway option for US Route 301 through Waldorf and White Plains. Commissioners also provided consensus to endorse the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland Letter.
The Commissioners also approved:
A budget amendment increase to fund the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy Director position; the other two-thirds of the director’s salary will be supported by St. Mary’s County and Calvert County. Commissioners also approved a new pin number to be assigned to the new director.
Revisions to the Community Service Policy Standard Operating Policy. In addition to tracked changes within the document, Commissioners also recommended revising section 3.1 to read, “The Board of Commissioners is responsible for the overall approval of this SOP and the review of the annual report of all the expenditures for this account,” and recommended revising section 5.5 to read, “An expenditures accountability report will be provided to the Board of Commissioners quarterly.”
Part-Time Committee recommendation to make Part II employees eligible for all future COLA increases. Other recommendations will be considered during the budget approval process.
General Assembly Legislation Update
Acting County Attorney Danielle Mitchell presented updates and requests for action on the county’s legislative priorities for the 2019 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session.
House Bill 389, House Bill 388, House Bill 438, House Bill 400, Senate Bill 634, and House Bill 1051: No updates to provide. 
Senate Bill 290: A hearing was held on Feb. 28. The Maryland Association of County Health Officers, which was originally opposing this bill, now supports the bill with amendments. The Commissioners decided to wait on their Letter of Support until they have a copy of the amendments proposed.
Senate Bill 973: The hearing was held on March 8 and Commissioners’ letter of opposition was sent. No formal actions were made to withdraw the bill at this time.
Senate Bill 845: Commissioners’ Letter of Support was sent. The hearing is scheduled for March 13.
Senate Bill 1030/ House Bill 1413: This bill is moving forward, which supports funding for the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations. Education recommendations of the Commission include free full-day prekindergarten for low-come families; expanding services for even younger children and their families, hiring and retaining high-quality and diverse teachers, and toughening certification standards; increasing standards and services so that all students are ready for college or career, with particular attention on students in schools with high concentrations of poverty; and establishing a strong accountability system to oversee the commission’s recommendations to be funded by the state budget for the next two years. 
Senate Bill 280/ House Bill 166: This bill mandates an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.          
Appointed Commissioner Gilbert Bowling, III (District 1) to the Board of Fire and Rescue, in place of Commissioner Vice President Bobby Rucci (District 4).
Representatives from the Charles County Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, and Charles County Farm Bureau received a proclamation from Commissioners to recognize March 14 as National Agriculture Day and recognize the contributions made by farmers and the agriculture industry.
Next Commissioners Meetings: Friday, March 15, at 11 a.m. and Tuesday, March 19, beginning at 9 a.m.
Commissioners will discuss their Federal Agenda Priorities with United States Senator Ben Cardin and United States Congressman Steny H. Hoyer on Friday, March 15 at 11 a.m. in the County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata).
For More Information:
Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/media-services/ccgtv/ccgtv.    Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted at www.boarddocs.com/md/chrlsco/Board.nsf/Public upon approval.



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