Local News

Cardin: Congress Had to Ensure that Marriage Equality is Respected at the National Level

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement Tuesday after the Senate approved 61-36 the Respect for Marriage Act that codifies marriage equality for same-sex couples, repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996 and guarantees that legal marriages performed in one state are given full faith and credit by every other state. Senator Cardin is an original cosponsor of S. 4556, the companion legislation to H.R. 8404, which was approved by the House of Representatives in July and passed the Senate today.

 

“In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States Obergefell v. Hodges decision affirmed equality as an American value that should not be denied or taken away from anyone. Today, the United States Senate came together on a bipartisan basis to reaffirm that the right of loving, same-sex couples to marry should be upheld and not taken away. Based on the writings of Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, and the recent, precedent-breaking actions of the conservative majority on the court, the threat to marriage equality was very real. I am proud that Maryland has state-level protections in place to preserve the sanctity of same-sex marriage, but Congress had to ensure that such fundamental rights are respected at the national level. Together, the Supreme Court and the federal government, as a whole, must focus on expanding the rights of Americans and not revoking them. As a nation, we must stand united and firm in the face of injustice and continue to proclaim that love is, has been, and always will be, love.”

 


Healthy St. Mary's Partnership Releases 2022 Food Security Report

The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership (HSMP) is pleased to announce the release of the 2022 Food Security Report for St. Mary’s County, now available to view online at healthystmarys.com/foodsecurity.

Food security is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is associated with numerous adverse social and health outcomes. Key drivers of food insecurity include unemployment, poverty, and income shocks, which can prevent adequate access to food.

The Food Security Report uses local data and community and stakeholder input to provide valuable information about food security in St. Mary’s County. The report also includes insight into long-term health solutions and presents strategies to address food security locally. 

"Many of our community partners, including food pantries, farmers, and local businesses have worked tirelessly to improve reliable access to safe and nutritious food for our residents," said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary's County Health Officer and HSMP Co-Chair. "The information and suggested strategies in this report will help our community support this effort so that all St. Mary’s children and adults will have food security."


November 29 St. Mary's Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting in the Chesapeake Building Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, with the invocation and pledge, followed by approval of the consent agenda.

 

The Commissioners began by recognizing Sheriff Tim Cameron’s upcoming retirement.

 

The Commissioners then approved the Department of Public Works & Transportation’s 2023-2032 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management and Recycling Plan.

 

The Commissioners approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and the Friends Research Institute, on behalf of the Detention and Rehabilitation Center, for participation in a study and the related budget amendment to increase project revenue.

 

The Commissioners approved the Day Reporting Grant MOA between St. Mary's County Health Department and the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Detention and Rehabilitation Center and establish two grant-funded positions as part of the agreement.

 

The Commissioners approved the Department of Recreation & Parks’ request for an extension of the Temporary Access Agreement, allowing the St. Mary's Metropolitan Commission access to the Great Mills Property.

 

The Commissioners gave approval to the Department of Information Technology’s County Letter of Partnership for the Proposed Funding Service Area submissions being prepared by Verizon FIOS for submission to the Office of Statewide Broadband Connect Maryland: FY2023 Network Infrastructure Grant Program.

 

The Commissioners then heard an update from the Department of Emergency Services on EMS staffing and billing.

 

The Commissioners approved the Department of Public Work’s & Transportation’s proposal to accept Tallwood Road, Leyland Street, Sawara Court, and Monterey Street into the St. Mary's County Highway Maintenance System; and to adopt an ordinance setting a maximum speed and establishing stop intersections for those roads of Leyland Park of Wildewood.

 

The Commissioners heard the Department of Public Works & Transportation’s update on the Emergency Services Inclement Weather and the Snow & Ice Control Operational Plan.

 

The Commissioners approved the Department of Finance’s budgetary amendment to decrease salary and fringe accounts and increase the Commissioner’s Emergency Reserve.

 

The Commissioners approved the Department of Finance’s Budget Amendments decreasing the FIN23 Capital Reserve by $2,015,000 and increasing projects - Regional Meat Processing/Regional Agricultural Center (RAC), Adult Detention Rehabilitation Center, Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, Clements Convenience Center, and Airport Improvements.

 

The Commissioners presented commendations to Commissioner Morgan and Commissioner O’Connor for their terms of service as County Commissioners.

 

The next Commissioner business meeting will be in the Chesapeake Building at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.


Calvert County Emergency Management to Test Alert and Notification System Sirens

The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, will conduct a full-cycle test of the alert and notification sirens throughout Calvert, St. Mary’s and Dorchester counties Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, at noon.

The full-cycle test includes a three-minute activation of all sirens within the 10-mile area around Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. Citizens are encouraged to relay this information to friends, family and neighbors.

The testing is conducted to check siren operation and increase public awareness of the alert and notification siren system. If the sirens sound at any other time, residents should tune to one of the following radio stations for official information and instructions:

·         WKIK FM 102.9 MHz - California

·         WKIK AM 1560 kHz - La Plata

·         WPRS FM 104.1 MHz - La Plata

·         WTOP FM 103.5 MHz - Frederick and DC

·         WMDM FM 97.7 MHz - Lexington Park

·         WPTX AM 1690 kHz - Lexington Park

·         WSMD FM 98.3 MHz - Mechanicsville

·         WRAR FM 105.5 MHz - Tappahannock

·         WNNT FM 107.5 MHz - Warsaw

·         WCEI FM 96.7 MHz - Easton

·         WKHZ AM 1460 kHz - Easton

·         WGOP AM 540 kHz - Pocomoke

·         WCEM FM 106.3 MHz - Cambridge

·         WCEM AM 1240 kHz - Cambridge

Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/AlertNotificationSystem to learn more about the Calvert County siren alert system and to find other emergency planning and mitigation information from the Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division.

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 and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.


Charles County Leaders Take Oath of Office on Dec. 6

The Charles County Oath of Office Ceremony for Charles County’s elected officials is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Charles County Government Building, Commissioners’ Meeting Room (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata).

The following elected officials will be sworn in at the ceremony: Lisa E. Yates, Clerk of the Circuit Court; Monise A. Brown, Judge of the Circuit Court; Judge of the Orphans’ Court; Darlene M. Breck, Judge of the Orphans’ Court; Peter F. Murphy, Judge of the Orphans’ Court; Russell Yates, Judge of the Orphans’ Court; Loraine D. Hennessy, Register of Wills; Troy D. Berry, Sheriff; Gilbert “BJ” Bowling, lll, Commissioner (District 1); Thomasina O. Coates, Commissioner (District 2); Amanda M. Stewart, Commissioner (District 3); Ralph E. Patterson, II, Commissioner (District 4); and Reuben C. Collins, II, Commissioner President.

The Honorable H. James West, Judge of the Circuit Court will administer the Oath of Office to the Clerk of the Circuit Court Lisa E. Yates.  Yates will administer the Oath of Office to the remaining Charles County elected officials.

 

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office will present colors, the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Lyric Springs, and the National Anthem will be performed by Brach Cobb. Other participants in the event include Reverend William A. Coates, Mr. Mohammad Zahid Aslam, Pastor William Buck, and Reverend Katherine Heichler.

The Oath of Office Ceremony will air live on Charles County Government Television (CCGTV) which broadcasts on Comcast 95 (SD), Verizon FIOS 10, Roku or Apple TV streaming devices (Charles County Government), and the web at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov. The airing of this ceremony will be available for later viewing. The ceremony is open to the public with limited seating.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols will be followed.

For more information, 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.


Juvenile Charge in Connection with Assault

Juvenile Charged in Connection with Assault: On November 28 at 8:20 a.m., patrol officers responded to the area of Jameson Court in Indian Head for the report of a juvenile male who was armed with a gun and chasing another juvenile. When officers arrived, they located the suspect standing near a shed in the backyard of a house. The suspect was taken into custody and a firearm – which was discovered to be a pellet gun – was recovered. After consulting with the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office, the juvenile was charged on a juvenile offense report with second-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon; he was released to his mother. At this time, it is not known why the suspect threatened the victim and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Edwards at 301-609-3283 ext. 0730.  


Regional Transportation Planning Board Seeks Community Advisory Board Members

Deadline to apply is Dec. 5

The Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board is seeking residents interested in regional transportation issues to apply to the 2023-2024 Community Advisory Committee (CAC). On the committee, members will provide input to decision-makers and promote public involvement in the planning process for the metropolitan Washington region. The application deadline is Monday, Dec. 5. To apply, visit www.mwcog.org/cac.

“Investing in transportation is important in driving economic opportunity throughout our county, and transportation planning is a key part of the process. As Charles County continues to grow, it is important to ensure our County is represented on regional groups such as this one and we have a voice in transportation discussions,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq.

The Transportation Board includes elected local officials, representatives from transportation agencies, and other key officials. The CAC is 24 appointed members. There are 15 members selected from the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia; and nine members appointed to represent the Transportation Planning Board member jurisdictions.

The mission of the Transportation Planning Board CAC is:

•  to promote public involvement in transportation planning for the region,

•  to advance equitable representation in regional transportation planning, and

•  to provide independent, region-oriented citizen advice to the TPB on transportation plans and issues.

The CAC meetings are held once a month with either a completely virtual or hybrid option. In-person meetings are held at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (777 North Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20002). The CAC meetings have been held in the evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but they are considering lunchtime meetings for the coming term.

For more information about the CAC, visit www.mwcog.org/cac or contact John Swanson at 202-962-3295 or jswanson@mwcog.org.


Charles County Government December Holiday Schedule

Charles County Government December Holiday Schedule

The County Administrator wishes to remind residents of changes to operating schedules for the month of December: 

 

Friday, Dec. 9

  • The Charles County Treasury Office (Waldorf and LaPlata branches) will close at 12:30 p.m.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 14

  • The Charles County Landfill, all Recycling Centers, and the Piney Church Road Mulch Facility will close at 11 a.m.

 

Friday, Dec. 16

  • The Department of Planning and Growth Management will close at 11:30 a.m.
  • The Nanjemoy Community Center and all senior centers will close at noon.
  • The Department of Community Services will not schedule appointments or accept walk-ins after 12 p.m.

 

Friday, Dec. 23

  • All Charles County Government offices and the Charles County Animal Care Center in Hughesville are closed.
  • All indoor pools, senior centers and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center is open for scheduled recreational activities and programs.

 

Saturday, Dec. 24

  • The Charles County Landfill, all Recycling Centers, and the Piney Church Road Mulch Facility are closed.
  • The Charles County Animal Care Center in Hughesville is closed.
  • All indoor pools, Nanjemoy Community Center, all senior centers, and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • Elite Gymnastics and Recreation Center, Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center, and the Port Tobacco Recreation Center are closed.
  • VanGO last departures from the Waldorf transfer point will be at 6 p.m. on the 301 Connector, Berry Road, Brandywine Connector, Pinefield, Indian Head, St. Charles A, St. Charles B, St. Charles C.  Last departures from the Waldorf transfer point will be at 5:30 p.m. on the Business A, Business B, Charlotte Hall.  Last departure from the Waldorf transfer point will be at 6:30 p.m. for St. Charles D.  Last departures from the La Plata transfer point will be at 6:30 p.m. on the 301 Connector.  Last departures from the La Plata transfer point will be at 5:30 for Bryans Road, La Plata and Nanjemoy.  Last departure from the La Plata transfer point for Newburg will be at 4:30 p.m.

 

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)

  • The Crain Memorial Welcome Center is closed.
  • All Indoor Pools, White Plains Gold Course, and White Plains Skatepark are closed.

 

Monday, Dec. 26

  • All Charles County Government offices and the Charles County Animal Care Center in Hughesville are closed.
  • All indoor pools, Nanjemoy Community Center, all senior centers, and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center is open for scheduled recreational activities and programs.

Friday, Dec. 30

  • All Charles County Government offices and the Charles County Animal Care Center in Hughesville are closed.
  • All senior centers and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center is open for scheduled recreational activities and programs.

 

Saturday, Dec. 31

  • The Charles County Landfill, all Recycling Centers, and the Piney Church Road Mulch Facility are closed.
  • Elite Gymnastics and Recreation Center, Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center, and the Port Tobacco Recreation Center are closed.
  • All indoor pools, and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • VanGO last departures from the Waldorf transfer point will be at 6 p.m. on the 301 Connector, Berry Road, Brandywine Connector, Pinefield, Indian Head, St. Charles A, St. Charles B, St. Charles C.  Last departures from the Waldorf transfer point will be at 5:30 p.m. on the Business A, Business B, Charlotte Hall.  Last departure from the Waldorf transfer point will be at 6:30 p.m. for St. Charles D.  Last departures from the La Plata transfer point will be at 6:30 p.m. on the 301 Connector.  Last departures from the La Plata transfer point will be at 5:30 for Bryans Road, La Plata and Nanjemoy.  Last departure from the La Plata transfer point for Newburg will be at 4:30 p.m.

 

Operating status for other County affiliated agencies:

 

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.


Fire Destroys La Plata Home

On Wednesday evening around 4:53 p.m. seventy five firefighters from the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire call at 9990 Harmony Farm Place, La Plata. The fire was the result of burning brush, which became out of control and destroyed the single family residence, as well as a vehicle.  The estimated monetary loss: Structure: $ 250,000.00  Contents: $ 100,000.00. There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and the displaced occupant is being assisted by friends and family.


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

Damaged Property: 22-67524
On November 19, 2022, Deputy Mister responded to the Rod N’ Reel Resort located at 4160 Mears Avenue in Chesapeake Beach, for the report of property destruction. The complainant advised sometime between 10 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 5 a.m. on Nov. 19, an unknown suspect (s) caused damage to the victim’s vehicle. Investigation revealed the passenger side mirror was broken along with a black mark left on the passenger side front door. The estimated value of the damaged property is $900.00.
Theft: 22-67482
On November 19, 2022, DFC Kwitowski responded to the 300 block of Coyote Trail in Lusby for a report of theft. Contact was made with the complainant who advised a package and its contents were stolen from the porch of the residence. The estimated value of the stolen property is $120.00.
ARRESTS
On November 15, 2022, Deputy Zinn responded to the Giant located at 655 N. Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick, for the report of a theft in progress. The complainant advised a male suspect broke a bottle of cooking wine while in the aisle of the store and fled to the restroom with stolen merchandise. The suspect, Robert Allen Rice, 56 of no fixed address, was located in a bathroom stall in possession of two bottles of cooking wine and multiple packs of candy. Rice had been previously trespassed from the establishment. Rice was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespassing: Private Property, Theft less than $100, and Malicious Destruction of Property.

On November 16, 2022, Deputy Strong responded to Giant Food located in the 600 block of N. Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised an electric scooter had been stolen from the establishment. Deputy Strong located Robert Allen Rice, 56 of no fixed address, on the stolen scooter with his possessions inside the basket of the scooter. Rice had been indefinitely trespassed from the property and was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Trespassing and Theft: $1500 to Under $25,000.

On November 18, 2022, Deputy Aley was dispatched to a possible kidnapping and attempt to locate a wanted suspect traveling in the area of Solomons Island Road N and Main Street in Prince Frederick. DFC Plant initiated a traffic stop and upon making contact with the driver, Amanda Ellen Tucker, 35 of Mechanicsville, it was revealed Tucker was wanted on open warrants in both St. Mary’s and Charles County. A vehicle search incident to arrest revealed a glass smoking device with a white powdery residue (heroin), four cut straws, and a metal smoking device containing crack cocaine. Tucker was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with two counts of CDS: Possession-Not Cannabis and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.

On November 20, 2022, Deputy Dawson initiated a traffic stop in the area of Rt. 260 and Jewell Road in Dunkirk, for a speeding violation. Upon making contact with the driver, Timothy James Nevin, 38 of Shady Side, DFC Aranda observed multiple pills in the driver’s seat of the vehicle in plain view. A search of Nevin’s person revealed four pills of Tramadol and Phentermine.  A vehicle search revealed eight additional Tramadol pills and one Phentermine pill. Nevin was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession-Not Cannabis.

On November 20, 2022, DFC. A. Dymond initiated a traffic stop along Rt. 4 NB and Cox Road in Huntingtown, for a traffic violation. Upon making contact with the driver, Deshawn Rodney Carter, 20 of Washington D.C., and passenger, Aaron Gregory Matthews, 22 of Washington D.C., a strong odor of marijuana was emitting from the vehicle. A vehicle search revealed a digital scale and a large bag containing loose marijuana totaling nearly 240 grams. Both Carter and Matthews were transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where they were charged with CDS: Possession for Distribution and other traffic related charges.

On November 20, 2022, Deputy Claggett responded to the Rod N Reel parking lot located at 4160 Mears Ave. in Chesapeake Beach, for the report of a stolen vehicle. Deputy Claggett arrived on the scene and observed a U-Haul that had been reported stolen from the Shamokin Police Department. Contact was made with the occupants Stephanie Ruth Spicer, 39 of Owings, and Shamal Ulysses Weems, 46 of Lexington Park, who were advised they were operating a stolen vehicle. A search of Weems’s person revealed golden brass knuckles and a glass crack pipe with crack cocaine residue. A vehicle search revealed nearly 50 prescription pills with the labels ripped off the prescription bottles, 8 tear-offs with crack cocaine rocks inside, a digital scale, and three paper folds containing a white powdery residue. Spicer was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotics, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, and CDS: Possession- Not Cannabis. Weems was also transported to the Detention Center and charged with Concealing a Deadly Weapon and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia. 


NOTICE OF JOINT PUBLIC MEETING – Commissioners to Host St. Mary's County Legislative Delegation

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will host a joint meeting with the St. Mary’s County Legislative Delegation on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, at 6 p.m. in the Chesapeake Building (41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown). The purpose of this meeting is to consider proposals by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and members of the public for enactment of legislation during the 2023 Regular Session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Citizens may attend in person or may may view the meeting remotely on SMCG Channel 95 or the St. Mary’s County Government YouTube Channel, available at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDK2_siSdnSnxDKWVtU7JQ.

In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:

  1. Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com
  2. US Mail: PO Box 653 Leonardtown, MD 20650
  3. Submit a three—minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com by Dec. 9, 2022, at 5 p.m.

A copy of the legislative proposals will be available in the County Attorney’s Office and online at https://www.stmarysmd.com/docs/LegislativeProposals2023.pdf.


Pax Announces Thanksgiving Holiday Gate Hours 2022

Pax Announces Thanksgiving Holiday Gate Hours

 

Thursday, Nov. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 27, holiday/weekend routine

Gate 1: Open 24/7

Gate 2: Closed

Gate 3: Closed

Visitor Control Center (VCC)/Pass and ID office: Closed

 

Normal gate Operations resume Monday, Nov. 28, 2022

 


Noise Advisory - FCLPs Nov. 27-Dec. 8, 2022

PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland – Communities surrounding the naval air station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place Nov. 27-Dec. 8, 2022 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Pilots at NAS PAX will be conducting Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs). FCLPs are simulated carrier landings conducted to prepare the pilot to land safely on an aircraft carrier. They consist of a series of touch-and-go maneuvers where airspeed, altitude, and power are all precisely choreographed in order for a pilot to approach a ship within an acceptable window to land on the deck safely. FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our service members and the success of their mission. Landing on an aircraft carrier is one of the most difficult tasks in military aviation. It is a highly complex and perishable skill, and requires intense period of training before pilots deploy. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.

 

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


Testing of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Sirens on Dec. 5

LEONARDTOWN, MD – There will be a full-cycle test of the alert and notification sirens throughout St. Mary’s, Calvert and Dorchester counties on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, at noon.

This includes a three-minute activation of all sirens within the 10-mile area around Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. All citizens are asked to remember the scheduled testing and relay the information to friends, family, and neighbors.

The testing is conducted to check siren operation and increase public awareness of the alert and notification siren system. If the sirens sound at any other time, residents should tune in to one of the local radio stations for information and instructions.

Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

To learn about Disasters & Hazards, Being Prepared and Being Informed visit: https://www.prepare.stmarysmd.com.


Calvert County Bus Service Unavailable on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022

 Calvert County bus service will be unavailable on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, while the Department of Community Resources, Public Transportation Division holds in-house bus service training for all drivers. Regular routes and schedules will resume Friday, Dec. 9. Residents may direct their questions to Public Transportation at 410-535-1600, ext. 2360, or transportation@calvertcountymd.gov.

The Public Transportation Division serves the transportation needs of the general public, older adults and individuals with disabilities. The county provides eight fixed routes and four demand-response/para-transit routes to link residents with major shopping, medical and employment areas, as well as with public services available in Prince Frederick. Learn more at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Transportation.

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 and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.


Pax River wins NDW Region Installation Excellence Award, Moves to Navy-Wide Competition

PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland – Commandant, Naval District Washington, Rear Adm. Nancy Lacore has named NAS Patuxent River the NDW Regional winner of the Installation Excellence Award — Large Shore category — which recognizes quality in installation management, program excellence and community outreach. “I truly appreciate all that you, and your teams, have done over the past year,” wrote Lacore in an email message announcing the win. “Congrats to the selectees and thank you again to all for what you do each day.” All of the NDW installations were judged on air and port operations; fire and emergency management; security; safety and health; conservation efforts; planned or completed energy projects; facility improvement; property stewardship; fleet and family readiness; communications and public relations. The following are just some of the activities and initiatives that earned Pax River its award: - Pax Military Working Dog (MWD) Kennel opened in May 2022, and houses four canines supporting two President of the United States missions, VQ-4 MWD requirements, 147 Random Antiterrorism Measures, and 741 hours of Explosive and Narcotics detection across six fence-lines. - Pax Operations earned an 82% overall grade for the Command Assessment for Readiness and Training (CART) including maximum points for the Incident Management Team and a successful "pilot" program assessment of Fire and Emergency Services. - Pax served as a pilot program for CNIC’s Healthy Food Initiative in March, informing the future of food services across CNIC. - Pax supported Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) operations in May and June 2022. The LCACs landed and launched from our beach to deliver high-value equipment for crucial Special Operations Group testing. - Pax Air Ops team earned a 94% on the triennial CNIC Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Airfield Evaluation, exceeding the Fleet average of 85%. Airfield Services (AFS) earned a grade of OUTSTANDING during their concurrent Carrier Airfield Service Unit (CAFSU) inspection, and our Search and Rescue (SAR) Dogs executed eight realworld SAR operations and rescued six personnel. Pax supported Calvert Exercise (CALVEX) 2022, a FEMA evaluated exercise at the St. Mary’s County EOC, strengthening bonds with state and local partners. - Fire and Emergency Services from NAS Pax River responded to 1,021 real-world events, most notably, a quickly growing structural fire at building 440. Pax Fire's rapid response saved CNIC approximately $1M. - Pax Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) department programs provided responsible liberty solutions for over 3,000 Sailors with more than 11,000 program sign-ups. Through innovative thirdparty commercial sponsorship, the Liberty program provided free golf, bowling, and movies to E-4 and below Sailors. Our CYP served over 575 children, youth, and teens in the Navy’s largest Child Development Center. - Pax received a $2.7M Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge award to restore eroding shoreline that contains a nesting area for diamondback terrapins. The REPI program acquired two conservation easements, totaling 300 acres, in the Harriet Tubman Rural Legacy Area on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. These easements are located beneath Navy airspace and now support wildlife, agricultural productivity, climate resilience, and military readiness. - Pax Environmental completed 427 FY22 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. “This award is no small feat, and representative of the hard work from each of our Sailors and civilian teammates,” said Capt. Derrick Kingsley, NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer. “All of our ‘Pax Pros’ should be proud of this achievement. Everyone did their job to make this happen.” As a result of the win, Pax River will now advance to the CNIC-level of competition as the NDW nominee, facing other regions around the world for the Navywide award. Winners of the CNIClevel Installation Excellence Award will go on to compete with installations from other branches of the military services for the DoD-wide Commander in Chief Awards.


Patrol Officers Recover 387 Grams of Marijuana and Three Firearms During Traffic Stop

Patrol Officers Recover 387 Grams of Marijuana and Three Firearms During Traffic Stop: On November 16 at 9:48 p.m., a patrol officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Bannister Circle and Hamilton Place after observing it fail to stop at a stop sign. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer smelled the odor of marijuana. Further investigation revealed two bags of suspected marijuana inside the car totaling 387 grams. In addition, officers recovered three firearms – two semiautomatic guns and one rifle. Jalonni La Monte Agee, 20, of Indian Head; Dontre Marquise Bryant, 23, of Suitland; and Shaniya Monet Hutchins, 21, of Lanham, were arrested and charged with possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, illegal transportation of firearms and other related charges. On November 18, a judge released all three suspects from the Charles County Detention Center on personal recognizance on the condition they not possess firearms. Officer Vanover is investigating.


Maryland Reaches Settlements with Experian over Data Breaches

The state of Maryland has entered into multiple settlements with Experian over data breaches. The Maryland Attorney General's office along with those in 39 other states announced two separate settlements with Experian and a subsidiary recently over the companies' handling of personal information. Experian failed to notify customers regarding data breaches in 2010 and 2015. As part of the settlement, Experian has paid penalties and agreed to improve its data handling and security. To ensure those new methods are effective, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh says Experian will hire outside firms to audit its data practices.

"There will be monitors in place whom they will hire to look over their shoulders who will be looking at how they're doing and what they're doing."

Experian did not respond to our request for comment.

A few states have enacted comprehensive data privacy laws. Maryland's Personal Information Protection Act isn't comprehensive but has been strengthened since it was implemented in 2008. Now the law mandates data aggregators such as Experian notify customers about data breaches within 10 days of discovery. When asked if Congress and state legislatures should enact more strict data protection and privacy laws, Frosh said yes and pointed to biometric data.

"You can now get your DNA tested. It goes into a database somewhere. It may be sold to other entities. We think that should be included among the things that are protected within the scope of the personal information that people need to take special care of."

 The settlement requires Experian to offer affected consumers 5 years of free credit monitoring services. For more info on data privacy and security, in addition to other services for consumers, visit the Attorney General's Identity Theft Unit website at marylandattorneygeneral.gov.


State's Attorney's Office Brings Back "Drive Sober" Initiative for One of the Deadliest Times on the Roadways

LA PLATA, MD— The State’s Attorney’s Office for Charles County (SAO) is bringing more awareness to the grave dangers of driving impaired, as well as helping the public take preventative measures for its “Drive Sober” initiative. For the second year, the “Drive Sober” initiative will run during the holiday season – November 21, 2022, through January 1, 2023 – which is one of the deadliest times on the roadways due to drunk driving.

 

Last year, the SAO released a “Drive Sober” billboard featuring victim Ethan Ruefly, a 3-month-old infant killed by a drunk driver in Charles County. This year, the SAO is returning with a billboard featuring Taylor Halbeib (21 years old), Autumn Jenkins (20 years old), and Destanee Lyles (18 years old) – all victims of impaired drivers. As the SAO encourages motorists to think about the life-altering decisions they make on the roadways, the billboard packs a powerful message about the fate of these young women – “They won’t be home for the holidays” due to the careless decision of another person to drive impaired. Their stories can be viewed on the SAO website, www.ccsao.us/DriveSober.

 

 

In addition, the SAO has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) again to spread awareness of their “Tie One on for Safety” campaign.

 

To encourage safe roadway practices, the SAO has committed to the distribution of:

 

  • Keychain breathalyzers
  • Rideshare gift cards
  • Non-alcoholic drink vouchers to designated drivers

 

Citizens of Charles County will be able to pick up any of these preventative measures on Saturday, November 26, 2022 at the “Shop La Plata” event in the Town of La Plata for Small Business Saturday.

 

 

Further information on the effects of impaired driving and the “Drive Sober” initiative can be found on the SAO’s website, www.ccsao.us/DriveSober.


Calvert County Government Announces Thanksgiving Holiday Schedules

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will close beginning at noon, Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 in observance of Thanksgiving. In addition:

·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed Thursday, Nov. 24. Normal operating hours resume Friday, Nov. 25.

·         The Solomons Septage Receiving Facility will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed Thursday, Nov. 24. Normal operating hours resume Friday, Nov. 25.

·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office will close at noon Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 25. On-call crews will be available for water and sewer service emergencies only at 410-535-3491.

·         County senior centers will close at noon Wednesday, Nov. 23; lunch will be served at 11 a.m. The centers will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25.

·         Meals on Wheels will not be delivered Thursday, Nov. 24, or Friday, Nov. 25. Participants will be provided shelf-stable meals in advance.

·         Public Transportation will close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 24; for specific route information, please contact the Transportation Office at 410-535-4268.There will be no county bus service Thursday, Nov. 24, or Friday, Nov. 25. Regular service will resume Saturday, Nov. 26.

·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed beginning at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 23 through Friday, Nov. 25. An animal control officer will be available for emergencies at 410-535-3491.

·         Calvert Library locations will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 and reopen at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. Digital services and materials are available 24/7 on calvertlibrary.info.  

·         The Calvert Marine Museum and Museum Store will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24. The museum will reopen Friday, Nov. 25, with normal operating hours.

·         Northeast Community Center will close at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 25.

·         Harriet E. Brown and Mt. Hope community centers will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 25.

·         Southern Community Center will close at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 25.

·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open with normal hours Wednesday, Nov. 23. The golf course will be open Thursday, Nov. 24, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., weather permitting. Carts must be returned by 2:30 p.m. The course will be open with normal hours Friday, Nov. 25.

·         All recreation parks, including Cove Point, Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Ward Farm will be open with normal winter operating hours. Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Parks for park hours and information.

·         Kings Landing Park and Flag Ponds Nature Park will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24, and will reopen Friday, Nov. 25, with normal fall hours. Visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/NaturalResources for park hours of operation.

·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp nature center and trails remain closed until further notice due to a fire on Nov. 5, 2022.

·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed Thursday, Nov. 24. Normal hours will resume Friday, Nov. 25.

·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is closed for the season.

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 and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.


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