Local News

CCPS Expanding Voluntary COVID-19 Testing To In-Person Summer Programs

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will continue its voluntary COVID-19 screening program this summer. Staff and students attending in-person camps and programs can participate in a free weekly COVID-19 test. The program is a partnership between CCPS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide increased testing resources to schools.   


CCPS launched a pilot program at five schools in May and will continue to offer free preventative testing over the summer months. Staff and student participation in the program will help CCPS transition and plan for a full and safe reopening on Aug. 30 for the 2021-2022 school year.   


Staff and parents interested in having their child participate must register in advance online. Registration is available online at https://schoolcovid19test.com/  


CCPS will send email reminders to parents and eligible staff with a QR code for easy registration access. Registration should be completed a few days prior to testing. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is not eligible for testing.   


Testing available at CCPS summer enrichment camps  


The program will be offered to staff and students involved in CCPS summer enrichment camps set to take place from June 28 through July 30 at William A. Diggs Elementary School and Theodore G. Davis Middle School. Only students attending an in-person camp can participate, as testing will occur on school grounds.   


The testing schedule may mirror below and is subject to change. No summer enrichment camps are scheduled the week of July 5-9.   

Morning session students/staff: Mondays, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Diggs and Davis)  
Afternoon session students/staff: Mondays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (Davis only)  

Testing available at CCPS summer boost programs  


Students and staff participating in the elementary Summer Boost programs are eligible to participate. This includes programs set to run July 7 through Aug. 6 at Berry, Billingsley, Gale-Bailey, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, Mary H. Matula, Mary B. Neal, J.P. Ryon and William B. Wade elementary schools, the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, and La Plata and Westlake high schools.  

Only students attending in-person programs can participate, as testing will occur on school grounds.   


The testing schedule may mirror below and is subject to change. Testing for the week of July 5-9 may occur during different hours on Wednesday or Thursday of that week to accommodate the July 5 holiday closure and staff start date of July 6.  


Monday testing   

8 to 9 a.m., Gale-Bailey  
9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Matula  
10 to 11:30 a.m., Billingsley and Westlake  
11 a.m. to noon, La Plata  

Tuesday testing   

8 to 9 a.m., Berry and Higdon  
9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Wade and Gwynn  
11 a.m. to noon, Ryon and Neal  

Staff from the program’s laboratory partner, eTrueNorth, will oversee testing and process all results. The test used is the nasal swab PCR test, which a student or staff member will administer themselves. eTrueNorth staff will also help any test taker, as needed. Program volunteers will not test more than once a week and the test schedule does not interfere with instructional time.  


Test results are shared directly with parents and staff who register for testing. Parents or staff members with questions about the program can contact Jason Stoddard, CCPS director of school safety and security, at jstoddard@ccboe.com or 301-392-5550.  

Calvert County Government Announces Independence Day Holiday Schedule

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – June 24, 2021 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Monday, July 5, 2021 in observance of Independence Day. In addition:
·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will be closed on Sunday, July 4 and will reopen with normal hours Monday, July 5.
·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office will be closed Monday, July 5.
·         The Solomons Septage Receiving Facility will be open Monday, July 5.
·         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, July 5. Regular service will resume Tuesday, July 6.
·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Monday, July 5. Digital services and materials are available 24/7 on calvertlibrary.info.
·         The Calvert Marine Museum and Museum Store will be open with normal hours Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5.
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed Monday, July 5. An animal control officer will be available for emergencies.
·         All community centers will be closed Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5.
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open with normal summer hours.
·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5, with normal hours.
·         Kings Landing Park, Flag Ponds Nature Park and Battle Creek Cypress Swamp will be open with normal summer hours.
·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be closed Sunday, July 4 and open with normal operating hours Monday, July 5. Preregistration is no longer required.
·         Cove Point Pool will be open Sunday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
·         Kings Landing Pool will be open Sunday, July 4 from noon to 5 p.m. and Monday, July 5 from noon to 7 p.m.
·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is open Sunday, July 4 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Monday, July 5 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
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.

IRS Holds Events In Maryland To Help Residents Get Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

Maryland – The Internal Revenue Service and the Casa De Maryland are holding Free Tax Prep Days to help families prepare tax returns necessary to receive advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) beginning this week. Similar events are happening around the country. 
In addition, the IRS is reaching out to non-profit agencies, churches, community groups and others in the Maryland area urging them to share important information about the need to file a 2020 tax return to receive advance payments of the CTC.
The first monthly payments of the expanded and newly-advanceable CTC from the American Rescue Plan will be made in July. Over 30 million households—covering 88% of children in the United States—are slated to begin receiving monthly payments without any additional action other than filing a 2020 tax return. Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 to 17.
These events are specifically intended to reach families that normally don’t file a tax return or haven’t yet done so.
“This important new tax change affects millions of families across the nation, and the IRS wants to do everything it ca1 to help people get the payments,” said IRS Wage & Investment Commissioner Ken Corbin, who also serves as the agency’s Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer. “Many people miss out on a tax refund simply because they don’t file an IRS tax return. Our work in Maryland and other places is designed to help people receive these payments.”
“While people with income under a certain amount aren't required to file a tax return because they won't owe any tax, if you qualify for certain tax credits or already paid some federal income tax, the IRS might owe you a refund that you can only get by filing a return,” added IRS Wage & Investment Deputy Commissioner David Alito. 
Some tax credits, such as CTC, are "refundable" meaning that even if a person doesn’t owe income tax, the IRS will issue a refund if they’re eligible. “Many people miss out on a tax refund simply because they don’t file an IRS tax return,” Alito explained.
AdvCTC Free Tax Prep Days help parents and caregivers receive advance payments 
To help as many families as possible and to build awareness of the need to file a 2020 tax return to receive advance payments of CTC, the IRS is opening offices in select cities and partnering with community organizations including the Casa De Maryland on a series of AdvCTC Free Tax Prep Days. Overall, the special events will take place June 25-26 and July 9-10. During the events, people can get free help filing a 2020 tax return.
In Maryland, the events will take place at the following locations:
June 25 and 26 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Casa De Maryland - Langley Park       
8151 15th Avenue                                           
Hyattsville MD 20783  
July 9 and 10 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Casa De Maryland  - Rockville
14645 Rothgeb Drive
Rockville MD 20850
People who need to file a 2020 federal tax return, but are unable to attend an event, may be able to prepare and file their own federal income tax online using IRS Free File if their income is $72,000 or less. 
People who don’t need to file a 2020 federal tax return can use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool to register to receive the advance CTC payments. 
Before attending the events, people can check their eligibility in advance by using the new Advance Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant.
To file a return at one of the events, visitors must bring: 
• Their current government-issued photo identification
• Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse (if applicable) and dependents 
• Any other supporting documents needed to complete their tax return
At the events, sign language interpreters and foreign language interpreters will be available. Social distancing protocols will be in effect, and people should wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated.
The IRS encourages people to receive payments via direct deposit, which is faster and more secure than other payment methods. People who don't have a bank account should visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website for details on opening an account online. They can also use the FDIC's BankFind tool to locate an FDIC-insured bank.
BankOn, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Credit Union Administration have lists of banks and credit unions that can help open an account online. Veterans, see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for financial services at participating banks.
To learn more about advance CTC payments, visit IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021 or see FAQs on the 2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments.

June 22nd Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, June 22, Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall; Economic Development Department; Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism; Department of Public Works; and Department of Planning and Growth Management provided the Board of County Commissioners an update on Goal 1: Economic Development of the Commissioners’ Goal and Objectives.


Economic Development Department staff provided an update on international trade, commercial tax base expansion, business attraction, opportunity zone enhancements, and business support. Tourism Division staff provided an update on their tourism partnerships and contracts. Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall provided an update on broadband access. Utilities Division staff provided an update on water and sewer operations. Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided an update on transportation.


Open Session Briefings  


Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County. There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, the College of Southern Maryland, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. Appointments are available for those 12 and older who would like to receive the Pfizer vaccine through the Department of Health. For a list of county vaccination clinics, visit the Department of Health’s website. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics available, visit the State of Maryland’s website. Masks are still required in Charles County indoors at schools, on public transportation, and in health care settings until July 1. The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on the hospital COVID-19 statistics, visitation policy, and operations. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and answers to their frequently asked questions. Harris also announced that in partnership with NBC4, the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force, and the Charles County Department of Health, there will be a special COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Friday, June 25 at World Class Barbers (3028 Waldorf Market Place, Waldorf). Participants who get vaccinated between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. can receive 50 percent off their next haircut at World Class Barbers. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update, which included new superintendent transition, summer school and COVID-19 testing, and staff will continue updating their COVID-19 protocols this summer and for the next school year.
Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services Director Jenifer Ellin provided an update on the CARES Act. County Commissioners approved to report Hazard Pay incurred from January to March as an eligible CARES Act expenses and directed staff to prepare a budget transfer after June 30th reporting with a minimum of $300,000 transferred to the Cable Fund and reserved for broadband.

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $127,000 to support National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System projects that are determined to be ineligible for bonds.
A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $615,070 to support water and sewer projects that are determined to be ineligible for bonds.
A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $157,200 to cover change orders related to the Detention Center Intake Area Capital Improvement Project and provide additional funding in the contingency subproject for inflation.
A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $124,250 to undertake a climate action planning process as requested by the County Commissioners.
A fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $75,000 to account for higher than approved budget for the Mattawoman Synagro contract.
A fiscal 2022 budget amendment increase of $3 million to install two synthetic turf fields in Charles County.  One synthetic turf field will be installed at White Plains Football Field and the other synthetic turf field will be installed at Laurel Spring Park Football Field.
The Board of Education’s fiscal 2022 complete operating budget with a request of $408 million, an increase of $6.9 million or 1.7 percent more than fiscal 2021.
The Maintenance of Effort Certification Statement with the Board of Education to levy and appropriate an annual tax sufficient to provide an amount of revenue for elementary and secondary public education.
Renewed the Lobbyist contract with GS Proctor.
A Memorandum of Understanding with Local 4658 International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO.
A Memorandum of Understanding with Charles County Sheriff and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 24.
A Memorandum of Understanding with Charles County Sheriff and Charles County Correctional Officers Association.
The Investment Standard Operating Policy.
A request to set a public hearing for Stormwater Management Plan Text for Tuesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. virtually.


Nominated Norman Chlosta for reappointment and Cleona Irvin and Gregory Waller, Jr. for Governor appointment to the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board.
Appointed Rhona Cowie, Yolanda Felder, Cecilia Maryland-Twyman, Yonelle Moore Lee, Larisha Mcknight, Tiara Frazier, and Betsy Adeboyejo to the Commission for Women.
Reappointed George Willet and Susan Rice to the Disability Review Board/ Charles County Pension Plan.
Appointed Angela French Bell as at large member for Board of License Commissioners (Liquor Board).

Public Hearing

County Commissioners also provided a virtual public hearing on draft Bill 2021-03 Charles County Redistricting Board. County Commissioners adopted the bill.

Town Hall Meeting

County Commissioners provided a virtual town hall meeting to hear residents’ questions and concerns. Residents could view the meeting online or on Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 10.


Next Commissioners Session: July 13, 2021 (held virtually) 


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

Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of June 14 – June 20, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,457 calls for service throughout the community. 
Damaged Property: 21-33287
On June 18, 2021, Deputy S. Naughton responded to 14700 block of Patuxent Ave in Solomons, MD for the reported destruction of property. The complainant advised unknown suspect(s) “egged” her house and vehicle sometime between 11 p.m. June 16 and 8 a.m. on June 17. Upon arrival, DFC Naughton observed bits and pieces of egg shell on the ground along with egg yolk on a balcony railing, both sets of French doors, exterior lamps and on outdoor furniture. The approximate value of damaged property is $50.00.
Attempted Burglary: 21-32844
On June 16, 2021, Deputy Wilder responded to the 700 block of Crazy Horse Trail in Lusby, MD for report of a possible burglary. The complainant advised someone was on her front porch kicking the door. Upon arrival, Deputy Wilder observed minor scuff marks on the bottom of the front door. No entry was made and nothing was reported stolen. 
Theft: 21-33317
On June 18, 2021, DFC Callison responded to the 11600 block of Mohican Lane in Lusby, MD for the report of stolen tags. The complainant advised both his front and rear Maryland Registration Plates had been stolen from his vehicle. The estimated value of stolen property is unknown at this time.
Theft: 21-33102
On June 17, 2021, Deputy Shoemaker responded to the Calvert County Health Department Crisis Center located at 975 N. Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of a theft. The complainant advised she was on the bus with her purse and groceries. As the complainant got off the bus, she discovered her purse and its contents to include (5 prescription medications) had gone missing. The estimated value of stolen property is unknown at this time. 
On June 14, 2021, Deputy W. McDowell responded to Abner’s Crab House Restaurant & Bar located at 3748 Harbor Road in Chesapeake Beach, MD for report of a disorderly subject. Deputy McDowell observed William Roger Skiles Jr., 51 of Chesapeake Beach, MD to be intoxicated and acting in a disorderly manner. When speaking with Skiles Jr., a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emitting from his breath and person. Deputy McDowell observed Skiles Jr. was unable to safely operate his motor vehicle; Deputy McDowell transported Skiles Jr. to his residence in Chesapeake Beach at 12:18 a.m., after advising him not to return to the establishment. Approximately 30 minutes later, Skiles Jr. was observed laying in the grassy area at Abner’s repeatedly clicking his automatic car key fob causing his car to light up and project noise. Skiles Jr. was again advised not to return to Abner’s or the surrounding area, to prevent a public disturbance. Around 1:07 a.m., Deputy McDowell observed Skiles Jr’s vehicle lighting up and projecting noise as Skiles was sitting in a grassy area, using a fence for balance. Skiles Jr. continued to act in a disorderly manner. Skiles, Jr. was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Disturbing the Peace – Public Intoxication, Failure to Obey Reasonable/Lawful Order and 
Trespass: Private Property.
On June 15, 2021, Deputy Krueger responded to the Calvert County Detention Center in Prince Frederick, MD for report of a CDS Violation. During the administrative booking search of John Williams Mohler Jr., 54 of Prince Frederick, MD, an unopened Suboxone package was found. Mohler was charged with CDS: Possession not Marijuana and Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement. 
On June 18, 2021, Deputy Freeland attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle for suspicious activity in the area of White Horse Road and Chisolm Trail in Lusby, MD. Deputy Freeland activated his lights and sirens and the mentioned vehicle continued driving, refusing to stop, before hitting a dead end. Deputy Freeland observed the driver, Donald Sheldon Strickland, 42 of Great Mills, MD, lean over and reach down in the center console. Due to Strickland not stopping the vehicle and his furtive movements, a search of the vehicle was conducted. The search revealed several white crystalized substances on the front passenger seat of the vehicle, copper wire with burnt residue, a folded up $1 USD bill with suspected crack/cocaine inside the fold. A bag observed to have been thrown out of the vehicle by Strickland was located nearby and revealed a metal spoon with white residue, 29 capsules of suspected heroin and five plastic vials containing suspected crack/cocaine. Strickland was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, CDS Distribution- Narcotics and other traffic related charges. 
On June 19, 2021, Cpl. Moran and Senior Deputy Flynt conducted a traffic stop along southbound Solomons Island Road at the Walmart in Prince Frederick, MD for a possible impaired driver.  A K-9 scan of the vehicle was conducted with a positive alert. A search of the vehicle revealed five cut straws with a white powdery residue in them and a folded $1 bill covered in a blue and white powdery substance. The driver was identified as Stella Lee Sanderson, 40 of Gaithersburg, MD. Sanderson was asked if she was concealing any other narcotics before transport to the detention center and advised she was not. A strip search was conducted at the jail and correctional deputies discovered a plastic baggie in her body cavity. Sanderson was asked to remove the concealed baggie and refused. Sanderson was transported to CalvertHealth to have the item removed by medical staff. Sanderson was placed under arrest for CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement and Obstructing and Hindering an Arrest. 

St. Mary's County to Rescind COVID-19 State of Emergency

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Following Governor Larry Hogan’s June 15 announcement that Maryland will lift all COVID-19 related emergency mandates and restrictions effective July 1, St. Mary’s County Government will also rescind the local State of Emergency.
Read the Governor’s orders here: https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Termination-Roadmap-6.15.21.pdf.
During their regular business meeting, Tuesday, June 22, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County signed a resolution ending the Declared State of Emergency in St. Mary’s County as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 1, 2021. Read the resolution here: Ending the Declared Local State of Emergency.  
St. Mary’s County Government has updated the Roadmap to Recovery; read here: https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.
For information on St. Mary’s County Government operations, please visit our website at www.stmarysmd.com.

St. Mary's County Government Announces Operations Schedule for Independence Day Holiday

LEONARDTOWN, MD – All St. Mary's County Government administrative offices will be closed Monday, July 5, 2021, in observance of Independence Day. Administrative offices will reopen for regular business hours Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
All three Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed July 5. Additionally, there will be no Home-Delivered Meals.
The St. Andrews Landfill and six Convenience Centers will be closed Sunday, July 4, 2021, but will be open for regular operations Saturday, July 3 and Monday, July 5. A complete list of hours of operations is available online at  https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/Hoursofoperation.asp.
The St. Mary's Transit System (STS) and Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will be closed Sunday, July 4.  The St. Mary's Transit System (STS) public routes and the ADA routes will operate Monday, July 5. The Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) The SSTAP will not operate Monday, July 5.
All St. Mary's County Library locations will be closed Sunday, July 4, however, book drops, and online services will be available. The libraries will be open for regular hours, Saturday, July 3 and Monday, July 5. For a list of hours and operations please visit https://www.stmalib.org/about-us/locations-and-hours/.
St. Clement's Island Museum, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum, and the Old Jail Museum will be open for visitors throughout the holiday weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
For information on St. Mary's County Government, visit www.stmarysmd.com.

Cardin Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Legislation Approved by Senate Foreign Relations Committee

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) lauded approval today by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of two bills he authored to strengthen U.S. human rights and anti-corruption efforts. Both pieces of legislation, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Reauthorization Act (S. 93), cosponsored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and the Combatting Global Corruption Act (S. 14), cosponsored by Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), bolster the tools available to hold corrupt officials accountable for their actions and abuses.


“The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act has changed the way America protects human rights and responds to blatant corruption,” said Senator Cardin. “I thank Senator Wicker and fellow committee members for working with me to strengthen the law as a message to abusers and kleptocrats who think they can act with impunity. We will seek justice for victims especially when home countries fail to act.” Senator Cardin serves as Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. Senator Wicker serves as co-Chair.


The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Reauthorization Act (S. 93) would harmonize the original Act (Title XII, Subtitle F of P.L. 114-328; 22 U.S.C. §2656 note) with Executive Order 13818 by:


·        Removing the sunset provisions of the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to make the sanctions program permanent

·        Removing the victim status requirement to ensure no victim is excluded;

·        Simplifying the standard for corruption offenses;

·        Supplementing the activity-based targeting standard with a status-based standard; and

·        Allowing for the sanctioning of immediate family members.

·        S. 93 calls for a report on the steps taken through diplomacy and assistance to foreign or security sectors to address persistent underlying causes of serious human rights abuses, violations of internationally recognized human rights, and corruption in each country in which foreign persons have been subject to sanctions.


The Combating Global Corruption Act (S. 14) would require the State Department to identify corruption in countries and rank them in a public, tiered system with respect to levels of corruption in their governments, similar to the Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The bill would also establish minimum standards for combating corruption; evaluate foreign persons engaged in grand corruption in the lowest-tiered countries for consideration under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; and designate an anti-corruption point of contact at U.S. diplomatic posts in the lowest-tiered countries.


“Earlier this month, when President Biden officially designated the fight against corruption as a ‘core U.S. national security interest,’ he took an important step toward enhancing American anti-corruption abilities. The Combatting Global Corruption Act is a bipartisan effort to raise the profile of such efforts through a proven system of public accountability,” said Senator Cardin. “Around the world, corruption endangers national and international security by fostering the conditions for violent extremism, hampering the ability of the United States to combat terrorism, entrenching high poverty, and by weakening institutions associated with governance and accountability. Corruption is a fundamental obstacle to peace, prosperity, and human rights. I thank Senator Young and my colleagues for moving forward this important legislation to combat such illicit activity.”

June 22nd St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.
The Commissioners recognized the retirement of John C. Raley after more than 30 years of service from the Department of Public Works & Transportation.
A virtual Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Sheriff's Office District 3 station was presented to the Commissioners.
Several St. Mary's County Government employees were recognized before the Commissioners during the Department of Human Resources People's Choice/COVID-19 Response awards.
The Commissioners also recognized the 2021 Safety Matters Employee Awards, highlighting county government employees who consistently demonstrate involvement and leadership in creating and maintaining workplace safety.
The Commissioners approved a request by the County Attorney and signed a resolution to end the COVID-19 State of Emergency in St. Mary's County that has been in place since March 5, 2020. The State of Emergency will be rescinded locally effective July 1, 2021.
The Department of Human Resources received approval from the Commissioners to hold a public hearing to receive comments on a proposal to modify the LOSAP point award process for calendar year 2021 through the end of the State of Emergency. LOSAP is a retirement program for volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members as an incentive and reward to their many generous and dedicated members. The Public Hearing will take place July 13; a formal public notice will be forthcoming.
A grant application request by the Sheriff's Office was approved for the Community Policing Development Crisis Intervention Teams Program grant for the amount of $250,000 to expand its current Crisis Intervention Teams Program.
The Commissioners approved a three year lease extension on property owned by the county but used by the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association (PRNAMA). The county will continue to own the property and maintain the grounds while the PRNAMA will operate the museum and pay utilities and expenses.
The Department of Public Works & Transportation and the Department of Economic Development were approved by the Commissioners to apply for the Defense Community Infrastructure Grant Program for $395,118 to improve pedestrian and bicycle access to the Great Mills Business District and NAS Patuxent River.
The Commissioners met with the Alcohol Beverage Board of St. Mary's County to discuss House Bill 12, which was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan and alters the scope of provisions regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption.
The Commissioners approved the St. Mary's County Agriculture Land Preservation Advisory Board's ranking of 10 property applications to be submitted for Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) funding.
The Department of Human Resources received approval for a request to enter into a new agreement between St. Mary's County and the Soil Conversation District to fund a portion of the District Manager's salary, including retiree health and life benefits.
The Commissioners approved a resolution recognizing Juneteenth as an official holiday, providing county employees with an additional paid holiday or as floating holiday leave.
The Department of Finance presented the American Rescue Act Spending Plan to the Commissioners and received approval to disperse the previously approved allocation of $992,353 from the grant. The Commissioners deferred a decision on the remainder of the proposed spending plan pending further review.
The next regularly scheduled business meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County is Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at 9 a.m. There will be no Commissioner Meeting on either June 29 or July 6. Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. In addition, St. Mary's County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

Charles County Government July Holiday Schedule

The County Administrator wishes to remind residents of changes to operating schedules for the month of July. 
Monday, July 5
All Charles County Government offices and the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville will be closed.
The Nanjemoy Community Center, senior centers, Port Tobacco Recreation Center, Elite Gymnastics, and all school-based community centers are closed.
Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center will be closed. 
Port Tobacco Village is closed
Operating status for other County affiliated agencies:
Charles County Public Library: www.ccplonline.org
Charles County Health Department: www.CharlesCountyHealth.org
For questions about County Government holiday closures, contact the Public Information Office at 301-885-2779 or PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission Holds Virtual Regional Meeting for Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's County Residents on June 23

(June 22, 2021) ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) is holding the third of several virtual regional meetings to solicit public comments about redistricting in Maryland. The virtual meeting is Wednesday evening, June 23 at 6:00 p.m. for residents of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties. For a copy of the agenda, which includes links to register to provide testimony and to watch on YouTube without registering, click here.
While the meeting will be focused on redistricting in these three counties, all Marylanders are welcomed to join the meeting. The meeting will conclude upon the completion of testimony from the last speaker. Please let communities know about this meeting by sharing this flyer (also available in Spanish here). 
This is the first of three rounds of public meetings – the first round is a listening tour; the second round will occur later in 2021 after Census data is distributed to the states; and the third round will occur after the Commission drafts legislative and congressional maps.
In January, Governor Hogan issued an executive order establishing the nine member Commission, which is charged with drawing fair and representative legislative and congressional maps for the 2022 elections. 
The governor’s executive order charges the Commission with producing fair maps for both state legislative and congressional districts that comply with a set of criteria, including:
Compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965 and compliance with applicable judicial direction, rulings, judgments, and orders;
Respect for natural boundaries and geographic integrity and continuity of political subdivisions, to the extent practicable; 
Geographic compactness, to the extent practicable; and
Does not take into account citizens’ party affiliation or the address of an incumbent office holder or a candidate for office.
If someone prefers to send testimony in advance of or after the meeting, it can be sent via email to redistricting.commission@maryland.gov. Additional information on the process and procedures for the virtual meeting can be found here. 
For a list of all upcoming virtual listening tour meetings, click here. For additional information about redistricting, go to redistricting.maryland.gov.

Khloe Kardashian And Tristan Thompson Break Up Again

Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson broke up a few weeks ago, friends of the former couple exclusively revealed to Page Six. “They’re getting along. There is no drama,” a source said, adding that “everything is amicable, and they are on the same page with co-parenting.” Kardashian and Thompson are parents to 3-year-old daughter True. According to our source, the couple split shortly after Instagram model Sydney Chase claimed during an April interview that she hooked up with the NBA player in the fall.

Dan Rather Slams Jon Stewart For Dangerous Covid-19 Message

Dan Rather published a lengthy blog post on Sunday lecturing Jon Stewart for his dangerous message on COVID-19 and science. Last week, Stewart appeared on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show”; he theorized that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Stewart praised scientists for their tackling the pandemic, but added, “they are going to kill us all.” Rather published a response titled “In Defense of Science” Sunday, slamming Stewart. “I cannot overemphasize how dangerous this line of thinking is. It is true that some scientists have done some bad things in the name of research — such as the Tuskegee experiments. Scientists have been wrong. Science and technology have been tools that supported colonialism and oppression. Science does not release us from our moral responsibilities. All of this is the case because science is a human endeavor and scientists are human, subject to the same frailties and base instincts as any member of our species. But science is also a way of thinking, where we challenge our own dogmas and beliefs, where we change our minds and approach when the data show we were wrong,” wrote Rather. The journalist accused Stewart of “playing into the trope of the mad scientist at a time when we need science more than ever to solve our more pressing problems.” Rather warned that Stewart’s joke has deeper implications and gives clearance to those who want to dismiss science: “And I fear this reasoning – or should I say ‘unreasoning’ — has not only consumed the modern Republican party but is in danger of consuming an even broader swath of the American and global public.”

Netflix And Steven Spielberg Strike Surprising Production Deal

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg has struck a multiyear deal to supply movies for Netflix. Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and Netflix announced an agreement in which the studio will make multiple new films for the streaming giant over the course of the agreement. The Netflix deal has no restrictions regarding budget or genre. Spielberg’s partnership with Netflix doesn’t impact his relationship with Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

Domestic-Related Assault / Stabbing: On June 20 at 10:48 p.m., officers responded to the 2600 block of Baden Place in Waldorf for the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, the victim was located outside with a severe stab wound to his arm. A preliminary investigation showed the victim was involved in an argument with his girlfriend when she produced a knife and stabbed him. The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment. The suspect was on the scene and placed under arrest. Angela Marie Thomas, 45, of Waldorf, was charged with first-degree assault and second-degree assault. Officer Wynne is investigating.
Indecent Exposure: On June 20 at 5:55 a.m., a woman was sitting inside her car at a gas station located at 4210 Crain Highway in White Plains when a man approached her. The two exchanged words when the man suddenly pulled down his pants and exposed himself to the woman. The suspect then fled in a dark gray Dodge Charger. The suspect was described as a black male with long hair, possibly in his 30’s, wearing a white sleeveless shirt and green shorts. There have not been any similar incidents in the area. Anyone with information is asked to call Cpl. Shaw at 301-932-2222.

Shooting Arrest Update

June 21, 2021 update: Tywan Thomas Morris, age 19 of Bryans Road, has been arrested and charged stemming from a shooting at the 20800 block of Daisy Lane in Lexington Park on June 14, 2021.
Morris has been charged with two counts of First-Degree Assault, Possession of a Firearm by a Minor, Handgun on Person, Loaded Handgun on Person and Firearm in the Use of a Felony or Violent Crime. He is currently being held at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown on a no-bond status.
June 15, 2021
On Monday, June 14, 2021, at approximately 7:07 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 21900 block of Chancellor’s Run Road in Great Mills, for the reported shooting. Deputies located a male victim, age 19 of California, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head on the basketball court. The victim was transported by helicopter to an area trauma center for treatment where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Shortly afterward, at approximately 7:16 p.m. deputies responded to the 20800 block of Daisy Lane in Lexington Park, for the reported shooting. Deputies located a male victim, age 21 of Lexington Park, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was transported by helicopter to an area trauma center for treatment and remains hospitalized.
Members of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force and detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division along with crime lab personnel responded to both locations and continued the investigations.
At this time, it is unknown if the shootings are related. Anyone with information regarding the shootings, or anyone who was at Chancellor’s Run Regional Park who witnessed the incident, and has not provided a statement is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at (301) 475-4200 extension 71950 or the Youth Gun Violence Task Force at (301) 475-4200 extension 78087 or by email at stopgunviolence@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.

Detectives Investigating Homicide on Livingston Road - Crime Solvers Offering Cash Reward

Detectives Investigating Homicide on Livingston Road / Crime Solvers Offering Cash Reward: On June 20 at 10:47 p.m., officers responded to the Bryans Road Volunteer Fire Department at 3099 Livingston Road in Bryans Road, MD for the report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they located Leon Nathaniel Inabinett, 25, of Capitol Heights with a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to Charles Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. A preliminary investigation showed the victim had attended a birthday party at the banquet hall located at the fire station. After the party, the victim was helping to clean up and was in the back parking lot when unknown suspect(s) shot him. At this time, detectives are working on leads and trying to establish a motive. There were no known incidents at the party prior to the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective E. Weaver at (301) 609-6571. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $2,500 and the Sheriff’s Office is matching the reward of $2,500 for a total reward of up to $5,000. The investigation is ongoing.

Detectives Identify And Arrest Suspect In Shooting Case That Occurred in March

Detectives Arrest Suspect in Shooting Case from March: Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have identified a man wanted in connection with shooting another man during an altercation. On March 12, 2021, at approximately 6:37 p.m., officers responded to the report of a shooting in the parking lot of a motel in the 2200 block of Old Washington Road in Waldorf. Officers located a male with a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a hospital where he was treated for an injury that was not life threatening. The investigation revealed the victim had an argument with a woman who then called the suspect, who was her boyfriend. When the suspect arrived, a physical altercation ensued and the suspect shot the victim. The suspect and his girlfriend fled in a car. Through an investigation, the female was identified as Briana Anneeh Curtis, 24, of Indian Head. On March 24, Curtis was located and charged with attempted murder, robbery and other related charges. On April 21, a judge released Curtis from the Charles County Detention Center on personal recognizance with electronic monitoring. Detectives subsequently identified the shooter as Michael Van Brooks, Jr., 31 of Newburg. He was arrested on June 16 with the assistance of the United States Marshals Office and charged with attempted murder and other related charges. Brooks is currently being held with no bond.

Man Involved in Hit and Run Charged with DUI, Resisting Arrest and Second-Degree Assault

On June 16 at 6:11 p.m., officers responded to the 2100 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf after the victim of a hit and run crash that occurred in Prince George’s County followed the striking vehicle to a shopping center in Charles County. When officers arrived, they made contact with the involved parties of the accident. Officers observed that the driver of the striking vehicle appeared to be impaired and a computer check revealed his driver’s license was suspended. The driver was arrested. While he was being placed in the police car, the driver assaulted an officer and spit on him. Arthur John King, III, 37, of Chesapeake Beach, MD, was charged with driving while impaired, resisting arrest and second-degree assault. He is currently being held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond.  

St. Mary's County Health Department Scheduled Closures

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) will be closed on Friday, June 18, 2021 in observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day. COVID-19 vaccine and testing operations will continue to run as previously scheduled.
Community members are encouraged to join SMCHD at the 2021 Juneteenth Festival on Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm at John G. Lancaster Park. Free COVID-19 vaccinations and health information will be available. 
Additionally, SMCHD will be closed to the public on Tuesday, June 22, 2020 until 2:00 p.m. This includes operations at the main office in Leonardtown, the Harm Reduction Program office in Lexington Park, the Margaret Brent Middle School-Based Health Center, and the Spring Ridge Middle School-Based Health Center. Services, including COVID-19 operations, will reopen for community members at 2:00 p.m. for the remaining business hours on this date.
For information on SMCHD hours and locations, please visit: smchd.org/locations. 
For information COVID-19 vaccine, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. 
For information on COVID-19 testing, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-testing.

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