Local News

EPA Releases 2-Year Milestone Evaluations On Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the results of its evaluation of the Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions’ two-year milestones today, noting that although most of the Bay states are not on track to meet the 2025 water quality restoration goals, 2022 saw new significant successes at the state level that will improve the restoration trajectory.

The two-year milestone reports are prepared by the Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions – Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. These two-year milestone reports represent key check-in points on the way to having all pollutant reduction measures in place by 2025, a goal established by the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) Partnership.  The CBP Partnership is composed of the seven Bay jurisdictions, and dozens of local governments, federal partners, organizations and academic institutions.

“Although the results are mixed overall, there are more positive developments in the mix than ever. Most of the partnership is not on track for the 2025 targets, but we are encouraged by significant recent progress made in the states,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “We applaud the historic new programs, laws, and funding in Pennsylvania to help farmers.  Those achievements will help us accelerate restoration in the local streams that need it the most.”

Based on EPA’s review, the District of Columbia and West Virginia are on track to meet their overall cleanup goals by 2025, but the other jurisdictions are not on track to meet all the cleanup goals.

“We applaud West Virginia and the District of Columbia, and we will continue to partner with the other states to keep accelerating to expand on our successes,” said Ortiz. “More than two decades ago, virtually no streams were getting healthier. Now 40% of them are getting better thanks to our interstate collaboration.”

Overall, the Partnership has already achieved 100% of targeted sediment reductions, and practices are in place to achieve 49% of the nitrogen reductions and 64% of the phosphorus reductions.

“We are dedicated to reducing pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and we also understand the complexities each state faces with technical assistance, data verification, staffing and funding,” added Chesapeake Bay Program Director Dr. Kandis Boyd.  “Although there is good news, there are also new challenges – such as addressing our evolving climate, increased population in the watershed, and advancing air/land/water monitoring and modeling – that hinder sustainable environmental and economic progress. We are committed to working with our partner states and agencies to address these challenges to restore our national treasure.” For more details on the milestone reports and ongoing Bay cleanup efforts, visit https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl


Sheriff Berry Retirement Announcement

Charles County, MD… On October 4, 2022, Sheriff Troy D. Berry announced his retirement from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Retirement Plan (SORP), effective October 14, 2022.  Sheriff Berry celebrates 30 years of dedicated service with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). He has been the Sheriff and top law enforcement leader with the CCSO since being elected in 2014. He has the remarkable honor of being the first African-American to hold the position of Sheriff in the Agency’s 364-year history. “I am honored and deeply humbled to serve as Sheriff of this wonderful county and communities as well as being the leader of the men and women of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.”  

“My 30-year milestone puts me in a unique position and marks the end of my tenure with the pension program. After weeks of discussion with Charles County Government Human Resources, and in accordance with the SORP guidelines, there must be a bona fide separation period, which I am honoring. In addition, the stipulations of the pension program prevent me from discussing any future employment. I recognize there may be questions and I am issuing this release to share what actions I am taking to remain in compliance with the requirements set forth by the pension program.”

“I am not able to make any further remarks at this time other than to reiterate that I care deeply about our county and remain steadfast and committed to the mission of the Agency. I want to make clear to the citizens of Charles County that retiring in this fashion is something I had to do, not something I wanted to do. It is a privilege to lead the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and to serve our communities and I am proud of where we are today as an Agency.” 


Weech Disqualified From Running For Commissioner President In St. Mary's

The Maryland State Board of Elections issued the following statement today:

The St. Mary’s County Board of Elections has notified the State Administrator of Elections that Natalie Weech, currently running for President of the St. Mary’s County Commissioners, is not qualified to serve in that office. The time to replace Ms. Weech on the ballot has passed according to § 5-1004(b)(2) of the Election Law Article. Her name must therefore remain on the ballot by operation of law. St. Mary’s County residents will therefore see Ms. Weech’s name on the ballot this fall and may still vote for her. Pursuant to § 5-1302(b) of the Election Law Article, if Ms. Weech receives the most votes in the election, the office of President of St. Mary’s County Commissioners will be considered vacant. Once vacant, the office of President of the St. Mary’s County Commissioners will be filled by a Governor’s appointee in accordance with § 9-402 of the Local Government Article.


October 4th St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting in the Chesapeake Building Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, with the invocation and pledge, followed by approval of the consent agenda.

 

The Commissioners presented proclamations for National 4-H WeekWhite Cane Awareness DayNational Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Case Management Recognition Week.

 

The Commissioners held a Public Hearing for the Department of Land Use and Growth Management’s request for a Solar Ordinance Text Amendment. The public comment period is open until Tuesday, Oct. 11.

 

The Office of the County Attorney requested a Public Hearing to repeal and replace Ch. 158 of the St. Mary’s County Public Ethics Ordinance. The Public Hearing will be Oct. 25, 2022; a formal notice of the hearing will be forthcoming.

 

The Commissioners approved the Sheriffs Office’s request to accept the SFY2023 Edward J Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant of $94,000.

 

The Commissioners approved a request for a resolution from the Department of Public Works & Transportation to accept three roads into the County Roadway Network: the cul-de-sac of Festoon Court, Laurel Circle and Carpenter Lane.

 

The Department of Emergency Services received approval for a request to accept the FFY2022 Sub-Recipient Agreement for the State Homeland Security Grant from the Department of Homeland Security for $100,582. The grant will fund law enforcement terrorism prevention-oriented planning, training, exercise, and equipment activities.

 

The next Commissioner business meeting will be in the Chesapeake Building at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. There will be no meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11, 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.


Maryland PSC Announces New '227' Area Code Assigned to Parts of Maryland

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) today announced the assignment of 227 as a new area code which will eventually serve the same geographic area in Maryland currently served by the 240 and 301 area codes. The Commission voted on August 3, 2022, to approve a petition filed by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), which is the neutral third-party entity that allocates telephone numbering resources. Dwindling Supply of Existing 240/301 Phone Numbers The 240/301 calling area serves residents and businesses in Allegany, Charles, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties. Other impacted counties are Frederick, Howard, Carroll, and Anne Arundel. The remaining supply of available telephone numbers in the 240/301 area is estimated to be exhausted in the second quarter of 2023 – requiring the establishment of a new area code to support future demands in the region. Customers with a 240 or 301 area code will maintain their existing area codes and their phone numbers will not change. Under the implementation plan approved by the PSC, no new 227 numbers will be assigned in the area until the remaining 240/301 numbers are completely exhausted. When those remaining 240/301 numbers are exhausted all future phone number assignments will be made in the new 227 area code. No Changes Required for Dialing Calls Because the 240/301 region is served by two overlay area codes, callers are already required to use 10-digit dialing when making calls. Callers in this area have been using 10-digit dialing for more than 20 years, since the 240 area code was introduced in 1997. Because 10-digit dialing is already well established in this region, the eventual addition of the new 227 area code covering the same geographic area will not require any changes to the way area residents and businesses dial telephone calls – aside from using the new area code, when necessary. WILLIAM DONALD SCHAEFER TOWER ? 6 ST. PAUL STREET ? BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21202-6806 410-767-8000 ? Toll Free: 1-800-492-0474 ? FAX: 410-333-6495 MDRS: 1-800-735-2258 (TTY/Voice) ? Website: www.psc.state.md.us According to the NANPA petition, the dialing plan for the area code will remain the same: ? Local calls to and from other numbers inside the 240/301/227 area: Dial 10-digits. ? Toll calls from the 240/301/227 area to numbers in another area code: Dial 1 10-Digits. ? Operator Services (credit card, collect, third party): Dial 0 10-Digits. Prepare for 227 Area Code Arrival While residents in the 240/301/227 area will continue to dial calls the same way they have for more than 20 years, the PSC urges consumers and businesses to be aware of the upcoming addition of a new area code. Tips to prepare for the eventual start of the new 227 area code include: ? Checking devices to verify that area codes are included with all stored numbers. ? Continuing to program/save/store phone numbers to all devices using the full 10-digit telephone number. ? Verifying that all services and equipment – such as automatic dialers, life-safety & medical alert systems, alarm/security systems and security gates, call-forwarding settings and voicemail services – recognize the new area code as a valid phone number. The PSC will continue to update consumers and businesses in the 240/301 region as the implementation of the new 227 area code draws closer. ### About the Public Service Commission: The Maryland Public Service Commission regulates electric and gas utilities and suppliers, telephone companies (land lines), certain water and sewer companies, passenger motor vehicle carriers for hire (sedans, limousines, buses, Uber, Lyft), taxicab companies (in Baltimore City and County, Charles County, Cumberland and Hagerstown) and bay pilot rates. 


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces Over $4 Million in Federal Housing Assistance for Marylanders

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $4,258,979 in federal assistance to help low-income residents across Maryland afford quality, safe, and stable housing. The assistance is administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New Incremental Housing Choice Vouchers Program and is fully funded by the fiscal year 2022 appropriations law that the lawmakers voted for in March.

 

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. But we know housing costs are eating up too large a share of lower-income residents’ budgets, often leaving them with impossible choices between paying for rent or meeting their daily needs. This federal relief will help those facing hardship find suitable housing for their families as we continue working to increase access to affordable housing in our communities,” said the lawmakers.

 

The federal grants have been awarded as follows: 

 

·         $1,000,632 for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City

·         $749,045 for the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County

·         $730,941 for the Housing Authority of Prince George’s County

·         $403,548 for Baltimore County 

·         $188,204 for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

·         $153,704 for the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County

·         $115,109 for the Rockville Housing Enterprises

·         $107,935 for the Howard County Housing Commission

·         $102,794 for the Charles County Government

·         $96,876 for the City of Frederick Housing Authority

·         $94,579 for the Housing Authority of St. Mary's County

·         $83,195 for the Harford County Housing Agency

·         $70,923 for the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis

·         $53,588 for the Carroll County Housing and Community Development

·         $49,249 for the Housing Authority of Calvert County

·         $49,126 for the Cecil County Housing Agency

·         $47,793 for the Wicomico County Housing Authority

·         $47,036 for the Housing Authority of Queen Anne’s County

·         $40,570 for the City of Westminster Housing Office

·         $39,651for the Housing Authority of Washington County

·         $34,481for the Housing Commission of Talbot County

 

The Incremental Housing Choice Vouchers Program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and those with disabilities to afford housing in the private market. The program’s housing assistance allows participants to choose their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments.

 


MD Focuses on Mental Health for Depression Screening Day

With many people still struggling in the wake of the pandemic, this week's National Depression Screening Day is a reminder to Marylanders to take stock of their mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness or 'NAMI' reports the average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years. At Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, clinicians and faith-based leaders worked together to create the Congregational Depression Awareness Program or 'CDAP.' Reverend Pamula Yerby-Hammack says it's an important tool to help faith-based communities learn more about depression.
"The purpose of CDAP is to invite lay people and clergy to learn more about depression, because the truth of the matter is that all of us can play a part in helping people get the help they need as they go through this journey of depression."
NAMI statistics indicate one in five U-S adults experiences mental illness each year, and 40-percent don't seek treatment. Depression Screening Day is October 6th.
Yerby-Hammack says things are improving in terms of faith-based communities being more accepting of the partnership with mental health professionals in treatment. She sees CDAP as proof of this.
"CDAP provides clinical information, it provides a theological perspective on depression, it provides lived experiences – people giving their testimonies of what it's like to have depression. And then, it also provides some resources that they can take back to their particular community."
Symptoms of depression are varied, and there are different speeds of depression onset, multiple types of depression, and different intensities. Denise Johnson with the National Association of Social Workers says depression is more than just a bad day.
"Depression is very common and can result from a number of social, psychological and biological factors. It's more than just a 'bad day' or feeling down, and it's not something that people can just snap out of. It negatively affects how a person feels, the way that they think, the way that they act."
Johnson says symptoms must last at least two weeks and represent a change from the person's previous level of functioning.


Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces Nearly $17 Million for Violence Prevention and Safer Schools

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced $16,990,815 in federal funding for Maryland schools to foster safer and more supportive learning environments that address the evolving social, emotional, physical, and mental health needs of students. The funding is administered through the U.S. Department of Education’s Stronger Connection’s Grant Program, which was authorized by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s historic public safety legislation that the lawmakers all fought to pass in order to reduce the threat of violence across the country. 

 

“Today’s young people face unprecedented challenges, pressures, and potential threats that can negatively affect their ability to learn. We were proud to ensure enactment of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act which will not only make our schools safer, but also support each of our students through their growth and development. These funds will help strengthen our school safety programs and better protect our youngest minds, helping to maximize their potential for a thriving future,” said the lawmakers. 

 

The Stronger Connections grants are designed to fund programs and resources that prevent and help students cope with violence, trauma and bullying. The funds will also allow schools to engage their communities to develop best practices for creating the safest, most inclusive environment unique to their needs. The Maryland State Department of Education will distribute the funding to local school districts in Maryland on a competitive basis to high-need districts.


Maryland State Department of Education and Partners to Announce the 2022–23 Maryland Teacher of the Year

Join the Maryland State Department of Education and partners for the 32nd annual celebration of the Maryland Teacher of the Year program on Maryland Public Television’s MPT2. Tune in on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 8 p.m. as the State of Maryland celebrates our 24 local Teachers of the Year. From this group, seven finalists were selected by a panel of judges last month. In a surprise announcement, one of the seven finalists will be named the 2022-23 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

 

The Maryland Teacher of the Year program recognizes outstanding elementary, middle and high school teachers who are excellent instructors and education leaders in their schools and communities.

 

MPT2 – in Maryland, Southern PA, and the Washington area:

Channel 799 – Comcast   

Channel 478 – Verizon Fios  

 

Over the air (using an antenna) or see local listings:

Annapolis 22.2 

Frederick 62.2 

Hagerstown 31.2 

Oakland 36.2 

Owings Mills 67.2 

Salisbury 28.2 

 

This event also will also be livestreamed at 8 p.m. at mpt.org/toy.


Mechanicsville Man Arrested for Possession of Altered Shotgun

On October 1, 2022, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 27300 block of Three Notch Road in Mechanicsville, for a welfare check of an individual sleeping inside a vehicle at an area business. Deputies arrived on scene and located the vehicle occupied by Alexander Wayne Pope, age 28 of Mechanicsville, parked at the fuel pumps. Pope was observed to have a firearm in his lap and was subsequently taken into custody. Located in the vehicle was an altered shotgun, suspected cocaine, and several suspected CDS smoking devices.

 

Pope was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and charged with multiple firearm offenses and drug charges.

 

Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.

 

For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.


Calvert County Board of Elections Provides Voting Information for 2022 General Election

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 30, 2022 – As Election Day approaches, the Calvert County Board of Elections provides important voting information for residents. The Maryland general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Early voting will take place from Thursday, Oct. 27 through Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022.

Voter Registration

The last day to register in advance to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Same-day voter registration will be available at all early voting centers and polling locations during early voting and on Election Day. To complete a same-day registration, eligible, unregistered voters will need to bring a document that proves residency, such as an MVA-issued license, ID card or change of address card, or a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill or other government document with your name and current address.

Mail-in and Sample Ballots

The Maryland State Board of Elections has begun sending mail-in ballots to voters who have requested to vote by mail in the general election.

Individuals who wish to vote by mail must submit a mail-in ballot request form before Nov. 1, 2022. Completed request forms may be mailed or placed in the Election Board drop box located in front of the Community Resources Building at 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick. Requests must be received by Nov. 1. A mail-in ballot can also be requested online with a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID card. To complete an application online, visit vote.md.gov/NeedBallot. Voters may also request a form by calling the Calvert County Board of Elections at 410-535-2214.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 8 in order to be counted. Voters may also submit a ballot by placing it in one of the four secure drop boxes available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. Drop boxes are under surveillance and ballots are retrieved daily by Board of Elections staff from the following locations:

·         Community Resources Building, 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick

·         Southern Community Center, 20 Appeal Lane in Lusby

·         Fairview Vote Center (behind the Calvert Library Fairview Branch), 8120 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Owings

·         Northeast Community Center, 4075 Gordon Stinnett Ave. in Chesapeake Beach

Sample ballots will begin arriving in mailboxes after Oct. 15. A sample ballot includes an example of the actual ballot the voter will receive, including a list of candidates and ballot referendums, the date of the election, voter precinct information and voting instructions.

Early Voting – Oct. 27 through Nov. 3

Individuals can vote early in person from Thursday, Oct. 27 through Thursday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including Saturday and Sunday, at the following locations:

·         Community Resources Building, 30 Duke St. in Prince Frederick

·         Southern Community Center, 20 Appeal Lane in Lusby

·         Fairview Vote Center (behind the Calvert Library Fairview Branch), 8120 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Owings

Residents may vote at any early voting center and are encouraged to check the online wait-time dashboard for the approximate voter wait time at each location.

Election Day – Nov. 8

Voters may cast their ballot at their assigned polling center on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The least crowded time to vote on Election Day is typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Citizens can find their polling place, which is based on their election precinct, by visiting the Maryland voting location lookup online. Voters may bring their sample ballots with them when they cast their vote. County transportation services will be available on Election Day.

For local information and updates on the 2022 Election, visit the Calvert County Board of Elections website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Vote and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CalvertElectionBoard.

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.


New Price Set for Calvert County Transferable Development Rights Reserve Program

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 30, 2022 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board announces an increase in the purchase price of Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) for the county’s TDR Reserve program.

The BOCC approved a new purchase price of $5,000 per TDR, which will replace the $4,500 price previously approved in August 2021. The county will offer to buy and sell development rights from willing participants on a first-come, first-served basis as available funding and TDR supply allows. There is no limit on how many TDRs can be sold by an owner.

TDRs that are purchased from the TDR Reserve will be sold at the purchase price paid by the BOCC, plus an additional 1% administrative fee.

The TDR Reserve program acts as a revolving fund in which TDRs are purchased, reserved and resold by the BOCC, allowing citizens to purchase and sell TDRs through county government instead of private negotiations between buyers and sellers. By continually purchasing TDRs from Agricultural Preservation District (APD) owners, the program helps to facilitate TDR sales between farmers and developers who need them. The use of TDRs allows owners to increase density potential within designated residential growth areas while also protecting the county’s natural resources and preserving productive agricultural and forested lands for future generations.

Managed by the Department of Planning & Zoning, applications for both buyers and sellers are available on the county website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/TDR-Reserve.

Completed applications may be submitted by mail to the Department of Planning & Zoning, Attention: Rural Planner Jennifer David at 205 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678, or by email to Jennifer.David@calvertcountymd.gov. For more information, citizens may email Ms. David or call 410-535-1600, ext. 2238.

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.


Theft/Disorderly at Middle School

On the morning of September 29, a student at General Smallwood Middle School stole shoes from another student and became disorderly when confronted by administrators. Administrators summonsed the School Resource Officer, who detained the student and was able to deescalate the situation. The student was charged on a Juvenile Offense Report with theft and disorderly conduct and released to a parent. Cpl. S. Cook investigated.


Maryland State Police Reminding Motorists Move Over Law Expands To All Vehicles Beginning Oct. 1

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – The Maryland State Police are reminding motorists that beginning October 1, 2022, the Move Over Law in Maryland expands to require motorists to make a lane change or slow down when approaching any stopped, standing, or parked vehicle displaying warning signals – including hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals including traffic cones, caution signs, or non-vehicular warning signs.

The intent of the Move Over law is to provide an extra barrier of safety for motorists, along with police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service personnel and utility workers working on Maryland roads. It is hoped that drivers will become more aware of police and emergency workers and others stopped along the road and move away from them or slow down as they pass by the traffic stop or incident scene.

This movement should only be done if another lane in the same direction is available and the move can be made safely and without impeding other traffic.  If moving to another lane away from the stopped vehicle is not possible, the law requires drivers to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing weather, road, and vehicular or pedestrian traffic conditions.

Violating the law is a misdemeanor carrying a $110 fine and one point on your license. If the violation causes a crash, the fine is $150 and three points. If there is a death or serious injury, the fine is $750 and three points.

The original move over law went into effect in 2010. In 2014, the law was expanded to not only include police cars but also tow trucks, fire trucks and medical and rescue trucks as well. On Oct. 1, 2018, the law expanded again to transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices. Maryland is now the eighth state in the U.S. to expand its move over law to include any vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard lights on or road flares displayed

Traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers.  From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation said. In Maryland, more than 4,000 people were injured and 53 people were killed in work zone crashes between 2014 and 2019.

Motorists appear to have received the message, which is appreciated. Since the law initially expanded in 2014, troopers went from issuing 5,408 citations and 12,179 warnings that year to 886 citations and 4,030 warnings in 2021 for move over violations. Through Sept. 27, 2022, troopers have issued 622 citations and 3,215 warnings for similar violations this year.


Community Resource Day Rescheduled

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Homelessness Prevention Board announces that due to forecasted inclement weather, Community Resource Day has been moved to its rain date of Friday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension, located at 24641 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park.

This event is free and open to the public. Talk to representatives from more than 40 organizations to learn about the wide array of programs and services available in St. Mary’s County. There will be giveaways, including backpacks, and lunch will be available on Community Resource Day.

For more information, please contact Sara Martin at smartin@threeoakscenter.org or 301-863-7361.


Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Involving Pedestrian

Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Involving Pedestrian: On September 26 at approximately 10:33 p.m., officers responded to the area of Old Washington Road and Bad Dog Alley for the report of a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. Upon arrival, officers located a man deceased in the roadway. Initial investigation revealed that the man, later identified as Jeremy Alexander Parks, 30 of Hughesville, was operating an electric scooter in the southbound lane on Old Washington Road. Parks was struck from behind by a vehicle which was also traveling southbound. The impact caused him to cross the roadway where he was subsequently struck by at least one additional vehicle that was traveling northbound. All of the motor vehicles involved fled the scene.

Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in providing information about this crash. At this time, investigators believe a silver 2001-2003 Honda Civic and a maroon 2004-2005 Toyota Sienna may have been involved. The images provided are not the actual vehicles involved.  Anyone who witnessed this collision or who has any information is asked to contact Cpl. D. Spence at 301-932-3514. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. The investigation is ongoing.


Gate 3 Hours Extended Beginning Oct. 3, Road Construction Projects Oct. 7-11

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – NAS Patuxent River will extend its hours at Gate 3 from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Gate 3 will close on weekends and holidays. Gate 1 will continue 24-hour operations seven days a week. Gate 2 is open 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and closed weekends and holidays. For more information on NAS Patuxent River, visit www.facebook.com/NASPaxRiver, www.twitter.com/NASPaxRiverPAO, and https://ndw.cnic.navy.mil/Installations/NAS-PatuxentRiver/ .


Charles County Government October Holiday Schedule

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

Saturday, Oct. 8 (Scrap Tire Drop-off Day)

 

Monday, Oct. 10 (Columbus Day)

  • All Charles County Government offices and the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville will be closed.
  • The Nanjemoy Community Center, all senior centers, and all school-based community centers are closed.
  • All indoor pools will be open noon - 5 p.m. for open swim (Lackey, Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center, and North Point).
  • The Waldorf Senior and Recreation Center will be closed.

 

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.


St. Mary's County Department of Public Works & Transportation to Provide Self-Service Sandbags in Advance of Weekend Storms

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Due to the potential for excessive amounts of rain from Hurricane Ian, the Department of Public Works & Transportation is offering self-service sandbags on the following days and times: Thursday, Sept. 29, noon to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Sandbags will be available at the following St. Mary’s County Convenience Center locations:

 

            Charlotte Hall – 37766 New Market Turner Road

            Oakville – 26630 North Sandgates Road

            Clements – 24547 Horseshoe Road

            St. Andrews – 44595 St. Andrews Church Road

            Valley Lee – 45350 Happyland Road

            Ridge – 13939 Point Lookout Road

 

Sandbags are not pre-filled and are limited to between 10-25 sandbags per person while supplies last.

 

For more information, contact the Department of Public Works & Transportation at 301-475-4200, ext. 3527.


Re-Fund The Police: Governor Hogan Announces Applications Now Open For Additional Community Safety Works Grants

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that applications are now being accepted for the state’s second round of grant funding for the Community Safety Works program. Administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as part of the governor’s Re-Fund The Police Initiative, Community Safety Works offers up to $10 million in funding for the implementation of crime prevention strategies through physical design improvements, operational activities, community services, blight removal, and increased property maintenance. 

“Community Safety Works is an important component of our our Re-fund The Police Initiative, providing resources to local business owners and community organizations for crime prevention efforts in neighborhoods across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “This additional $10 million in funding will help residents and other stakeholders who are actively trying to make their communities safer and more secure."

Improvements include:

  • Auto and pedestrian circulation upgrades to slow traffic so that streets are walkable and pedestrian friendly;
  • Improving opportunities for “eyes on the street,” by removing barriers to sight lines, opening closed spaces, and renovating public spaces to draw regular visitors and family activity;
  • Reinforcing community ownership by cleaning and beautifying streets, sidewalks, signage, and parks; 
  • Official surveillance tools such as lighting, cameras, organized local resident patrols or staffed security patrols, and community policing initiatives developed in consultation with local law enforcement; and
  • Street outreach to interrupt and prevent illegal activities and violence.

“Community Safety Works is an initiative that engages local leaders to create partnerships and plans to protect their families, friends, and patrons,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “These grants are already positively impacting communities across Maryland, and this second round will further support measures like security upgrades and community watches.” Applications for the second round of funding are open as of noon today. For more information about Community Safety Works and this round of funding, please visit dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/csw/.


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