Local News

Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

Jan. 26, 2021:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person shown in a theft investigation. On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 at 9:45 pm, the suspect fled the McKay’s grocery store in Charlotte Hall with items both in his shopping cart and inside of his clothing that he did not pay for. The suspect was last seen getting into a green over maroon sedan, possibly a Chevy Monte Carlo.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Michael Graves at 301-475-4200, ext. 78101 or email michael.graves@stmarysmd.com. Case # 3201-21
 
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

MSEA Responds to Governor's Call for Schools to Open March 1

MSEA President and Baltimore County elementary school teacher Cheryl Bost sent the below letter this morning in response to the letter sent by Gov. Hogan and Superintendent Salmon last Thursday prior to their press conference, when they demanded that schools reopen without regard to health metrics and threatened educators.
 
January 26, 2021
 
Dear Governor Hogan and Superintendent Salmon:
 
No one wants to get back to school safely and sustainably more than educators. We, the educators working daily with students and families, are painfully aware of the effects of this year’s challenges and trauma upon our students and their families. We are frustrated by the lackadaisical implementation of, and resources for, safety measures in our schools. We are frustrated by the lack of availability of vaccines after being told how important it is for us to get vaccinated. We want to be back in our schools, safely and sustainably, for our students.
 
While your letter called for partnership, your actions have consistently and inappropriately tried to paint educators as opponents and obstacles. In your letter, you state that “[our] advocacy for a safe but expeditious return to in-person instruction would be a critical stepping stone to mitigating further disrupted instruction.” Perhaps you are unaware, Governor Hogan, since you have never accepted a meeting with us throughout the course of your administration, and perhaps you are unaware, Dr. Salmon, since you have refused to meet with us and ended all stakeholder meetings in August, but that is exactly what we have been advocating for over these long months of the pandemic.
 
But let’s dispense with the pretense. You are well aware that we have been advocating for a safe and sustainable return to classrooms. You are well aware that 20 of 24 districts, according to MSDE’s own reporting, have already returned for at least small group instruction for at least some of the school year. You are well aware that the safety measures we have consistently called for are not some set of arcane and unachievable steps, but the very things that the CDC, Maryland Department of Health, MSDE, and OSHA have called for. You are well aware that we have encouraged our members to get vaccinated as soon as possible and helped to answer their questions about the vaccine and the process.
 
You are also aware of the delay and lack of state resources to assist local school districts to put in place health and safety protocols and staffing needed to reopen schools safely and sustainably. You are aware of the delay in developing statewide health metrics this summer to guide reopening decisions and now the near elimination of such guidance. Currently, you are also aware of the inadequacy of vaccine distribution thus far. Clearly, much of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of the Trump Administration. However, you also know that news reports and analysis have declared Maryland’s vaccine distribution to be one of the slowest in the country. Data compiled by Oxford University from the CDC indicates that Maryland has the 12th-lowest level of vaccinations per 100 residents among all the states, just above Kansas and less than half the rate of the states with the highest levels of vaccination distribution.[1] Many educators are hearing at your press conferences that they can now get vaccines only to find no vaccine available to them in their counties. It is deeply disappointing that you are spending your time and energy blaming and threatening educators rather than fixing the problems that are making it harder to reopen our schools and state more broadly.
 
During your press conference, you, Governor Hogan, declared that there is “no public health reason for county school boards to keep students out of school.” This statement would be laughable if it were not so dangerous. It is abundantly clear in light of the escalating number of infections, mutations, and deaths that coronavirus is anything but predictable. The risk of infection increases dramatically when individuals are in close physical proximity, particularly indoors, in spaces with poor outside air ventilation, and for extended periods of time. What has also become clear is that school-aged children who are infected with coronavirus can transmit it to the adults with whom they have contact. The Wall Street Journal reported on January 16 that “recent studies and outbreaks show that schoolchildren, even younger ones, can play a significant role in spreading infections.”[2] A Calder Center study released in December of Michigan and Washington found that “reopening schools in areas with higher caseloads, though, does spread the virus.”[3] This question is far from settled, despite your pronouncements.
 
As a result, a multi-pronged approach of mitigation strategies is necessary to limit the spread of coronavirus in schools. The CDC unequivocally states that “resuming and maintaining in-person learning may pose risks to children, teachers, school administrators, and other staff in the school environment, and their families and household members.” The CDC continues to state that the decision to re-open schools must be weighed against the risks of spreading coronavirus in the school and community. No one should allow a reckless public relations action to outweigh the public health risks.
 
President Biden’s executive order, which was signed on Thursday, the same day as your press conference, demonstrates not only thoughtful leadership but also support for a profession whose voices you have attempted to minimize and villainize in reopening discussions. It calls for federal agencies to prioritize worker safety and to provide schools with financial aid, cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, resources for testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations for educators. These critical pieces in the reopening conversation were glossed over, at best, in your announcements. The Biden executive order also requests the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to provide new guidance for schools on whether and how schools may safely reopen. These are the types of solutions we need in our schools to properly reopen safely and a model of the type of support and leadership we desire.
 
In contrast, on Thursday you scrubbed from state guidance the health metrics around positivity rate and cases per 100,000, which were previously used to guide reopening decisions locally. You accused others of shifting goalposts, while you didn’t just move them, you now deny their existence. Is the positivity rate no longer important? Are cases per 100,000 no longer something to worry about? At your press conference, Dr. Chan stated that “school reopening decisions should not be based on the availability of vaccinations or the level of vaccinations among staff.” Less than 10 days before you—in a step we called for and praised—moved educators up to Phase 1B in vaccine distribution. Yet now it’s no longer important that they receive a vaccine? The mixed messages that you are sending are confusing and anxiety-provoking to educators and many parents across the state.
 
Since you no longer feel these health metrics and precautions are important, I assume that you will now return to holding all of your meetings, including State Board of Education meetings, in person regardless of vaccination rates or health metrics in our state. As you know, Dr. Salmon, I have spoken during public comment about educator concerns around health and safety at State Board meetings for months and have offered to work collaboratively. I look forward to your publicizing when the State Board will be moving its meetings to in-person and how educators may continue to provide you feedback during limited public comment, which is the only way we have been able to speak to you since the school year began.
 
As a teacher, I am so proud of all educators who are working so hard for the children and families of Maryland. It is disheartening that you feel that educators should be threatened with the loss of pay and their license for refusing to return to schools—not that this is a legally sustainable threat and not that this should be regarded as appropriate or motivating in the least. I have never, in all my years, heard of a single statement uttered by a state leader that caused more tears, more anxiety, and more frustration among educators than your threat to withhold their pay and revoke their licenses at the very moments when they were working incredibly hard, as they have for months, to make the best of educating our students in impossible circumstances.
 
No one wants to open school buildings safely and sustainably sooner than educators. That will continue to be our focus, and I hope it will be yours as well, rather than more U-turns in the state’s guidance and further inappropriate public bullying of educators. These actions do nothing to improve and save the lives of Marylanders, but your concerted efforts to improve vaccine distribution and health and safety protocols in school buildings very well could. We see the promise of these efforts from the Biden Administration, and urge you to take the same inclusive and responsible problem-solving approach rather than one of finger-pointing and division. I remain ready, as I have throughout this pandemic, to work with you and local leaders to reopen school buildings safely, sustainably, and expeditiously.
 
 
 
Sincerely,

Citizens Encouraged to Participate in Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Survey

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Jan. 26, 2021 – The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, is working with staff from the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant to encourage residents, especially those who live south of Prince Frederick, to take part in a short emergency planning survey.
 
Information gathered from the survey will help improve local emergency management strategies and future emergency responses. The survey should only be taken once per household and by those 18 years of age or older.
 
To complete the survey, please go to http://CCNPPsurvey.kld.engineering before March 31, 2021.
 
For more information, please contact the Calvert County Office of Emergency Management at 410-535-1600, ext. 2302 or email OEM@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
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.

The 2020 Annual Report and "Year in Review" Video Now Available

Charles County is pleased to announce that the 2020 Annual Report and Year in Review video are available online for public viewing. The Annual Report and Year in Review video offer a comprehensive look back at 2020.  The report shares the county’s accomplishments in the areas of education, health, public safety, and quality of life.  The video is a look back on key milestones that were achieved in 2020, including:

 

County’s efforts to work together to during the COVID pandemic
2020 U.S. Census
Climate Change initiatives
Mallows Bay designation as a National Marine Sanctuary
Opening of the College of Southern Maryland’s Velocity Center
A $2.9 million broadband grant
Visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/AnnualReport, to view or download a Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the 2020 Annual Report or to view the Year in Review video. Adobe Reader is required to view PDF files. 

 

To request a copy of the report, email PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov or 301-885-2779. DVD copies may be requested at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/media-services/ccgtv/ccgtv. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.


CCPS Sets Hybrid Start Date for Pre-K - Grade 2 and Special Populations

In accordance with Governor Larry Hogan’s guidance to open schools for hybrid instruction by March 1, Calvert County Public Schools has announced that schools will reopen for students in special populations and those in pre-K through Grade 2 on February 8. Fully virtual instruction will continue for students whose families chose that model. Dates for the return of other grade bands will be released in the coming weeks.
The February 8 start date for students in special populations includes:
   
• Those who attended face-to-face programs at the Career and Technology Academy;
    • Eligible elementary school students with IEPs and secondary school students on an alternate standards framework, including those at Calvert Country School, who attended school for in-person instruction in December 2020; and
    • English Language Learners who attended school for in-person instruction in December 2020.
 
When hybrid instruction for students in pre-K through Grade 2 resumes on February 8, students in Cohort A will attend, while students in Cohort B will learn remotely. Cohort B students will return to school on February 16, and Cohort A will participate in virtual instruction that week. 
 
Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “Given the new guidance from the Governor, State Superintendent, and Maryland Department of Health, we’re going to try to get back to our plan. This is especially important for those programs that have been used to being in the buildings. Of course, we will continue to require mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing. Decisions for the next groups scheduled for hybrid will be determined later.”

Maryland Congressional Delegation Announces More Than $1.17 Billion in COVID-19 Relief for Schools and Universities Across the State

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 Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced more than $1.17 billion in federal funding for K-12 schools and higher education institutions across Maryland.

 

Funding comes from the bipartisan COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress in late December.

 

“This urgently needed relief will help provide students, educators and support professionals with more resources to improve learning and educational services, and help Maryland school districts cover the significant costs they have borne throughout this pandemic,” the lawmakers said. “Team Maryland remains committed to securing additional federal resources to ensure students and educators can keep learning safely.”

 

Funding includes:

 

K-12 Schools ($868,771,000): For the Maryland State Department of Education to support statewide education activities and for Maryland’s 24 school districts to accommodate the educational needs of students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including direct support for low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness and youth in foster care.
 

Higher Education ($309,025,964): To help institutions across Maryland cover lost revenue, support the transition to online learning and help students pay for food, housing, health care and child care expenses. (Additional funding dedicated to Maryland HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions will be announced in the coming days.)
 

See below for complete breakdowns of the federal grant funding.

 

* * *

 

K-12 Schools

Local School System

Funding Allocations

Allegany County Public Schools

$11,278,218

Anne Arundel County Public Schools

$48,393,505

Baltimore City Public Schools

$197,474,401

Baltimore County Public Schools

$96,638,621

Calvert County Public Schools

$5,098,466

Caroline County Public Schools

$6,096,016

Carroll County Public Schools

$7,491,743

Cecil County Public Schools

$12,391,716

Charles County Public Schools

$13,743,730

Dorchester County Public Schools

$7,775,682

Frederick County Public Schools

$16,879,062

Garrett County Public Schools

$3,986,847

Harford County Public Schools

$18,905,691

Howard County Public Schools

$19,371,973

Kent County Public Schools

$2,330,154

Montgomery County Public Schools

$112,233,764

Prince George's County Public Schools

$122,234,704

Queen Anne's County Public Schools

$3,026,041

St. Mary's County Public Schools

$11,611,000

Somerset County Public Schools

$6,009,403

Talbot County Public Schools

$3,665,774

Washington County Public Schools

$24,618,365

Wicomico County Public Schools

$21,093,070

Worcester County Public Schools

$6,406,920

Total for MD School Districts

$778,754,866

 

Maryland State Department of Education

$86,877,124


Van Hollen Statement on President Biden's Buy American Executive Order

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding President Biden’s new executive order to promote American manufacturers, businesses, and workers:

 

“The economic fallout of the pandemic has hit American workers hard – many have lost their jobs and are unable to make ends meet. Now more than ever, we need to invest in our economy and the American workforce – and today’s executive action from President Biden does just that. This new order will help support U.S. manufacturing and boost job creation by ensuring that the federal government purchases more goods made by American workers. Ultimately, this will help create more good-paying jobs and is part of a larger strategy to make our economy work better for everyone. I am committed to working together with the Biden Administration to strengthen American manufacturing and to eliminate the backwards incentives in the Republican tax law to ship American jobs, not products, overseas. As we work to build back better, these must be top priorities.”


Additional Phone Support Available for COVID-19 Vaccination Registration

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has partnered with the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services and the St. Mary’s County Library to provide assistance with COVID-19 vaccine appointment registration over the phone for residents who are eligible for the vaccine based on current local criteria.
 
Registration is required through the state’s electronic vaccine registration system in order to schedule a vaccination appointment and receive COVID-19 vaccine; the additional phone support from the Department of Aging & Human Services and the St. Mary’s County Library is intended to assist those who may not have access to a computer or who require additional help with the electronic registration process. SMCHD will post available vaccine appointments on the SMCHD website each Friday afternoon once the state notifies SMCHD of the local vaccine allotment for the following week. Registration links will be removed once appointments have been filled.   
 
Phone Assistance for Vaccine Appointment Registration:
 
For St. Mary’s County residents age 65  
St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services
 
·         Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., 
 
·         Phone Number: (301) 475-4200, ext. 1049
 
For all other St. Mary’s County community members currently eligible to receive vaccine according to the local vaccination phase
 
St. Mary’s County Library
 
·         Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday from 1 - 6 p.m. and Friday 12 - 5 p.m.
 
·         Phone Number: (240) 523-3340
 
General Information on COVID-19, Testing, Vaccination, Occupational Eligibility Questions, Data, etc.
 
            St. Mary’s County Health Department
 
·         Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 
·         COVID-19 Hotline: Phone Number (301) 475-4330
 
·         COVID-19 Information: www.smchd.org/coronavirus 
 
·         COVID-19 Vaccine Information: www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine 
 
·         COVID-19 Testing Information: www.smchd.org/covid-19-testing 
 
·         COVID-19 Data: www.smchd.org/covid-19-data
 
Due to high call volumes, you may need to leave a message and wait for a return call. As a reminder, please do not call the Hollywood Fire Department for questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine or how to register for the vaccine. 

NDW to Conduct Force Protection Exercise

Naval installations in the National Capital Region will participate in an annual anti-terrorism force protection exercise Feb. 1 – 12, 2021.  These Naval installations include Naval Support Activity Washington, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Naval Support Activity Annapolis, and Naval Support Activity Bethesda.
 
Exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain 2021 (CS/SC 21) is conducted by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Commander, Navy Installations Command on all Navy installations in the continental U.S.
 
The exercise is designed to enhance the readiness of Navy security forces and ensure seamless interoperability among the commands, other services and agency partners.
 
Exercise CS/SC 21 is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly scheduled exercise.
 
Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions within local communities and to normal base operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access. Area residents may also see or hear security activities associated with the exercise. Advanced coordination has taken place with local law enforcement and first responders.
 
Area residents may also see or hear security activities associated with the exercise. For information about Exercise CS-SC21, follow Naval District Washington Public Affairs on social media at www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.
 
For more information, contact the Naval District Washington Public Affairs Office at 202-433-9714.

Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

Jan. 25, 2021:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at 4:42 pm, the suspect entered the Ace Hardware store in Leonardtown. In an aisle, the suspect picked up several packages of Dewalt DW4856 saw blades, removed the blades from their packaging, placed the packaging back on the shelf and placed the blades inside of his jacket and left the store without paying for them. The suspect left in a blue GMC pickup truck.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Jessica Wilson at 301-475-4200, ext. 78138 or email jessica.wilson@stmarysmd.com. Case # 3362-21
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County 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

Detectives Identify and Arrest Suspect In Connection with Double Murder on Hanover Court

Charles County Sheriff’s Detectives Arrest Suspect in Connection with Double Murder Case on Hanover Court: On January 21 at 12:45 a.m., officers responded to the 2400 block of Hanover Court in Waldorf for the report of the sound of gunshots. When officers arrived, they observed the front door to one of the townhomes was open. Upon entering, officers located Kandeon Meisha Niravanh, 24, of Waldorf, and Genesis Garrett, 22, of Waldorf, inside the townhouse. Both women had gunshot wounds and were pronounced deceased.
 
During the course of the investigation, Deon Watkins, 49, of Washington, D.C., was identified as the person responsible for the murders. On January 23, Watkins was located in D.C. and arrested. He is awaiting extradition to Maryland to be charged. Details of the motive are not being released at this time; however, Watkins knew both victims.
 
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective J. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. 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. The investigation is ongoing.

Crime Solvers Offering Cash Reward of up to $5,000 in Double Murder Case on Hanover Court

Charles County Crime Solvers Offering Reward of up to $5,000 in Double Murder Case on Hanover Court / Victims Identified: Detectives are continuing their investigation into the deaths of two women who were shot and killed in their townhome on January 21. The victims have been positively identified as Kandeon Meisha Niravanh, 24, of Waldorf, and Genesis Garrett, 22, of Waldorf. Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) in this case. The facts are as follows:
 
On January 21 at 12:45 a.m., officers responded to the 2400 block of Hanover Court in Waldorf for the report of the sound of gunshots. When officers arrived, they observed the front door to one of the townhomes was open. Upon entering, officers located the two victims inside. Both had gunshot wounds and were pronounced deceased. Further investigation revealed neighbors heard the shots approximately 30 minutes before calling 9-1-1. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective J. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. 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. The investigation is ongoing.

St. Mary's Count Public Schools Looking To Send Kids Back To Hybrid Learning By March 1st

Throughout the fall, St. Mary’s County Public Schools has followed the COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools published by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to drive our decision making. The document set specific metrics for reopening schools and bringing students back for inperson learning. Yesterday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services Jinlene Chan, M.D., and Maryland State Superintendent Karen Salmon, held a press conference calling on all Maryland public schools to return for hybrid in-person instruction by March 1. A new document entitled Maryland School Reopening
Guidance has been posted to the Maryland State Department of Education website this morning to guide reopening efforts which contains no reference to COVID community spread data impacting decisions to open schools for in-person learning.
St. Mary’s County Public Schools has remained committed to returning students to classrooms safely and our schools are prepared with health and safety protocols for their return. Moreover, over the last two weeks, SMCPS has worked
closely with the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) to provide opportunities for all our staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. These safety measures have put us in position to meet the expectations expressed by Governor Hogan and State Superintendent Salmon. We will be implementing our phased return plan for students throughout the
month of February, with all students having the option for hybrid in-person learning by Monday, March 1, 2021.
Please tune in to the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m. for a detailed presentation of the process and timeline for our phased Safe Return to School plan. You can view the Board meeting online at www.smcps.org/streaming, or on the SMCPS YouTube channel. Following the Board meeting, we will follow up with a letter to families providing additional information. 
J. Scott Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Governor Hogan, State Superintendent Call On Maryland Schools to Reopen for Hybrid In-Person Learning By March 1

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon today called on all Maryland school systems to return to hybrid instruction—a combination of in-person and virtual learning—no later than Monday, March 1.
 
“Every single Maryland student must have at least the opportunity to return to attending school in some form or fashion,” said Governor Hogan. “Our children simply cannot afford any more endless roadblocks, or any more moving of the goalposts. The time has come to get all of our kids back in the classroom, and to open the schools.”
 
Earlier today, President Biden signed an executive order to support students and safely reopen schools. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, has said, “the default position should be to try as best as possible within reason to keep the children in school, or to get them back to school.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recently stated, “Children absolutely need to return to in-school learning for their healthy development and well-being, and so safety in schools and in the community must be a priority.”
 
School Reopening Protocols. State health officials are providing school systems with additional school reopening school guidance and educational design options based on scientific evidence, recent studies on the impact of school reopening on community transmission, and the effects of school closures on children and learning. State health officials recommend daily in-person learning for students with disabilities and special learning needs, phased daily in-person learning for elementary students, and hybrid learning for secondary students. Read the guidance.
 
Letter to Union Leadership. Governor Hogan and Dr. Salmon sent a letter to Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost urging her to aid the effort to get students back into classrooms. Read the letter.
 
$780 Million in Additional Funding. Dr. Salmon recently announced another $780 million in federal relief for school systems to address the effects of the pandemic, and a total of more than $1.2 billion has been made available. In addition, the governor’s FY 2022 recovery budget provides a record $7.5 billion for K-12 funding, holding schools harmless from the impact of declining enrollment figures, and ensuring that every jurisdiction receives more funding than in the previous year.
 
Education Staff Prioritized for Vaccines. Based on the recommendations of America’s leading medical experts, Maryland has prioritized teachers and education staff to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. School systems have begun implementing plans to vaccinate staff. Following the press conference, Dr. Salmon and education staff from across the state received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
 
PPE and Testing. The state has provided school systems with 2 million masks and 200,000 face shields, as well as hand sanitizer, gloves, and gowns. Since last spring, the state has made testing resources widely available to local jurisdictions.
 
Data Dashboard. Epidemiologists from the Maryland Department of Health have provided a dashboard that tracks outbreak-associated cases in schools.

Van Hollen Statement on Opposition to Waiving U.S. Law for Defense Nomination

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding his vote in opposition to waiving the U.S. law that prevents retired military officers from serving as Secretary of Defense less than seven years after their relief from active duty.

 

“In order to maintain civilian control of our military, U.S. law requires a cooling-off period prior to allowing a recently retired officer to serve as the Secretary of Defense. I have long supported this cooling-off period, and have voted previously to uphold it. While I believe Lloyd Austin is thoroughly qualified to serve as our Secretary of Defense – and I intend to support his confirmation – the importance of civilian leadership at the Department of Defense is greater than any individual nominee. That is why I voted today in opposition to waiving this law.”


Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Blotter

(Prince Frederick, MD) – The below incidents, investigations, and arrests are, in part, demonstrative of the Prince Frederick Barrack’s effort to ensure that Calvert County is a safe place to live, work, and visit.
 
Armed Robbery
On January 11, 2021, TFC Rucker responded to the 7-11, located at 685 Prince Frederick Blvd, Prince Frederick, MD for a reported armed robbery. Trooper First Class Rucker made contact with the complainant and was advised that an unknown black male entered the business and attempted to buy cigarettes. The male then pulled a gun on the employee and demanded money from the register. The male then ran from the business. Criminal investigators responded to the scene and are currently investigating. If you have information concerning this incident, please contact Sgt. Ewig of the Criminal Enforcement Division at 410-535-1400.
 
CDS: Possession w/ Intent to Distribute – Not Marijuana
On January 13, 2021, Senior Trooper Lewis conducted a traffic stop at Rt. 260 and Perrywood Lane in Dunkirk for a speed violation. Senior Trooper Lewis made contact with the driver, 18 year old Thomas Moran, of Ellicot City, MD. A probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted which revealed DMA, LSD, Marijuana, Promethazine Hydrochloride, Amphetamine Dextroamphetamine,
Clonazepan, Vyvanse and a digital scale. Moran was placed under arrest for PWID - CDS Not Marijuana and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center.
 
CDS: Possession w/ Intent to Distribute - Marijuana
 On January 20, 2021, Senior Trooper Lewis conducted a traffic stop at Rt 4 and Walton Road in Huntingtown for a cell phone violation. Senior Trooper Lewis made contact with the driver, 27 year old Gregory Fitzgerald, of Baltimore, MD. A probable cause search was conducted and revealed four bags of Marijuana, THC oil, smoking devices, and a scale. The total weight was estimated to be approximately 270 grams of Marijuana. Fitzgerald was placed under arrest for PWID - CDS Marijuana and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center.

Detectives Investigating Deaths of Two People on Hanover Court

Detectives Investigating Deaths of Two People on Hanover Court: On January 21 at 12:45 a.m., officers responded to the 2400 block of Hanover Court in Waldorf for the report of the sound of gunshots. When officers arrived, they observed the front door to one of the townhomes was open. Upon entering, officers located two adults inside; both had trauma to their bodies and were pronounced deceased on the scene. Further investigation revealed neighbors heard the shots approximately 30 minutes before calling 9-1-1. Based on the investigation at this point, it does not appear this was a random case; however, detectives are still following leads and treating this case as a homicide. Additional information relating to the victims will be released once family members have been notified. Anyone who has additional information is asked to call Detective J. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. 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. The investigation is ongoing.


St. Mary's County Health Department Preparing to Open COVID-19 Vaccination for Phase 1C Eligible Groups

LEONARDTOWN, MD (January 21, 2021) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is preparing to deliver COVID-19 vaccine for occupational categories and age groups that are part of Phase 1C of the Maryland vaccination plan, including:
 
St. Mary’s County residents age 65 years and older
Grocery Store Employees
Public Transit Workers 
Postal Service Workers
Laboratory Services
Agricultural Production/Farming Workers
Manufacturing Employees
Veterinary Services
SMCHD anticipates launching Phase 1C on Monday, January 25, 2021 by prioritizing those aged 65 and older first, and then soon after will invite occupational groups in Phase 1C. The weekly allotment of vaccine from the state will determine the pace of this progress. All occupational categories of Phase 1A and Phase 1B will continue to be eligible for vaccine as the county enters Phase 1C. 
 
Businesses/Organizations/Occupational Sectors:
 
SMCHD is encouraging businesses/organizations that are eligible as part of Phase 1C and located within St. Mary’s County to submit their information via this survey to receive information on registering for COVID-19 vaccination when they become eligible. Individual employees do not need to complete the survey. Please only have one point of contact per organization complete the survey.
 
SMCHD mass vaccination events will continue as vaccine supply becomes available to the local health department. Vaccine appointment times that are available will be posted on the SMCHD COVID-19 vaccine webpage. Appointment times fill quickly as the allotted vaccine amount from the state does not satisfy local demand. Individuals are required to register online for a vaccine appointment. For seniors ages 65 who need assistance with registering over the phone, please call the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services at (301) 475-4200 ext 1049. 
 
For more information about COVID-19 vaccine and registering for vaccine, please visit the SMCHD website at: www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine.
 
For local COVID-19 updates, information and data, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330. 

New Traffic Pattern at Prince Frederick Boulevard and Allnutt Court

The Calvert County Department of Public Works advises motorists of a new traffic pattern at Prince Frederick Boulevard and Allnutt Court in Prince Frederick. A new traffic signal will be operational on Tuesday, Jan 26.
 
The new signal will begin as a flashing yellow light before switching to full color activation on Friday, Jan. 29.
 
Variable message signs will be posted in the area to alert motorists to the change. Motorists are advised to stay alert and use caution while adjusting to the new pattern.
 
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.

Community Warning: Hoax Phone Calls Regarding COVID-19 Vaccination

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has received reports from community members about fraudulent phone calls incorrectly telling residents that they can “show up” to a SMCHD vaccination clinic without an appointment. There are also reports of robocalls inaccurately notifying residents that they are eligible to register for a vaccination clinic.
 
These calls are not associated with SMCHD nor the Maryland Department of Health. All community members should note the following:
 
Only individuals who have registered for a vaccine appointment and have confirmed appointment times should go to a vaccination clinic site at the date and time of their appointment to receive their vaccine
 
At this time, SMCHD is only able to register and to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for those in Phase 1A and 1B. Please note: vaccine appointments for this week are fully booked. Additional appointment dates and times will be announced when SMCHD is notified by the state of incoming vaccine supply.
 
SMCHD will announce when new groups are able to register for vaccinations (who is eligible and how to register) as the county moves into new phases of vaccination. This announcement will be made by Press Release which will be:
 
Sent to local newspapers, radio stations, etc.
 
Posted to our website at: [www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine ]www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine
 
Sent out via email - Community members can sign up to receive email notices
 
Posted on the SMCHD Social Media accounts (Facebook & Twitter)
 
Working in conjunction with the St. Mary’s County Health Department, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the origin of the fraudulent calls. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 301-475-8008.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County 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 more information on local vaccination efforts, visit: [www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine]www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. For local COVID-19 updates, information and data, please visit [www.smchd.org/coronavirus ]www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330.

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