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Wildfire Smoke Produces Worst MD Air Quality in Decades

As smoke from Canadian wildfires drifts over the state, researchers from the University of Maryland are flying into the smoke plumes to measure atmospheric chemistry. The fires in Quebec have brought health alerts and air-quality warnings to much of the eastern U-S in the past few days. At the same time, Dr. Russ Dickerson and his team at U-M-D’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science are taking airborne samples of the smoke plume to keep track of the air quality.

 "We measure meteorological variables, as well as measure greenhouse gases, soot, ozone, formaldehyde, hydrocarbons. So, we take a lot of samples to try to characterize what's in this smoke plume. And that helps us understand where it came from, and how much of a health threat that it is."

Dickerson says the smoke is full of fine particulate matter, soot, black and brown carbon, and ozone, all of which represent public health risks. He adds this is the worst air quality he’s seen in the Baltimore - Washington area in more than 20 years.

With well over 100 fires burning in Quebec, the prospects for air quality relief in Maryland are reliant on local weather. While a change in wind direction could provide relief for some at the expense of others, Dickerson says rain could wash the smoke out of the atmosphere – but would come with a downside.

"When it's washed out of the atmosphere it becomes a threat to the soils, and to crops and to surface waters, because it's full of oxides of nitrogen, as well as soot, partially oxidized hydrocarbons. Some of these things are carcinogenic. They cause algal blooms, poor water quality. So, even after it washes out, it hasn't gone away forever."

Dickerson says the poor air quality is reminiscent of smog in big cities prior to implementation of the Clean Air Act.

"So, it's a certain irony – in that as we've made wonderful progress, cleaning up industry, power plants, cars and trucks. We've let the climate change. And now it's warmer and drier toward the poles, including in Canada, and they're like a tinderbox."

Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of May 29 – June 4, 2023, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to 1,886 calls for service throughout the community.

Burglary: 23-38135

On May 29th, 2023, DFC Kwitowski responded to the 100 block of Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick, for a report of a burglary. The complainant advised his camper had been burglarized sometime on May 29 between 3:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Investigation revealed an unknown suspect (s) forced entry into the victim’s camper and stole a lock box containing $5,000 in US currency and prescription medication. The estimated value of stolen property is $5,060.00.

Theft: 23-38397

On May 30, 2023, M/DFC Aurich responded to the 3800 block of 8th Street in North Beach, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised an unknown suspect (s) stole the handicapped placard from the victim’s vehicle. The estimated value of stolen property is $50.00.

Theft: 23-38385

On May 30, 2023, Deputy R. Jones responded to the area of Bay Drive and Lake Place in Lusby, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised he and two friends were fishing at the lake and left their belongings behind to walk down the street for approximately 45 minutes and when they returned, 3 fishing poles had been stolen. The estimated value of stolen property is $220.00.

Theft: 23-39819

On June 4, 2023, Deputy Bowen responded to the BP Gas station located at 2975 W. Chesapeake Beach Road in Dunkirk, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised he placed his wallet down inside the gas station before paying and left his wallet at the counter. The victim went back inside to retrieve the wallet and it was gone. Inside the wallet was 2 debit cards, a Maryland License, a social security card, and $180.00 cash. The amount of stolen property is $200.00.


On May 30, 2023, at 8:11 a.m., Deputy DeSantis attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle for an equipment violation along Dares Beach Road in the area of Simmons Ridge Road in Prince Frederick. The vehicle failed to stop traveling at a high rate. Additional deputies responding to the call observed the suspect vehicle in the 2900 block of Dares Beach Road as the driver bailed out from the car and was seen fleeing on foot into the woods. The driver was observed to be an African-American male wearing a red hoodie, blue jeans, and red shoes. A perimeter was set, drones were deployed and a K9 track was initiated. At approximately 9:09 a.m., Captain Jones observed a vehicle traveling up and back a dead-end road. The driver, Brezzie Nicole Curtis, 18 of Prince Frederick, was stopped. When asked if anyone else was in the car, Curtis denied. An inspection of the rear seat in plain view was an African American male, blue jeans and red shoes matching the description of the suspect. The male was identified as Bronzton Xavier Carrington, 19 of Prince Frederick. Curtis and Carrington were placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center. Curtis was charged with Obstructing and Hindering and False Statement to an Officer.  Carrington was charged with Fleeing and Eluding, Theft: $1500 to Under $25,000 (Stolen Vehicle), and other traffic related charges.
Bronzton Xavier Carrington                                Brezzie Nicole Curtis

On May 30, 2023, Deputy T. Bowen initiated a traffic stop along N. Solomons Island Road in the area of HG Trueman Road in Lusby, for an equipment and traffic violation. Upon making contact with the occupants, a strong odor of Cannabis was emitting from the vehicle. Further investigation revealed a passenger, Xavier James Holloway, 18 of Lusby, had a tear off containing Cannabis in his pants. Holloway was asked if he had any other drugs on him and he refused to answer. Holloway was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center. Upon arrival, a secondary search revealed an additional bag of Cannabis belonging to Holloway for a total of 26 grams. Holloway was charged with Obstructing and Hindering, Possession of CDS While Confined, Altering Physical Evidence Crim Proc.

Xavier James Holloway

On June 3, 2023, DFC Strong received report of a disorderly subject at Abner’s Crabhouse located at 3748 Harbor Road in Chesapeake Beach. DFC Strong was approached by the bartender in the establishment advising that a female customer at the bar needed to be escorted out due to her level of intoxication and disorderly behavior. Contact was made with Katlyn Breann Callaway, 30 of Prince Frederick, who was becoming argumentative with deputies and bystanders. DFC Strong attempted to escort Callaway out of the bar and Callaway began to resist, threw herself on the ground, and began yelling profanities while other patrons took notice. At the same time, a separate fight broke out and DFC Strong witnessed Callaway in the gaming room in a physical confrontation with another female. Callaway was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Trespassing: Private Property, Disorderly Conduct, and 2nd Degree Assault.

Katlyn Breann Callaway

On June 4, 2023, Deputy McCourt responded to the 7-11 located at 3855 Old Town Road in Huntingtown, for the reported disorderly subjects and a fight in progress. Upon arrival there were multiple subjects yelling and screaming at each other. Contact was made with Naliease Courtney Coates, 33 of Huntingtown, who had been warned multiple times about screaming and yelling. Coates became increasingly belligerent screaming profanities. Coates was given multiple opportunities to stop screaming and ordered multiple times, but sill refused. Coates entered a vehicle continuing to scream and yell causing a disturbance as patrons looked on. Coates was placed into custody and into Deputy McCourt’s patrol vehicle where she stuck her foot in the door jamb to prevent the door from closing. Coates was ordered multiple times to move her foot and to stop screaming to which she refused. Dep. McCourt was eventually able to secure Coates’s foot and she was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Obey a Reasonable/Lawful Order of a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting/Interfering with Arrest.

Naliease Courtney Coates


DUI Arrests for the weeks of May 29 thru June 4


Date of Arrest




Arresting Deputy

May 29

Angela M. Puryear


Lexington Park

Dep. McCourt

June 1

Gerald G. Bowen, Jr.



DFC Strong

June 1

Torrey R. Shipman



Dep. Newtown


Cardin Leads Chesapeake Bay-Area Lawmakers Urging USDA to Replenish Farms Conservation Funding to Boost Resilience

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-Va.-03), John Sarbanes (D-Md.-03) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.-07) led fellow Chesapeake Bay-area lawmakers from both the Senate and House of Representatives in a recent letter urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to replenish the resilient farms initiative established administratively thanks to their efforts last year with available Inflation Reduction Act and other funds. The Chesapeake Bay States’ Partnership Initiative (C-SPI) provides additional financial and technical assistance to farmers to implement conservation practices in the Bay watershed region.


As you distribute Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funding provided in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to states for climate-smart agriculture, we encourage you to leverage the C-SPI framework to deliver additional financial and technical assistance in the region…Investing IRA funding in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will achieve climate and environmental co-benefits and demonstrate the success of voluntary conservation programs when funded at-scale.”


The initial $22 million C-SPI investment USDA announced in May 2022 helped states respond to the high demand from producers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed region for additional support to implement practices that reduce nitrogen and sediment loss and improve water quality, in line with the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership. Since the initiative was established, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, providing over $20 billion in supplemental funding for practices linked to reducing climate change, many of which offer water quality benefits. The letter urges USDA to utilize the C-SPI framework when delivering IRA funding to help farmers boost climate-smart conservation in the Bay watershed, in addition to reallocating surplus funds appropriated in Fiscal Year 2023 from other regions.


The letter also was signed by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and John Fetterman (D-Pa.). It also was signed by Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-Md.-5), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.-2), Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.-7), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.-8), Susan Wild (D-Pa.-7), David Trone (D-Md.-6), Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.-10) and Jennifer McClellan (D-Va.-4) and Glenn Ivey (D-Md.-4).


The full letter follows and can be found at this link.


The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture

United States Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20250


Dear Secretary Vilsack:


Following the recent one-year anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement of the Chesapeake Bay States’ Partnerships Initiative (C-SPI), we thank you for the Department’s initial investment of $22.5 million in the initiative and urge you to ramp up support for our region’s producers as they strive to meet clean water goals and implement climate-resilient conservation practices.


As you distribute Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funding provided in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to states for climate-smart agriculture, we encourage you to leverage the C-SPI framework to deliver additional financial and technical assistance in the region. Over the next ten years, $737 million is needed to fully implement the state-led Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) to achieve their Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint commitments.


Under those plans, the agriculture sector is expected to achieve 85 percent of the necessary nutrient and sediment reductions, and simultaneously mitigate greenhouse gases and adapt to climate impacts.


Two-thirds of the practices identified in the WIPs are designated as Climate-Smart Mitigation Activities. Investing IRA funding in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will achieve climate and environmental co-benefits and demonstrate the success of voluntary conservation programs when funded at-scale.


Funding can be further targeted in areas with significant partnerships in place to leverage investment and utilize cooperative agreements for technical assistance. IRA investments made available early in the fiscal year allow more time for states and partners to prepare the staffing, outreach, and other resources they provide to the Department and participating farmers throughout the year.


In addition, we urge you to direct any previously allocated non-expended regular Fiscal Year 2023 NRCS funding to the Initiative. Mid- and end-of-year reallocations remain critical sources of additional funding for shovel-ready projects. 


In closing, we commend your commitment to the USDA-EPA Federal Crediting Task Force. We look forward to its recommendations for ensuring farmers receive full credit for the water quality benefits of all their conservation efforts.


Thank you for your commitment to the Chesapeake Bay region and your timely attention to this matter.

School Resource Officer Charges Middle School Student with Assault

School Resource Officer Charges Student with Assault that Occurred at Middle School: On June 6, a school resource officer at Piccowaxen Middle School charged a juvenile male with assaulting another student stemming from a case that occurred on May 31. While in school, the juvenile male made inappropriate comments to another student and grabbed the student’s head and forcefully pulled it to his groin. The juvenile male was charged with second-degree assault and 4th degree sex offense. The juvenile also faces disciplinary consequences from the Charles County Public Schools. Anyone who has been touched or assaulted in a manner in which they believe is inappropriate is urged to contact a school staff member or the school resource officer. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Cpl. Caballero at 301-609-3282 ext. 0573.

Judy Center Early Learning Hubs Lunch And Learn Summer Meal Program

LEONARDTOWN, MD - St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) Judy Center Early Learning Hubs and Food and Nutrition Services is pleased to announce its free summer meals program in partnership with the St. Mary’s County Library, the Department of Social Services, and a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. Children and their families will be able to access a free and nutritious meal Monday- Friday for ten weeks during the summer. Meals for children 18 and under are free. The cost of meals for adults accompanying their children will be covered by the St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services. Details about the Judy Centers’ Lunch and Learn Program and Lunch at the Library are included below.


Beginning on Monday, June 12, 2023, to Friday, June 30, 2023, all Fridays in July, and again on July 31, 2023, to August 18, 2023, the Lexington Park Library will host Lunch at the Library. Students and their families may visit the library from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. to receive a nutritious meal. Participants will be provided with take-home activities sponsored by the Judy Center.


Beginning on Monday, July 3, 2023, to Thursday, July 28, 2023, the SMCPS’ Judy Center Lunch and Learn will operate at George Washington Carver Elementary School (GWCES) from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meals will be served at the Lexington Park Library on Fridays in July. Children and their parents/guardians may visit the site for a nutritious meal and a fun learning activity provided by Judy Center staff and their partners. Schools are closed on Fridays in July, and families will have access to Lunch at the Library from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

For additional information regarding lunch please contact Food and Nutrition Services at

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Residents Encouraged to Limit Outdoor Activities June 8

The Charles County Department of Health and the Maryland Department of the Environment advises residents to expect very unhealthy air conditions today due to the smoke and fine particles produced from the wildfires in Canada. Air quality is currently at unhealthy levels for everyone.

Due to progressively worsening air qualities residents should limit their time spent outdoors and avoid prolonged or heavy exertion until air quality improves. Individuals sensitive to air pollution, including young children, older adults, people with respiratory problems such as asthma or heart conditions, should avoid outdoor exertion altogether. Consider only engaging in those outside activities that are necessary and limit all outdoor strenuous exercise. People who must be outside, such as outdoor workers, should be alert for symptoms such as difficulty breathing.

The Maryland Department of Health and Charles County Department of Health advise Marylanders to follow the Air Quality Action Guide, which includes information on preventing the adverse effects of polluted air. For a red alert, everyone should limit strenuous outdoor activity when the air is unhealthy.

·   If you have lung or heart disease, stay indoors.

·   Air conditioning can improve the air quality indoors.

·   Masks (like N95s, KN95s) will reduce the particles that you breathe, but they can also make it harder to breathe.

·   Be alert for breathing problems in children, especially children with lung problems like asthma.

·   Check on neighbors and relatives with chronic health problems.

·   Use the air recirculating feature in your vehicle when using the air conditioning system.

Investigation Continues Into Tall Timbers Marina Fire

ST. MARY’S COUNTY, MD - The Office of the State Fire Marshal is continuing its investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed close to ten boats and caused nearly $400,000 in damages Wednesday afternoon.

At around 12:30 p.m., Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding fire departments responded to Tall Timbers Marina in the 18500 block of Herring Creek Road for a boat fire. When firefighters arrived, they discovered several boats on fire under a covered pier. Firefighters were assisted by fire boats and battled the two-alarm blaze for nearly an hour before bringing the fire under control.

Witnesses told Deputy State Fire Marshals they heard an explosion come from one of the boats and saw fire quickly spreading to the wooden pier and surrounding boats. While investigators have not identified an exact cause, they concluded the fire started in a 1940, 38-foot Matthew's wooden boat.

Two people initially reported injuries and refused EMS treatment but later took themselves to the hospital for reportedly minor injuries.

The Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Guard assisted on the scene containing the oil runoff and related fuel spills.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office- Southern Regional Office at 443-550-6832.

Health Department Encourages Community Members To Take Caution During Local Air Quality Alert

The St. Mary’s County Health Department encourages community members to take caution over the next several days due to local air quality alerts. The Maryland Department of the Environment has issued a Code Red Air Quality Alert for Southern Maryland for Wednesday, June 7, 2023 and predicts unsafe for sensitive groups to moderate air quality conditions on Thursday and Friday of this week due to the impact of fires in Quebec, Canada.
During air quality alerts, sensitive groups including people with heart or lung disease (such as asthma), older adults, children, and pregnant persons should avoid long or intense outdoor activities and consider rescheduling or moving activities indoors. All community members should reduce long or intense outdoor activities and take breaks during outdoor activities. N95 masks may be helpful in reducing exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air filtration with particle removal may help address outdoor air pollution that gets pulled into indoor environments.
“Poor air quality can worsen symptoms for certain conditions, such as allergies and asthma,“ said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We encourage all community members to avoid outdoor strenuous activity or exercise outdoors during these air quality alert days.“
For real-time local outdoor air quality data and recommended protective health actions, please visit the Purple Air Sensor map on the St. Mary’s County Health Department Air Quality Dashboard at: note that due to a technical issue the upper map is not current - for up to date air quality information, please view the Purple Air Sensor Live View map on the lower part of the dashboard.

State Fire Marshal and Calvert County Sheriff's Office Investigating Double Fatal Fire in Huntingtown

CALVERT COUNTY, MD - A team of investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Calvert County Sheriff's Office continue investigating the origin and cause of a house fire that claimed two lives in Huntingtown overnight.

Just after 3:00 a.m., Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding fire departments responded to the 1600 block of Maurham Court after a neighbor discovered the house engulfed in flames. Upon arrival, they were told two people might still be trapped inside the home. It took firefighters nearly two hours to control the one-alarm blaze; however, the home eventually collapsed.

After several hours, with the assistance of heavy equipment, from the Prince Georges County Fire Investigation Unit and investigators with the City of Annapolis Fire and Explosive Services Unit, two adult victims were located within the remains of the home. 

The victims were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore to determine the exact cause of death and where they will be positively identified.

A joint investigation between the police agency having jurisdiction and the Office of the State Fire Marshal is standard operating procedure whenever a fatal fire occurs.

Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List Opens June 20

The Charles County Housing Authority Division is accepting applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List lottery. Online applications will be accepted at starting Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at 8 a.m. through Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 4:30 p.m., 24 hours a day. Applications will be accepted online only.

Preference is given to elderly, disabled, and veteran households and those who live or work in Charles County. There is no advantage to applying early, as selection is through a lottery process.

The 500 applicants selected via the lottery will be added to the Charles County Department of Community Services Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List and contacted for enrollment at a later date. The lottery results and application status will be available online on Aug. 1, 2023, at Applicants that are not selected will need to reapply when the list reopens.

Applicants may use any computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access to apply. Those without internet access can use locations with free Wi-Fi, such as the Charles County Public Library parking lots and public businesses. Paper and digital applications will not be available.

Applicants and family members can be listed on one application only. Applicants must be 18 or older to apply or be an emancipated minor as defined by law. Applicants selected to be on the waiting list must meet eligibility requirements and preferences at the time of application and enrollment.

Persons with disabilities that need help completing the online application are to call 301-934-0116 no later than Friday, June 23, 2023, by 4:30 p.m. to receive a referral for assistance. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711 or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Pax Air Traffic Control Makes History with All-Women Air Traffic Control Crew

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – On May 30, 2023, for the first time in NAS Patuxent River’s 80-year history, its Air Traffic Control Facility (ATCF) was completely staffed by women. The Air Traffic Controllers (ACs) served in nine watch stations between the NAS Pax River Air Traffic Control Tower, Radar Operations, and Flight Planning. NAS Patuxent River is a Class IV Facility and is considered one of the most complex ATCFs in the Navy’s AC community. The NAS Pax River control tower works in excess of 40,000 flight operations per year, and its RADAR operations control over 6,000-square-miles of airspace including the Special Use Airspace complex and provides approach control service to 14 additional airports. “We call getting fully qualified at PAX equivalent to earning your Ph. D. in Air Traffic Control,” said ACC Kristen Costlow, NAS Patuxent River Air Traffic Control Training Chief. “In order to become fully qualified here at PAX, you have to go through a rigorous training pipeline of 14 air traffic control qualifications. On average, it takes 3 years to obtain designation as a Facility Watch Supervisor, which is the highest qualification you can obtain after completing the prior 13 qualifications.” NAS Patuxent River had previously marked a similar milestone in 2018 with an all-women Air Traffic Control qualified tower crew, but this was the first time in the station’s history that all positions on the air traffic control watch were staffed entirely by women Sailors. “When I checked in to PAX in February 2018, the women controllers on board made history by having enough qualified women to staff the entire control tower,” said Costlow. “Now, in 2023, we can run the entire facility by ourselves, 100% female. A class IV facility. The most complex facility and aggressive air traffic control training pipeline in the Navy. This goes beyond us being proud of ourselves for standing out in a male-dominant rating. This sets the example for their daughters, sisters, and future women that aspire to join the Navy. We have 70 controllers on board, 13 of them are female, about 17%. The ability to fully staff the ATCF with all women is truly a historical milestone for NAS PAX.” While all the Pax River ACs are extremely focused on their demanding jobs in Air Traffic Control, they did pause briefly to remark on the gravity of the occasion. Twelve stories up in the Pax River Air Traffic Control Tower, Tower Supervisor and Local Controller AC1 Amanda Galentine, Ground Controller AC1 Talyssa Martin, and Flight Data Operator AC2 Brianna Boore made note of the occasion in between flights. “It’s pretty cool; you don’t see this very often at many facilities,” said Galentine. “My Senior Chief at my last shore facility – I really look up to her and she’s one of my mentors – I think she’d be especially pleased to know that this happened. She’s a Master Chief now, so it’s not only nice to see a female leader, she helped me grow into the person and leader I am today. So to be standing here with these other professional women ACs is awesome.” 

Across the street from the tower in the Air Operations building, Flight Planning Supervisor/Dispatch – AC2 Autumn Rauen, in between phone calls remarked on the impact this will have on future ACs. “I think this will be particularly impactful on new airmen coming in, both men and women, seeing that women are capable of doing these kinds of jobs and not just relegated to the background,” said Rauen. “It’s good to have all these quals to show the people who still say that women can’t do certain things.” Up in the RADAR room, Costlow and her crew of Approach Controller AC1 Kristy Lescrynski, Sector Controller AC1 Erica Headrick, Clearance Delivery AC2 Syrenia Cuevas, and Final Controller AC2 Tieraney Edmond diligently tracked aircraft, pausing only to take a photo and to offer a few words. “This speaks volumes of the hard work these women have put in to their professional development and dedication to the team by earning qualifications in record time,” said Costlow. “You’re looking at some trailblazers in the Air Traffic Control community.” Later in the day the remaining ACs on watch were visited by Capt. Derrick Kingsley, NAS Patuxent River commanding officer, who presented command coins to the all-women crew and offered words of encouragement. “In the 26 years I’ve been in the Navy I haven’t seen too many milestones like this, and I’m pleased it happened on my air station,” said Kingsley. “When I first joined the Navy women were just beginning to fill roles in combatant commands, now you all have played a part in the Navy’s history too. I’m damn proud to be your skipper.” For more information on Pax River, visit Facebook at , and Twitter at .

Calvert County Board of County Commissioners Approves FY 2024 Budget

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – June 7, 2023 – On June 6, 2023, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a $381 million fiscal year (FY) 2024 general fund operating budget. FY 2024 begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024.

The general fund budget for FY 2024 is a balanced budget and reflects an increase of approximately $38.6 million compared to the FY 2023 adopted general fund budget. The $38.6 million increase includes $3.2 million in additional income tax revenue, $22.3 million in property tax revenue, and an $18.6 million increase to use of prior year fund balance pay-go, as well as a $5.5 million decrease to other revenue categories, including health insurance reimbursement. Of the increased revenues, $32 million will be used to restore funding to the Capital Improvement Plan and provide additional funding to the Board of Education, Technology Services, the Sheriff’s Office and Career Emergency Medical Services.

Funding towards education remains the primary focus of the budget, comprising 41% of the general fund operating budget and 22% of the six-year capital projects budget. Education funding for operations of $154.7 million is provided, which is $13.4 million over the funding provided in FY 2023.

“The adoption of this budget shows the BOCC’s continuing dedication to a fiscally responsible budget and accountability to our citizens, while supporting and financing valuable programs and services,” said BOCC President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “The BOCC will continue to responsibly support the essential needs of Calvert County residents in order to ensure Calvert’s sustainability.”

The FY 2024 budget continues to address public safety as a priority with four new public safety positions. There are 14 new employees added to the budget as well as one salary step and a 3% cost of living adjustment for county employees.

For more information about the FY 2024 budget, contact the Calvert County Department of Finance & Budget at 410-535-1600 or email Dawn Wood at To view the budget online visit

Find information on Calvert County Government services online at Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at and YouTube at

St. Mary's County Government's Director of Economic Development Recognized as Public Servant of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Government is pleased to announce that Chris Kaselemis, Director of the Department of Economic Development, received the 2023 Public Servant Award from the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce during their Annual Business Dinner, held on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

The St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce developed the annual Public Servant Award in 2008 to recognize an individual from the public sector who, in the performance of their duties, provides exceptional service and displays a clear understanding of the needs and key role of the local business community.

“Since coming to St. Mary’s County, Chris has helped guide the completion of the County’s strategic plan to build an innovation economy,” said Christine Bergmark, Chamber President. “He has led the effort to develop the AeroPark Innovation District at the airport and is working on important community re-investment projects in the Lexington Park area.” 

Kaselemis was appointed as the Director of the Department of Economic Development for St. Mary’s County in 2015. Other notable projects under his leadership include:

  • Development of the “Take Flight” branding campaign and "20 Away” video series.
  • Construction of our newest local Farmers Market, the “The Barns at New Market”.
  • Establishment of a tax credit incentive program to facilitate business expansion.
  • The launch of Visit St. Mary’s, MD as its own tourism entity.

“We are very proud to have Chris leading our team in the Department of Economic Development and representing St. Mary’s County Government out in the business community,” said Commissioner President, James Randy Guy. “His dedication and vision have fostered many opportunities for our residents, and we are thankful that his service is being recognized.”

In addition, Chris is a Board Member for the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, the Rural Maryland Council, the Patuxent Partnership, the Southern Maryland Economic Development Association, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland.

Maryland Transportation Authority Announces Bicycle Access On Nice/Middleton Bridge Starting June 10th

Starting Saturday, June 10, bicyclists will be allowed to cross the Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge (US 301) from dawn to dusk on Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays only. The Maryland Transportation Authority urges bicyclists and motorists to Share the Bridge and Cross with Care. Prior to crossing the bridge, bicyclists must stop in advance of the bridge and push a button to activate flashing warning lights that alert drivers when a bicyclist is crossing the bridge. The lights will flash for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the direction of travel, providing a warning to motorists of the presence of a bicyclist on the bridge. Based on projected traffic volumes, bicyclists are encouraged to cross the bridge during these recommended periods: • Saturday: dawn to 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. to dusk; • Sunday: dawn to noon, and 6 p.m. to dusk; and • State holidays: dawn to dusk. Bicyclists must ride in the direction of traffic and should position themselves in the center of the right lane. Motorists are encouraged to use the left lane for the entire length of the bridge when warning lights are flashing. Bicycle Access Restrictions • Bicyclists must be 18 years of age or older OR have a valid driver’s license. • Bicyclists are encouraged to ride single file and follow all rules of the road. • Bicyclists are not permitted to stop while crossing the bridge. • Pedestrians, skateboards, scooters and skates are not permitted. • Bicycle access is restricted in the event of high traffic volumes, fog, wind, other inclement weather, or incident. -more- Page 2 Vehicles heavier than five tons must use the right lane for general travel on the bridge, but may use the left lane to safely pass bicycles. When the right lane on the bridge is closed for maintenance or construction, bicycles will not be permitted to cross the bridge. The new Nice/Middleton Bridge includes more than $2 million in features to accommodate lane sharing for bicyclists. The system includes warning signs, push-button activated flashing warning beacons and bicycle-friendly modular expansion joints that were used instead of finger joints, which are typically used on Maryland Transportation Authority bridges. On Wednesday, April 26, the Maryland Transportation Authority held an informational open house regarding bicycle system features on the new Nice/Middleton Bridge. Attendees viewed informational display boards and spoke with agency representatives at the meeting. The open house informed motorists and bicyclists about bicycle lane sharing features, as well as solicited comments about bicycle access on the new Nice/Middleton Bridge, including safe hours and days of operation. The public comment period ran from April 12 to May 10. All public comments were given equal consideration and can be viewed by visiting While the lane sharing will be available beginning in June, the Maryland Transportation Authority will expand the bicycle warning system on the bridge to address feedback provided during the comment period. The Maryland Transportation Authority wishes to express its gratitude to all participants who provided feedback during the comment period. 

Cardin Releases Statement on LGBTQ+ Pride Month

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, issued the following statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus Pride Month 2023. Information on upcoming Maryland Pride events can be found at this link.


“Pride is celebrated throughout June, when the weather is warm, spirits are high and school is out, but it has been far from sunshine and the signature LGBTQ rainbows for the community.


“Fifty-four years ago on June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, became the birthplace for Pride as riots broke out in response to a predatory police raid. At the time, homosexual acts were ruled illegal in every state except Illinois, and gay bars, the one place where LGBTQ people could feel safe to openly express their sexuality, became targets. 


“It wasn’t pretty. Thirteen people were arrested on charges that would be considered absurd in today’s courtrooms. The bar was nearly destroyed, and dozens were injured, but the groundwork for civil rights and progress had been laid by a group of LGBTQ people who decided that they had enough. They knew it was society, not them, that needed to change.


“In the decades since, advocates have fueled victories and endured heartbreaks, always triumphing over adversity while never losing sight of a better future. We saw this firsthand last December, when same-sex marriage became federally protected after President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law. This was an important step forward on our unfinished march for civil rights and a more perfect union that guarantees equal rights and equal justice under the law for all Americans, which was only made possible by the brave actions of tireless supporters.


“Progress is ongoing. We continue to fight in Congress for policies like the Equality Act, which would amend the landmark federal anti-discrimination laws to explicitly add sexual orientation and gender identity to longstanding bans on discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, federal funding and more. I am also proud that in this Congress, a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate voted for my resolution to affirm the validity of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). This constitutional amendment, which would ban discrimination on the basis of sex, would provide firm constitutional backing for the Equality Act and other protections for LGBTQ Americans.


“Last year, 1,271 companies participated in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, where over 99 percent of organizations included sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. This past April, Gov. Wes Moore signed the Trans Health Equity Act into law, which requires Medicaid to provide coverage of gender affirming care to program enrollees starting next year. Twenty-one states and D.C. have banned conversion therapy, which doesn’t include Michigan where similar legislation is gaining traction in their state legislature.


“While every victory should be celebrated, we must also acknowledge that great challenges remain. Several of the nation’s largest civil rights groups recently advised LGBTQ people against traveling to Florida due to new laws that target the community, and the Human Rights Campaign recently declared it’s first-ever national state of emergency. Access to gender-affirming care has been restricted in many states. Drag queens are being demonized by far-right extremists desperate for a villain in the stories they tell themselves.


“Despite these challenges, tenacious groups like the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign and ACLU are pushing back through education campaignssafe spaces and crisis lines to LGBTQ youths and advocacy work in statehouses across the country and Congress. If you’re dismayed by recent events, there are many ways to lend your voice and time to the movements. 


“I understand why many LGTBQ people are afraid right now, but please know that you never have to navigate this fear alone. You are seen and heard. I will never stop fighting for your place in policies and visibility in society. You have allies in Congress, and the spirit of Stonewall inside of you.


“As the groundbreaking transgender activist and a leading voice from the Stonewall Riots Marsha B. Johnson said, ‘History isn't something you look back at and say it was inevitable. It happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.’


“This month and 365 days a year, working together, we will strive to create a brighter and bolder reality for everyone’s colors on the rainbow. Happy Pride 2023.”

June 6th St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County (CSMC) began their regular business meeting with the invocation and pledge, followed by approval of the consent agenda.


The Commissioners then presented proclamation for LGBTQIA Month and a commendation for David Yingling’s retirement. The Commissioners and the Department of Human Resources presented Years of Service awards to county employees who have served ten years or more.


The Commissioners postponed a decision on updating the St. Mary’s County Road Naming and Addressing Manual.


During County Administrator time, the Commissioners took the following action:

  • Approved the State’s Attorney’s Office request to apply for the FY2024 GOCPYVS Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.
  • Approved the Department of Human Resource’s updates to the personnel policy manual.
  • Approved the FY2024 Cooperative Agreement between the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the CSMC for the control and eradication of invasive and designated weed species in St. Mary’s County.
  • Approved the employment contract for the St. Mary’s County Government Deputy County Administrator.


The next regular CSMC business meeting will be on Tuesday, June , 2023, at 9 a.m. CSMC decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. CSMC meetings can 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.


David Yingling Announced as Deputy County Administrator

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County (CSMC) are pleased to announce the appointment of David Yingling to the position of Deputy County Administrator. 

“We are very excited to have Captain Yingling taking on this new role,” said Commissioner President, James Randy Guy. “We have the fullest confidence that his dedication to excellence and to our community will continue to serve our residents.”

“David brings a wealth of experience to the table and is already well-versed in many county government programs. I look forward to working with him more closely and welcome him wholeheartedly to the team!” said David Weiskopf, County Administrator.

Mr. Yingling began his career with St. Mary’s County in 1998, as a Deputy Sheriff for the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office (SMCSO). During his career with the SMCSO he attained and served in every rank in the agency, including as the Commander of the Patrol Division, Commander of the Administrative Division, and as the Interim Assistant Sheriff. 

Sheriff Steve Hall said, “I believe David brings two things to his new county government position that are essential for success – a servant’s heart and the recognition that all county employees are in the customer service industry!”

Yingling holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the St. Mary’s College and a Master of Science in Management from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“For over 25 years, I have been fortunate to serve the citizens of St. Mary’s County,” said Yingling. “I am honored by the opportunity to continue to do so in this new role and grateful to the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County for their trust and support. I look forward to providing effective, transparent, and accessible services to our citizens.”

For more information on St. Mary’s County Government, please visit:

Warmline Crisis Response Service Available to Community Members

LEONARDTOWN, MD (June 6, 2023) - The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has launched a Community Behavioral Health “Warmline”, a service that provides community members with supportive assistance. This service is being offered in collaboration with the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency Crisis Response System. 
The warmline serves as a single point of contact for people in St. Mary’s County who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis or need resources. The Warmline is available 24/7 to help with non-emergency calls and assists with mental health, substance misuse, grief counseling and referral services, including linkages to resources within the community. To access this service, community members should call 410-768-5522. The Warmline coordinates calls as needed with police, fire, EMS and other community agencies that address crisis matters.
“The Warmline is a resource for anyone seeking a supportive voice during a mental health struggle,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer.  “The Warmline is staffed by trained phone counselors. These unique and understanding individuals understand callers’ needs and can direct them to the appropriate community resources.”
“We’re excited to build on the success of our Crisis Response System by collaborating with St. Mary’s County Health Department on this important project,” said Jen Corbin, Crisis Response System Director, Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency, Inc. “’Someone to talk to’ is the first tenet of a well-developed crisis response system and our Warmline stands ready to serve St. Mary’s County.”
To find out more about this service, visit

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call or text 9-8-8, Ayuda En Español.

Detectives Investigating Armed Robbery in Lusby

On Monday, June 5, 2023, at 12:36 p.m., deputies from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Bureau responded to Ranch Liquors located 246 Town Square Drive in Lusby, for the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, deputies determined that an armed robbery had occurred. Detectives with the Criminal Investigative Bureau arrived on scene and assumed the investigation.

Preliminary investigation revealed, an adult male described as tan complexioned, between 5 feet 10 inches tall and 6 foot, weighing 200 pounds, black hair, wearing a medical style face mask, a navy blue Gap brand sweatshirt, black latex gloves and dark colored shoes entered the store, pointed a handgun at store employees, and demanded cash from the register. The suspect removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and fled towards Town Square Drive.



Anyone with information about this incident or suspect, is asked to please contact Det. W. McDowell at Citizens may remain anonymous thru the ‘Submit a Tip’ feature on the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office mobile app. To download, visit . Tipsters may also email

The investigation is ongoing. 

St. Mary's Alcohol Enforcement

June 5, 2023:


The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Alcohol Enforcement Unit recently conducted a series of alcohol compliance checks at 12 businesses in northern and central St. Mary’s County. Eleven of the establishments were found to be compliant, while one business failed to ask an underage person for identification.


The covert compliance checks were conducted on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, starting at 3 pm, utilizing an underage individual. The 19-year-old was wearing plain clothes, carried no identification and was directed to enter each establishment to order or retrieve an alcoholic beverage, in an effort to make a purchase.


Of the 12 businesses visited, 11 (92 percent) were found in compliance with Maryland law and required identification from the underage person. One business failed to ask for identification or failed to corroborate the person’s age and the underage individual was able to purchase an alcoholic beverage underage.


The businesses found in compliance were: Big Dogs’ Paradise in Mechanicsville; Capt. Sam’s in Bushwood; Cooks Liquor in Hollywood; DJ’s One Stop Shop in Mechanicsville; Fred’s Liquor in Charlotte Hall; Lighthouse in Charlotte Hall; Race-N In in Budds Creek; St. Mary’s Gas Station in Clements; Third Base Store in Loveville; Village Liquors in Chaptico and Vino 2 Wine & Liquor in Charlotte Hall.


The one business that failed the compliance check was Chaptico Market in Chaptico.


The alcohol violation report was forwarded to the St. Mary’s County Alcohol Beverage Board for review.



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