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2021 State of the County Video Report and Executive Summary Available Online

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Citizens wanting to learn more about progress made by the county during the last fiscal year can now view the 2021 State of the County video report and Executive Summary.

 

The video report highlights projects and programs undertaken within the last fiscal year and looks ahead to projects currently underway in St. Mary’s County. The Executive Summary is a companion piece to the video and details the accomplishments recognized in the video.

 

Citizens may view the 2021 State of the County video report on the Public Information Office webpage at https://www.stmarysmd.com/pio/stateofthecounty/; a copy of the Executive Summary is also available for viewing and downloading.

 

For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, ext.1340.

 


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of September 13 – September 19, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,504 calls for service throughout the community. 
 
Destruction of Property: 21-52001
On September 14, 2021, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to 100 block of Winslow Place in Prince Frederick, MD for the reported destruction of property. The complainant advised sometime between 4:45 a.m. and 12:58 p.m., unknown suspect(s) spilled soup and powdered biscuit mix on the front door mat destroying it. The total value of damaged property is $45.
 
Destruction of Property: 21-51943
On September 14, 2021, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to 4000 block of Buena Vista Road in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of destruction of property.  The complainant advised sometime between 10 a.m. on Sept. 12 and 9:30 a.m. on September 14, unknown suspect(s) had done donuts in a field on the property destroying the soybean crops. The value of damaged property is $1000.00.
 
Damaged Property: 21-52683
On September 17, 2021, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to Avenue E in St. Leonard, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m., unknown suspect(s) damaged the front passenger window of a vehicle parked at the residence. The value of damaged property is $600.00.
 
Theft: 21-51793
On September 13, 2021, Deputy Huy responded to the 2000 block of Marble Lane in Owings, MD for report of a theft from vehicle. The complainant advised a black backpack with a 13 inch MacBook Air laptop was stolen from inside the vehicle. The value of stolen property is unknown at this time.
 
Theft: 21-52446
On September 16, 2021, Deputy Aley responded to the 1500 block of Solomons Island Road S. in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised a vehicle parked at the aforementioned address appeared to have the catalytic converter cut off. The value of stolen/damaged property is unknown at this time.
 
Theft: 21-52245
On September 15, 2021, Deputy Mason responded to the Tractor Supply located at 3150 N. Solomons Island Road in Huntingtown, MD for report of a theft. The complainant advised three unknown suspects were observed loading several items to include 8000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator; a 2000 Watt Inverter Generator; a 3600 PSI – 2.5 GPM Gas Pressure Washer; and a HD 2000A Lithium Jump Starter into a shopping cart. The same individuals bypassed the checkout line and exited the store without making payment. The estimated value of stolen property is $2,570.00
 
Theft: 21-52573
On September 16, 2021, Deputy Anderson received report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., unknown suspect(s) stole the front registration plate off of a vehicle that was parked in the 200 block of Village Center Drive in Lusby, MD. The value of stolen property is unknown at this time.
 
Theft: 21-53010
On September 19, 2021, Deputy Shoemaker responded to report of a theft call at the 7-Eleven located at 15 Solomons Island Road N. in Prince Frederick, MD. The complainant advised an unidentified black male approximately 5’8”-5’10” tall wearing a gray hoodie, gray mask and jeans stole 2 packs of Vuse Original Alto Pods and 2 packs of Vuse Alto Vapor devices then fled the store without making payment. The total value of stolen property is $46.35.
 
Theft: 21-52890
On September 18, 2021, Cpl. Robshaw responded to a residence in the 3500 block of Yellow Bank Road in Dunkirk, MD for a reported theft. The complainant advised sometime between 4:30 p.m. on September 17 and 11 a.m. on September 18, unknown suspects stole a black plastic mailbox in the cluster of mailboxes located in the 3600 block of Yellow Bank Road. The value of stolen property is $90.00.
 
ARRESTS
On September 19, 2021, Deputy Lee met Deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office to take possession of a wanted individual, Davayus Alex Young, 24 of Lexington Park, MD. Young was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center (CCDC) and served an active warrant for his arrest. Upon arrival at the CCDC, a search of Young’s person was conducted and marijuana was located in Young’s jacket pocket. Young was charged with Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement.
 
On September 15, 2021, DFC T. Buckler conducted a traffic stop in the area of southbound Rt. 4 just south of Ball Road in St. Leonard, MD. The driver, Jennifer Lynn Brady, 31 of Prince Frederick, MD was in possession of stolen registration plates and was wanted on multiple warrants through the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police and two additional warrants through the state of Virginia. Brady was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Theft Less than $100.00.

Maryland State Department of Education Awards Over $4 Million to Maryland Schools to Provide Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Students

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has awarded more than $4.2 million in federal funds to more than 180 Maryland elementary schools across the State to help children build lifelong healthy eating habits. The funds, made available by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), expand student access to fresh fruits and vegetables in participating schools. School participation data for the FFVP can be found here.

 “Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of basic nutrition that every child deserves access to,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “This critical federal, state and local partnership enables schools to provide students with healthy food options that help fuel overall student success and achievement.”

The FFVP supports schools with a high percentage of low-income students, who often have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Selected schools provide students with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, at no charge. The FFVP teaches students that fresh produce can be a healthy and delicious snack. Additionally, the Program provides an opportunity for teachers and school administrators to provide experiential nutrition education.

In order to facilitate participation for schools serving non-congregate meals, the MSDE has requested, and been approved for, a statewide waiver. The waiver allows FFVP foods to be provided to parents or guardians when they are picking up meals for their children.

 For more information on Maryland’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, please contact Jill Hann of the Office of School and Community Nutrition Programs of the MSDE at Jill.Hann@Maryland.gov.

The Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are equal opportunity employers and providers.


Van Hollen, Cardin Join Amicus Brief Urging SCOTUS to Protect Reproductive Rights by Upholding Roe & Rejecting Mississippi's Blatantly Unconstitutional Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) have joined their colleagues in filing bicameral amicus brief in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, urging the Supreme Court to uphold nearly 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Wade and protect the constitutional right to abortion care.

 

After the Court refused to block the dangerous, cruel abortion ban in Texas from going into effect, Dobbs represents yet another case that could undermine nearly 50 years of precedent and potentially overturn RoeDobbs is a challenge from Mississippi’s sole remaining abortion provider against H.B. 1510, the state’s extreme law banning all abortions after 15 week of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape and incest, and only narrow, inadequate exceptions for a medical emergency or in cases of a severe fetal abnormality. The law is blatantly unconstitutional under Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that individuals have the right to decide whether or not to be pregnant prior to fetal viability. In 2019, the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court decision halting the Mississippi law’s implementation. 

 

“This Court has made clear that abortion bans like H.B. 1510 are unconstitutional because they violate the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy before viability; the decision below should be affirmed on that basis alone. But as a matter of public policy, it is also important to recognize that laws like H.B. 1510 do not merely encroach on individual liberty and autonomy; they also do so in a way that disproportionately imperils the health and economic security of vulnerable populations,” wrote the lawmakers.

 

The lawmakers stressed that the only thing that has changed since Casey and Roe were decided is the composition of the Court—which is not a compelling reason to re-examine RoeTherefore, the members emphasized that overturning Roe would represent a disregard for settled law, our legal system, and the Constitution, stating, “Respect for precedent—a fundamental principle that is essential to our legal system, the legitimacy of judicial and legislative institutions, and the rule of law—compels affirmance of the decision below.”

 

The lawmakers also noted that the abortion rights codified in Roe and Casey have been settled law for nearly 50 years and 30 years respectively, highlighting that, “adherence to Roe and Casey is even more necessary to protect the settled expectations and reliance interests of multiple generations of individuals who have rightly understood the freedom to decide to terminate a pregnancy before viability as a firmly established constitutional right, and who have never known a world without Roe’s constitutional guarantee.” The Supreme Court has upheld the Constitutional right to an abortion as recently as 2016, in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, and again just last year in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo.

 

The amicus brief was led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in the Senate.  In the House, the brief was led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.).

 

In addition to Senators Van Hollen, Cardin, Schumer, Murray, Durbin, and Blumenthal, the amicus brief was signed by Senators Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bennet (D-Colo.), Booker (D-N.J.), Brown (D-Ohio), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Carper (D-Del.), Coons (D-Del.), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Hassan (D-N.H.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kaine (D-Va.), Kelly (D-Ariz.), King (I-Maine), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Luján (D-N.M.), Markey (D-Mass.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Murphy (D-Conn.), Ossoff (D-Ga.), Padilla (D-Calif.), Peters (D-Mich.), Reed (D-R.I.), Rosen (D-Nev.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Schatz (D-Hawaii), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sinema (D-Ariz.), Smith (D-Minn.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tester (D-Mont.), Warner (D-Va.), Warnock (D-Ga.), Warren (D-Mass.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Wyden (D-Ore.).

 

In addition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representatives Pallone, Nadler, DeGette, Lee, and Chu, the amicus brief was signed by Representatives Adams (D-N.C.) , Aguilar (D-Calif.), Allred (D-Texas), Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Barragán (D-Calif.), Bass (D-Calif.), Beatty (D-Ohio), Bera (D-Calif.), Beyer (D-Va.), Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Bonamici (D-Ore.), Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), Bowman (D-N.Y.), Brown (D-Md.), Brownley (D-Calif.), Bush (D-Mo.), Bustos (D-Ill.), Carbajal (D-Calif.), Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Carson (D-Ind.), Carter (D-La.), Cartwright (D-Pa.), Case (D-Hawaii), Casten (D-Ill.), Castor (D-Fla.), Castro (D-Texas), Cicilline (D-R.I.), Clark (D-Mass.), Clarke (D-N.Y.), Clyburn (D-S.C.), Cohen (D-Tenn.), Connolly (D-Va.), Cooper (D-Tenn.), Correa (D-Calif.), Costa (D-Calif.), Courtney (D-Conn.), Craig (D-Minn.), Crist (D-Fla.), Crow (D-Colo.), Davids (D-Kan.), Davis (D-Ill.), Dean (D-Pa.), DeFazio (D-Ore.), DeLauro (D-Conn.), DelBene (D-Wash.), Delgado (D-N.Y.), Demings (D-Fla.), DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Deutch (D-Fla.), Dingell (D-Mich.), Doggett (D-Texas), Doyle (D-Pa.), Escobar (D-Texas), Eshoo (D-Calif.), Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Evans (D-Pa.), Fletcher (D-Texas), Foster (D-Ill.), Frankel (D-Fla.), Gallego (D-Ariz.), Garcia (D-Texas), García (D-Ill.), Gomez (D-Calif.), Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Hayes (D-Conn.), Higgins (D-N.Y.), Himes (D-Conn.), Horsford (D-Nev.), Hoyer (D-Md.), Huffman (D-Calif.), Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Jacobs (D-Calif.), Jayapal (D-Wash.), Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Bernice Johnson (D-Texas),  Johnson (D-Ga.), Jones (D-N.Y.), Kahele (D-Hawaii), Kelly (D-Ill.), Khanna (D-Calif.), Kildee (D-Mich.), Kilmer (D-Wash.), Kim (D-N.J.), Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Kuster (D-N.H.), Lamb (D-Pa.), Larson (D-Conn.), Lawrence (D-Mich.), Lawson (D-Fla.), Lee (D-Nev.), Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Levin (D-Mich.), Lieu (D-Calif.), Lofgren (D-Calif.), Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Malinowski (D-N.J.), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Manning (D-N.C.), Matsui (D-Calif.), McBath (D-Ga.), McCollum (D-Minn.), McEachin (D-Va.), McGovern (D-Mass.), McNerney (D-Calif.), Meeks (D-N.Y.), Meng (D-N.Y.), Moore (D-Wis.), Morelle (D-N.Y.), Moulton (D-Mass.), Murphy (D-Fla.), Napolitano (D-Calif.), Neal (D-Mass.), Neguse (D-Colo.), Newman (D-Ill.), Norcross (D-N.J.), Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Omar (D-Minn.), Panetta (D-Calif.), Pappas (D-N.H.), Payne (D-N.J.), Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Peters (D-Calif.), Pingree (D-Maine), Pocan (D-Wis.), Porter (D-Calif.), Pressley (D-Mass.), Price (D-N.C.), Quigley (D-Ill.), Raskin (D-Md.), Rice (D-N.Y.), Ross (D-N.C.), Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Ruiz (D-Calif.), Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Ryan (D-Ohio), Sánchez (D-Calif.), Sarbanes (D-Md.), Scanlon (D-Pa.), Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Schneider (D-Ill.), Schrier (D-Wash.), Scott (D-Va.), Sewell (D-Ala.), Sherman (D-Calif.), Sherrill (D-N.J.), Sires (D-N.J.), Smith (D-Wash.), Soto (D-Fla.), Speier (D-Calif.), Stanton (D-Ariz.), Stansbury (D-N.M.), Stevens (D-Mich.), Strickland (D-Wash.), Swalwell (D-Calif.), Takano (D-Calif.), Thompson (D-Miss.), Thompson (D-Calif.), Titus (D-Nev.), Tlaib (D-Mich.), Tonko (D-N.Y.), Torres (D-Calif.), Torres (D-N.Y.), Trahan (D-Mass.), Trone (D-Md.), Underwood (D-Ill.), Vargas (D-Calif.), Veasey (D-Texas), Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Waters (D-Calif.), Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Welch (D-Vt.), Wexton (D-Va.), Wild (D-Pa.), Williams (D-Ga.), Wilson (D-Fla.), and Yarmuth (D-Ky.).

 

Read the amicus brief here.


September 21st St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

The Commissioners recognized Constitution WeekUnderground Railroad Month and National Senior Center Month with Proclamations.

The Commissioners received a briefing from County Attorney David Weiskopf on 10 legislative proposals.

Funding agreement requests from the Sheriff's Office were approved for the FY2022 Jail Mental Health Services, Five County, PATH, STOP, and SOR MAT Agreements between the St. Mary's County Health Department and the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Detention and Rehabilitation Center, for a total amount of $778,951.

Representatives from St. Mary's County Public Schools presented their proposed six-year capital plan, historical information, enrollment information, their FY2023 request and plan for FY2023 – FY2028 to the Commissioners. Following the presentation. The Commissioners voted to sign a letter of support for the Capital Improvements Program to be submitted to the state Interagency Commission on School Construction.

The Department of Finance requested and received approval for authorization to award the Inmate Medical Services Contract to Prime Care Medical, Inc., in an amount estimated to exceed $1 million.

The Commissioners approved a request from the county attorney's office to sell the surplus real property known as the Bethune Educational Center, located at 22975 Colton Point Road, Bushwood.

The Commissioners provided funding from the American Rescue Act to the Department of Emergency Services to continue the interoperability needs for the Maryland First Emergency Radio System

John Deatrick, Director, Department of Public Works & Transportation and Steve Walker, Director, Department of Emergency Services, provided an update to the Commissioners on the Animal Shelter Construction project.

The next regularly scheduled Commissioner business meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, at 9 a.m. Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocsCommissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.


Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

Sept. 21, 2021:
 
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 at 12:30 pm, the victim left a black leather bi-fold wallet on the counter of the 7-Eleven convenience store in Charlotte Hall after making a purchase. The suspect, who was the next customer in line, picked the wallet up and put it in his pocket. The wallet contained the victim's driver's license, insurance cards and cash.
 
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Christopher Palmer at 301-475-4200, ext. 78162 or email christopher.palmer@stmarysmd.com. Case # 45683-21
 
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 

COVID-19 Testing Now Offered at Mass Vaccination Site in Hollywood

LEONARDTOWN, MD (September 20, 2021) - In order to meet increased demand for COVID-19 testing locally, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is moving COVID-19 testing operations to the mass vaccination site at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department beginning September 22, 2021. COVID-19 testing will no longer be available at the SMCHD main office in Leonardtown, though will continue to be available at the SMCHD Hub in Lexington Park. 
 
SMCHD COVID-19 Testing (effective September 22, 2021)
Locations:
Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department at 24801 MD-235 in Hollywood
Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Drive-thru only
Behavioral Health Hub at 21625 Great Mills Rd in Lexington Park
Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Drive-thru, bike-thru, or walk up
Enter from Saratoga Drive and follow directional signage (traffic pattern has changed from former PNC Bank)
Pre-registering is recommended for reduced wait times at both locations
No appointment or doctor’s order needed for testing
Free of charge (no out-of-pocket cost, co-payment, co-insurance, etc.)
Available for those who live or work in St. Mary’s County 
For more information or to pre-register, visit: smchd.org/covid-19-testing 
 
“We are seeing sustained high community spread of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County. This has dramatically increased the demand for testing,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. "The drive-thru site at Hollywood allows us to more efficiently manage heavy traffic flow and reduce wait times for our community members in need of testing or vaccination."
 
COVID-19 vaccinations are also available in Hollywood and Lexington Park for anyone age 12 and older. Appointments are highly recommended; walk-ups will be accepted as vaccine supply allows. For more information or to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, visit smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine or call the SMCHD COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4330. Please review the allergy guidance and the FAQs for SMCHD COVID-19 Vaccination prior to registering for a vaccine appointment. Pre-registration is available for those who are waiting to become eligible for their initial or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
 
For more information about COVID-19 updates and information, visit smchd.org/coronavirus.

Maryland State Police Continue Work To Reduce Traffic Fatalities

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating seven separate fatal vehicle crashes that occurred over the past week.
 
The most recent occurred Sunday evening when a man died in a multi-vehicle crash in Howard County. At about 8:55 p.m., troopers from the Waterloo Barrack responded to a crash involving a motorcycle and a car that occurred in the area of eastbound Interstate 70 and Maryland Route 32 in Marriottsville, Maryland.
 
According to a preliminary investigation, a 2021 Honda CBR1000 motorcycle and a 2005 Buick Lacrosse, were traveling east on I-70 when the motorcycle rear-ended the Buick. The driver of the motorcycle, Harold Joseph Sweeney III, 56, of Columbia, Maryland, was ejected from his vehicle. He was transported to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died. The driver of the Buick, a female, was transported to Howard County General Hospital for treatment of her injuries. 
 
Eastbound I-70 was closed for about an hour following the crash. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration assisted with the road closure. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
 
Since Wednesday, state troopers are also investigating three fatal crashes in Worcester County and one each in Baltimore, Somerset and Prince George’s counties. For the year, Maryland State Police have investigated 137 fatal crashes, up from 120 at the same point in 2020. This represents a 17 percent increase over the past year. Troopers have also responded to 16,165 crashes in 2021, up from 14,224 over the same period in 2020.
 
The Maryland State Police are continuing to work to combat impaired, aggressive and distracted driving across the state. Troopers have recorded 4,849 DUI arrests in 2021, up from 4,401 at the same point last year. 
 
Troopers have conducted dozens of initiatives over the past year to reduce vehicle fatalities. The most recent initiative came over the weekend when Maryland State Police partnered with Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Montgomery County Police, and the Prince George’s County Police to conduct a cooperative high visibility patrol initiative late Friday night into early Saturday morning. 
Efforts were focused on I-495 from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George’s County to the American Legion Memorial Bridge in Montgomery County and on US Route 50 from Washington D.C to the Anne Arundel County line, and major roadways leading to them. This results in law enforcement recording 291 traffic stops, while issuing 315 citations, 205 warnings, 80 safety equipment repair orders and 8 civil citations. Troopers and officers removed 21 impaired drivers from the roadways and seized two illegal guns. In addition, there were five people arrested on warrants and other criminal charges. 
In addition, the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, or SPIDRE Team, recorded 7 DUI arrests, while making 19 traffic stops and issuing 54 citations and 10 warnings over the weekend. The SPIDRE Team has recorded 260 DUI arrests in 2021.
Maryland State Police will continue to conduct traffic safety initiatives throughout the coming months.  These initiatives are data-driven and will be focused in areas where crash data indicates they are most needed. 

Update: Shooting in Great Mills Under Investigation

UPDATE: On Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, a 16-year-old female was arrested in connection with the shooting that occurred on Sept. 15, 2021. Further investigation determined prior to the shooting, the juvenile suspect was arguing with a group of individuals and was observed walking to the vehicle where the victim and passenger were later injured and retrieved a handgun. The suspect was seen getting into the passenger side of the vehicle and shooting towards the crowd. As the vehicle was leaving the area, a victim reported one or more individuals in the crowd shot at the car. The juvenile suspect in the vehicle was positively identified and charged with the following:
 
Firearm Use/Felony Violent Crime
 
Handgun in Vehicle
 
Possession of Firearm/Minor
 
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
 
Reckless Endangerment
 
Reckless Endangerment from Car
 
Assault First Degree
 
Assault Second Degree
 
The juvenile was charged as an adult and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and remains incarcerated. Due to a change in Maryland law, the juvenile will not be identified by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and no booking photograph will be released until a waiver hearing is conducted to determine the jurisdiction of this case.
 
This case remains under investigation and anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Warren Forinash at (301) 475-4200 extension 78072 or by email at Warren.Forinash@stmarysmd.com.
 

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at approximately 11:00 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 45500 block of Norris Road in Great Mills for the reported shooting. Deputies located a female victim, age 28 of Lexington Park, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to her lower body. Preliminary investigation determined that prior to the shooting, a large crowd had gathered, and a fight ensued among the crowd. During the incident, the victim and two other individuals entered a vehicle and proceeded to leave the area. As the vehicle was leaving, suspects began shooting at the vehicle. As a result, the female victim was shot three times and another female passenger in the vehicle sustained injury from shattered automotive glass. The gunshot victim was transported to an area trauma center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger was treated at the scene and not transported.

Detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and crime lab personnel responded to the scene and continued the investigation. A handgun and multiple shell casings were recovered from the scene.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Warren Forinash at (301) 475-4200 extension 78072 or by email at Warren.Forinash@stmarysmd.com.

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

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

Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a48820650


Officers Arrest Suspect in Assault Case and Recover Firearms

Suspect in Assault Case Arrested / Firearms Recovered: On September 13, a patrol officer responded to the area of Hope Circle in Waldorf for a call about a dispute. The victim reported the suspect, who was not known to him, brandished a firearm and threatened to shoot and kill him after the victim asked the suspect’s family member not to pet the dog he was walking. Through investigation, the officer was able to positively identify the suspect as Kaleb Brooks, 25, of Waldorf. The officer obtained an arrest warrant charging Brooks with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and carrying a handgun. Brooks is prohibited from possessing a firearm. 
 
On September 16, officers located Brooks at his residence. While he was being arrested, he spat on an officer. Further, he was in possession of a backpack that contained a large amount of suspected marijuana and prescription pills. Detectives also served a search warrant at Brook’s residence and his vehicle and recovered a handgun, drug packaging, and a large amount of cash.
 
While officers were conducting the search warrant, an unknown male approached the back of the house. Officers observed what appeared to be the shape of a handgun in the person’s waist area. The subject was stopped and officers found a loaded semiautomatic firearm on him. A computer check revealed the subject was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a previous felony conviction. Kareem Wali Bright, 26, of Waldorf, was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
 
Brooks is currently being held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. Bright was released on September 17 after posting bond. Officer Nyamekye is investigating.

Office on Aging Hosts Workshops to Help Seniors Live Well With Diabetes

In collaboration with the Calvert County Health Department, the Calvert County Office on Aging is offering a free, six-week “Living Well with Diabetes” workshop. This interactive class provides practical tips and insights to help those with diabetes and pre-diabetes learn how to manage their condition.

The workshop will be offered at two senior centers on the following dates and times:

·         North Beach Senior Center (9010 Chesapeake Ave., North Beach)
Fridays, Oct. 8 through Nov. 12, 1-4 p.m.

·         Southern Pines Senior Center (20 Appeal Lane, Lusby)
Mondays, Nov. 8 through Dec. 13, 1-4 p.m.

All materials are provided at no cost. Participants must register by calling 410-535-5400, ext. 459.

The Calvert County Office on Aging provides a broad range of programs and services that enable senior citizens to maintain the best possible quality of life.

Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.


Shooting in Great Mills Under Investigation

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at approximately 11:00 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 45500 block of Norris Road in Great Mills for the reported shooting. Deputies located a female victim, age 28 of Lexington Park, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to her lower body. Preliminary investigation determined that prior to the shooting, a large crowd had gathered, and a fight ensued among the crowd. During the incident, the victim and two other individuals entered a vehicle and proceeded to leave the area. As the vehicle was leaving, suspects began shooting at the vehicle. As a result, the female victim was shot three times and another female passenger in the vehicle sustained injury from shattered automotive glass. The gunshot victim was transported to an area trauma center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger was treated at the scene and not transported.
 
Detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and crime lab personnel responded to the scene and continued the investigation. A handgun and multiple shell casings were recovered from the scene.
 
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Warren Forinash at (301) 475-4200 extension 78072 or by email at Warren.Forinash@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

Missing Person- Malachi Steele

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Malachi Alexander Steele, age 19 of Lexington Park. Steele is a black male, 5’8” and weighs 156 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Steele is possibly in possession of a firearm and the circumstances are still under investigation. 
 
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Malachi Alexander Steele, is asked to contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.
 
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. 
 
Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a48820650

Notice Of Joint Public Meeting In St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will host a joint public meeting with the St. Mary’s County Legislative Delegation Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, at 6 p.m. in the Chesapeake Building at 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown.
 
The purpose of this meeting is to consider requests by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and proposals by organizations and members of the public for the enactment of legislation during the 2022 Regular Session of the Maryland General Assembly.
 
 
 
Citizens may attend in person or view the meeting remotely on SMCG Channel 95 and St. Mary’s County Government YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcDK2_siSdnSnxDKWVtU7JQ, or listen to the meeting by calling 301-579-7236; access code: 963443#.
 
In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:
 
Phone: 301-475-4200, ext.1234 to speak at the Joint Public Meeting
Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com
U.S. Mail: P.O. Box 653 Leonardtown, MD, 20650
Submit a three-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com by Sept. 30, 2021, at 5 p.m.  
A copy of the legislative proposals will be available in the county attorney’s office and online at: https://www.stmarysmd.com/docs/LegislativeProposals2022.pdf.
 
 
Appropriate accommodations for individuals with special needs will be provided upon request.  In order to meet these requirements, we respectfully ask for one week’s prior notice.  Please contact the County Commissioners Office at 301-475-4200, Ext. 1340.  Proceedings are televised live and/or recorded for later broadcast on television.  All content of these proceedings is subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information Act.  Photographic and electronic audio and visual broadcasting and recording devices are used during the Commissioners’ meetings. These are public meetings and attendance at these meetings automatically grants St. Mary’s County Government permission to broadcast your audio and visual image.   

Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Fatal Collision Involving Child

Traffic Operations Unit Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision Involving Child: On September 16, at approximately 4:14 pm., patrol officers responded to the 6300 block of Grant Chapman Drive in La Plata for the report of a motor vehicle collision involving a child. Upon arrival, officers located a child who had been struck by a vehicle, driven by a family member, in the driveway of her residence. Reesa Sechrist, 9, of La Plata, was pronounced deceased on the scene. The investigation is still ongoing and no additional information can be released at this time. The Traffic Operations Unit is investigating.


SMECO Presents $488,252 Incentive Check To Charles County Government For Upgrading Buildings Lighting

LA PLATA, Md. — The Charles County Government is the latest to receive incentives for investing in energy-efficient equipment upgrades through Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) EmPOWER Maryland Business Solutions program.
 
On Sept. 15, 2021, SMECO presented Charles County Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq., with a big check totaling $488,252 for completing LED lighting upgrades in 31 county buildings. The upgrades have yielded savings of 1,932,098 kilowatt hours (kWh), which is enough energy savings to power 134 homes for a year. 
 
“I am pleased Charles County will receive a tangible benefit from our participation in SMECO’s Business Solutions Incentive Program, which affirms the County's commitment toward our climate change goals by reducing our carbon footprint by more than four thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year,” said Charles County Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to planting 3,290 acres of trees or removing 845 cars from the road on an annual basis." 
 
Commissioner Collins also recognized and thanked the County’s partners Noresco and SMECO for their contribution to this important project.
 
The upgrades are an example of the incentives for energy-efficient equipment upgrades available to commercial businesses across Southern Maryland. SMECO’s incentives help accelerate the payback period of a project—including the building of new facilities, renovating existing buildings, or replacing aging and inefficient equipment or systems—resulting in immediate savings. The program allows businesses to choose their own contractor and have incentives either paid directly or as a credit on their SMECO bill.
 
“Working with NORESCO to install energy-efficient lighting fixtures in 31 of its buildings this year, Charles County took an extraordinary step in reducing energy use and helping to ensure a sustainable future for Southern Maryland,” said Jennifer Raley, energy and technology programs manager at SMECO. 
 
Charles County has been a longtime participant in SMECO’s Business Solutions program. Other participants featured in our customer spotlights have included Calvert County Public Schools, University of Maryland Laboratory, and Miller Cabinetmakers. 
 
“We’re proud to present Charles County with $488,252 in incentives for making LED lighting upgrades through SMECO’s Business Solutions Program,” Raley said. “We hope other businesses across Southern Maryland will take advantage of this program to reduce energy costs and consumption, create jobs, and support our environment.”

Calvert County Earns National Accreditation in Parks and Recreation

The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation has joined the ranks of elite parks and recreation agencies across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
 
CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.
 
 “Achieving CAPRA accreditation is proof of Calvert County’s commitment to provide world-class parks, facilities and programs to our residents,” said Board of County Commissioners President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “This serves as validation that our Department of Parks & Recreation uses best practices in all operations and holds it accountable to meet the public’s needs. Congratulations to Director Shannon Nazzal and the entire Parks & Recreation team, who worked hard for this outstanding achievement.”
 
Calvert County is one of only five parks and recreation agencies in Maryland and 193 in the United States to hold CAPRA accreditation.
 
As part of the accreditation process, Calvert County Parks & Recreation demonstrated compliance with 154 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures.
 
Calvert County began the accreditation process in 2018. The process involves a formal application, self-assessments, a site visit that results in a written report and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards by submitting an annual report and is reviewed again in five years.
 
“The rigorous, three-year process took a tremendous effort from all Parks & Recreation staff members and this distinction marks them as the high-performing team I know them to be,” said Parks & Recreation Director Shannon Nazzal. “It has strengthened our team, helped identify efficiencies and heightened areas of accountability, which translates into higher quality service to our community. Residents can be confident that they are receiving the quality of services that they deserve.”
 
The CAPRA commission is comprised of representatives from NRPA, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Leisure Sciences, the Armed Forces Recreation Network and the Council of State Executive Directors. For more information about CAPRA accreditation, visit www.nrpa.org/CAPRA.
 
The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation strives to enhance the health, economy and well-being of the Calvert County community through sustainable practices, leisure opportunities and environmental stewardship. For more information about Parks & Recreation facilities and programs, visit online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/ParksandRecreation.
 
For updates on Parks & Recreation services, park availability, field closures and more visit Parks & Recreation at www.Facebook.com/CalvertCountyParks and follow @CalvertCountyParksandRec on Instagram.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.

Van Hollen Statement on White House's Announcement of Maryland's Participation in Afghan Placement and Assistance Program

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the White House’s announcement that Baltimore and Silver Spring will serve as hubs for refugees through the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program: 

 

“Throughout 20 years of war and American troop presence in Afghanistan, many Afghans risked their lives and the lives of their loved ones to provide vital support to the United States and our allies. Now we have a duty to return that support and help remove those who face the very real and dangerous threat of reprisal attacks. I’m glad that Maryland will play an important role in helping many of these individuals and families through the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program, and I know our state will welcome these families with open arms. Already, many of our American soldiers who served in Afghanistan have backed and facilitated these efforts, as have non-governmental organizations and humanitarian relief groups throughout Maryland. I am committed to assisting these individuals in any way we can, and I stand ready to help this new program succeed.”


Cardin, Collins Lead Senate Praise of Direct Support Professionals for Their Frontline Health Care Work

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are leading the Senate again in recognizing the dedication of frontline health care workers with a resolution commemorating September 12-18 as Direct Support Professionals Week. The resolution recognizes the dedication and vital role of direct support professionals (DSPs) in enhancing the lives of individuals with chronic illness, seniors, and those living with a disability. The coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges for ensuring the health and safety of older adults and individuals with disabilities; the Senate appreciates the contributions of DSPs in supporting these individuals and their families nationwide.

 

“At such a challenging time for health care across this country, we are fortunate to have millions of dedicated workers who are there to help patients with their activities of daily living,” said Senator Cardin. “We honor the women and men who make a difference in the lives of so many others and encourage other professionals to enter this critical field. We must ensure these hard-working individuals have the income and support they need and deserve.”

 

“Every day, direct support professionals work hard to provide those in need with critical support that leads to more independent living and a better quality of life,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan resolution ensures that these professionals receive the recognition they deserve. I thank all direct support professionals for making such an incredible difference in the lives of so many seniors and those living with a disability.”

 

Direct support professionals are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable individuals with complex health conditions and work to help them participate in their communities to the fullest extent possible. The Senate resolution “finds that the successful implementation of public policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the United States can depend on the dedication of direct support professionals.”

 

In addition to Senators Cardin and Collins, the resolution marking Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of direct support professionals is projected to grow by an average of 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, compared to an 8 percent average growth rate for all occupations during that period.


Charles County Superintendent Recommends Middle School Redistricting Proposal A

Superintendent of Schools Maria V. Navarro, Ed.D. presented her middle school redistricting recommendation to the Board of Education at its Sept. 14 meeting, suggesting Proposal A with no modifications.  

The middle school redistricting process is comprehensive and focuses on expanding the attendance zone at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School. Stoddert is undergoing a complete renovation and expansion that will increase the state rated capacity for students from 711 to 975.  

In a presentation to the Board, Assistant Superintendent of Supporting Services Michael Heim said the recommendation moves a smaller number of current Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students and better balances growth in neighborhoods zoned for Stoddert and Milton M. Somers Middle School. These neighborhoods are in growth areas of St. Charles and La Plata. Proposal A moves 992 students and slightly shifts the enrollments at all eight middle schools.  

Navarro said she recommends Proposal A with no changes because it focuses on capacity needs at all middle schools.  

“We are making a redistricting solution based on capacity. I am recommending Proposal A because it has the least amount of student movement and maximizes the use of our facilities. We are also looking at areas where we will have high or expected growth and Proposal A puts us on a three to five-year roll out where our buildings are fully used. I respect the work of the committees and at this point in time, I am recommending Proposal A as presented,” Navarro said.    

The middle school redistricting takes effect August 2022 and coincides with the completion of the renovation of Stoddert.  

The Board will accept comments on the Superintendent’s proposal at two public hearings planned for later this month. The first hearing is 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 27, in person at Westlake High School. The second hearing is 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28, virtually through Zoom.  

Click here for the virtual hearing link. The passcode is 842223. Those interested in joining the virtual hearing will need an active Zoom account to participate.  

Community members are encouraged to attend the public hearings and provide comments to the Board about the superintendent’s recommendation. Comments can be shared electronically to redistrict@ccboe.com.  

A complete overview of redistricting, the proposals and interactive maps are posted on the CCPS redistricting website at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/redistricting-middle-school-ql.  

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