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Charles County Board Of Education Seeks Ethic Panel Member For Vacancy

The Board of Education of Charles County is looking for applications from county residents interested in serving on the Charles County Board of Education Ethics Panel. There is one opening on the five-member panel, and the selected applicant will begin a term immediately that expires July 1, 2022.  

   

The ethics panel interprets ethics regulations and provides advisory opinions to Board members and employees subject to the regulations. The ethics panel is appointed every four years prior to the election of Board of Education members. The opening is to fill a recent vacancy on the current panel.  

 

The panel reviews complaints concerning any alleged ethics violation and receives and maintains all forms required to be filed under the ethics regulations. Ethics panel members meet at least once annually to review disclosure forms and as necessary to respond to inquiries.  

 

Members of the Charles County Board of Education Ethics Panel must be eligible to vote in Charles County.  

 

Panel members may not be current members of the Board of Education; candidates for the Board; officials, employees, contractors or students of Charles County Public Schools; owners of or persons employed by a business entity doing business with the Board; any person registered with the Board as a lobbyist; or spouses of such persons.  

 

Anyone interested in serving on the panel should send a letter of interest and resume by Aug. 5 to Board Chairperson Latina Wilson, Charles County Board of Education, Ethics Panel, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646. Submissions can also be sent by email to boardmail@ccboe.com. 


Man Sentenced to Two Life Sentences for Rape and Solicitation to Kill Victim and Witness

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, July 23, 2021, Charles County Circuit Court Judge William R. Greer, Jr. sentenced
 
Daniel Jonathan Felts, 38, to two life sentences in prison for Second Degree Rape, Possession of Child Pornography, and two counts of Solicitation to Commit Murder. 
 
 
On April 21, 2021, Felts entered a guilty plea to the aforementioned charges. 
 
 
 
On September 4, 2019, the juvenile victim and her mother contacted officers from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) to report multiple sexual assaults that occurred on Blair Road in Indian Head. The victim reported that between 2016-2019, Felts touched her underneath her clothing and forced her to have sex with him on various occasions. The victim also reported that Felts purchased a sex toy for her use.  
 
 
 
Felts was apprehended on October 4, 2019 and was held at the Charles County Detention Center.  
 
 
 
During the course of the investigation, officers confiscated Felts’ cell phone and found pornographic images of children on his device. 
 
 
 
In August 2020, detectives from the CCSO learned that an inmate was trying to solicit someone to murder two people. An investigation by the CCSO and Special Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) revealed that Felts reached out and offered to pay someone to kill the juvenile victim and her mother before his trial date. Thankfully, the victim and her mother were unharmed.  
 
At sentencing, the prosecutor told the judge, “These charges are some of the most serious that Your Honor has seen and that this courthouse has seen. The State implores the Court to give the maximum sentence as punishment and to show the community that we don’t tolerate adults having sex children, and we don’t tolerate people trying to solicit murder. –  It’s heinous, it’s horrific, and he deserves the maximum sentence that you can impose.” 
 
Before giving Felts two life sentences, Judge Greer stated, “These heinous actions show that you were only considering yourself. You are a danger to others and not interested in rehabilitation.” He further said that Felts would be “an ongoing danger to every member of society” which “demands [he] receives the maximum penalty to protect the community.” 
 
C-08-CR-20-000293 
Count One – Second Degree Rape 
Life  
 
C-08-CR-20-000351 
Count One – Possession of Child Pornography 
10 years concurrent to Count One in C-08-CR-20-000293 
 
C-08-CR-20-463 
Count One – Solicitation to Commit Murder  
Life consecutive to Count One in C-08-CR-20-000293 
Count Two – Solicitation to Commit Murder 
Life concurrent to Count One in C-08-CR-20-463; consecutive to count one in C-08-CR-20-000293 

Flags Lowered in Honor of Retired Corporal Margaret "Peggy" Ann Smolarsky

LEONARDTOWN, MD - This is to advise that Commissioner President Randy Guy has ordered the Maryland and St. Mary’s County flags immediately lowered to half-staff in honor of Retired Corporal Margaret “Peggy” Ann Smolarsky, who died Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
 
 According to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Corporal Smolarsky “began her career with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in April of 1999 as a deputy and retired in November of 2016 after more than 17 years of service, to move with her husband of 38 years to South Carolina, as was always their dream. Prior to joining the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office, she served as a U.S. Capitol Police Officer for four years.”
 
“The Commissioners extend their heartfelt condolences to the entire Smolarsky family. Corporal Smolarsky was a vibrant part of St. Mary’s County and a dedicated public servant. She will be sorely missed” said Commissioner President Randy Guy.
 
The flags will remain lowered until sunset, Monday, July 26, 2021.

Youth Gun Violence Task Force Arrests

On July 21, 2021, members of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force executed a search and seizure warrant in the 46400 block of Munley Lane in Lexington Park. The subject of the warrant, Jamal Kedrick Davis, age 24 of Lexington Park, was located in his vehicle. Found in the vehicle was a loaded handgun, suspected cocaine, a digital scale, and packaging material. Davis is prohibited by law from possessing regulated firearms. 
 
Davis was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, and charged with the following:
 
Loaded Handgun on Person
Handgun in Vehicle
Illegal Possession of Ammunition
Assault Weapon/Magazine Use
Firearm: Possession with Felony Conviction
Firearm: Use/Felony Violent Crime
Firearm: Drug Trafficking Crime
CDS: Distribution with Firearm
CDS: Possession of Firearm
CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute 
CDS: Possession-not Marijuana 
 
Davis remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no- bond status.
 
On July 16, 2021, members of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force arrested Kavione Eugene Watts, age 18 of Lexington Park, on an outstanding warrant for Possession of Firearm/Minor and Regulated Firearm/Stolen/Sell.
 
Anyone with information on gun violence in St. Mary’s County is asked to contact (301) 475-4200 extension 78087 or by email at stopgunviolence@stmarysmd.com. 
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Youth Gun Violence Task Force is a collaborative effort with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Maryland State Police (MSP) and the State’s Attorney’s Office for St. Mary’s County to ensure the safety and security of all residents, through the arrest and prosecution of those seeking to do harm unto others through gun violence. 
 
#StopGunViolence
 
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

Economic Development Seeks Citizen Feedback on New Three-Year Strategic Plan

The Calvert County Department of Economic Development, through the Economic Development Advisory Commission, is seeking citizen feedback on a newly drafted three-year strategic plan.
 
The 2021-2024 Calvert County Economic Development Strategic Plan aims to provide the Department of Economic Development and other economic development stakeholders with practical goals and strategies that build upon the county’s strengths while shifting toward more collaboration, innovative practices, economic recovery, resilience and growth.
 
The plan was developed with a team of economic development researchers and consultants from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), who worked with county staff and stakeholders beginning in February 2021. The plan encompasses both economic recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and future economic development opportunities.
 
“The goal of this new plan is to help focus our energy and attention to the most relevant and impactful activities to support our local economy,” said Economic Development Director Kelly Robertson-Slagle. “Especially in a year when we need to carefully guide our businesses and workforce out of any lingering impacts of the pandemic, the expertise and advice provided by the certified professionals at IEDC was invaluable.”
 
IEDC conducted background reporting and economic analysis to inform the plan using data from a range of sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Chmura JobsEQ and economic and community information provided by the Calvert County Department of Economic Development. The team met regularly with staff to discuss the economic development environment and goals of Calvert County and conducted focus group meetings with a variety of stakeholders representing the interests of Calvert’s businesses, community life, health and core industries. The resulting documentation included a review of Calvert County’s economic development goals and initiatives, best practices and implementation strategies, as well as economic recovery planning in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
 
Citizens are encouraged to review the document online at www.eCalvert.com/157/Strategic-Plan and provide feedback and comments by July 30, 2021. Comments may be submitted by emailing info@ecalvert.com.
 
The Calvert County Department of Economic Development works to help all businesses succeed, from small, local businesses to large, national enterprises. For information on the Department of Economic Development and the many services the county offers the business community, contact the department at 410-535-4583 or 301-855-1880, or by email at info@ecalvert.com.  
 
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.

Calvert County Board of County Commissioners Releases 2021 Midterm Progress Report

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – July 22, 2021 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is pleased to announce the release of the 2021 Calvert County Government Midterm Progress Report. It covers local government initiatives and accomplishments from 2019 to 2021. The report provides an overview of county government operations in many areas.
 
“In the last two years, we have accomplished significant goals and prioritized citizen needs to maintain the quality of life that Calvert County residents expect and deserve,” said BOCC President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “It is with the guidance of our constituents that we continue to make responsible decisions to keep Calvert County on course for economic vitality and the preservation of our rural heritage for generations to come.”
 
A snapshot of accomplishments include:
 
·         Calvert County’s financial management approach helped earn top bond ratings from three independent credit ratings agencies. It was Calvert County’s fifth consecutive AAA rating from all three agencies.
 
·         The BOCC took action to enable a coordinated, comprehensive, countywide response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Calvert County Government applied for, received and distributed more than $8 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support response and provide direct relief, and supported local mass vaccination efforts. 
 
·         After more than 100 public meetings, workshops, open houses and public hearings, the BOCC adopted the Calvert County 2040 Comprehensive Plan as well as an updated Transportation Plan. Planning & Zoning staff, on behalf of the Planning Commission, began the process of updating each of the seven town center master plans and zoning ordinances, starting with Prince Frederick and Dunkirk.
 
·         The BOCC adopted policy changes to the county’s hiring practices, including the addition of blind hiring, to support diverse hiring of the best-qualified applicants.
 
·         Public Safety spending included the construction of a new, state-of-the-art building for the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department, Company 2.
 
·         The BOCC activated Public Safety’s new 800-megahertz P25 digital communications system to provide enhanced radio coverage and interoperability for the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and county fire/rescue/EMS volunteers.
 
·         The BOCC approved funding to complete the full buildout of Comcast cable infrastructure in Calvert County, to ensure every household has access to cable services by early 2022.  
 
The progress report is available to view or download at www.CalvertCountyMD.gov/Progress. Printed copies will be available for view at county libraries. Additional printed copies are available by request. Requests may be emailed to Progress@CalvertCountyMd.gov or call 410-535-2003.
 
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.

Fox Tests Positive for Rabies in Lexington Park

 The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) reports that a fox captured near Hilton Drive in the Lexington Park area has tested positive for rabies. The test results were confirmed by the State’s laboratory at the Maryland Department of Health in Baltimore. The fox may have exposed a feral cat population in the area to the viral disease. 
 
Rabies is a potentially fatal virus that is transmitted through the saliva of an infectious animal.  Residents should not approach or feed wild or unknown animals.
 
Please report any animal exposures involving people to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008. Suspected animal bites to pets or livestock should be reported to St. Mary’s County Animal Control at (301) 475-8018.
 
As a general reminder, the following precautions will protect your pets and family members from the threat of rabies:
Be sure your pet has up-to-date rabies shots. Maryland law requires that all cats, dogs and ferrets four-months and older have current rabies shots. Low-cost rabies clinics are provided by SMCHD and St. Mary’s Animal Welfare League (SMAWL) from March – November.
Keep pets in your home or yard and walk them on a leash.
Never approach, touch, or feed animals unknown to you.
Do not feed pets outdoors. Pet food and other food sources such as unsecured garbage cans may attract unwanted and unhealthy animals into your yard.
 SMCHD investigates reports of animal bites and, based on the outcome of the investigation, refers the affected person(s) to the hospital’s emergency department or to their primary health care provider for treatment and vaccination. 
 
For more information about rabies and the rabies vaccination clinics, visit the SMCHD website at smchd.org/rabies-prevention 

St. Mary's County Government Statement Regarding Surveyor's Expired License

LEONARDTOWN, MD – It has come to the County’s attention that the license of Property Line Surveyor Jerry D. Nokleby has been expired since January 5, 2019.  Mr. Nokleby did survey work as VARC, L.L.C. d/b/a Nokleby Surveying, Inc., neither of which is in good standing with the State of Maryland. St. Mary’s County Government is conducting a thorough review of all projects that may have been impacted.
 
For more information, please contact Bill Hunt, Director, Land Use & Growth Management at 301-475-4200, ext. 1500. 

Officers Looking For Missing Woman

Advisory: The St Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate missing person Michael Katherine Burton (W-F-04-06-92).
 
 
The St Mary's County Sheriff's Office is attempting to locate missing person Michael Katherine Burton (W-F-04-06-92). She is 5-02, 140lbs, with blonde hair and green eyes. She was last seen in Mechanicsville, MD. on 07-19-21.

St. Mary's County Property Tax Challenge Program

LEONARDTOWN, MD - St. Mary’s County seeks to stimulate and incentivize investment in commercial real property and has announced a new program to provide tax relief to commercial property owners. The Property Tax Challenge supports renovations, rehabilitation, and upgrades of commercial real property. Commercial property owners in challenged areas who invest at least 10% of the property’s assessed value at a minimum of $25,000 are eligible for this program! Those who qualify will not see an increase in their county property taxes for a minimum period of seven years

 

On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County approved this program. The Commissioners hope to encourage revitalization and investments in the commercial areas of the county. The Lexington Park Development District is a targeted area for revitalization in the county; however, projects located in Charlotte Hall Town Center and the Town of Leonardtown’s Downtown area will also be considered. Many commercial property owners would like to improve their properties by building renovation, painting, façade improvements, streetscape improvements such as landscaping and signage. This new program will provide some tax relief.

 

 

The St. Mary’s Department of Economic Development is currently accepting applications.


Maryland Career & Technical Education Students Shine at National Leadership and Skills Conference

 Maryland Career and Technical Education (CTE) students recently participated in technical skill competitions organized by SkillsUSA, a nonprofit organization for students in CTE programs. A team of Maryland’s most talented CTE high school students showcased their mastery in 61 technical skill competitions at the 57th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in June 2021.
 
Competing against 3,400 student champions from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Maryland SkillsUSA delegation brought home 13 medals in Nurse Assisting, Additive Manufacturing, Audio-Radio Production, Commercial Drone, Customer Service, Plumbing, Promotional Bulletin Board, and Medical Terminology competitions.
 
“We at MSDE are extremely proud of our Maryland CTE students in performing so well at the SkillsUSA conference,” said State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury. “We know that CTE is an incredibly important part of Maryland education, providing academic knowledge and technical skills to help students succeed in their future careers. Congratulations to the Maryland NLSC delegation!”
 
SkillsUSA is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), providing co-curricular learning experiences that allow CTE students to engage in competitive events to demonstrate their mastery of technical skills. Maryland’s 6,000 SkillsUSA student members have consistently demonstrated their expertise and professionalism while participating throughout the year in a variety of leadership and competitive conferences.
 
The following students placed in the top 10 at NLSC:
 
SkillsUSA Maryland National Top Ten
2021 National Leadership and Skills Conference
Silver Medal – Nurse Assisting
Jaimee Reed: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
Bronze Medal – Additive Manufacturing
Adebola Adeyemi and Edwin Niemandt: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
Bronze Medal – Audio-Radio Production
Kathryn Moats and Grady O’Neill: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
Bronze Medal – Commercial Drone (Demonstration)
Joshua Montgomery, Abigail Sandberg, and Nolen Willey: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
Bronze Medal – Customer Service
Abigail Sandberg: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
Bronze Medal – Plumbing
Andrew Hahn, Jr.: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
Bronze Medal – Promotional Bulletin Board
Joshua Bowman, Luke Detota, and Kim Yonder: Carroll County Career and Technology Center – Carroll County
 
Bronze Medal – Medical Terminology
Dunni Ojumu: Western School of Technology – Baltimore County
 
4th Place – American Spirit
Melody Baker and Lauren Cook: Carroll County Career and Technology Center – Carroll County
 
4th Place – Aviation Maintenance Technology
Ryan Bryant: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
4th Place – Career Pathways – Natural Resources – Agriculture – Food
Andrew Dickerson, Viren Mistry, Curtis Sechler, and Levi Venable, Jr.: Frederick Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
4th Place – Crime Scene Investigation
Abigail Christian, Tessa Croyle, and Bella Koeung-Zambrana: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
4th Place – Entrepreneurship
Dominic Gomez, Johnny Rodriguez, Anthony Terselic, and Rachel Ullman: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
4th Place – Graphic Communications
Lillian Hipp: Carroll County Career and Technology Center – Carroll County
 
4th Place – Graphic Imaging-Sublimation
Kathryn Cummings: Calvert Career and Technology Academy – Calvert County
 
4th Place – Dental Assisting
Sarah Saxon: Center of Applied Technology South – Anne Arundel County
 
4th Place – Medical Assisting
Adrianna Flickinger: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
4th Place – Principles of Engineering and Technology
Liam King: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
5th Place – Career Pathways – Arts and Communication
Simon Granados Duran and Misael Marin, Ellie Stevens: Frederick Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
5th Place – Medical Math
Annalee Johnson: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
6th Place – Career Pathways – Industrial and Engineering Technology
Maxwell Baba, Leila Cornejo, and Andrew Dickerson: Frederick Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
6th Place – Criminal Justice
Alexander Sohm: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
6th Place – Health Knowledge Bowl
Samaria Miles, Allyson Raley, Andera Rivera, and Christian Wolpert: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
7th Place – Cyber Security
Zachary Crespo and Andrew Fitzurka: Center of Applied Technology North – Anne Arundel County
 
7th Place – Diesel Equipment Technology
Anthony Steele: Center of Applied Technology North – Anne Arundel County
 
7th Place – Prepared Speech
Jessica Beck: Worcester Technical High School – Worcester County
 
8th Place – Advertising Design
Stephanie Zirkenbach: Carroll County Career and Technology Center – Carroll County
 
8th Place – Early Childhood Education
Chloe Wooden: North Point High School for STI – Charles County
 
8th Place – Nail Care
Kayla Pineda-Martinez: Thomas Edison High School of Technology – Montgomery County
 
8th Place – Sheet Metal
Donald Haycraft Jr.: Frederick County Career and Technology Center – Frederick County
 
9th Place – Electrical Construction Wiring
Justin Young: Calvert Career and Technology Academy – Calvert County
 
9th Place – Industrial Motor Control
Jayden Miller: Center for Career and Technical Education – Allegany County
 
9th Place – Related Technical Math
Shaheer Imam: Western School of Technology – Baltimore County
 
10th Place – Broadcast News Production
Justin Brown, Aiden Buchness, Lydia Landreth, and Jacob Straub: Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center – St. Mary’s County
 
For more information about SkillsUSA, please contact Charles Wallace, Coordinator of Career Programs and Student Organizations, Division of Career and College Readiness, at charles.wallace@maryland.gov or 410-767-8872.
 
Additional information can also be found on the Division of Career and College Readiness website or the official SkillsUSA Maryland website.

Wanted: Richard Howard Tucker Jr.

The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is seeking the whereabouts of Richard Howard Tucker Jr., who is wanted on an outstanding warrant for a Sex Offender Violation. Tucker is 36 years old with an address in California, MD.
 
 
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Cpl. Taylore Nauman at 301-475-4200, ext. 78109 or at taylore.nauman@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact the St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.
 
Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a48820650

Calvert County Government to Hold Surplus Yard Sale

The Calvert County Government Procurement Office will host a surplus yard sale Friday, July 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items for sale include desks, file cabinets, chairs and more. Items will be priced from $1 to $5 and may be purchased with cash or check. All items purchased must be picked by 4 p.m. on July 30.
 
The event will be held rain or shine at the County Services Plaza located at 150 Main St. in Prince Frederick. For more information, contact the Procurement Office at 410-535-1600, ext. 2289 or by email at Procurement@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.

Department of Recreation and Parks Park Announces Temporary Closure at Elms Beach Park

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Department of Recreation and Parks announces that Elms Beach Park will be closed during the weekdays beginning Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The park's closure is to remove grasses that have accumulated on the shoreline due to recent storms. Elms Beach Park will be open on weekends from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. for citizen enjoyment.
 
The grass removal project may take up to two weeks. Additional announcements can be found on the department's webpage www.stmarysmd.com/recreate and social media at www.facebook.com/stmarysmdrecreation
 
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience. For additional information, contact Tyrone Harris, Facilities Coordinator, at 301-475-4200, ext. 1673, or 240-434-6669 or by email at tyrone.harris@stmarysmd.com Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MSDE Secures $5 Million In Grant Funding To Improve Outcomes For Students With Disabilities

BALTIMORE, MD (July 19, 2021) – In support of its mission to support education equity and excellence for all students, the Maryland State Department of Education will invest $5 million in federal grant funds to enhance outcomes for students with disabilities. With a newly awarded State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) by the U.S. Department of Education, MSDE will assemble a team of national experts, university faculty, and State partners to improve math achievement and social-emotional outcomes for elementary aged students with disabilities.
 
MSDE’s Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services (DEI/SES) Office of Special Education Programs will receive nearly $1.1 million in the first year of the grant with an anticipated $5 million over a five-year period. With this funding, MSDE will develop personnel preparation and professional learning strategies that enhance school instruction for elementary students with disabilities.
 
“The University-State-Local partnership developed through this grant will provide a model for enhanced, more effective special education instruction in Maryland,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “With improved preparation and development of our special education professionals, we will provide a stronger and more meaningful learning experience for our elementary school children with disabilities – critical to our overall goal of ensuring success for all our students.”
 
MSDE’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) authorizes formula grants to states and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.

Lexington Park Crash Under Investigation

July 19, 2021: 
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a motorcycle crash in Lexington Park that resulted in incapacitating injuries to the driver. 
 
On Saturday, July 17, 2021 at around 12:30 am, deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of a motorcycle crash in the area of Point Lookout Road and Thompson Orchard Lane in Lexington Park. Deputies and EMS arrived on the scene to find a single motorcycle had left the roadway. The driver was located in a culvert off the side of the road with incapacitating injuries. Due to the severity of injury, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene and continued the investigation. 
 
Preliminary investigation determined that Colby Neal Savage, age 24 of Prosser, WA, was traveling southbound on his 2020 Harley Davidson motorcycle when for unknown reasons the motorcycle left the roadway and then struck a telephone pole. Savage was transported by helicopter to a regional hospital and was listed in critical condition.
 
At this time, speed appears to be a factor in the collision. 
 
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Cpl. Christopher Beyer at 301-475-4200, ext. 79004 or email christopher.beyer@stmarysmd.com.   
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff. 

Youth Violence Gun Task Force Arrest-Robinson

On July 14, 2021, members of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force with assistance from the Emergency Services Team, executed a search and seizure warrant in the 21800 block of Primrose Place in Lexington Park. Located at the residence was Keyonte Tarez Robinson, age 28 of Lexington Park. A loaded handgun, suspected cocaine and a scale containing suspected cocaine residue were located in the residence. Robinson is prohibited from possessing regulated firearms and ammunition. 
 
Robinson was arrested and charged with the following:
 
Firearm/Drug Trafficking Crime
CDS: Distribution with Firearm
CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute
CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana
CDS: Possession-Paraphernalia 
Regulated Firearm: Illegal Possession
Firearm Use/Felony Violent Crime
Illegal Possession of Ammunition
 
Robinson remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center on a no-bond status.
 

On July 14, 2021, members of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force received information that Terrence Andre Milburn, age 27 of Great Mills, was in possession of a handgun at a business located in the 21600 block of Great Mills Road in Lexington Park. Milburn was observed in a carwash bay with a vehicle that had the trunk open. Located inside the trunk was a loaded handgun. Milburn was arrested and charged with the following:

Handgun on Person

Loaded Handgun on Person

Handgun in Vehicle

Loaded Handgun in Vehicle

Also, on July 14, 2021, members of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force served an indictment on Latoya Tonelle Weaver, age 37 of Lexington Park, for the charge of Regulated Firearm/Unlawful Sale/Transfer. Weaver was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown.

Anyone with information on gun violence in St. Mary’s County is asked to contact (301) 475-4200 extension 78087 or by email at stopgunviolence@stmarysmd.com. 

 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Youth Gun Violence Task Force is a collaborative effort with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Maryland State Police (MSP) and the State’s Attorney’s Office for St. Mary’s County to ensure the safety and security of all residents, through the arrest and prosecution of those seeking to do harm unto others through gun violence. 
 
#StopGunViolence
 
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. 

Identities Needed for Burglary Suspects (Photos)

July 16, 2021:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identities of the persons pictured in a burglary investigation. On Monday, July 12, 2021 at 4:10 am, the suspects broke into the office of the Pax River Inn in Lexington Park, rummaging through items.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identities of the suspects or this incident is asked to call Deputy Allison Mattera at 301-475-4200, ext. 78124 or email allison.mattera@stmarysmd.com. Case # 35912-21
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact the St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

CCSO Invites Charles County Residents to Participate in 2021 Citizens Police Academy

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is now accepting applications for its 2021 Citizens Police Academy (CPA) class, set to begin in September. This 12-week program will begin on September 15, 2021, and will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through December 8, 2021, with the exception of Wednesday, November 25. The classes will be held in various locations, to include the CCSO Headquarters, District 3 Station, Community Services Annex, Crime Lab, Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, and the Charles County Courthouse.
 
“The Citizens Police Academy is one of the most valuable programs that we host,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “It enhances the relationship between police and the community, it gives community members the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the CCSO, and it allows us to connect with people and understand their perception of law enforcement. We’re proud to bring CPA back for our sixth year.”
 
Participants will learn about a wide range of topics, including:
•             Patrol Procedures
•             Narcotics Investigations
•             Forensic Evidence
•             Criminal Law
•             Juvenile Issues
•             Use of Force
•             Criminal Investigations
•             Search and Seizure
 
 
Participants will get hands-on experiences to include a Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) and crime scene processing. They will also have the opportunity to ride with a police officer and to experience policing from an officer’s perspective. Participation in the Ride-along Program is not required but is strongly encouraged.
 
The Citizens Police Academy is a valuable opportunity for anyone who is interested in learning more about the realities of policing. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and residents of Charles County. Individuals who wish to apply will be subject to a background check. This program is free of charge. There are a limited number of seats available, so anyone interested in participating in the CPA should submit their application as soon as possible. 
 
Additional information and applications for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Police Academy can be found on our website at www.ccso.us/citizens-police-academy. Applications are due no later than August 13, 2021, and should be mailed to: 
 
Charles County Sheriff’s Office
6915 Crain Highway
PO Box 189
La Plata, MD 20646
Attn: Human Resources
 
Additional questions about the program or application process should be directed to Captain Robert Kiesel at KieselR@ccso.us.

Pax UAS Airspace Coordinators Collaborate with Local Archaeologists

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Although the discovery of St. Mary’s Fort in Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) was made using technology not involving an unmanned aerial system (UAS), a drone was part of the HSMC researchers’ archaeological toolkit, and that meant seeking approval to fly from the NAS Patuxent River UAS Airspace Coordinator.
 
In 2018, Director of Research and Collections for Historic St. Mary’s City Dr. Travis Parno and his team located the outline of the fort — the founding site of the Maryland colony, erected in 1634 — and excavation verified it in 2019. It was around that time when Air Traffic Controller 1st Class James “Cody” Green, Pax River’s then-UAS Airspace Coordinator, began working with HSMC to help them understand the qualifications and regulations governing UAS flights over the site, which is close to Webster Outlying Field, to ensure they would be in compliance with FAA and Pax River policy.
 
“We had planned to announce the discovery publicly on Maryland Day, March 25, 2020, but of course that didn’t work out,” said Parno, who explained it was during the COVID-19 pandemic that he took advantage of the shutdown to pass the written test and earn his Part 107 commercial UAS pilot’s license so he could fly the drone — an accomplishment he joked that a lifetime playing video games had helped him achieve.
 
“It was AC1 Green who confirmed that would be important for us, so at that point it was just logical for me to go forward and get that license,” Parno added.
 
As the UAS coordinator, Green was instrumental in coordinating and approving the recurring drone flights that took place over a number of months as the team worked the confidential site. He notified them of the restricted air space above them and the fact that, if it went active for Webster at any time, it would mean they’d have to bring down their UAS immediately. He needed to know in advance where the drone would be, at what time, and for how long; and the HSMC team was required to call 30 minutes prior to each flight operation, and again immediately after it ended.
 
“We understood it was a big hush-hush project and we wanted to give them the maximum amount of leeway possible without interfering with Pax River operations,” Green said. “In turn, they were very cooperative of times and operation schedules with us. The first couple weeks we were more restrictive, but once we knew they had learned the process, we were able to have them apply weekly instead of day by day. It was a good relationship, built to accomplish a goal together.”
 
Parno noted that his team utilized the UAS mainly for on-site recording.
 
“As we excavate, recording is most critical for us because archaeology is inherently destructive,” he said. “Once we excavate a site, we can’t put it back the way we found it. Note taking, photography, video, and drawing all play a part. Using drones to get a good overhead view of the excavated area is key for us. In the past, we stood on top of ladders or we used cameras mounted to poles, but nothing compares to being able to get 100-feet up in the air and be able to see the entire site.”
 
Part of an archaeologist’s job is reading stains in the soil, and the photos taken by a drone can prove useful in that area.
 
“Archaeology — particularly in this part of the world — is looking for the stains left behind from the remains of timber-framed buildings, and that normally manifests as large, sort of circular stains in the ground where a hole was dug or a wooden timber was placed,” Parno explained. “Identifying those stains can be a real challenge, particularly how they relate to each other. What I often do is take the drone out over an area we’ve been excavating, take some photos, dump them into Photoshop, alter the contrast, and that really helps us try to piece apart elements of a building or landscape feature, whether it’s a fence, a pit, or a palisade wall to the fort.”
 
In 2020, Green turned over the UAS coordinator role to Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Andrew Doering, who continues coordinating seamlessly with the HSMC team still working in the field.
 
“It’s all about safety of flight,” Doering said. “We coordinate with them so everyone within our facility knows what they’re doing and we can let any aircraft we’re talking to know there’s UAS work going on down there. None of their projects has ever conflicted with anything we’ve had going on as far as aircraft/radar perspective goes.”
 
In a letter sent by Historic St. Mary’s City, Green’s responsiveness was called out as being critical to the project, as was the regular communication as he passed along his responsibilities to Doering. The letter noted that “the professionalism with which Petty Officer Green engaged with an outside agency was impressive to our institution and shows his dedication to his occupation.” It also noted that only a small circle of individuals were aware of the St. Mary’s Fort discovery before it was publicly announced by Maryland governor Larry Hogan on March 23, 2021, and the letter recognized Green and Doering’s “discretion and willingness to keep the details of the work confidential until such time that we made the announcement public.”
 
For his part, Green was appreciative that HSMC took the time to find out what was necessary when operating a drone, and to understand the program.
 
“Because if you don’t, that’s how miscommunications and incidents happen,” he said. “I’m glad we have relationships with people doing the bigger projects. We’re still at zero incidents to Pax River aircraft. There have been no mishaps since the UAS program started in 2017. That says it’s working; it’s doing its job.”
 
It should be noted that flying drones onboard any Pax River facility is not permitted, and taking photographs or videos of military installations is illegal. In the event an unauthorized drone is found flying, installation security has the authority to confiscate it and maintain it as evidence of possible criminal activity.
 
Commercial UAS pilots and hobbyists can learn more about drone operation and safety at www.faa.gov/uas, or contact the Pax River UAS Airspace Coordinator at (301) 342-3836.

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