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BOCC Conducts Double Groundbreaking Ceremony at Patuxent Business Park

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – May 18, 2022 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) celebrated the groundbreakings for two new commercial projects at Patuxent Business Park (PBP) in Lusby on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Patuxent Business Park was the first comprehensively planned business campus in Southern Maryland. The purchase and development of this property allowed for assistance in getting critical and redundant infrastructure to the Lusby Town Center. There are 14 lots at PBP; six are either sold or currently under contract.

“We are thrilled to break ground on two important investments in Patuxent Business Park,” said BOCC President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “This is a great win for our county that will help bring in new investments and new jobs, and we are pleased to see these projects move forward.”

BHE GT&S purchased Lot 5 for expansion of their Lusby operations. The project will include a commuter parking lot for support and operations staff, as well as a 28,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility. This project received site plan approval in March 2022.

In June 2020, John Simpson, Jr., owner/partner of 2J Enterprises, LLC, purchased Lot 11 for construction of a flex space facility. The project is comprised of a 12,600-square-foot warehouse and flex-use space building that will accommodate a number of light industrial uses, with up to half the facility available for lease. This project received final site plan approval in April 2022.

Simpson said, “I am eager to get construction of this building under way and am certain it will be a popular and prime location for many local small businesses to expand and grow their operations.”

 “We are very excited to join the BOCC in welcoming these two new commercial development projects to our community,” said Economic Development Director Julie Oberg. “Both of these projects represent important investments in our community. They will bring new products and services, new tax revenue, new jobs and increased opportunity for other businesses to collaborate, expand and succeed in Calvert County.”

PBP is a 92-acre business campus designed to accommodate a variety of uses, including Class A office and flex space. The park was created in 2002 through a partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) and the Calvert County BOCC.

PBP is located in a federal Opportunity Zone and offers a number of additional incentives for businesses seeking to purchase land and build. PBP is also a Calvert County Commerce Zone, a designation that extends tax credits to qualifying new and expanding businesses. The PBP Commerce Zone real property tax credit is calculated on the value of the qualifying new construction. To qualify, businesses are required to construct new premises or expand existing premises. The real property tax credit is 50% in years one through five, 25% for years six and seven, and 15% for years eight through 10 before expiring.

For more information on Patuxent Business Park, visit www.PatuxentBusinessPark.com or call the Department of Economic Development at 410-535-4583.

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.


St. Mary's County Government Operations for Memorial Day

LEONARDTOWN, MD – In observance of Memorial Day, all St. Mary's County Government administrative offices will be closed Monday, May 30, 2022. Offices will reopen with regular operating schedules Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

The St. Andrews Landfill and the six Convenience Centers will be closed Monday, May 30, 2022. They will reopen with regular operating schedules Tuesday, May 31.

All three St. Mary's County Library branches (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed Monday, May 30. They will reopen with regular hours on Tuesday, May 31.

All Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed. There will be no Home-Delivered Meals.

The St. Mary's Transit System (STS), ADA, and the Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) will not operate Monday, May 30.

The Wellness and Aquatics Center at the College of Southern Maryland will be open from 6 a.m. to noon, and the Great Mills Pool will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. All other Department of Recreation & Parks programs and facilities will be closed Monday, May 30.

The St. Clement's Island Museum, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and the Old Jail Museum will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Wicomico Shores Golf Course and St. Mary's County parks will be open for regular operations.

For more information, please visit www.stmarysmd.com


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of May 9, 2022 – May 15, 2022, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,565 calls for service throughout the community.

 

Damaged Property: 22-26371

 

On May 10, 2022, Deputy Ashley responded to the 1800 block of Lowery Road in Huntingtown, MD, for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised he discovered a bullet embedded inside a window in the front of the residence. The estimated value of the damaged property is $300.00.

Damaged Property: 22-26317

On May 10, 2022, Deputy Sturdivant responded to the 3800 block of 8th Street in North Beach, MD, for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised she heard a loud bang and walked into the kitchen area of her residence and discovered the outside panel of her sliding glass door had been splintered and noticed a tiny indent on the glass. The estimated value of the damaged property is $1,500.00.

Theft: 22-26241

On May 10, 2022, Deputy Newton responded to a business located in the 1400 block of Skinners Turn Road in Owings, MD, for the report of company vehicles being tampered with. The complainant advised sometime between 5 p.m. on May 9 and 4:30 a.m. on May 10, an unknown suspect (s) stole two catalytic converters from two work vans. The estimated value of stolen property is $1500.00.

Theft: 22-26856

On May 12, 2022, Deputy Kwitowski responded to a residence in the 5700 block of Eucalyptus Drive in St Leonard, MD, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between May 7 and May 12, an unknown suspect (s) stole a Stihl weed eater from the front yard. The estimated value of stolen property is $800.00.

ARRESTS

On May 9, 2022, Deputy Ashely and DFC Idol conducted a traffic stop on Solomons Island Road at West End Blvd. in St. Leonard, MD, on a vehicle swerving all over the roadway. Contact was made with passenger Taylor Elaine Griffith, 24 of Lusby, MD, who had open warrants and was wanted in both Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. Deputy Idol’s K-9 partner indicated a positive alert on the vehicle. A vehicle search revealed 3 hypodermic needles and a glass smoking device. Griffith was taken into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center. A secondary search of Griffith revealed a suspected crack pipe hidden inside Griffith’s mouth. Griffith was charged with CDS: Manufacturing/Distribution Equipment Possession, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, Obstructing and Hindering, False Statement to an Officer, and Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement.

On May 10, 2022, deputies were dispatched to a theft that had just occurred at the Ulta Beauty store located at 845 N. Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick, MD. Deputies learned four females had left Ulta Beauty with stolen merchandise. Investigation revealed two of the females removed boxes of women’s fragrances while the other two distracted an employee. All four subjects then fled in a vehicle heading north on Rt. 4. A traffic stop was conducted on the suspect vehicle in the area of Cherry Hill Road in Owings, MD. Store surveillance shows Brianna Shante Renwick, 21 of Washington D.C. and Germaine Aaliyah Johnson, 24 of Gaithersburg, MD, loading a basket with perfume and grabbing perfume from the store shelf. The total value of stolen items was $1601.66. Both Johnson and Renwick had open warrants through Prince George’s County and were taken into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center. Johnson was charged with Theft Scheme: $1500 to Under $25,000, Theft: $100 to Under $1500. Renwick was charged with Theft Scheme: $1500 to Under $25,000, Theft: $100 to Under $1500, and Fraud- Per Identification Avoid Prosecution.

On May 13, 2022, Deputy Hudson responded to the Brick Wood Bistro located at 60 Sherry Lane in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of a theft. Investigation revealed Benji Lee Wells, 47 of no fixed address, left the restaurant without paying his bill. Wells was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft under $100.

 


Survey Launched to Understand the Pandemic's Impact on Mental Health & Substance Use

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is assessing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted St. Mary’s County community members’ mental health and substance use, or behavioral health. 

Community members are encouraged to take this quick, anonymous survey. Aggregate data will be used to help local behavioral health providers and community organizations expand their services as needed and develop new support resources for residents.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on all of our lives in many ways,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We are thankful for our partnership with WellCheck to better understand how the past couple years have affected mental health and use of drugs within our community. This information will help us work with our local partners to build the treatment services and support resources our community members may need to recover.”

”We passionately support the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s efforts to assess the ever changing impacts the pandemic has had on mental health and substance abuse in their community,” said Mr. Christopher Nickerson, CEO of WellCheck. “The WellCheck anonymous survey tool will assist in providing valuable insights for the Health Department.”

For more information on healthy coping skills and resources, please visit smchd.org/covid-19-coping.  


Charles County Commissioners Adopt Fiscal 2023 Budget

On Tuesday, May 17, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a balanced General Fund budget of $494,446,200, an increase of 9.8 percent over last year. The adopted budget provides historic funding for Charles County Public Schools, makes critical investments in core programs and services, record-level investments in public safety, and does not increase the current property tax rate or income tax rate.

“The county continues to prioritize education, public health and safety, and maintaining our core services for residents in the fiscal 2023 budget,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “This year, for the first time, we incorporated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into our budget discussions so our funding decisions will create equitable opportunities, embrace diversity, and address disparities. The fiscal 2023 budget also funds a variety of necessary personnel, infrastructure, and program requests to benefit our community and the agencies supporting them.”

 

Budget Highlights

The General Fund budget funds the ongoing costs of government and includes:

  • $12 million increase for Charles County Public Schools, which exceeds maintenance of effort funding and increases per pupil spending by 6 percent. The fiscal 2023 budget provides record funding of $212,686,400 to help support their Blueprint Implementation costs.  The total allocation for education, which includes funding for the Charles County Public Library, College of Southern Maryland, and other education initiatives is $228.67 million, or 46.2 percent of the General Fund budget.
  • $7.13 million increase for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, to fund ten new positions for station clerks, forensic science technicians, court security officers, a fleet specialist, an automated enforcement supervisor, and a teen court specialist. The total allocation is $ 107.99 million, or 21.9 percent of the General Fund budget.
  • $7 million increase for County Government operations. The total allocation is $78.73 million, or 15.9 percent, of the General Fund budget. The additional funding will support ten new emergency medical technicians, two of which will be dedicated for hazmat related support and eight will support ambulance service in the Waldorf area, as well as new positions to support county road maintenance; recreation services; information technology; and planning and community resources coordination. To further Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the community and in the workplace, the fiscal 2023 budget includes a new DEI Coordinator, a DEI consultant, and a therapeutic recreation specialist.
  • $4.06 million increase for other local government functions, including funding for the State’s Attorney’s Office, Department of Health, Circuit Court, Election Board, and other government agencies’ support. The total allocation is $20.27 million or 4.1 percent of the General Fund budget.
  • Use of fund balance to support one-time Commissioner initiatives that will cover the cost of the continuation of the Commissioners Cares Scholarship program for the College of Southern Maryland for one-year; additional funding for the Health Department to assist with staff training and support of contractual positions; a 24/7 library kiosk with Wi-Fi at the Nanjemoy Community Center for the Charles County Public Library; increased funding for the Charitable Trust to distribute to local non-profits; feasibility study to support Phase II of a Climate Action Plan; a feasibility needs assessments for Circuit Court Courthouse; as well as other one-time items.
  • Funding to implement the Body Worn Camera Program is included in the budget and provides funds for operating and equipment/capital related items.  This will allow the program to be implemented earlier than the state required implementation date of 2025.

The $842.8 million, five-year capital improvement program (fiscal 2023-2027) provides funding for county infrastructure to support schools, county buildings, roads, parks, water and sewer facilities, and stormwater management.  Highlights include:

  • Construction of a new elementary school, planning for a new middle school, and additions for full day kindergarten classrooms
  • Open space enclosure funding for Piccowaxen Middle School, Indian Head Elementary School, and Dr. James Craik Elementary School
  • Planning for a new recreation center
  • Phase III of the Western Parkway
  • New parks in Waldorf and Popes Creek
  • New VanGO maintenance facility
  • Funding for structures to address homelessness within the county
  • Water and sewer infrastructure improvement
  • Stormwater infrastructure

The real property tax rate is maintained at $1.141 for County Government and $0.064 for Fire and Rescue per $100 of assessed value. The income tax rate of 3.03 percent remains unchanged.  The adopted fiscal 2023 budget details are available [www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/government/departments/fiscal-and-administrative-services/budget-division]online.


May 17 Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting in the Chesapeake Building Tuesday, May 17, 2022, with the invocation and pledge, followed by approval of the consent agenda.

The Commissioners presented Proclamations in recognition of National Public Works Week and National Emergency Medical Services Week.

The Commissioners convened as the Board of Health to hear a COVID-19 update from county health officer Dr. Meenakshi Brewster. The brief included information on local statistics, vaccination sites and COVID-19 treatments.

The Sheriff’s Office received approval for a grant application for the FY2023 Heroin Coordinator Program, from the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, for $57,912 to fund a portion of the Heroin Coordinator staff position.

The Commissioners also approved the Sheriff’s Office's request for a grant application for the FY2023 Police Recruitment and Retention from the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services for $62,234 to fund recruitment efforts.

The Department of Land Use & Growth Management requested and received approval for a commitment letter of financial support from the Commissioners to fund a Passenger Ferry Feasibility Project. This initiative seeks to establish a sustainable passenger ferry service connecting key destinations along the Chesapeake Bay.

The Department of Recreation and Parks provided a midterm goal briefing for the Snow Hill Park Master Plan.

The Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the county and the Country Lakes Homeowners Association (CLHA). The MOU will allow northern county volunteer youth sports leagues continued access to the athletic fields owned by the CLHA.

The Commissioners approved a request from the Department of Finance for a resolution authorizing the sale and issuance of general obligation bonds for $30 million to fund previously approved capital projects.

Following an initial closed session discussion for real property and personnel issues, the Commissioners hosted a Public Hearing for the Department of Land Use & Growth Management for a request to amend the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to delete Section 51.3.122.a.(3) Private, Non-commercial swimming pools as accessory uses, to allow a property owner to apply for a Critical Area Variance to construct a private, non-commercial, swimming pool in the Critical Area Buffer. The Commissioners will continue to accept public comment on the topic until 5 p.m., May 24, 2022.

The Commissioners returned to a closed session to resume the discussion of real property and personnel issues.

Today, May 17, 2022, the Commissioners will meet at 1:30 p.m. for a Budget Work Session to provide final direction to the Department of Finance for the FY2023 county budget.

The next Commissioner business meeting will be in the Chesapeake Building at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, 2022. 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.


St. Mary's Transit (STS) Announces Change to Operations

LEONARDTOWN, MD - St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) will be adjusting the transit route for the Route 3, Great Mills bus, to operate on a reduced schedule starting Monday, May 23, 2022.

 

Under the reduced service, the Great Mills, Route 3, the northbound route, will run northbound on the even hours and southbound on the odd hours. The route will begin northbound at 6 a.m., leaving the Tulagi Place transfer location and traveling its regular route north to the Leonardtown governmental transfer location. The Great Mills route will run its last hour at 6 p.m. from the Tulagi Place transfer location traveling its regular route to the Leonardtown governmental transfer location, ending at 7 p.m.

 

For additional information on STS routes and operations, please visit our webpage at https://www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/sts-transit/.


Officers Apprehend Four Suspects in Armed Carjacking Case

Patrol Officers, Detectives, and a Police K9 Locate and Arrest Carjacking Suspects: On May 13 at 10:30 a.m., officers responded to the 2100 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf for the report of a carjacking that just occurred. A preliminary investigation revealed the victim was entering his car when four males approached, displayed a handgun, and ordered the victim out of the car. The victim complied and the suspects fled in the vehicle. Police dispatchers broadcast a lookout and a detective, who was nearby, observed the car and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The suspects continued to the area of Mt. Claire Place in Waldorf where the driver hit a curb, disabling the car. All four suspects fled on foot. Officers and a police K9 team established a perimeter and located three suspects initially. They recovered a loaded firearm that was tossed by a suspect as he was fleeing. The fourth suspect was later located by a detective in a neighborhood. Officers recovered another handgun, belonging to a suspect, inside the victim’s car. Marquese Dayequan Milburn, 21, of Waldorf; Keyon Jasey, 20, of New Jersey; a 16-year-old male (charged as an adult); and a 15-year-old male (charged as a juvenile) were charged with armed carjacking, robbery, first-degree assault, possession of a firearm, illegally transporting a firearm, and other related charges. The victim was not injured in this case. On May 16, a judge ordered three of the suspects to be held without bond at the Charles County Detention Center. The 15-year-old male is being held at a juvenile facility. Detective Logsdon is continuing the investigation.   


Local Public Health Advisory: Rise in COVID-19 Community Transmission

Ongoing monitoring of local COVID-19 data by the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has shown a recent increase in several key indicators, including:

  • Community Transmission (considers rates of new infection): High
  • Community Level (considers burden on regional healthcare systems): Low
  • Total cases of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County residents: 24,466 ( 272 in past 7 days)  
  • New Case Rate per 100,000: 33.79 ( 10.68  in past 7 days, 46% increase) 

 Due to rising rates of new cases and an increase in identified COVID-19 outbreaks locally, SMCHD encourages community members to review their personal risks for severe COVID-19 infection and recommends the following protective actions: 
 
COVID-19 Vaccination
Everyone age 5 and older should get and stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines for best protection from severe illness and to help protect others in our community. Those with compromised immune systems as well as adults age 50 and older are encouraged to get a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, available SMCHD vaccine clinic dates, or to make an appointment, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are also available through primary care offices and local pharmacies.
 
COVID-19 Testing
Testing continues to be a key strategy in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. For more information on SMCHD testing, including hours of operation for PCR testing and pick-up information for at-home test kits, please visit: smchd.org/covid-19-testing
 
Masking
SMCHD recommends that community members age 2 and older wear well-fitted, more effective mask options when in crowded public indoor settings. More effective mask options include N95 masks, KN95 masks, or double-masking with medical grade surgical masks. Masking is especially important for those who may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as seniors and those with chronic medical illnesses. Higher-risk workers, including those in healthcare settings, first responders, and those exposed to high volumes of community members in indoor settings, such as grocery stores and food service facilities, should consider masking throughout their workshifts. St. Mary’s County residents may pick up free K95 masks from the St. Mary’s County Libraries, while supplies last. 
 
“Fortunately, COVID-19 burden on the region’s health care systems still remains low. However, the recent and persistent rise in local COVID-19 case numbers should prompt our community members to evaluate their personal risk for severe COVID illness and take protective actions,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “I encourage our residents to consider more effective masking in crowded indoor places, replenish their supply of COVID-19 test kits, get up-to-date with their COVID vaccination, and speak with their personal doctor about ways to access COVID-19 treatment should it be needed.”
 
For local updates and information on COVID-19, please visit smchd.org/coronavirus. Community members may view up-to-date, local COVID-19 data at smchd.org/covid-19-data.
 


SMCHD Seeking Contractor for After Action Review of COVID-19 Pandemic Response

LEONARDTOWN, MD (May 16, 2022) - The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is commissioning a During-and-After Action Review (AAR) of the St. Mary’s County public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The review will include an examination of SMCHD’s response to date and the coordination between SMCHD and local partners for collaborative response strategies. 

To apply for the AAR Request for Proposals (RFP), an organization/person must:            

  • Possess demonstrated expertise in the areas of community emergency response, public health evaluation, or conducting comprehensive after-action reviews of responses to emergency events (work experience with a US local or state government is preferred)
  • Be available to begin providing agreed upon services by July 1, 2022
  • Be able to coordinate/collaborate with beneficiaries of the project


The main goals of this AAR are to describe the COVID-19 response in St. Mary’s County, identify what has worked and areas for growth, and make recommendations for improvements to public health emergency preparedness and response.  The deadline for submission of proposals is July 5, 2022.  For more information, or to submit a proposal for this request, please visit smchd.org/rfp 


NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING - Proposed Ordinance to Amend St. Mary's County Comprehensive Land Use Map and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

LEONARDTOWN, MD - NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a Public Hearing May 24, 2022, at 9 a.m. in the Chesapeake Building located at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown, Maryland, to consider public input on a proposed ordinance to amend St. Mary’s County Comprehensive Land Use Map and the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for property located at 26470 Three Notch Road, Mechanicsville. The request is to change the Land Use Map category from Rural Preservation to Rural Commerce and to change the Zoning Map from Rural Preservation to Rural Commercial Limited zoning district.

 

The proposed ordinances can be viewed at http://www.stmarysmd.com/publichearings.asp.

Those wishing to address the Commissioners may participate in person, via written correspondence or prerecorded video submissions. The public hearing may be viewed on SMCG Channel 95 or the SMCG YouTube Channel.

 

In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:

a. Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com

b. US Mail: P.O. Box 653 Leonardtown, MD, 20650

c. Submit a three-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com no later than 5 p.m., May 20, 2022.

 

All submissions will be considered by the Commissioners at the Public Hearing and/or seven (7) days following the Public Hearing.

 

Public Hearing Guidelines are subject to change.

 

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.


Van Hollen, Murray, Casey, Democrats Push Infant Formula Manufacturers To Address Crisis, Get Formula On Shelves ASAP

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in sending a letter to Mardi Mountford, President of the Infant Nutrition Council of America, calling on infant formula manufacturers to make every effort possible to get parents and families the formula they need to feed their kids.

 

“We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need,” wrote the Senators.


Over the past several months, and particularly in light of the massive recall following contaminated formula from Abbott Nutrition, a major supplier, it has become increasingly difficult for families to access infant formula. 

 

In the letter to the Infant Nutrition Council of America today, the Senators stressed how dire the situation is for families, and urged formula manufacturers to take action to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.

 

“This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk. For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished,” the letter continued. “This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders.  There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.”

 

The letter was also signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

 

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

  

Dear President Mountford:

 

We write to express our concern about the infant formula supply shortage which is making it harder for parents and caregivers nationwide to get their children the nourishment they need. Formula is a critical source of nutrition for newborns and infants, and this supply shortage has put their health and development at risk. We are calling on you and your member companies to take immediate action and ensure that infant formula manufacturers are making every effort to mitigate this dangerous shortage and get children the nourishment they need.

 

Over the past several months—and particularly in light of the massive recall following contaminated formula from Abbott Nutrition, a major supplier—it has become increasingly difficult for families to access infant formula. According to a recent report, between November 2021 and early April 2022, the national out-of-stock rate for infant formula rose to 31 percent between November 2021 and early April 2022—an 11 percent increase. These numbers varied significantly across the country, with some metropolitan areas seeing out-of-stock rates of over 50 percent. In several states, more than half of their infant formula supply was sold out by the last week of April. Major retailers are implementing nationwide restrictions on infant formula purchases.

 

This shortage has placed an unacceptable burden on parents and caregivers and has put the health of babies and infants at risk. For many families, infant formula is critical for ensuring their children receive the nutrition they need to grow healthy and well-nourished. This shortage has been especially challenging for some of the most vulnerable infants, with particularly acute shortages of specialty formulas to address health needs such as allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or metabolic disorders. There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children.

 

We urge the Infant Nutrition Council of America and your member companies to do all you can to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.

 

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. Please direct correspondence pertaining to this request to Katlin Backfield at Katlin_Backfield@help.senate.govand Yelena Tsilker at Yelena_Tsilker@help.senate.gov.

 

 

Sincerely,


Woman Charged After Two Separate Firebombings

 With the assistance of the Maryland State Apprehension Team, Deputy State Fire Marshals arrested a Prince Georges County woman on multiple charges of arson stemming from two separate firebombings last October. 

Latrice Joneah Williams, 20, of Upper Marlboro, was arrested on multiple charges, including Arson 1st Degree and Manufacturing and Possession of a Destructive Device, after investigators connected her to two firebombings in Charles and St. Mary's counties. 

On October 14, 2021, Deputy State Fire Marshals were called to the 3800 block of Shiner Court in Waldorf after the owner discovered the remains of a Molotov cocktail in his front yard. The Molotov cocktail did not function properly and failed to cause significant structural damage. 

Investigators obtained video footage showing a person throwing the firebomb at the house the night before, just after 11:00 p.m. 

On the following night, just after 11:00 p.m. on October 15th, Deputy State Fire Marshals responded to the 25100 block of Gallant Man Drive in Hollywood after the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office responded for a person who had three Molotov cocktails thrown at a house. The owner told investigators he was inside the home when he heard a noise and later discovered the devices just feet from his door, with one still burning. He was able to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher.

Over the last six months, investigators have gathered evidence, including cell phone records, which led to the identification of Williams. 

Williams was arrested without incident yesterday morning and held without bond at the Charles County Detention Center.

"I'm very thankful for our investigators' vigilance, tenacity, and thoughtfulness," State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said. "Hopefully, the families impacted can sleep easier tonight, knowing these individuals have been apprehended."


Troopers Investigating Shots Fired Prior To Crash In Calvert County

(PRINCE FREDERICK, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating a shooting that occurred last night prior to a single vehicle crash in Calvert County.

 

Identities of the three injured victims are not available at this time. One victim, the backseat passenger of the vehicle involved in the crash, sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was transported by medevac to the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. 

 

Two other victims were injured in the crash. They were transported by ambulance to the Calvert Health Medical Center for treatment.

 

Shortly before 11:00p.m. last night, troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack responded to a single vehicle crash in the area of Orwell Court and Yardley Drive in Prince Frederick. Upon their arrival, troopers observed three occupants in the vehicle, one of whom had suffered an apparent gunshot wound.

 

The vehicle involved in the crash is a 2008 dark blue Lexus with Maryland registration. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the Lexus was backing into a parking space on Orwell Court when a gunshot was reportedly fired and struck one of the occupants.  The driver accelerated and struck multiple parked vehicles before the vehicle overturned and landed on its side on Orwell Court. 

 

Troopers from the Prince Frederick Barrack and investigators from the Criminal Enforcement Division responded to the scene and established a perimeter around the area and a search was initiated. Search assistance was provided by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. Crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division also responded to process the scene for evidence. During a canvass of the crime scene, a handgun and multiple shell casings were located near the scene of the crash.

 

The search is continuing.  Anyone with information about who fired the shots is urged to contact Maryland State Police at the Prince Frederick Barrack at 410-535-1400. Callers may remain anonymous. 


Detectives and Patrol Officers Apprehend Two Suspects in Connection with Multiple Commercial Burglaries

Detectives and Patrol Officers Apprehend Two Suspects in String of Commercial Burglaries: On May 9 at 1:15 a.m., detectives were conducting surveillance in the 3100 block of Leonardtown Road in Waldorf due to recent commercial burglaries in which the suspect(s) were smashing out the front windows to businesses and stealing money from cash registers. During their surveillance, a detective noticed the front door to a liquor store had been shattered. Upon approaching the store, the detective observed one suspect flee from the business into a nearby wooded area. A second suspect, David Leroy Raley, 44, of Waldorf, was apprehended on the scene. With the assistance of patrol officers and a police K9, the suspect who initially fled, Jamari Deandre Hagens, 21, of White Plains, was apprehended. Further investigation revealed Hagens was linked to six recent burglaries of businesses including one restaurant, two liquor stores, a beauty supply shop, a convenience store, and a tavern. He was charged with six counts each of burglary, destruction of property, theft, and other related charges. At this time, Raley has not been linked to the other cases; however, detectives are reviewing additional evidence. He was charged with one count of burglary. On May 9, a district court commissioner released Raley from the Detention Center on personal recognizance. On May 11, a judge ordered Hagens to be held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. Det. R. Beach is continuing to investigate.  


Calvert County Government Announces Memorial Day Schedule

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2022, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition:

·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will be closed Monday, May 30.

·         The Solomons Septage Receiving Facility and Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office will be closed on Monday, May 30.

·         Calvert County’s senior centers will be closed and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered on Monday, May 30. Shelf-stable meals were distributed in advance. Meal delivery will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

·         There will be no county bus service on Monday, May 30. Regular service will resume on Tuesday, May 31.

·         The Calvert County Board of Elections office will be closed Monday, May 30.

·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30, and will reopen at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31. Downloadable materials and virtual services are available 24/7 at calvertlibrary.info.

·         The Calvert Marine Museum and Museum Store will be open with normal hours on Monday, May 30.

·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed on Monday, May 30. An animal control officer will be available for emergencies.

·         All community centers will be closed on Monday, May 30.

·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be open with normal hours.

·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open on Monday, May 30, with normal hours.

·         Flag Ponds Nature Park, Battle Creek Cypress Swamp and Kings Landing Park will be open with regular hours of operation. For a full nature park schedule, visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/1505/Park-Hours.

·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will be open with normal operating hours on Monday, May 30. 

·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is open for the season and will be open Monday, May 30.

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.


Patrol Officers Apprehend Stabbing Suspect with Help from a Police Dispatcher and a Bus Driver

Patrol Officers Apprehend Suspect in Stabbing Case with Help from A Police Dispatcher and Bus Driver: On May 9 at 7:30 p.m., officers responded to Charles Regional Medical Center for the report of a stabbing victim who had been transported to the hospital by a relative. When officers arrived, they learned the victim had actually been stabbed at the Smallwood Park and Ride in Waldorf. A preliminary investigation showed the victim and an unknown suspect were arguing in the parking lot of the Park and Ride when the suspect stabbed the victim with an unknown object. The victim’s cousin, who was nearby, drove him to the hospital where he was treated for injuries and later released. This information was relayed to a civilian Police Communications Officer (PCO) – a police dispatcher – who then took it upon herself to immediately review footage from a surveillance camera that covers the Smallwood Park and Ride parking lot. She was able to find the assault on the footage she reviewed and provide officers with a detailed description of the suspect including the clothing he was wearing. Officers canvassed the area and spoke with witnesses. Several hours later, a bus driver, who was aware of the assault, observed the suspect and notified the police. Officers responded to the Park and Ride and located the suspect, who was still wearing the same clothing he wore when the attack occurred. The suspect, James Pernell Knott, 27, of Indian Head, was arrested without incident. “This was an outstanding arrest in that the police dispatcher took quick and immediate action on her own in an attempt to identify the suspect. The bus driver followed through by calling officers when he observed the suspect in the parking lot the next day,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “ Due to the teamwork, a dangerous person was quickly apprehended,” Sheriff Berry said. Knott was charged with first-degree assault and second-degree assault. On May 10, a district court commissioner ordered Knott to be held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. 


Van Hollen Statement on Women's Health Protection Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the Senate vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation to codify the reproductive rights secured in Roe v. Wade:

 

“Right now, the threat to women’s reproductive freedom posed by the Supreme Court and Senate Republicans is more urgent than ever. The Women’s Health Protection Act would guarantee the right to choose nationally, as a matter of law. Without action, women across the country could soon be subject to laws that prevent safe abortions – even in the case of rape and incest – and if Republicans continue to push for a nationwide ban, that right may be threatened even in Maryland, where we have codified Roe v. Wade.

 

“While we did not have the votes to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act today, what we do now have is accountability. This is a central principle of our democracy, and now Americans know where each and every member stands.

 

“This isn’t over. I will fight with everything I’ve got to protect the right to reproductive choice in our nation.”


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Police Blotter

During the week of May 2, 2022 – May 8, 2022, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,604 calls for service throughout the community.

 

Burglary: 22-25631

On May 7, 2022, around 1:09 a.m., Deputy T. Bowen responded to Flagship Cinemas Movie Theater located at 200 W. Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of a burglary in progress. Investigation revealed an unknown suspect entered the theatre wearing a white hoodie, blue t-shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes after hours. The suspect fled prior to deputies’ arrival. Nothing appears to have been stolen from the establishment. Damage to a fire exit door was discovered. The estimated value of the damaged property is $100.00.

Damaged Property: 22-25076

On May 4, 2022, DFC Sturdivant responded to the 1400 block of Knight Ave in Dunkirk, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised unknown suspect (s) used a sharpie to draw graffiti on the passenger window of his vehicle and the side of his residence. The estimated value of the damaged property is $125.00.

Theft: 22-24659

On May 3, 2022, Deputy Krueger responded to the 10200 block of H.G. Trueman Road in Lusby, MD for report of a theft. The complainant advised two catalytic converters from two work trucks had been stolen. The estimated value of the stolen property is $2,000.00.

 

Theft: 22-24517

On May 2, 2022, Deputy Mister responded to Chesapeake Bounty located at 9124 Bay Ave in North Beach, MD for a reported theft. The complainant advised a male subject entered the store wearing a red shirt and pants, placed items on the counter, and exited the store without making payment. The suspect stole approximately $20 worth of product (radishes, tomatoes, and a plant) and then fled on foot.

Theft: 22-25692

On May 7, 2022, Deputy Aley responded to the 3900 block of Broomes Island Road in Port Republic, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between May 4 and May 6, 2022, an unknown suspect (s) stole the catalytic converters from two vehicles parked outside the residence. The estimated value of stolen and damaged property is $2,000.00.

Theft: 22-25659

On May 7, 2022, Deputy Hendrickson responded to Adams Ribs located at 2200 S. Solomons Island Road for the report of a theft. The complainant advised an unknown suspect (s) had stolen the catalytic converter from a vehicle parked in the parking lot. The estimated value of stolen property is $1,000.00.

 

ARRESTS

On May 7, 2022, Deputy Morrison responded to a single-vehicle crash at 1232 E. Mt. Harmony Road in Owings, MD. Investigation revealed the driver, Charles Richardson Donaldson, Jr., 28 of Chesapeake Beach, MD, passed out and hit the guardrail causing the vehicle to come to a rest. A witness to the crash observed Donaldson throw a bag into the woods which was recovered by deputies. Inside the bag were Brillo pad fibers, a cut straw, and a clear wrapper containing suspected Alprazolam/Xanax. A vehicle search revealed approximately two grams of a white powdery rock-like substance (suspected crack cocaine) and a rectangular bar of suspected Alprazolam/Xanax along with smaller chunks of suspected Xanax and crack cocaine. Donaldson was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center here he was charged with two counts of CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.

On May 3, 2022, Cpl. Livingston observed a vehicle cross Solomons Island Road, enter the one-way entrance to Walmart, and continue over the median, making an illegal U-turn, narrowly missing several vehicles. Cpl. Livingston conducted a traffic stop on northbound Solomons Island Road in the area of Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick, MD. A vehicle search revealed a cut straw, a container with a pill of Oxycodone, half a pill of Alprazolam, and two crushed white pills of suspected Oxycodone. The driver, Kelly Greenan, 32 of Lusby, MD, was arrested and charged with CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana.

On May 2, 2022, Deputy Aley conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Rt. 4 south and Hallowing Point Road in Prince Frederick, MD for a traffic violation. The driver, identified as Kailup William Couser, 29 of Baltimore, MD, was wanted by the Baltimore Police Department. Couser was placed under arrest for his active warrant. A search of Couser’s vehicle revealed two capsules of a white powdery substance (suspected Heroin). Couser was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession-Not Marijuana.
 

On May 4, 2022, Deputy Murphy conducted a traffic stop in the parking lot of Patuxent High School, located at 12485 Southern Connector Blvd Lusby, Maryland. Upon making contact with the driver, Mason Louise Visele, 24 of Calloway, MD, the odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from the vehicle. Visele failed to provide a valid driver’s license and investigation revealed the registration to the vehicle was expired and the vehicle was not registered. A vehicle search revealed a half burnt blunt, a folded $20 bill containing suspected Heroin, an 18-inch Machete, 224.5 grams of marijuana, and a digital scale. Visele was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute, Concealed Dangerous Weapon, CDS: Possession- Marijuana 10 grams, CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana, CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia, Driving Without a License, Driving an Unregistered Motor Vehicle, and Displaying Expired Registration Plates.

 


Lexington Park Man Arrested for Drug Trafficking

On May 10, 2022, detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division along with members of the Emergency Services Team (EST) served a search and seizure warrant at the residence of Joseph Daren Brooks Jr., age 19, at the 21700 block of Kearsarge Place in Lexington Park.

 

As a result, a large quantity of suspected marijuana packaged to indicate distribution was located, as well as a shotgun, digital scale and a large sum of U.S. currency.

 

Brooks was arrested and charged with the following:

 

Firearm/Drug Trafficking

CDS: Possession-Marijuana 10 grams plus

CDS: Possession with Intent to Distribute

 

Brooks remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, on a no-bond status.


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