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Protective Order Violation – On July 23, 2015, Deputy Jason Smith was walking out of the District Court Carter building when he saw suspect Troy David Yates, age 49, of Lexington Park, who he knew from prior contact. Yates walked over to the victim and began to talk to the victim in violation of an active protective order. The protective order stipulated Yates was to have no contact with the victim. Yates was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with Violation Protective Order. CASE#43213-15

Protective Order Violation – On July 26, 2015, Corporal Corcoran responded to Bethson Street in Great Mills, for a violation of an active protective order. The victim alleged, suspect Eric Joseph Zernhelt, age 35, of Great Mills, spoke to the victim and took photos of the victim while the victim was walking on the street. The protective order stipulated Zernhelt was to have no contact with the victim. Zernhelt was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with Violation Protective Order. CASE #43834-15

Robbery – On July 24, 2015, Deputy Schultz responded to a residence on Midway Drive in Lexington Park, for a reported assault. The investigation revealed suspect Rico Kinta Keys JR., age 20, of Lexington Park, came to the victim’s residence to gather some of his belongings from inside the home. An argument between the victim and Keys ensued. Keys grabbed the victim by the hair and slammed the victim’s head into a wall breaking the victim’s glasses. Keys then drug the victim by the hair to a car parked on Midway Drive and slammed the victim’s head into a window. The victim fell to the ground at which time Keys ripped the cell phone from the victim’s hand and fled the scene. Deputies were unable to locate Keys and a warrant was immediately obtained for his arrest. On July 25, 2015, Keys was located and placed under arrest. He was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and the warrant charging Keys with 2nd Degree Assault, Robbery, Theft Under $1,000, Vandalism, and Trespassing was served. CASE #43443-15 

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The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will close one of two lanes and alternate traffic using a flagging operation on the Thomas Johnson Bridge  (MD 4) on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 beginning at 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. to repair the navigational lights.

This work is weather-dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of rain or high winds. The SHA asks for motorists’ patience during the flagging operation as crews work overnight to complete the work.

While SHA and its partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert – look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. Slow down and don't follow too closely. Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For everyone!

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The Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, announces new operating hours effective Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Charles County Landfill (12305 Billingsley Road, Waldorf) and Piney Church Road Mulch Facility (5370 Piney Church Road). The Landfill and Mulch Facility new operating hours are Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hours of operation for recycling centers will remain unchanged.  The Charles County Landfill Recycling Center and Pisgah Recycling Center are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  The Breeze Farm Recycling Center and Gilbert Run Park Recycling Center are open Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to the county’s extensive list of recyclable items accepted at the recycling centers, residents are encouraged to utilize the Tag-A-Bag program to properly dispose of bagged household waste.  The Tag-A-Bag program is a volume-based recycling incentive system for the disposal of bagged household trash.  The more you recycle, the less trash you have; the less trash you have, the more money you save!

The landfill, mulch facility, and recycling centers are closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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BURGLARY: On July 27 at 5:05 p.m., officers responded to a burglary in the 9200 block of Parkway Subdivision Road in La Plata. Investigation showed the suspect(s) entered the house and stole money and jewelry. PFC J. Campbell is investigating.

THEFT: On July 26, officers responded to the 10000 block of Catalina Place in White Plains for the report of a theft. Investigation showed the owner of the house had been away for a few weeks and he paid an acquaintance to stay at the house. The house sitter allowed friends inside and someone stole six rings and other jewelry. Cpl. C. T. Long is investigating.

ROBBERY: On July 25 at 10:56 p.m., officers responded to the area of Bannister Circle and Goodrick Court in Waldorf for the report of a robbery. Investigation showed the victim was in the area to purchase drugs. She indicated her cell phone lost power and she asked to borrow a passerby’s phone. At that point, the passerby and two other people assaulted the victim and stole her phone. PFC P. Morgan, III is investigating.

ASSAULT: On July 26 at 2 a.m., officers responded to a hotel in the 9300 block of Crain Highway in Bel Alton for the report of an assault. The victim reported a male acquaintance punched her and choked her. The man, James Clifton Johnson, 33, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with assault. PFC W. Halt investigated.

RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT: On July 22 at 1:41 a.m., officers responded to a bar in the 2300 block of Old Washington Road in Waldorf for the report of an armed subject. Upon arrival, multiple witnesses told officers an unknown man was singing – karaoke style – when someone in the audience yelled out the singer was not good, or words to that effect. Apparently, the singer made up his own song. The singer left the bar but returned a short time later. He was not allowed back inside because the bar was getting ready to close. The suspect left and stated he would be back. A patron, who was in line behind the suspect, noticed the suspect had a gun tucked behind his back and alerted security. Shortly afterwards,  the suspect drove by in a green passenger car and shot a few rounds towards the business. No one was injured. The suspect fled northbound on Old Washington Road. Witnesses said the suspect was driving a green passenger car, possibly a Toyota or Honda and the car may have had New Jersey plates. PFC R. Walls is investigating.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD – Starting with the 2015 Fall season, the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) will be piloting Divisional Play across all sports.  As the number of schools within the Conference has grown, the state limitations on the number of permitted contests in many sports do not allow all schools in the Conference to play one another to determine a true Conference champion.

There will be two divisions, the Chesapeake and Potomac divisions, and the winner of each division will be the school with the best record against the other schools in their division.  When two schools have similar records, head to head competition will be the first criteria used to break the tie.  In sports such as field hockey, soccer, baseball and lacrosse where only two teams can compete simultaneously, Divisional Champions will play one another to determine a conference champion prior to state play-offs.  In sports such as track and field and swimming that allow for multi team competitions, Conference champions will continue to be determined by a culminating championship event involving all SMAC schools.  The one exception will be football which due to the play-off schedule is not permitted an extra contest to determine a Conference Championship.

If warranted, adjustments to the Divisional structure and/or championship procedures will be based on feedback from SMAC Board of Control members received during the initial two-year piloting period.   

For more information, please contact Dr. Andrew C. Roper, Supervisor of Instruction for Physical Education/Health, at 301-475-5511, extension 32122.  

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UPDATE Cody Lacey Homicide: On July 27, 2015, suspect Alan Michael Rangel was located in Jessup, Maryland, and taken into custody without incident by officers with the United States Marshals Service Task Force Fugitive Unit.

Amanda Raye Hartmann age 24, who was with Rangel at the time of his arrest, was also arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact - First Degree Murder.

Rangel and Hartmann were transported to the St. Mary's County Detention Center and incarcerated.

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The body of a deceased person, believed to be the second missing swimmer from Cove Point Friday evening, was located in the Chesapeake Bay east of Breezy Point at approximately 1:18p.m. yesterday afternoon.  A charter boat captain out of the Rod N Reel located the body east of Breezy Point Marina.  The Captain of the vessel called 911 to alert authorities of the finding.  A Department of Natural Resources boat with a Natural Resources Police Officer and Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class Locke on board responded to the area and recovered the body from the bay. The body will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where identification will be made and an autopsy will be performed.

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Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Francesca Daniele, age 48, of LaPlata, Maryland, on wire fraud charges in connection with the misuse of her government credit card.
 
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Elton Malone, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations, Special Investigations Branch       
 
According to the three-count indictment and other court documents, Daniele was an employed as a program support assistant at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from June 2013 to September 2014, when she was terminated.  As part of her employment, Daniele was authorized to purchase equipment from vendors and to administer contracts on behalf of NIH.  To perform her job, Daniele was issued a government credit card in her name, which was only to be used for official government purchases.
 
The indictment alleges that from July 12 through July 28, 2014, Daniele used her government credit card to make over $21,000 of personal purchases at retail stores and used her cell phone to contact the credit card’s customer service center to facilitate approval of those purchases.  According to court documents, Daniele purchased gift cards, electronics, and other personal items such as food and clothing.  The indictment further alleges that to conceal the scheme Daniele falsely reported that her credit card had been lost.
 
Daniele faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of three counts of wire fraud.  No court appearance has been scheduled.  Daniele was arrested on June 30, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada on a related criminal complaint.  She was transferred to Maryland and had an initial appearance on July 23, 2014 in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.  Daniele remains detained.
 
An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
 
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the HHS-OIG for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P Windom and Trial Attorney Justin D. Weitz of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, who are prosecuting the case.

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Destruction of Property Case #15-39336:
A garage door and vehicle were both spray painted with profanity by unknown person(s) overnight between July 19 and 20 at a home in the 2500 block of Sansbury Drive in Chesapeake Beach.  The damage is estimated at $1,000.  DFC R. Cress is investigating.
 
Theft Case #15-39868:
Two outgoing pieces of mail containing personal checks were stolen out of a mailbox on Ashwood Drive in Dunkirk on July 22.  Dep. B. Schaefer is investigating.

Destruction of Property Case #15-40160:
Someone caused $75 in damage to a wooden fence surrounding the parking lot at the Flag Harbor Yacht haven in St. Leonard between July 20 and 21.  Dep. D. Naughton is handling the investigation.

Theft Case #15-40296:
On July 25 shortly after midnight, Dep. T. Mohler responded to the Prince Frederick Safeway for the report of a theft.  Employees advised the suspect was last seen leaving the store pushing a shopping cart full of items he had not paid for.  Sgt. C. Kontra observed the suspect loading the merchandise into a vehicle.  Dep. T. Mohler made contact with the suspect and a second man.  Both men were arrested.  Tavon Leon Young, 27, of Washington, D.C. was charged with theft less than $1,000, theft scheme less than $1,000 and possession of CDS paraphernalia; a cigar wrapper.  The second suspect, Jeffrey Giles Haston, 26, of District Heights, was charged with theft less than $1,000 and use of drug paraphernalia; a cigar wrapper.

Burglary Case #15-40427:
Unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a shed behind a home in the 3000 block of Hickory Ridge Road in Dunkirk, sometime between July 12 and 24.  The shed was empty so nothing was taken.  Dep. A. Curtin is investigating.

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For the eighth year in a row, SMECO has received recognition from the annual JD Power study regarding residential customer satisfaction for electric utilities.
The news release states:  Among midsize utilities in the East region, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative ranks highest for an eighth consecutive year, with a score of 727. Penn Power (674) ranks second; Delmarva Power (669) ranks third; and Green Mountain and Met-Ed (656 each) rank fourth in a tie.
Below is a link to the JD Power news release.
http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2015-electric-utility-residential-customer-satisfaction-study

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Burglary / Theft:  On 7/23/15 @ 7:30 pm, Trooper Warrick responded to the 3700 block of Hunting Creek Rd. in Huntingtown for a reported burglary. Unknown suspect(s) had forced entry into the victim's home and removed a 64 inch flat screen Mitsubishi television.  A check of local pawn shops will be conducted.  Case remains open at this time.

Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle:  On 7/25/15 @ 11:49 am, Trooper First Class Esnes responded to the 4000 Block of Spike Buck Lane in Port Republic for a report of an unauthorized use of motor vehicle.  The victim reported that Jeremy C. Sessoms had taken her vehicle and did not return the vehicle for hours.  The victim was later notified by Sessoms that he was returning the vehicle and the location where it could be found.  Case remains open for further investigation

Destruction of Property:  On 7/26/15 at 1:07 pm, Trooper Megelick responded to the 800 block of Leesburg Ct. in Huntingtown for a reported destruction of property to a vehicle.  Pink paint had been sprayed on the windows of the victim's vehicle.  Investigation revealed a possible juvenile suspect.  Investigation continues until contact is made with the suspect.

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BALTIMORE, MD – Governor Larry Hogan has appointed Michael G. Leahy, Esq., of
Anne Arundel County, Randall Nixon, Esq., of Howard County and William C. Ensor III
of Baltimore County to serve as the newest board members of the MD Transportation
Authority (MDTA).   
“Maryland is fortunate to have three proven strategic business leaders join the Maryland Transportation Authority Board,” said Governor Hogan.  “Coming off the heels of the first toll reduction in nearly 50 years, we will rely on Michael’s, Randall’s and William’s experience to ensure the MDTA will maintain its strong financial discipline and
commitment to safety along Maryland’s toll roadways, tunnels and bridges.”
Mr. Leahy is the chief legal officer for the City of Annapolis and has more than 30 years of experience in law, economic analysis and strategic planning for both the public and private sectors.  A current board member and vice president of the Annapolis-based Twenty-First Century Education Foundation, he also is a former board member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education and the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.  He received his Juris Doctorate from the Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire and completed post-graduate studies at the Georgetown University Law Center.  
Mr. Nixon is president of Nixon’s Farm, a facility and foodservice operation focusing on
corporate, government and consumer markets, and has more than 30 years of experience with business development and management, law, strategic planning, customer service and marketing.  He is involved extensively in civic and community affairs and serves as trustee for the University of Baltimore’s Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics, as president of the Cornell Club of Maryland and as associate for the National Black Farmer’s Alliance, among others.  Mr. Nixon is a graduate of Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University and Indiana University, where he earned his Juris Doctorate.
Mr. Ensor brings more than 30 years of experience in the transportation industry with
extensive knowledge of financial, procurement and contracting matters and recently retired as president of Timonium-based Maryland Paving, Inc., which operates five asphalt plants across north-central Maryland.  He is director emeritus of the Maryland Asphalt Association and previously served numerous roles for the National Asphalt Pavement Association, including chairman of the board in 2014.  Mr. Ensor is board member for Christian Farmer’s Outreach and a graduate of the Maryland Bible College & Seminary. Mr. Leahy, Mr. Nixon and Mr. Ensor are being officially sworn in by the clerks of the court in their respective counties.

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UPDATE 7-26-15: Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for ALAN MICHAEL RANGEL, age 21, of NO FIXED ADDRESS, for the July 25th shooting on Lavender Lane in Mechanicsville, which resulted in the death of Cody Lacey.

The warrant charges RANGEL with First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, First Degree Assault, Reckless Endangerment, and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony/Crime of Violence.

RANGEL is African-American, 5'09" in height, and weighs 202 pounds.

This investigation is ongoing. Additional information will continue to be released as it is developed.

Anyone with information regarding Rangel's whereabouts is asked to call Detective Melissa Hulse at 301.475.4200 x1996 or email at melissa.hulse@stmarysmd.com, or Criminal Investigations Division Supervisor Lieutenant Russ Trow at 301.481.7694.

Callers may also call CRIME SOLVERS at 301.475.3333 or TEXT a TIP to "TIP239" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637). Calls to CRIME SOLVERS are NOT RECORDED and callers can remain ANONYMOUS. St. Mary's County CRIME SOLVERS offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information about a crime that leads to an arrest or indictment.

If you see RANGEL, DO NOT APPROACH him and CALL 911 immediately.

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Mechanicsville, Maryland - On July 25, 2015, at 1:28 AM, deputies responded to a home for a reported shooting. On arrival, several people were at the home attending a party. Deputies located 21 year old Cody Michael Lacey of Mechanicsville who had been shot. Lifesaving efforts were not successful and Lacey was pronounced dead on the scene.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

This is an active investigation. Detectives ask anyone with information regarding this homicide to call the Sheriff's Office Duty Officer at 301.475.4040. Additional information will be released as it is developed.

 

UPDATE: As the investigation into the murder of Cody Michael Lacey has progressed, detectives developed information regarding the suspect who fired the shots and two suspected accomplices.

On July 25, 2015, detectives executed a search and seizure warrant on a home in St. Mary's County. Both suspected accomplices, identified as Demetrius Jose Burks-Jeffrey, age 22, of Chaptico, and Wade Joshua Braithwaite, age 21, of Lexington Park, were located and placed under arrest. Items of evidence related to the investigation were recovered as well.

Burks-Jeffrey and Braithwaite were transported to the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and charged with Accessory After the Fact - First Degree Murder.

This is an active investigation. Detectives ask that anyone with information regarding this murder, call the Sheriff's Office Duty Officer at 301.475.4040. Callers may also call CRIME SOLVERS at 301.475.3333. Calls to CRIME SOLVERS are not recorded and callers can remain anonymous.

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On July 24, 2015 at approximately 7:22 p.m., the Calvert Control Center received a 911 call in reference to two males that drowned off of Cove Point beach in Lusby Maryland.  Calvert County Sheriff’s Office patrol personnel responded to the scene and secured it until detectives for the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau arrived.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Mr. Daniel Jason Brown (37 year old white male of Lusby), his brother Douglas Howell Brown (39 year old white male of Mechanicsville) and a juvenile male were swimming off Cove Point in Lusby Maryland. It is believed the three entered deep water and became tired from swimming against the tide.  (The current in the area of Cove Point is significant.)  Investigators located witnesses who observed the three swimmers in visible distress. Witnesses saw both Daniel Brown and Douglas Brown disappear beneath the surface of the water. The juvenile was able to make his way back to shore where he alerted family members and authorities.  
An extensive rescue / recovery effort was made by various agencies. Daniel Brown's body was recovered late Saturday afternoon. which met with negative results. The body of Douglas Brown will be recovered when he is located. It is presumed that both Daniel Brown and Douglas Brown succumbed to accidental drowning.  This case will remain open pending Douglas Brown being located.

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On Thursday, July 23, 2015, Tpr. E. Varesko responded to the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack for a reported child abduction.  The complainant advised that Courtney Marie Shires, 23, of no fixed address, had burglarized a residence in Chaptico.  Ms. Shires removed a four year old female victim from the address.  Ms. Shires contacted the child’s father and advised that she would return the child on July 18, 2015, however, she did not.  On July 22, 2015, a custody hearing was held, granting sole custody of the four year old child to the father.  Ms. Shires failed to appear for the custody hearing, and contacted the father to advise that she was not bringing the child back.  An arrest warrant was issued on July 23, 2015 for Ms. Shires.  She is being charged with Abduct Child Under 12.

Further investigation revealed that Ms. Shires had taken the child to Florida.  Tpr. Varesko contacted the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to check an address in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.  Ms. Shires’ vehicle was located, however neither she nor the child were at the residence.  Tpr. Varesko then contacted the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office to respond to an address in The Villages, Florida.  Ms. Shires and the child were located in a residence, and Ms. Shires was placed under arrest.  The father is making arrangements to retrieve the child and bring her back to Maryland.  Ms. Shires is being held in Sumter County pending extradition to Maryland.  (15-MSP-026150)

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Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have obtained an arrest warrant charging Lavon DeWayne Chisley, 49, of Bryans Road with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure in connection with a domestic-related assault that occurred on July 22 in the 3000 block of Charleton Court in Waldorf. Chisley is charged with assaulting a 58-year-old woman with whom he had a relationship. Officers responded to the house after a resident called 911 three times and relayed information of a fight in progress. Two officers arrived at the house simultaneously and observed Chisley and the woman in the front yard. Chisley was holding a knife in his hand and appeared agitated. Officers gave verbal commands to Chisley to drop the knife but he refused. Instead, Chisley continued walking in a forward motion toward one of the officers. The officer, fearing for his life, discharged his firearm one time striking Chisley in the abdomen. Afterwards, the officer approached, pushed the knife out of reach and secured Chisley until additional officers arrived and provided first aid. Chisley was transported to a hospital and is in stable condition. The officer involved in the shooting, PFC Jose Marti, has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience and is a nine year veteran of the CCSO. He was placed on administrative leave in accordance with agency policy.  Anyone with additional information is asked to call Sgt. J. Shoemaker at (301) 609-6451. The investigation is continuing. 

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On July 24 at 1:47 a.m., unknown suspects spray painted profanity and other words – with red spray paint – on the side of Wayside Store located in the 13000 block of Rock Point Road in Newburg. Officers canvassed the area and found fresh red spray paint on the side of Old Christ Church in the 13000 block of  Shiloh Church Road and spray paint on two county road signs as well. Images of one suspect were captured on a surveillance camera. Another suspect is seen standing in the background. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects is asked to call PFC M. Hancock at (301) 932-2222. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered in this case.

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at tipsubmit.com. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Learn more at the CCSO’s website.

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On Tuesday, Sept. 1 the Charles County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session on two proposed Planned Development Zone Amendments (PDZAs).  During the work session, the Commissioners will review the following proposed amendments:  PDZA #14-90 (18), Amendment to the Villages of Wooded Glen and Piney Reach Master Plan; and PDZA #14-90 (19), Amendment to the Fairway Village Master Plan.
The Sept. 1 work session is follow up to a July 14 presentation in which the Commissioners elected to defer formal action on the requested amendments. The Commissioners offered the applicant, St. Charles Community LLC, an opportunity to modify the proposed plan, and present the modifications on Sept 1. Upon review of the modified plan, the Commissioners may schedule a second public hearing, at which time the public is permitted to provide comments as part of the official record.  
 
The Board of Commissioners works diligently to consider all public comments before making zoning changes in Charles County. Although the official record is not open at this time, the Commissioners welcome comments from residents at any time during the zoning process.  All comments received are forwarded to the Commissioners for review.
 
Residents wishing to comment should contact Danielle Mitchell at 301-645-0554 or MitchelD@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258. 

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While on patrol near 46048 Gooseneck Dr. in Lexington Park, St. Mary's Sheriff's deputies heard an explosion. In an effort to locate the source, they discovered a 2008 Nissan Altima with post blast damage to the front hood and windsheild area. Investigation is continuing. The estimated loss to the vehicle was $2,500.

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