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Rain doesn’t slow Thomas Stone High School students down when it comes to volunteering and community service. Stone held their third annual service day on Sept. 30 where students, community members and staff were asked to volunteer and help clean up the outside of their school building.

Student volunteers split up between two teams to tackle the cleanup. Five students worked on picking up debris and trash from a forest trail located behind the school softball field. While a second team of five students worked on weeding the perimeter of their orchard fence and the flowerbed surrounding Stone’s entrance sign off of Route 5. After completing their jobs, students discussed their accomplishments and how to stay involved with more community service events.  

Stone science teacher Christopher Rooney has organized the annual Service Day since it started three years ago and thinks it was a success. “The Service Day went very well.  All tasks we set out to do were accomplished. Our Service Day is an opportunity for Thomas Stone students to engage in meaningful community service aimed at improving the school's grounds and gardens,” Rooney said.

School organizations, such as the National Honors Society, Key Club, Young Researcher’s Community Project and Future Educators of America often require student members to complete community service. The Maryland State Department of Education requires Student Service Learning as a graduation requirement for students in middle and high school.


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BURGLARY: On Oct. 5 at 3:49 p.m., officers responded to Charles County Auto Body located in the 4500 block of Indian Head Highway for the report of a theft in progress. Upon arrival, officers spoke with an employee who found damage to a fence behind the business and noticed a white Honda CR250 dirt bike missing. A review of security footage revealed a subject wearing all black clothing and a hooded sweatshirt displaying the words “Glory Boyz.” Officer L. Miles is investigating.

BURGLARY AND THEFT: On Oct. 5 at 7:30 a.m., officers responded to the 18000 block of Patuxent Ave in Benedict for the report of a burglary. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim who observed a subject leave the area of his residence carrying a flat object. The suspect ran and fled in a small black passenger vehicle. The victim discovered that the suspect made entry through a rear window and stole a 32” television. M/Cpl. R. Heishman is investigating.

THEFT OF RIMS AND TIRES: Sometime between Oct.  4 at 9:30 p.m. and Oct. 5 at 7:20 a.m., unknown suspect(s) stole 20 inch Bonetti brand black and chrome wheels with Nexxen brand tires off of a 2010 Honda crossover SUV located in the 4100 block of Bluebird Drive in Waldorf. Pfc. J. Fromme is investigating.

ATTEMPTED BREAKING AND ENTERING: On October 5 at approximately 12 p.m., officers responded to the 12000 block of Shlagel Road in Waldorf for the report of an attempted break-in. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim who observed an unknown suspect in his backyard attempting to gain entry into his secured garage. The suspect, who was approximately 6’0’’ tall with a medium build, fled towards the Pinefield neighborhood after the victim ran outside. No entry was made, and no items were stolen. Officer J. Micklus is investigating.

ROBBERY: On October 4 at 1:42 a.m., officers responded to the Dash In gas station located in the 11000 block of Billingsley Road. Two employees reported that the suspect entered the building wearing all black and a black ski mask. The suspect told one employee to open the registers, and when she complied he took the money from the drawers and placed it into a bag. The suspect inquired about the safe and, after the employees told him they were unable to open it, fled towards the car wash. There was another suspect waiting outside, also wearing all black and a ski mask, who fled as well. Anyone with information should contact Officer M. Hunt at 301-932-2222.

ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBERY: On October 3 at 9:45 p.m., officers responded to Goodies located in the 4500 block of Indian Head Highway in Indian Head for the report of an attempted armed robbery. An employee reported that an unknown subject entered the store displaying a black handgun. He yelled at the clerk, “Give me the money! I have a gun!” The clerk ran to the back of the store, and the suspect fled without receiving any money. The suspect is described as an African-American male, 6’0’’ with a slim build. He was wearing a gray sweater, dark blue skinny jeans, black gloves, gray shoes and a dark green Halloween mask with black Mohawk hair. Anyone with information should contact Pfc. N. Garner at 301-932-2222.

POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE: On Oct. 3 at 5:45 p.m., Officer A. Coulby was conducting an unrelated traffic stop when he detected the odor of marijuana from inside the subject’s vehicle. A search revealed the subject was in possession of marijuana, in an amount to indicate the intent to distribute, as well as a handgun. Andarius Ocyrus Conner, 19 of Waldorf, was arrested and charged.

ARMED ROBBERY: On Oct. 3 at 10:15 a.m., officers responded to Discount Tobacco Shop located at 3069 Marshall Hall Road in Bryans Road for the report of an armed robbery. The store owner reported that a masked African-American male, possibly in his early twenties with curly hair and a thin build, entered the store and pointed a handgun at him, demanding money and cigars. The owner complied and the suspect fled on foot toward the back of the Bryans Road Shopping Center. Anyone with information should contact Detective Celia at 301-932-2222.

COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY: On Oct. 2 at 6:01 p.m., Pfc. M. Kelly responded to Gallo’s Clothing in the 1100 block of Smallwood Drive in Waldorf for the report of counterfeit currency. Upon arrival, he recovered two counterfeit fifty dollar bills, at which time a lookout was given for the suspects and suspect vehicle. The vehicle was located in front of Shopper’s Food Warehouse and was occupied by two of the four suspects, who were then placed under arrest. A third suspect was located shortly after and placed under arrest. A search of the vehicle resulted in $4,800 in counterfeit fifty dollar bills as well as other evidence. Paul Dezoun Douglas, 25 of Waldorf, David Mathew Griffiths, 18 of Queens, NY, and Armanda Pizzaro, 22 of Winston-Salem, NC, were arrested and charged. A fourth suspect has been identified and will be charged at a later date. Pfc. M. Kelly is investigating.

BURGLARY: On Oct. 2 between 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., unknown suspect(s) broke into a garage in the 11000 block of Rest Drive in La Plata and stole four dirt bikes. One of the dirt bikes was recovered from a wooded area near the victim’s residence. Pfc. R. Anderson is investigating.

THEFT OF RIMS AND TIRES: Sometime between Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 2 and 6 a.m., unknown suspect(s) stole four  20” stock chrome rims with tires from a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado that was parked in the 2700 block of Pinewood Drive in Waldorf. Pfc. P. Alvarez is investigating. 


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Charles County Sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that occurred
today at about 3 p.m. on a dirt path near Saint Pauls Drive and Allward Drive in
Waldorf. Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000
for information leading to an arrest.

A preliminary investigation showed a 17-year-old male was on the path when he was approached by two suspects. The suspects demanded the victim's bike. One suspect then pulled a gun and shot the victim in the upper leg. The suspects fled with the victim's silver and green BMX bicycle. The victim walked back to the roadway and flagged down the driver of an empty school bus who stopped, rendered aide and notified authorities. The
victim was flown to a hospital and admitted with a non life threatening injury.
Officers canvassed the area and detectives are working leads.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective  J. Elliott at 301-932-2222. Callers
wishing to remain anonymous may call Charles County Crime Solvers at
1-866-411-TIPS. The investigation is ongoing. 


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Sheriff Tim Cameron and the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office remind the community that it is critical that motorists take proper safety precautions when approaching a school bus. The Sheriff’s Office has experienced an influx of reports from the community regarding school bus stop-arm violations. The Traffic Safety Unit Division takes these reports very seriously.

Motorists are required to remain stationary until the red lights of the school bus go off, or the bus continues to travel down the road. These are serious infractions that can lead to injury of students or other motorists, and violators will be fined $570 and will be given three points on their licenses.

The National Highway Administration reported that an average of 24 children die in school transportation-related crashes each year (11 occupants and 13 pedestrians). Many children are struck by motorists as they step off the buses. According to the NHTSA, more students are killed getting on or off buses than while riding them.

As you travel our roads— BE PATIENT, SLOW DOWN, and PAY ATTENTION—Our Kids Matter.


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During the Fall holiday season, many organizations and individuals are in the planning stages for holiday activities.  State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci wants to remind everyone the State Fire Prevention Code requires adequate fire protection to be provided in “Haunted Houses” and special amusement buildings.  Both permanent and temporary use structures fall under these requirements.  “These common sense requirements, based on national model codes and standards, will help us avert a tragedy similar to the one that struck a New Jersey theme park over two decades ago.  That incident resulted in the tragic loss of eight lives,” said the State Fire Marshal.  

Requirements such as a sufficient number of exits, automatic smoke detection in reduced-lighting venues, exit marking, and emergency lighting help alert occupants in the event of a fire.  Additional requirements addressing automatic fire sprinkler protection, restrictions against using flammable and/or combustible finishes and wall coverings, and banning open flame devices such as candles and lanterns along with smoking prohibitions, promote a fire-safe environment.

“Although ‘Haunted Houses’ may not seem to present a fire danger to most people, patrons can become easily disoriented during a fire emergency,” says the State Fire Marshal.  Entrepreneurs considering creating a “Haunted House” attraction are urged to contact their local fire prevention bureau or the Office of the State Fire Marshal for a complete list of fire safety requirements before creating their venue.  The State Fire Marshal adds, “The best way to ensure fire safety is with proper training and planning!”


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Leonardtown, MD – St. Mary’s County citizens interested in becoming storm spotters can sign up for the SYWARN class, hosted by the St Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services & Technology, on October 22. The class will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Charlotte Hall Library, 37600 New Market Road in Charlotte Hall.

Many Americans are impacted by the effects of severe weather every year. To obtain critical weather information, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN with partner organizations. SKYWARN is a volunteer program which trains citizens to become severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

SKYWARN spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, including severe thunderstorms, flash floods, tornados and severe winter storms.  In an average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threaten lives and property.  Since the program began in the 1970s, information provided by SKYWARN spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and winter storms.

NWS and the St Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services & Technology encourage anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such as HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

The free class will last approximately two hours and includes the following curriculum:
•    Basics of thunderstorm development
•    Fundamentals of storm structure
•    Information to report
•    How to report information
•    Basic severe weather safety

To register for the SKYWARN Basic I class go to
For more information, please call 301-475-4200 Ext. 2124.


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(La Plata, Maryland) – On September 27, 2015, at approximately 10:03 a.m., Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded to a collision on Maryland Route 257 in the area of Banks O Dee Road, Newburg, Maryland.  As a result of the collision, the female operator sustained life-threatening injuries.  A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers from the La Plata Barrack, with the assistance of the TFC Hooten, Southern Region Crash Unit, indicates a Toyota Tacoma operated by Shirley Jeans Keesee, 53 , was traveling on northbound Maryland Route 257 in the area of Banks O Dee Road.  Mrs. Keesee failed to drive in a single lane and failed to drive right of center.  The Toyota traveled off the roadway, traveled across a yard and collided with a tree.  Mrs. Keesee was transported to Prince George’s Hospital via MSP Helicopter Trooper 7 and was listed in serious condition.   
On October 04, 2015, at approximately 1:15 p.m., Mrs. Keesee was pronounced deceased at Prince George’s Hospital.
Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack at (301) 392-1200.  The investigation is continuing and being investigated by Trooper First Class T. Hooten.  (15-MSP-035121)


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Theft:  On 9/28/15 at 3:52 pm, Trooper First Class Palumbo responded to the barrack for a complaint of a reported theft that had occurred in the 400 block of Stamper Court in Prince Frederick.  The victim reported that her wallet and several silver coins were taken.  A possible suspect has been developed.  Case remains open for further investigation.
Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle:  On 9/29/15 at 11:59 am, Trooper Jones responded to the barrack for a reported unauthorized use of a motor vehicle complaint.  The victim reported her vehicle had been taken by Stacey Barnard without her permission.  A few days later the vehicle was located near her residence.  Charges are pending. 
Theft / Shoplifting:  On 10/2/15 at 8:11 pm, Trooper First Class Matthews responded to the Walmart in Prince Frederick for a shoplifting/theft scheme complaint.  Three suspects operating together had shoplifted items, returned the stolen for gift cards and then used the gift cards to purchase merchandise.  The three suspects have been identified, investigation continues.


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Burglary Case #15-53134
Deputy D. Naughton responded to Asbury Circle in Solomons for a reported burglary that took place sometime between September 4 - September 7.  There were no signs of forced entry or known suspects at this time.  The case is still being investigated by Deputy Naughton.

Burglary Case #15-52922
On September 28 Deputy C. Ward responded to a report of a prowler on Old Bayside Road in Chesapeake Beach.  It was later learned that Anthony Pessagno, Jr., 27, and Dexter Holland, 33, both from Owings, MD were habiting the home and found to be in possession of paraphernalia (hypodermic needle).  They were arrested for 4th degree burglary, paraphernalia possession and transported to the Detention Center.

CDS Violation Case #15-53570
On October 1, Deputy D. Clark conducted a traffic stop on N. Solomons Island Road, in Prince Frederick, for a vehicle being operated in an unsafe manner by Linda Ball, 61, of North Beach.  She was charged with multiple driving offenses along with three (3) counts of CDS (Oxycodone and Diazepam) and possession of paraphernalia (pill crusher).  She was transported to the Detention Center.

CDS Violation Case #15-53352
On September 30 Deputy G. Gott conducted a traffic stop off of Dowell Road, in Lusby, and discovered the driver, Richard Griffiths, III, 36, of Leonardtown, MD was in possession of paraphernalia (metal smoking device).  He was charged on a Criminal Citation.

CDS Violation Case #15-53238
On September 30 Deputy R. Kreps responded to a traffic accident at the intersection of 5th Street and Ridge View Drive in Owings.  Deputy Kreps subsequently discovered the driver, Alexander Guest, 19, of Owings to be in possession of paraphernalia (smoking device).  He was charged on a Criminal Citation.

CDS Violation Case #15-53092
On September 29, while Deputy M. Trigg was processing Bradley Rawlings, 38, of Prince Frederick at the Detention Center, he discovered Mr. Rawlings was in possession of crack cocaine, marijuana and paraphernalia.   He was charged with CDS intent to distribute and possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, paraphernalia (packaging) and other drug charges.

CDS Violation Case #15-53062
On September 28 Deputy M. Trigg conducted a traffic stop near White Sands Drive in Lusby and charged Damont Barnes, 32, of California, MD with possession of paraphernalia (baggie).

CDS Violation Case #15-52960
On September 28 Deputy P. Aurich responded to a ‘check welfare’ call at the Dunkirk Walmart parking lot.  Upon assisting the driver, Deputy Aurich discovered Rory Lohman, 40, of Huntingtown to be in possession of paraphernalia (pipe).  He was transported to the jail without incident.

Destruction of Property Case #15-52953
On September 28, Deputy D. Naughton responded to Long Beach Drive, in St Leonard for a report of a vehicle window having been broken between the hours of 12:30 am - 8:30am.  The investigation is continuing.

Disorderly Conduct Case #15-52899
On September 28, Deputy R. Wilson responded to Howard Place in Chesapeake Beach and arrested Renee Patterson, 28, of Chesapeake Beach, for disorderly conduct and Failure to Obey Lawful Order.   She was transported to the Detention Center and processed.

Theft Case #15-53568
On October 1, Deputy R. Weems responded to Pawnee Lane, Lusby, for the report of a theft of an 18-foot metal trampoline frame, which was stolen sometime between September 28 - October 1st.  The investigation is continuing.

Theft Case #15-53481
Sometime between September 28 - October 1st, a registration sticker was removed from a work truck belonging to a local business located on Investment Court in Dunkirk.    Deputy A. Woodford is investigating.

Theft Case #15-53418
On September 30, at approximately 10:15 pm, someone stole a blue Mongoose Freestyle bicycle located on Black Mesa Court, Lusby.  No leads at this time; Deputy R. Weems is investigating.

Theft Case #15-53192
Sometime in early September, an AC/Heat Pump was removed from the backyard of a home on Deerfield Lane, Chesapeake Beach.  Deputy T. Phelps is investigating.

Theft Case #15-53142
On the morning of September 29, someone removed a piece of mail from a mailbox on Chaney Road, Dunkirk.  Deputy J. Wahlgren is investigating.

Theft Case #15-53051
Deputy W. Durner responded to a report of stolen jewelry (necklace and two rings) from a home on Hazels Way, Sunderland.  It is not known exactly when the crime had taken place but possibly over the last several months.  Deputy Durner is investigating.

Theft Case #15-53019
Deputy A. Curtin is investigating the report of money stolen from a vehicle on Trail Pass, in Owings.  This theft took place sometime between September 27 between 8:00 pm - September 28 at 6:10 am.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Deputy Curtin.


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DEATH INVESTIGATION: On October 1 at 4 p.m., a corrections officer at the Charles County Detention Center observed a female inmate hanging from a bed sheet – which was affixed to a towel hook – inside her cell. Upon seeing this, the officer took immediate action by calling for assistance and medical help. The officer then swiftly removed the sheet from the woman’s neck. Medical personnel – who work inside the detention center – performed CPR, activated an automated electronic defibrillator and were able to bring the woman’s pulse back. Paramedics arrived and transported the woman to Charles Regional Medical Center where she was admitted in critical condition. On Oct. 4 at 6:22 p.m., the woman, Cara Rachell Dorwart, 27, of Waldorf died. She was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore where an autopsy will be performed. A preliminary investigation showed Dorwart was arrested on Sept. 29 for failing to appear in court on a theft charge; she was being held on a $5,000 bond. At the time of the incident, she was the sole occupant of her cell. Det. J. Elliott is investigating.  


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(Pikesville, MD) – Troopers investigated several crashes involving impaired drivers and made numerous arrests this past weekend across Maryland.

This past weekend, October 2, 2015 through October 5, 2015, troopers investigated 15 collisions involving suspected impaired drivers.  One of those crashes involved a Maryland State Trooper occurred in the Annapolis area while attempting to stop a suspected drunk driver. He was arrested and charged.

Forty-seven additional motorists were arrest for a vehicle while impaired.  Troopers remind everyone that impaired driving crashes are completely preventable by never driving after you have been drinking.

These collisions included:

Charles Co. – Route 231 at Latham Court, Prince Frederick, MD – 10:43 p. m. – October 2 – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash involving a car that ran off the roadway into a ditch.  The driver was transported to the hospital.  The driver was subsequently charged with DUI.

Charles Co. – Route 257 at Route 254, Cobb Island, MD – 3:13 a. m.  – October 3 – Troopers responded to a crash in which the vehicle struck a tree.  The driver was found to be impaired and was charged with accordingly.

Charles Co. – Route 301 at Vernon Road, Waldorf, MD – 7:12 p. m. – October 3 – Troopers responded to a single vehicle crash involving a car that left the roadway and struck tree.  Driver was flown to University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center.  Charges are pending.

Charles Co. – Route 201 at Glymont Road, Indian Head, MD – 12:26 a. m. – October 5 – Troopers responded to a two vehicle crash.  One of the drivers was found to be intoxicated and was subsequently charged.


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On September 16, 2015, Deputy H. Smith responded to the 30000 block of Business Center Drive (Anchor at Walden Sierra) in Charlotte Hall, for a reported CDS violation. An employee of Anchor discovered a writing pen with white residue and several pieces of burnt foil in a bag appearing to belong to suspect, Christina Gold-Bowen, age 20, of Leonardtown. Bowen was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. She was charged with Possession of Paraphernalia. CASE# 54646-15

On September 18, 2015, Deputy B. Fennessey responded to the 24000 block of Pin Cushion Road, for a reported domestic assault. The victim alleged the suspect, William E. Walter, age 53 of Leonardtown, threw the victim to the ground and kneeled on the victim’s neck during an argument. The victim displayed injuries consistent with the allegations. Walter was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with 2nd Degree Assault.  CASE# 55170-15

On September 18, 2015, Deputy M. Pleisse responded to the 25000 block of Phillip Thomas Lane in Mechanicsville, for a report of a subject in a vehicle parked on the shoulder of the roadway. Deputy Pleisse made contact with the suspect, Thaddeus X. Crawley Geneus, age 20, of Mechanicsville, who appeared to be sleeping in the driver’s seat with the vehicle running and keys in the ignition. Geneus eventually woke, and a field sobriety test was performed. During a search of his vehicle, the deputy recovered parapherphernalia consistent with marijuana use.  Geneus was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. During a search at the detention center, correctional officers located marijuana in the suspect’s socks.  He was charged with Possession with Intent to Use Drug Paraphernalia: Marijuana, Possession of a Control Dangerous Substance while in a place of Confinement. CASE# 55394-15

On September 18, 2015, Deputy S. Tirpak responded to the 45000 block of Miramar Way (Wal-Mart) in California, for a reported theft. Upon arrival, contact was made with a store employee who identified the suspect, Daniel A. Alioto, Jr., age 23, of Great Mills. Alioto attempted to leave the store without paying for merchandise. He was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center, where he was charged with Theft less Than $1000. CASE# 55276-15

On September 21, 2015, Deputy D. Holdsworth responded to the 26000 block of North Sandgates Road in Mechanicsville, for a reported disturbance. The victim alleged the suspect, Joseph M. Bowles, age 29, of Hollywood, cut the victim’s hand during an argument. The victim displayed injuries consistent with the allegations. Bowles was placed under arrest, and a search of the suspect revealed pills consistent with the Schedule II Narcotic: Vicodin. Bowles was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with First Degree Assault, Possessing a Controlled Dangerous Substance: Schedule II, and Openly Carrying a Weapon with the Purpose of Causing Injury. CASE# 55850-15

On September 22, Deputy G. Mushchette responded to the 21000 block of Indian Bridge Road in California, for the report of a violation of peace order. The victim alleged the suspect, Kimberly B. Bowles, age 41, of California, yelled at the victim from her front step. Bowles was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. She was charged with Violation of Peace Order. CASE# 56015-15

On September 22, 2015, Deputy D. Holdsworth responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center, for a reported assault. The victim alleged the suspect, Kyle W. Jones, age 22, of St. Inigoes assaulted the victim on the arm with a bar of soap in a sock. The suspect displayed injuries consistent with the allegations. Jones was charged with Second Degree Assault. CASE# 55886-15

On September 18, 2015, Sgt. Clay Safford investigated a suspicious vehicle parked in front of the Leonardtown Burchmart located on the 250000 block of Point Lookout Road. Upon activation of the patrol car emergency lights, the suspect Robert C. Russell III, age 21, of California, hastily began putting items toward the driver, Melinda M. Davis, age 30 of Lusby. The occupants were directed to leave the vehicle, and a K-9 scan revealed a suspected CDS smoking device that contained crack cocaine residue. A probable cause searched revealed suspected crack cocaine wrapped in plastic and two hypodermic needles. Russell and Davis were both placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. They were charged with CDS Possession – Not Marijuana: Cocaine and CDS Possession Paraphernalia. CASE# 55344-15


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Saturday night at 7:09 p.m., 52 firefighters Bryans Road, Potomac Heights, Accokeek, NSWC Heights, Indian Head, Waldorf, LaPlata and Allentown Volunteer Fire Departments were called to a house fire at 2795 Shiloh Church Road, Bryans Road. The accidental fire was the result of a candle being left unattended on the computer stand. There were no reported injuries and the occupants were being assisted by the American Red Cross. The total loss in the fire is estimated at $5,000.


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Nanjemoy, Md. – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a Notice of Intent to initiate a full public procedure and Environmental Impact Statement concerning the designation of Mallows Bay as a new National Marine Sanctuary.  Mallows Bay, located on the Potomac River in Charles County, MD, is home to the “Ghost Fleet,” the largest collection of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, which has become a unique ecological habitat and tourist attraction.

The Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Nomination was submitted to NOAA for consideration by the State of Maryland in September 2014.   There are currently 14 National Marine Sanctuaries in the United States.  A broad based coalition of businesses, non-profits, and educational, fishery and conservation organizations joined together to support the nomination.  Today, many applauded this milestone in the designation process.

“We’re thrilled to learn of NOAA’s Notice of Intent, as Mallows Bay –Potomac River is now a step closer toward becoming the first National Marine Sanctuary designated in more than 20 years and the first ever in the Chesapeake,” President and CEO Joel Dunn, Chesapeake Conservancy, a lead partner in the coalition, said.  “We’re now calling on the public for their help to make this dream a reality by attending the public meetings and telling NOAA officials why this designation is important. The public’s participation during this critical phase can help protect Mallows Bay for generations to come.”

NOAA has scheduled two public meetings to solicit public comments, concerns, and visions for the proposed new sanctuary.  The first will occur on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at the Charles County Government Building, 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, Maryland.  The second will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, 723 2nd St, Annapolis, Maryland.  Both sessions will begin with an open house from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m., followed by an official program and public comments from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Donald G. Shomette, author of The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay and widely considered to be the foremost expert on Mallows Bay, celebrated this milestone, stating, “"Mallows Bay is a veritable time capsule, a unique sanctuary of history embedded in nature, a living laboratory for all the ages to come."

“The College of Southern Maryland wholeheartedly supports the Mallows Bay Marine Sanctuary.  Our faculty are very interested in developing academic programs around the Sanctuary and will also use it for field-trips and other academically related-endeavors,” President Dr. Bradley Gottfried, College of Southern Maryland, said.

“On a broader scale, this is a project that has been embraced by the entire community.  It is wonderful to see the local schools, government, and nonprofit organizations working together to assist in moving the project forward.  It will truly be a boon to Charles County and the entire region.”

“Mallows Bay offers a unique combination of nature and history for the outdoor enthusiast.  One can explore the bay itself, loaded with hundreds of shipwrecks that have formed many oddly shaped islands,” Judy Lathrop of Atlantic Kayak Company and the Piscataway Creek Discovery Center, said.  “If you are interested in birding or fishing, you will be thrilled with the diversity and abundance of wildlife.  If paleontology is your thing, you can search the beaches for sharks teeth and other fossils.  I urge those who are interested to attend the upcoming meetings to show your support for making Mallows Bay a marine sanctuary and to preserve it in perpetuity.

For more information, members of the public are invited to contact Charlie Stek, chair, of the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Nomination Steering Committee, at or Jody Couser, director of communications for the Chesapeake Conservancy, at


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The St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission is reporting a sanitary sewer overflow in the area of 16668 Piney Point Road, St. George Island. The sanitary sewer overflow is a result of a broken sanitary sewer main. Public contact of flood and standing waters in the general area of the St. George Island Wastewater Pumping Station should be avoided for ten days. For additional information, please contact the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission at
(301) 373-5305.


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Governor Larry Hogan on Sunday rescinded the state of emergency that was issued in advance of Hurricane Joaquin.
St. Mary's County has reached two feet in some areas, and is expected to continue over the next couple of high tide cycles.


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The Charles County Commissioners wish to notify residents that applications are being accepted to participate in the fiscal year 2016 Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program.  All applications must be stamped received by the Department of Planning and Growth Management by close of business Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.
In November 2014, the Commissioners approved a Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program for Charles County. The development of a county PDR Program was a long standing recommendation of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, and the Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan.
The PDR Program allows the county to purchase and retire transferrable development rights from willing sellers, thereby preserving productive agricultural and forest land for future generations. The program will also augment the private market for transferrable development rights by providing an additional funding source and market for their sale.
The PDR Program adds an additional preservation tool to the county’s existing land preservation programs, including the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, Rural Legacy, and Transferrable Development Rights Programs.  Collectively these three programs have permanently preserved 16,387 acres of farm and forest land throughout the county’s rural areas.
During fiscal year 2015, the county permanently preserved 1,200 acres of prime farm and forest land, not only contributing significant county funds, but leveraging funding from the state and the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission for a combined budget of $6 million.  
For more information on program requirements, and to obtain an application, landowners may visit Programs/Land Preservation or contacting:
Charles Rice, at (301) 645-0651 or
Aimee Dailey, at (301) 645-2721 or


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PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD - Communities surrounding Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place Monday-Friday, Oct. 5 - 9. 
Pilots at Pax will be continuing their training for realistic flight scenarios including Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP). These training scenarios are essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information call 1-866-819-9028.


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Charles County Sheriffs detectives are investigating the deaths of a man and a
woman whose bodies were found at about 7 a.m. Saturday in a wooded area near Drury
Drive in La Plata. The couple, who appeared to be in their 50's, were found by a
passerby and it appeared they had been living at that location. There were no
obvious signs of trauma. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore
will perform autopsies to determine the cause of death. Investigators are in the
process of identifying the couple. The investigation is continuing.


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Charles County Residents are asked to avoid travel on Route 254 approaching Cobb Island during high tide. Higher than normal tides are expected tonight, Oct. 4, from approximately 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 5, approximately 8 a.m. to noon.


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