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The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing this Thursday, June 30,  at the Southern Community Center at 7 p.m. The only issue on the agenda is to hear public comment regarding the Special Tax District petition for the Drum Point Property Owners’ Association.
 
For additional information, please review the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ agenda: http://www.co.cal.md.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/1017?html=true

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The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, will conduct a full-cycle test of the alert and notification sirens throughout Calvert, St. Mary’s and Dorchester counties on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at noon.
The full-cycle test includes a three-minute activation of all sirens within the 10-mile area around Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. All citizens are asked to remember the scheduled testing and relay the information to friends, family and neighbors.
The testing is conducted to check siren operation and increase public awareness of the alert and notification siren system. If the sirens sound at any other time, residents should tune to one of our local radio stations for information and instructions.

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Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Antoine Dewayne Savoy, age 35, of Lusby, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute powder and crack cocaine. 
 
        The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Chief Stanley Johnson, of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Prince George’s County Division; Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry; St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron; and Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans.
  
According to his plea agreement and other court documents, from January through July 2015, Savoy conspired with Colbert Juan Jones, Vincent Leo Fletcher, Troy Taishon Swann, and James Devwan Pixley, to distribute cocaine.  Jones sold cocaine to his customers, which included Savoy and Pixley.  Savoy and Pixley purchased cocaine from Jones several times a month and used at least half of that cocaine to manufacture crack cocaine, which they sold in smaller distribution quantities.  Savoy often retrieved the cocaine from a home in Prince Frederick, Maryland, from which Jones distributed narcotics.  Savoy would either meet Jones there and personally exchange money for the cocaine, or retrieve the cocaine from a hiding place known to Savoy and Jones.  Savoy would then leave cash in the hiding place, or arrange another time and place to provide money to Jones.
 
Jones obtained cocaine from Fletcher and other sources.  Fletcher obtained cocaine several times a month from Swann and other suppliers.  Fletcher distributed the cocaine to his customers for further distribution, and used some of the powder cocaine to manufacture crack cocaine, which he also distributed. 
 
Colbert Juan Jones, age 33, of St. Leonard, Maryland, and Vincent Leo Fletcher, age 29, of Clinton, Maryland, and James Devwan Pixley, age 26, of Waldorf, Maryland, were each previously sentenced to 10 years in prison. Troy Taishon Swann, age 39, of Waldorf, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11 2016 at 11:00 a.m.
 
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF, DEA, Prince George’s County Police Department, Maryland National Capital Park Police, Prince George’s County Division, and the Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert County Sheriffs’ Offices for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael T. Packard and Leah J. Bressack, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
 

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Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Darrell Lee, age 48, of Charlotte Hall, Maryland, today to 184 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for robbery, and for carrying and brandishing a gun during a robbery. Judge Grimm also ordered Lee to pay restitution of $24,791.50 and forfeit $19,987. 
 
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
 
According to his plea agreement, on June 18, 2014, Lee and Furman Troy entered a jewelry store in Charlotte Hall. Lee brandished a gun at the store owner and Troy bound the victim with duct tape. After obtaining the key to the jewelry counter from an employee, they stole jewelry worth approximately $8,890, cash, a laptop computer valued at approximately $2,100 and other items. 
 
On June 22, 2014, Lee and Troy robbed a pharmacy in Mechanicsville, Maryland. Again, Lee brandished a gun and Troy bound the employee with duct tape. They stole cash and prescription bottles containing oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone and endocet, valued at approximately $8,997. 
 
Furman Troy, age 45, of Charlotte Hall, Maryland, pleaded guilty to his participation in the scheme and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In addition, Michael Burgess, age 54, of Alexandria, Virginia, and Abdelrahim Ayyad, a/k/a Sahid, age 50, of White Plains, Maryland previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the robberies and await sentencing.
 
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation, and recognized the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for its assistance in the case. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Leah J. Bressack, who prosecuted the case.

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CRIME SOLVERS OFFERING REWARD IN ROBBERY CASE: Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects in a citizen robbery. On June 27 at 3 a.m., the victim was walking in the area of Jameson Court in Indian Head when two suspects approached, assaulted him, and stole his tennis shoes. The suspects fled, and the victim notified police. Anyone with information is asked to call Pfc. J. Alpert at (301) 932-2222. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at tipsubmit.com.
 
THEFT FROM AUTO: On June 27 at approximately 8:15 a.m., officers responded to the 11400 block of Popes Creek Road in Newburg for the report of a theft. Investigation showed unknown suspect(s) stole an aluminum protective case from an unsecured cargo area of the victim's SUV while the victim was at the shoreline and out of sight of his vehicle. The case contained a DJI Phantom 2 Vision quad-prop drone and related equipment.  Pfc J. Alpert is investigating.
 
BICYCLE STOLEN: On June 24 between 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., unknown suspect(s) stole a Mongoose mountain bike from the 1000 block of Floyd Avenue in Waldorf. The bicycle is gray with black handle bars and has a large black foam seat. There are green skulls on the valve stems. Pfc S. Hooper is investigating.
 
THEFT FROM AUTO: On June 22, during the overnight hours, someone stole a book bag containing headphones and a wallet from an unlocked car in the 11900 block of Roy Hobbs Place in Waldorf.  Pfc. S. Miller is investigating.

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Burglary Case #16-35448:
On June 24, 2016, Deputy D. Naughton was dispatched to Parkers Creek Road, in Port Republic, for the report of a burglary.  The owner of the Ogden’s Vintage Store reported that sometime between 12:00 on June 17 and 9:00am on June 24, a suspect(s) made entry into the antique store and stole furniture, household items, jewelry, tools and several other miscellaneous items.   The investigation is continuing.  
 
Burglary Case #16-34139:
On (June 17, 2016), Deputy R. Evans responded to Armory Road, in Prince Frederick, for the report of a burglary.  The victim stated that sometime on June 16, someone broke a window to gain entry into a home and stole bath towels.  The suspect(s) also forced entry into a locked shed, but it does not appear that anything was stolen.
 
Burglary Case #16-34086:
On (June 17, 2016), Deputy S. Morder was dispatched to Sandy Point Road, in Prince Frederick, for the report of a burglary from a locked shed.  Sometime over the last several months, someone gained entry into the victim’s shed and stole a handheld, Stihl Leaf Blower, Model BG55.  There are no suspects at this time.
 
Burglary Case #16-34079:
On (June 17, 2016), Deputy M. Naecker responded to a burglary, which took place on Webb Lane, in Dunkirk.  Sometime between 2:30pm on June 16 and 8:00am on June 17th, someone forced their way inside a home under construction and stole a GE stainless steel microwave oven.  Anyone with information is asked to contact this Deputy.
 
CDS Violation Case #16-34987:
On June 21, 2016, Deputy T. Mohler conducted a traffic stop, at approximately 6:30pm, on Harbor Drive, in Chesapeake Beach.  The driver, Carol O’Dell, 51, of Chesapeake Beach, was found to be in Possession of a CDS: Synthetic Narcotic (Suboxone), possession of paraphernalia (bottle) and unlabeled Prescription bottles.  She was arrested and transported to the Detention Center.
 
CDS Violation Case #16-34738:
On June 20, 2016, Deputy M. Trigg conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven in an unsafe manner at the intersection of Limerick Lane/E. Chesapeake Beach Road, in Owings.  He discovered the driver, Lemuel Brown, 27, of Glen Burnie, MD, to be in possession of several illegal drugs and a loaded firearm.  He was charged and arrested for possession of a dangerous nonnarcotic drug (Xanax), CDS possession of a narcotic (Codeine), possession with intent to distribute a narcotic (Codeine), possession of paraphernalia (rolling papers), Handgun in Vehicle, Carrying and possessing Illegal Ammunition, Firearm/Drug Trafficking Crime, CDS: Distribute with Firearm and for possession of a regulated Firearm.
 
CDS Violation Case #16-34646:
On June 20, 2016, Deputy S. Trotter conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of N. Solomons Island Road/MF Bowen Road, in Huntingtown.  Upon this stop he determined the driver, Serenity Morsell, 27, of Prince Frederick, to be driving on a suspended license.  Deputy Trotter charged Morsell with the traffic offense and also with possession of paraphernalia (2 syringes and a prescription bottle containing Heroin and Oxycodone).
 
Destruction of Property Case # 16-34691:
On June 20, 2016, Deputy C. Callison responded to Magnolia Circle, in St. Leonard, for the report of damage to property.  The victim reported that sometime during the evening of June 17, an unknown substance was thrown on their vehicle, causing the paint on the hood, roof, trunk and driver side doors, to bubble and flake off.  There are no known suspects at this time.
 
Disorderly Conduct Case #16-35756:
On June 15, 2016, Deputy V. O’Donnell was dispatched to the intersection of Broome’s Island Road/Oyster House Road, in Broome’s Island, for the report of a domestic problem.  When he arrived and made contact with the complaint, Kelly Stecchino, 54, of Silver Spring, MD, he attempted to determine the reason for the 911 call.  The caller was uncooperative and walking unsafely alongside the road.  He arrested Ms. Stecchino for Public Intoxication with Public Endangerment and for Disorderly Conduct.
 
Disorderly Conduct Case #16-35632:
On June 25, 2016, Deputy S. Moran was dispatched to Golden West Way, in Lusby, for the report of disorderly subjects outside of a residence.  Upon arrival he was able to coax the subjects back into the house but approximately 20 minutes later, Deputy Moran received another call for a disorderly subject in the same area.  He was approached by Nathan Lowe, 20, of Lusby, who was ordered to calm down but would not cooperate.  He was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and transported to the Detention Center.
 
Theft Case #16-35940:
On June 26, 2016, Deputy P. Wood was dispatched to the Prince Frederick Walmart on N. Solomons Island Road for the report of a theft, with a shoplifter in custody.  He made contact with Chad DeLong, 19, of Prince Frederick, who admitted to stealing various pieces of clothing and body spray.  He was arrested for Theft Less Than $100.00 and transported to the Detention Center.
 
Theft Case #16-35700:
On June 25, 2016, Deputy D. Naughton was dispatched to the Giant grocery store located on N. Solomons Island Road, in Prince Frederick, for the report of a theft, with a shoplifter in custody.  He made contact with the suspect, Lisa Rowell, 51, of Prince Frederick, who admitted to stealing various food items, vitamins, health/beauty items and other general merchandise.  She was arrested for Theft Less than $1000.00 and transported to the Detention Center.
 
Theft Case #16-34980:
On June 21, 2016, Deputy R. Spalding responded to the complainant’s home on Crescent Court, in Prince Frederick, for the report of stolen registration plates.  Sometime earlier in the day (June 21), both plates were stolen off of the victim’s car.  This theft took place at an unknown location in Calvert County.
 
Theft Case #16- 34934:
On June 21, 2016, Deputy C. Callison met a complainant at the Sheriff’s Office who reported a theft from vehicle, which was parked on Stern Court, in Lusby.  Sometime between 9:00pm on June 19 and 4:30am on June 20, an unknown suspect(s) entered their unlocked vehicle and tossed items around.  The only items the victim could identify as missing was money from a purse that was left on the front seat. 
 
Theft Case #16-34759:
On June 20, 2016, Deputy J. Livingston responded to a home on Patuxent Avenue, in Broome’s Island, for the report of a theft from vehicle.  The caller stated that approximately 5:00pm, on June 20th, he parked his vehicle on Chesapeake Avenue, in Prince Frederick, to help a friend.  He only stepped away from his vehicle for 15 minutes; during that time, someone entered his unlocked vehicle and stole his brown wallet, Driver’s License, gift card and money.  No suspects at this time.
 
Theft Case #16-34713:
On June 20, 2016, Deputy S. Trotter was dispatched to Scenic Way, in St. Leonard, for the report of mail theft.  The victim reported receiving notice that a package was delivered at 11:15am on June 18, but when they returned home on June 20th, the package was not there.  The package contained a tan fleece long-sleeved shirt and a green shirt.  No suspects at this time.
 
Theft Case #16-34644:
On June 20, 2016, Deputy P. Foote was dispatched to Fire Berry Court, in Prince Frederick, for the report of a theft from unlocked vehicle.  The complainant reported that sometime between 8:00pm on June 19 and 6:00am on June 20, an unknown suspect(s) rummaged through a vehicle and stole credit and social security cards.
 
If you know who committed these crimes or any other criminal activity in Calvert County, you can report it anonymously online by clicking the Crime Solvers link at www.CalvertCountySheriff.us  or by calling 410-535-2800. 
 
Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person involved in criminal activity.
 

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Statewide (June 27, 2016) – With the arrival of summer, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is suggesting that Marylanders attend public fireworks displays. “I would highly suggest the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public fireworks displays throughout the state.” stated Geraci.  To help Marylanders enjoy a safer summer season, the State Fire Marshal offers several ways to enjoy fireworks while avoiding injury:
 
Consider attending one of the numerous public fireworks displays scheduled throughout Maryland every year. Leave fireworks to the professionals. Check the Maryland State Fire Marshal website at: www.mdsp.org/firemarshal for listed public fireworks displays throughout the state.
     For those individuals who insist on the use of consumer fireworks:
 
Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.
Read and follow label warnings and instructions.
Do not allow small children to use fireworks.
Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.
Have a bucket of water and/or hose available
Fully extinguish remains of fireworks in water before disposal.
“Fireworks have been a long tradition of the 4th of July holiday celebrations. Please make safety your number one priority so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.” adds the State Fire Marshal. “By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate fireworks injuries in Maryland.”

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On March 2, 2016, the victim walked into the Sheetz Gas Station, located at 22711 Three Notch Road, California, MD, with a friend for snacks and drinks. While checking out, the victim witnessed the suspect “degrading” a cashier. The victim and the victim’s friend intervened, and then the suspect assaulted them both. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects and/or about this incident is asked to contact Deputy M. McCuen at 301-475-4200, ext. *9102 or by email at Matthew.Mccuen@stmarysmd.com

 

 

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Two firefighters were injured during a fire in Calvert County Sunday evening, according to fire officials.
 
The occupants of the home were reportedly uninjured and alerted in time to safely escape.
Officials say the fire start with "outside shrubbery," and is believed to be caused by "accidental, discarded smoking material."
 
Twenty-five firefighters from the St. Leonard Volunteer Fire Department responded and reportedly had the fire out in about 90 minutes. The home that caught fire is located at 6768 Aralia Avenue. The total loss for the home is estimated at $250,000, according to officials.
 
The family was displaced and assisted by friends, family, and the Red Cross.
 

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(Waldorf, Maryland) – On Sunday night at 10:15 p.m.., Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded to the intersection of MD Rt. 228 at Greenwood Dr, in Waldorf, MD for a  hit and run motor vehicle collision.  Based on witness accounts, a 2002 Yamaha R1 with Maryland registration, being operated by Ronald Anthony Crews of Waldorf, MD, was traveling westbound on MD Rt. 228 at Greenwood Dr. in lane #1 at a high rate of speed.  A dark blue or black Chrysler PT Cruiser or Chevrolet HHR made a u-turn from eastbound MD Rt. 228 to westbound MD Rt. 228 at Greenwood Dr. Witnesses further advised the Yamaha swerved to the left, struck the unknown vehicle in the rear driver’s side area and rolled numerous times causing the driver to be ejected. The unknown vehicle failed to remain at the scene of the collision.    
 
Crew’s was flown by Maryland State Police Trooper 2 to Baltimore Shock Trauma for treatment of his injuries. He is in stable condition at this time. 
 
Speed and driver error is believed to be the cause of this collision which is being investigated by Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack with the assistance of the Maryland State Police CRASH Team’s Southern Region Crash Unit.  Anyone who may have witnessed or who has information regarding this collision is asked to contact the MSP La Plata Barrack Duty Officer at (301) 392-1200. 

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The last inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay not connected by bridge to mainland, Smith Island is a historic waterman community that was named one of the five best spots for "dropping off the grid" by CNN. It promotes itself as the hub of the soft-shelled crab industry in America, and is home to Maryland's official state dessert, the multilayered Smith Island Cake. The island can now claim another title: Sustainable Community. Joining the Towns of Greensboro and Trappe on the Eastern Shore and the Town of Indian Head in southern Maryland, these four communities are the latest to receive designations under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Sustainable Communities Program. 
 
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Sustainable Communities Program is a place-based designation that offers access to a comprehensive package of resources that support holistic strategies for sustainable revitalization and community development. The Sustainable Communities designation provides local governments with a framework for planning and promoting growth and redevelopment in existing older communities that is environmentally, economically and socially responsible. Designations are approved by Maryland's Smart Growth Subcabinet, and there are now 95 approved Sustainable Communities statewide with at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City.  
 
Charles County - Town of Indian Head
 
With a population just under 4,000, the Town of Indian Head is 30 minutes from Washington, D.C., and offers the best of small town living with access to big city amenities just up the road. Nestled between the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek, the town is home to a 13-mile rail trail and provides an ideal setting for outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing.  Indian Head offers cultural events at its Center for the Arts along with a flea market and several annual festivals on its Village Green. It is located near the Indian Head Naval Support Facility, one of the largest employers in Charles County. The town's current challenges include decreased homeownership, stormwater management, lack of broadband internet access, vacant storefronts, and aging housing stock. Indian Head will seek state assistance to develop dynamic commercial and residential districts to replace currently vacant and dilapidated commercial properties. The town wants to create and implement homeownership incentives such as "live near your work" programs to attract new residents. Indian Head also plans to construct a boardwalk along the Potomac River to increase recreational opportunities in the community, as well as reduce the amount of impervious surfaces throughout the town to address stormwater and environmental impact concerns.

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Leonardtown, MD - The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have announced appointments to the following boards, committees and commissions.  The appointments were approved at their last business meeting on June 22 and are effective July 1. Terms to expire as indicated:
 
Airport Advisory Committee
                        Bryan Barthelme, Jr. (Reappointment)                                  06/30/19
                        Robert Pearce                                                                       06/30/19
           
                        Commission for Women       
                        Jennifer Brown (Partial Term)                                              06/30/18
                        Malinda Hughey (Partial Term)                                             06/30/18
                        Melissa Farren (Reappointment)                                           06/30/19
                        Norma Pipkin (Reappointment)                                            06/30/19
                        Erin Walker (Reappointment)                                               06/30/19
 
                        Commission on Aging
                        Veda Willis (Partial Term)                                                   12/31/17
                        Susanne Wise-Campbell (Partial Term)                               06/30/18
                        Margaret Forrest                                                                06/30/19
 
                        Commission on the Environment
                        George Thompson (Reappointment)                                    06/30/20
 
                        Family Violence Coordinating Counsel                               
                        Kevin Hill                                                                            Unlimited Term
 
                        Transportation Advisory Committee          
                        Scott Anderson                                                                    06/30/19
                        Nick Moats                                                                           06/30/19
                        Brian Schroeder                                                                   06/30/19

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6-20-2016 – Assault – Deputy T. Seyfried responded to the 45000 block of Nicolas Court in Great Mills, for a reported domestic assault. The victim alleged the suspect, Joseph Edward Griffin, Jr, age 28, of Great Mills, grabbed the victim causing visible signs of injury. Griffin was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with Second Degree Assault. CASE# 32002-16
 
6-23-2016 – Assault – Deputy J. Kerns responded to the 24000 block of Morgan Road in Hollywood, for a reported assault. The victim alleged the suspect, Michael Kelly Fitzpatrick, age 25, of Hollywood, grabbed the victim in the face then threw the victim against a wall. The victim displayed injuries consistent with the allegations. CASE# 32502-16

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Charles County Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division recently arrested a suspect in connection with a Christmas day robbery, after DNA and other evidence linked the suspect to the crime. On Dec. 25, 2015, at 9:52 p.m., a male suspect entered the 7-11 in the 300 block of Smallwood Drive in Waldorf. He poured a cup of coffee and then walked behind the counter where he displayed a knife and held the employees at knife point. The suspect then ordered an employee to open the register and give him money. One of the employees ran into the office and shut the door with the suspect in pursuit. After being unable to get into the office, the suspect fled the store on foot without getting any currency and leaving behind physical evidence. Forensic crime scene investigators recovered evidence which was submitted and analyzed by technicians with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Unit.  DNA and latent prints led to the suspect’s identity and on June 18, William Thomas Chisley, Jr., 45, of La Plata, was arrested and charged with robbery.  Detective C. Gregory investigated.

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The Charles County Department of Public Works would like to remind citizens that the next household hazardous waste collection will be held on Saturday, July 2.  The household hazardous waste collection site is located in the parking lot of the Department of Public Works building, located at 10430 Audie Lane, off of Radio Station Road in La Plata.   Collection hours are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
 
Items accepted free of charge include: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.
 
Unacceptable materials include bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition.  Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites.  Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified.  This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener, or sawdust to aid in drying it out.
 
Household hazardous waste collection will occur on the first Saturday of each month through December.  Upcoming 2016 collection dates are:  July 2, Aug. 6, Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, and Dec. 3.
 
For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD (June 23, 2016) – Due to fee reductions for birth and death certificates at the Maryland Division of Vital Records effective July 1, the St. Mary’s County Health Department will decrease its fees for birth and death certificates obtained in the county. 
 
Individuals born in Maryland after 1940 may receive a copy of their birth certificate at the St. Mary’s County Health Department while they wait, Mon. – Fri, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.  The fee charged for a birth certificate will be reduced from $35.00 to $25.00 per copy. Anyone born in Maryland prior to 1940, or those who prefer to receive a birth certificate by mail, may apply to the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Division of Vital Records in Baltimore.
 
Fees for death certificates obtained at the health department will be reduced from $32.00 to $18.00, and $20.00 for each additional copy.
 
For more information or to obtain the forms for the mail-in service, contact the Vital Records Office, St. Mary’s County Health Department at 301-475-4330 or visit the health department’s website at www.smchd.org

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On June 17, members of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Section, assisted by Emergency Services Teams from both the Charles County and St. Mary's County Sheriff’s Offices, along with COPS officers and Animal Control officers, executed a search and seizure warrant at a house in the La Plata area after an extensive investigation regarding drug activity. An active methamphetamine lab was located in a trailer near the back of the house. Quantities of cocaine with a street value of $10,000, marijuana, methamphetamine, narcotic prescription medication, ammunition, two long guns and numerous items to indicate distribution of controlled substances were recovered. Two people were arrested on scene: Brady Alan Hart, 36, of Virginia, was charged as a fugitive from justice, and Charles Innis Garber, 37, of Virginia, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. The Bel Alton VFD and HAZMAT responded and assisted with dismantling the lab. The investigation is ongoing, and additional information will be released pending further developments. 

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  The Charles County Sheriff’s office has announced a partnership with Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), the free and private social network for neighborhoods, to build stronger, safer communities with the help of residents.
 
This integration with Nextdoor will enable the CCSO to communicate online with Charles County neighborhoods. Residents and officers will be able to work together to increase safety and strengthen virtual neighborhood watch.
 
“Having the ability to easily communicate with residents is extremely vital to not only maintaining, but also increasing safety and reducing crime within our communities,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “Nextdoor can help empower neighbors to keep their communities safe and connected and give them the ability to collaborate on virtual neighborhood watch efforts.”
 
With Nextdoor, residents can create private neighborhood websites to share information, including neighborhood public safety issues, community events and activities, local services, and even lost pets. Nextdoor has proven to be an essential and well-adopted tool, both locally and nationally, with more than 40% of neighborhoods using Nextdoor across the country. To date, there are more than 50 Charles County neighborhoods set up in Nextdoor.
 
The CCSO will be able to share helpful information with Nextdoor members, such as crime alerts, safety precautions and tips, details for events and crime watch meetings, and updates on activity affecting the local area to Nextdoor websites within Charles County. However, the CCSO will not be able to access the private neighborhood websites, residents’ contact information, or content.
 
Nextdoor is a free service. Each neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor website. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood before joining Nextdoor. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by Google or other search engines.
 
Those interested in joining their neighborhood’s Nextdoor website can visit www.nextdoor.com and enter their address. If residents have questions about their Nextdoor website, please visit help.nextdoor.com.

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Superintendent Kimberly Hill is temporarily reassigning new middle school students moving into high growth areas in the Milton M. Somers Middle School zone. Students moving into new homes in the St. Charles neighborhoods of Gleneagles South, Gleneagles North, Villages of Wooded Glen and Villages of Piney Reach after July 15 will attend Benjamin Stoddert Middle School rather than Somers.
 
The moratorium affects only students moving into newly constructed homes, and not already attending Somers. The moratorium is temporary and intended to limit growth at Somers, which is over capacity, until the school system conducts a comprehensive middle school redistricting. The redistricting will coincide with the completion of a renovation and expansion of Stoddert in 2020.
 
Earlier this school year, the Board of Education acknowledged the need for middle school renovations and expansions based on the growing student enrollment at some schools, most specifically Somers. The Board approved the fiscal year 2017 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) that includes the renovation and expansion of Stoddert. Renovation will modernize the school; expansion adds capacity. Construction at Stoddert is expected to begin in 2019, at which time a comprehensive middle school rezoning will begin. Renovations should be complete by August 2020.
 
Until that time, Hill said, Stoddert has the capacity to absorb new growth to relieve additional student enrollment pressures at Somers. The relief is estimated as a reduction of around 30 students per year at Somers and an addition of the same number of students at Stoddert.
 
Additionally, Hill has recommended a comprehensive elementary school redistricting along with the addition of Elementary School 22 and the renovation of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School. That redistricting process will start in fall 2016, to be phased in and to take effect with the completion of the construction projects.
 
Description of temporary assignments
 
The Superintendent plans to temporarily assign all new middle school students from Blocks 2711, 2641, 2643 and 2631, in the St. Charles development area, to Stoddert starting with the 2016-17 school year. The change does not affect students already living in homes or who had secured a use and occupancy permit prior to July 15, 2016. All students moving into homes in blocks 2711, 2641, 2643 and 2631 that do not have a use and occupancy permit by July 15, 2016, will attend Stoddert rather than Somers. 
 
The moratorium:
 
·         does not reassign to Stoddert any Charles County elementary school student currently living in a house zoned for Somers;
 
·         keeps bus transportation of students in the designated moratorium areas to a minimum without incurring additional transportation costs;
 
·         allows students moving into an occupied or resale home in the affected blocks to attend school at Somers; and
 
·         initiates a moratorium in blocks where development is planned, but where no residents and students reside. The moratorium only impacts future growth and future homes.
 
Blocks include the plan are in the St. Charles neighborhoods of Gleneagles South, Gleneagles North, Villages of Wooded Glen and Villages of Piney Reach.

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Leonardtown, MD – As a result of a presentation on June 7, Fitch Ratings has affirmed St. Mary’s County’s AA credit rating on $25 million of consolidated public improvement tax-exempt bonds, series 2016.  Proceeds from the bonds, to be sold via competitive sale on July 26, will be used to pay for various capital projects around the county. The last time the county sold bonds was in 2009. Last October the rating agency said it anticipated a moderate amount of bond issuance in FY2017.
 
Additionally, Fitch affirmed the rating on $32.6 million of outstanding general obligation bonds at AA .
 
In its review Fitch says the county “has consistently maintained strong operating performance” and believes it will continue to “maintain reserves throughout the economic cycle solidly above the level consistent with a ‘aaa’ financial resilience.” Other key economic factors include a strong military presence, the regional airport’s designation as an Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site which has led to private investments in research and manufacturing, and the University of Maryland’s plan to build a UAS-focused research facility in 2018.  
 
“This comes as great news in light of the continuing economic challenges facing government and the private sector,” said County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett.
 
Fitch also took note of the county’s healthy level of reserves, very low debt, maintenance of a separate reserve to preserve its bond rating at 6% of general fund expenditures and a rainy day fund.  The county instituted a minimum unrestricted fund balance policy of 15% of general fund revenue in August 2015.
 
“This review is another indicator of the continued conservative stewardship of taxpayer dollars by county government and the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “It reaffirms our continued commitment to strong fiscal management as we continue to serve the needs of our growing community.”
 
The full report from Fitch is available online at:  http://www.stmarysmd.com/docs/Final Press Release Fitch Ratings 6.2016.pdf

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