Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) was recently contacted by customer-members who received phone calls from scammers targeting the Southern Maryland area. Scammers may identify themselves as SMECO employees and demand prepaid debit cards in order to avoid having electric service cut off.
According to Tom Dennison, managing director of government and public affairs at SMECO, “Scammers often target businesses. They have higher monthly bills and scammers will take advantage of that, claiming the business customer owes a large sum of money. Businesses may have more than one person authorized to pay bills, and scammers exploit the lack of communication between employees and business owners.”
To cause further confusion, scammers can make the name of the utility appear on a customer’s caller ID, and they have improved their ability to trick people by duplicating voice recordings and imitating utility phone systems.
Dennison said, “If customers receive a phone call from someone threatening to disconnect their power, they may hang up. If they want to verify account information, they can call SMECO directly. Our contact center is open 24 hours a day, every day. SMECO’s phone number is 1-888-440-3311, and it’s printed on every customer bill.” The following describes SMECO’s routine for collecting payments from customers.
• SMECO will mail a termination notice if a bill is past due.
• SMECO calls customers who owe a past due balance using an automated phone system with a recorded message; rarely will SMECO employees make personal “collection” phone calls.
• Collection calls are made about 10 days before service is to be terminated. SMECO does not require payment at the time of the call.
• Unknown callers who give short deadlines and threaten to cut off service within an hour or two are probably running a scam.
• SMECO does not make collection calls or terminate service on weekends or holidays.
• If service is going to be terminated, a SMECO collector will knock on the customer’s door before turning off service.
• SMECO collectors will accept credit card payments, checks, or money orders, but they do not accept cash.
SMECO has issued alerts when customers have notified the co-op that these scams are taking place. “Not only are scams a nuisance, but these crooks can steal thousands of dollars from unsuspecting residents and businesses,” said Dennison. “We want to help prevent this type of crime by educating our customers whenever we hear about people being tricked out of their hard-earned money.”
For customers who believe they have received a fraudulent email or phone call, some basic guidelines follow.
• Customers should use the phone number printed on their monthly bill and only give payment information over the phone if they initiate the contact.
• Customers should not provide personal information, banking information, user names, passwords, or account information to unauthorized callers or in an email.
• Customers should not provide Green Dot, Western Union, or Moneygram payments to unauthorized callers.
• Customers should never meet unauthorized callers at a local store or bank to make a payment—their personal safety could be at risk.
On April 25, 2017 at 10:32 pm deputies were dispatched to the BP gas station at 2975 West Chesapeake Beach Road, Dunkirk, for a report of a robbery in progress. When deputies arrived the suspects were already gone. The investigation revealed a total of 4 suspects, one of which displayed a handgun, robbed the clerk of money and merchandise. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating this case, and is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying these individuals. Anyone with any information is urged to contact Detective Quinn at 410-535-1600 ext 2596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 26, 2017 at approximately 3:02 pm deputies were dispatched to the intersection of HG Trueman Road and Cove Point Road Lusby for a report of an accident with injuries. An investigation revealed a 2003 Mitsubishi, operated by Tobriana Destiny Gantt of Lusby, was traveling north on HG Trueman and attempting to make a left turn onto Cove Point Road. There were also 2 male juvenile passengers in the vehicle. At the same time a 2003 Jeep, operated by Taylor Renee Bromwell of Prince Frederick, was heading south on HG Trueman at Cove Point Road. Witnesses on the scene stated the light turned yellow as the Jeep entered the intersection. The Mitsubishi had a circular green light, but did not yield the right of way and struck the Jeep head-on. Both of the drivers were transported via ambulance to Calvert Memorial Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. One of the juveniles in the Mitsubishi, a 4 year old male, was flown to Children’s Hospital. His injuries also appear to be non-life threatening. Charges are pending in this case.
04/20/17 - Alter Drug/Alcohol Test - Deputy J. Davis responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center in Leonardtown, MD, for the report of an inmate who allegedly altered a urinalysis test. The iInvestigation revealed the suspect Nicholas (nmn) Kelson, 22 of Lusby, MD, was observed via video surveillance altering a drug screening test. Kelson was arrested and charged with Altering a Drug/Alcohol Test and released back to the custody of the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. CCN# 21229-17
04/24/17 - Burglary 2nd Degree and Theft less than $100 - Deputies responded to Pawtuxent Bread and Biscuit located in Hollywood, MD for a reported theft. The investigation revealed while employees were tending to animals at the rear of the business, the suspect later identified as Zachary Joseph Grant, 25 of Chaptico, MD, entered the front of the business and stole U.S. currency from the cash register. Detective Cpl. D. Alexander assisted Deputies in the investigation and was able to positively identify the suspect through the businesses video surveillance system. The suspect was then located, arrested, and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where he was charged with 2nd Degree Burglary and Theft less $100. CCN# 20807-17
04/21/17 – Assault 2nd Degree - Deputy G. Bare responded to a residence on the 21000 block of Ronald Dr., Lexington Park, MD, for a reported domestic assault. Deputies met with the victim who advised there was a verbal altercation with the suspect, who was identified as Shirley Ann Grice, 45 of Lexington Park, MD. The victim advised the suspect was on the victim’s cell phone and cursing at the victim’s mother. When the victim took the cell phone away from the suspect, the suspect bit the victim on the right arm. Deputy G. Bare observed the victim’s injuries to be consistent with the account of the incident. The suspect was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where she was charged with Assault 2nd Degree. CCN# 21352-17
04/22/17 - 1st Degree Escape - Cpl. B. Foor responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center in Leonardtown, MD, for the report of an attempted escape by suspect inmate John Robert Garner, 35 of Mechanicsville, MD. The investigation revealed that Garner concealed himself inside of a food tray cart that was removed from his housing unit at the conclusion of lunch. The suspect remained concealed inside of the cart when he was subsequently discovered by Correctional Officer Hersh. The suspect was arrested and charged with 1st Degree Escape. CCN# 21565-17
04/22/17 – Theft Less $100. On 02/26/17 Cpl. B. Foor responded to the Designer Shoe Warehouse in California, MD, for the report of a theft. The investigation revealed two suspects entered the business and acquired a pair of shoes. The suspects placed the shoes into the baby stroller they had with them and exited the store failing to pay for the merchandise. The suspects were subsequently identified as Hayley Ann Christensen, 20 of Great Mills, MD, and Triston Dennis Sweat, 20 of Great Mills, MD. Both suspects were charged on Criminal Citations for Theft less $100. CCN# 10928-17
04/24/17 – Violation of Protective Order. Deputies responded to Iverson Drive, Lexington Park, MD, for an alleged harassment. Deputies met with the victim who advised the suspect had called the victims cell phone while an active Protective Order was in place. While Deputies were on scene, the suspect identified as Yelena Marie Mcafee, 19 of Lexington Park, MD, called the victim’s phone again several times. The investigation revealed the suspect was in violation of an Active Protective Order which protected the victim from the suspect having any form of contact with the victim. Deputy P. Henry located and arrested the suspect. The suspect was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where she was charged with Violation of Protective Order. CCN# 21961-17
04/23/17 – Troy Dewayne Cutchember, 25 of California, MD, was arrested on a District Court Arrest Warrant for Violation of Exparte/Protective Order. Arrested by Deputy J. Bare.
04/25/17 – Norman Lester Sloop, 50 of Vandergrift, PA was arrested on District Court Arrest Warrant for Forgery of Private Documents/two counts of Theft Less than $100/Unalwful taking motor vehicle. Arrested by Deputy P. Henry
04/21/17 – Federico Correa Figueroa, 40 of Mechanicsville, MD, charged on a Criminal Summons for Fraudulently obtain identifying information of another/Theft under $1000. Charged and served by Corporal K. Flerlage
04/22/17 – Sabrina Renee Parker, 44 of Lexington Park, MD, charged on a Criminal Summons for Theft less $100. Charged and served by Corporal K. Flerlage
04/22/17 – Maurice Delante Stoney, 50 of Lexington Park, MD, charged on a Criminal Summons for Theft less $100. Charged and served by Corporal K. Flerlage
04-03-17 - A 15-year-old male juvenile of Hollywood, MD, was arrested and charged with Disruption of School Activities and a 15-year-old female juvenile of Leonardtown, MD, was arrested for Disruption of School Activities and Assault 2nd Degree while at Leonardtown High School. Both Juveniles were arrested and charged by School Resource Officer Corporal G. Maloy. CCN# 18113-17 and CCN #18137-17
04-03-17 - A 15-year-old male juvenile of Hollywood, MD and a 15-year-old male juvenile of Leonardtown MD, were arrested and charged with Disruption of School Activities and Affray, while at Leonardtown High School. Both juveniles were arrested and charged by School Resource Officer Corporal G. Maloy. CCN# 18280-17
04/23/17 - Two, 15 year old male suspect(s), both of California, MD, were arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Burglary, Trespassing and Property Destruction over $1000. The juveniles were arrested and charged by Deputy D. Holdsworth. CCN# 21682-17
04/24/17 – A 13 year old female juvenile of Hollywood, MD, was arrested and charged with Theft less $1000 and Rogue & Vagabond. The juvenile was arrested and charged by Deputy D. Lawrence. CCN# 21847-17
04-25-17 – A 17 year old male juvenile of Lexington Park, MD, was arrested and charged with Assault 2nd Degree. The juvenile was arrested and charged by Deputy P. Henry. CCN# 19574-17
04/19/17– Theft Less $1000 – Deputies were effectuating an eviction in the 45000 block of Foxchase Dr, in Lexington Park, MD, when a 12 gauge shotgun was located inside the residence. A serial number check was conducted and found the shotgun to be listed as stolen from Arkansas. The shotgun was determined to be in the possession of the defendant, Maurice Owen Toon, 60 years of age, of Lexington Park, MD. Toon was arrested by Deputy D. Smith and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where he was charged with Theft Less $1000 – CCN# 20990-17
04/19/17– Burglary 1st Degree and Assault 2nd Degree - Deputies responded to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office for the report of an alleged Assault. Upon arrival, Deputy J. Davis met with the victim who advised the suspect identified as Christopher Allen Williams, 27 of Mechanicsville, MD, unlawfully entered a residence located in the 27000 block of Glenn Ct., Mechanicsville, MD. Upon entry, the suspect and victim became engaged in a verbal altercation over a personal item of the victim’s. The altercation escalated when Williams attempted to take possession of the item and a physical struggle ensued. The investigation revealed, Williams was not welcomed at the residence and assaulted the victim. Deputy J. Davis arrested Williams and transported him to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center, where he was charged with Burglary 1st Degree and Assault 2nd Degree – CCN #21034-17
04/05/17 – CDS Possession – Not Marijuana – Cpl. J. Stone responded to a motor vehicle accident in the area of Three Notch Rd., and St. Andrews Church Rd., California, MD. The investigation revealed the suspect Richard Casey Quade, 28 of Hollywood, MD, was operating his motor vehicle when he struck another vehicle in transport. The investigation also indicated that suspect Quade was operating his motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance. Cpl. J. Stone located numerous pills identified as oxycodone, hidden within the vehicle Quade was operating. Cpl. J. Stone arrested and transported Quade to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where he was charged with CDS Possession – Not Marijuana. CCN #18617-17
04/20/17 - Assault 1st Degree and Assault 2nd Degree. Deputies responded to the 48000 block of Park Pines Rd., Lexington Park, MD, for a reported disturbance. Upon arrival, Sgt. K. Moritz met with the victim who advised, suspect Adam Silcott Roberts, 24 of Lexington Park, MD, and the victim share an apartment. There was an ongoing dispute due to the victim wanting Roberts out of the apartment. The suspect arrived at the apartment that afternoon and began to throw the victim’s personal belongings out the back door of the apartment. The victim indicated a verbal altercation ensued and to avoid the altercation turning physical, the victim turned to walk away when the suspect struck the victim in the back of the head. The suspect then allegedly displayed a knife, holding it to the victim’s neck and threatened to kill the victim. The victim and witness were able to flee the apartment and call 911. Sgt. K. Moritz observed injury to the victim consistent with the chain of events described by the victim and the witness. The suspect Roberts was arrested and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where he was charged with Assault 1st and 2nd Degree. CCN# 21179-17
04/19/17 - Nicole Leanna Mccginnis, 27 of Leonardtown, MD, was charged on a District Court Arrest Warrant for 4th Degree Burglary to a Dwelling. Arrested by Corporal J. Davis.
04/19/17 - Jake Travis Marble, 31 of Lexington Park, MD, was charged on a Circuit Court Warrant for 1st Degree Burglary. Arrested by Corporal G. Knott.
04/20/17 - Carlonte Antoine Knott, 25 of Hollywood, MD, was arrested on several outstanding District Court Arrest Warrants; two counts of Theft less $100 and one count of Robbery. Arrested by Cpl. T. White
Criminal Summons Services:
04/19/17 - Amber Nicole Queen, 22 of Bushwood, MD, was charged on a Criminal Summons for Credit Card Fraud and Theft Less $1000. Charged by Deputy First Class B. Steinbach and summons served by Cpl. D. Snyder.
04/20/17 - Donald Calvin Oliver Jr., 37 of Mechanicsville, MD, was charged on a Criminal Summons for Assault 2nd Degree. Served by Deputy M. McCuen
04/20/17 - Jake Travis Marble, 31 of Leonardtown, MD, was charged on a Criminal Summons for two counts of Theft less than $1,000. Served by Deputy D. Smith
04/20/17 - Osie Mae Shade, 57 of Fort Washington, MD, was charged on a Criminal Summons for Assault 2nd Degree and Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult. Served by Cpl. J. Davis
Notice is hereby given that the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will hold a Public Hearing on May 16 at 10 a.m. in the Chesapeake Building, located at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown, Maryland to receive comments and questions on community development and housing needs and to offer citizens the opportunity to review a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application. This grant will enable the construction of an extension of Rogers Drive to intersect with Willows Road in the vicinity of John G. Lancaster Park in Lexington Park, MD. The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County proposes to submit a CDBG application on behalf of the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation to the State to fund this community development project. Citizens are encouraged to attend and participate in the public hearing.
Project Title: Rogers Drive Extended Project
Public Agency: St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation
Purpose of Project: To extend Rogers Drive approximately 350 ft. from the Colony Square neighborhood to Willows Road in the vicinity of John G. Lancaster Park in Lexington Park, MD.
Total Project Cost: $453,773
CDBG is a federal funded program administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development designed to assist units of local government with activities directed toward neighborhood and housing revitalization, economic development and improved community facilities and services.
CDBG reflects the State’s economic and community development priorities and provides public funds for activities that meet one of the following national objectives in accordance with the Housing Community Development Act of 1974, as amended:
Give maximum feasible priority to activities that will benefit low and moderate income persons and households having an income equal to or less than the Section 8 lower income limits established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Aid in the prevention of elimination of slums or blight; and
Meet other community development needs of an urgent nature or that cause an immediate threat to community health and welfare.
For interested participants, public transportation using the county’s STS bus system is available. Efforts will be made to accommodate non-English speaking residents with a notice of 5 days to Robin Finnacom at 301-475-4200, ext. *1407 or for the Deaf/hard of hearing to the Maryland Relay Service at 1-800-735-2258 (VTTY). The hearing location is fully accessible.
Written comments, questions and suggestions may be submitted on or before May 23, 2017 to Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, Post office Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
COMMISSIONERS OF ST. MARY’S COUNTY
Drug Arrest – On Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 1:04 am, Tpr. Manning initiated a traffic stop on a passenger car on Route 235 at Exploration Drive for a traffic violation. Tpr. Manning made contact with the driver, Andarius Ocyrus Conner, 20, of Waldorf, and detected the strong odor of marijuana. A probable cause search was conducted, resulting in the recovery of multiple plastic baggies containing a total of approximately 61 grams of suspected marijuana and a digital scale. Mr. Conner was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with CDS Possess with Intent to Distribute, CDS: Possession- Marijuana, and CDS: Possess Paraphernalia and held pending a bond review with the District Court Commissioner. (17-MSP-013789)
Drug Arrest – On Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 2:05 am, Tpr. Manning initiated a traffic stop on a truck for a traffic violation. While the vehicle was coming to a stop, Tpr. Manning observed the driver throw a plastic baggie out of his window. Tpr. Manning recovered the baggie, which contained suspected cocaine, and made contact with the driver, Terence Llewelyn Mason, 52, of Mechanicsville. Mr. Mason was placed under arrest and charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and Possession of Paraphernalia. He was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and held pending a bond review with the District Court Commissioner. (17-MSP-014200)
Theft – On Friday, April 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm, Tpr. Mulhearn responded to the Wal-Mart for a reported theft. Investigation revealed Vincent Douglas Smith, 56, of Lexington Park, had placed several items in a backpack. Mr. Smith proceeded to the checkout register and paid for some items, but none of the items in his backpack. Mr. Smith was placed under arrest and issued a “Notice Not to Trespass”. He was transported to the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack and issued a criminal citation for Theft Less than $100. (17-MSP-015491)
Burglary- On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 1:50 am, TFC S. Ditoto responded to the Vapor 99 in Lexington Park for an alarm. TFC Ditoto observed that the front glass door of the business was shattered and spotted a suspect fleeing the scene on foot. The suspect ran to the area of the Golden Corral and was joined by a second suspect. One suspect, a juvenile male, 14, of California, was apprehended. The second suspect, a juvenile male, 17, of California, was apprehended a short time later. Both suspects were placed under arrest and transported to the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack for processing. They were charged with Burglary – Second Degree, Malicious Destruction of Property Less than $1,000, and Theft Less than $1,000 on a Juvenile Release. (17-MSP-016010)
Theft – On Monday, April 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm, Senior Trooper Evans responded to the Wal-Mart for a reported theft. Investigation revealed that Rebecca Leeann Wathen, 19, of Bushwood, had placed items in a bookbag and attempted to leave the store. Ms. Wathen was issued a “Notice Not to Trespass” and transported to the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack for processing. She was issued a criminal citation for Theft Less than $1,000. (17-MSP-017089)
Possession of Marijuana Less Than 10 Grams
Antoine Markel Yates, 24, of Loveville, on 4/1/2017
Robert Clayton Whitfield, 38, of Norfolk, VA, on 4/2/2017
Winters, Mary Rose Christina, 23, of Rockville, on 4/3/2017
Daequan Deshawn Chappelle, 21, of Lusby, on 4/5/2017
Nicole Tanya Middleton, 31, of California, on 4/6/2017
Sheldon Starr Howe, 21, of Leonardtown, on 4/8/2017
Kent Joseph Green, 27, of Lanham, on 4/10/2017
Ravyn Alexis Hicks, 29, of Hollywood, on 4/10/2017
Blakie Niel Jones 2nd, 29, of Chaptico, on 4/11/2017
Tiffany Lashawn Cook, 21, of Port Tobacco, on 4/11/2017
Davon Antonio Burks, 22, of Port Tobacco, on 4/11/2017
Anderson, Dylan Thomas, 19, of Gainesville, GA, on 4/11/2017
Corey Michael Arias, 24, of Mechanicsville, on 4/12/2017
Noah Samuel Jackson, 21, of Leonardtown, on 4/17/2017
Keith Tyrone Stewart, Jr, 24, of Mechanicsville, on 4/18/2017
Devonte Ali Thomas, 21, of Waldorf, on 4/19/2017
Brian Deandre Buse, Jr., of Mechanicsville, on 4/19/2017
Charles Nicholas tharaldson, 19, of Lusby, on 4/20/2017
Antoine Markel Yates, 24, of Loveville, on 4/1/2017
Timothy Dyshawn Hall, 23, of Lexington Park, on 4/6/2017
Andre Ladawl Turner, 54, of Great Mills, on 4/9/2017
Joseph Walter Carter III, 56, of Mechanicsville, on 4/10/2017
Gregory Bertrand Gagnon, 51, of Mechanicsville, on 4/10/2017
Darren U. Humphries, 37, of Chicago, IL, on 4/11/2017
Blakie Neil Jones 2nd, 29, of Lexington Park, on 4/11/2017
Jackie Marie West, 23, of Leonardtown, on 4/11/2017
Michael Edward Knick, 46, of Mechanicsville, on 4/12/2017
Joyce Elaine Hart, 39, of Waldorf, on 4/13/2017
Michael Anthony Guerra, 55, of Fort Madison, IA, on 4/14/2017
Thomas Joseph Mayo, Jr., 56, of Waldorf, on 4/15/2017
Ross Phillip Ogilvie, Jr., 28, of Great Mills, on 4/15/2017
Victori Ashley Lynch, 26, of Saint Inigoes, on 4/17/2017
Alfred Johnathan Thomas, 44, of Lexington Park, on 4/21/2017
Nicholas Stellway, 21, of Leonardtown, on 4/21/2017
Dennis Andrew Gibson, 34, of Chaptico, on 4/22/2017
Sebastian R. Melendez, 32, of Glenn Dale, on 4/23/2017
Zachary Joseph Grant, 25, of Hollywood, on 4/24/2017
Michaun Renee Hunt, 25, of Harrisonburg, VA, on 4/25/2017
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 26, 2017) – Working to modernize Maryland’s beer laws and promote economic growth across the State, Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced the members of the “Reform On Tap” Task Force.
The task force, chaired by Comptroller Franchot and composed of 40 members representing key stakeholder groups within the beer industry, will perform a comprehensive review of the State’s antiquated laws that govern the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of Maryland craft beer.
“Current laws and regulations pose an existential threat to the industry's future growth in Maryland; and with it, the jobs, economic activity, tax revenue and tourism opportunities generated by this community of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Comptroller Franchot. “In the absence of comprehensive reform, Maryland's reputation within the national craft brewing industry will continue to suffer and the economies of our neighboring states will benefit at our expense.”
Task force members come from every region of the state and represent both large and small breweries, distributors, restaurants, bars and retailers, consumers, and local and state elected officials.
“I’m grateful to the men and women who have volunteered their time, talents, and energy by serving on this important task force,” Comptroller Franchot added. “The vast majority of the members are business owners who are making meaningful contributions to our state’s economy while giving back to their communities. I look forward to working with each of them over the next several months.”
The first meeting of the “Reform On Tap” Task Force will be May 24 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore City. All meetings and town halls, to be held throughout the spring and summer across the state, are open to the public and the press. Locations and dates of future meetings will be announced soon.
The task force will develop legislative proposals based on extensive review of Maryland’s beer laws and other states’ laws. Additionally, feedback from industry stakeholders and the public will be incorporated, all with the goal of facilitating the growth and success of Maryland’s craft beer industry and other independent businesses.
Marylanders are encouraged to submit comments, questions and feedback to ReformOnTap@comp.state.md.us and follow the “Reform On Tap” Facebook page for updates.
The members of the task force are:
1. The Honorable Peter Franchot, Comptroller of Maryland, Task Force Chairman
2. Mr. Adam Benesch, Co-Founder, Union Craft Brewing, Baltimore
3. Mr. Eric Best, General Manager, Bob Hall LLC, Upper Marlboro
4. Mr. Justin Bonner, Founder and CEO, Jailbreak Brewing Company, Laurel
5. Mr. Chris Brohawn, Co-Owner, Reale Revival (RaR) Brewing, Cambridge
6. Mr. Patrick Brady, CFO, The Fin City Brewing Company, Ocean City
7. Ms. Betty Buck, President, Buck Distributing Co. Inc., Upper Marlboro
8. Mr. Thomas G. Coale, Attorney, Talkin & Oh, LLP, Ellicott City
9. The Honorable Jake Day, Mayor, City of Salisbury
10. Mr. Chuck Ferrar, Owner, Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits, Annapolis
11. Mr. Tom Flores, Brewmaster, Monocacy Brewing & Brewer's Alley, Frederick
12. The Honorable Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce (ex-officio)
13. Mr. Gary Hailey, Partner, Venable LLP, Rockville
14. Mr. Mike Haynie, Board Chair, Maryland Tourism Coalition
15. Mr. Neal Katcef, President, Katcef Brothers Inc., Annapolis
16. Mr. John Knorr, Owner, Evolution Craft Brewing Company, Salisbury
17. Ms. Carolyn Marquis, Owner, Chesapeake Brewing Company, Annapolis
18. Mr. E. Randolph Marriner, President and CEO, Manor Hill Brewing, Ellicott City
19. The Honorable John Mautz, Maryland State Delegate, Legislative District 37B (Mid-Shore)
20. Mr. Cory McCagh, Owner, 1812 Brewery, Cumberland
21. Mr. Jack Milani, Owner, Monaghan’s Pub and Legislative Chair, Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association, Woodlawn
22. Ms. Liz Murphy, Beer Writer, Naptown Pint, Annapolis
23. Mr. John (Phil) Muth, Co-Owner, Brookeville Brewing LLC, Brookeville
24. Ms. Carly Ogden, Co-Owner, Attaboy Beer, Frederick
25. Mr. Dick O'Keefe, Owner, Peabody Heights Brewery, Baltimore
26. Mr. Joe Petro, Owner, Hair O' The Dog Wine & Spirits, Easton
27. Mr. John D. Porcari, President, U.S. Advisory Services, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, Cheverly
28. Mr. Phillip D. Rhudy, Co-Owner and Brewer, Independent Brewing Company, Bel Air
29. The Honorable Johnny Ray Salling, Maryland State Senator, Legislative District 6 (Baltimore County)
30. Mr. Ben Savage, Chief Marketing Officer, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick
31. Mr. J. Michael Scarborough, Managing Partner, Calvert Brewing Company, Upper Marlboro
32. Ms. Leslie Schaller, Director of Media and Marketing, Bond Distributing Company, Baltimore
33. Mr. Hugh Sisson, Owner, Heavy Seas Brewing Company, Halethorpe
34. Ms. Hilda Staples, Owner, Volt Restaurant Group, Frederick
35. Ms. Beth Swoap, Board of Liquor License Commissioners, Calvert County
36. Ms. Julie Verratti, Co-Founder and Director of Business Development, Denizens Brewing Company, Silver Spring
37. The Honorable Mary Washington, Maryland State Delegate, Legislative District 43 (Baltimore City)
38. The Honorable Steve Weems, Commissioner, Calvert County; Owner, Wemyss Liquors, St. Leonard
39. Mr. Keith Wolcott, Director of Sales, Atlantic Custom Solutions/Brand My Beverage, Baltimore
40. The Honorable Ron Young, Maryland State Senator, Legislative District 3 (Frederick)
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and 21 other Senators in announcing the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15. By phasing in a pay raise for tens of millions of workers, the legislation will raise living standards, lift millions of Americans out of poverty, and provide a much-needed boost to our economy.
“If you work full time in America, you should be able to support yourself and your family without worrying about putting a roof over your head or food on your table,” said Senator Van Hollen. “But for too many Marylanders, the minimum wage is not a living wage. Wages have not kept up with inflation or worker productivity, but the Raise the Wage Act would finally give working families a much needed boost.”
Since 1968, the minimum wage – currently only $7.25 an hour – has lost over 30 percent of its purchasing power due to inflation. After increasing it gradually to $15 by 2024, the minimum wage would be indexed based on the annual percentage increase of the median hourly wage of all workers. Raising it nationally would also ensure every community is on an equal playing field.
While labor productivity has more than doubled since the late 1960s, pay for workers generally and for low-wage workers in particular has either stagnated or fallen since the 1970s. At the same time, income for those at the top has skyrocketed. The richest 1 percent have seen their income grow by 15 percent since 2009 and by more than 130 percent since the late 1960s.
This legislation would give more than 41 million low-wage workers a raise, increasing the wages of almost 30 percent of the U.S. workforce. A $15 minimum wage by 2024 would generate $144 billion in higher wages for workers, benefiting their local economies.
The bill will also gradually eliminate the loophole that allows tipped workers and workers with disabilities to be paid substantially less than the federal minimum wage, bringing it to parity with the regular minimum wage. Moreover, it would also phase out the youth minimum wage, which allows employers to pay workers under 20 years old a lower wage for the first 90 calendar days of work.
Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are original co-sponsors of the legislation.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced $10,036,845 in federal funding to fight Maryland’s opioid health crisis. The grant is funded by the 21st Century Cures Act, which was backed by both Senator Cardin and Senator Van Hollen and signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide the funds through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants, which is administered by HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
“The primary job of the federal government is to keep our citizens safe and healthy, which is precisely what this investment in Maryland’s opioid response efforts aims to do. I was proud to support the 21st Century Cures Act that made this grant a reality, and thank President Obama for having worked so closely with us to see it through,” said Senator Cardin. “Between 2014 and 2015, opioid-related deaths in Maryland rose by 22.6 percent. That number is shocking, and indicates a rapidly growing, nationwide health crisis. This funding must represent the beginning of a comprehensive response.”
“Last year’s passage of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act was an important step forward in our efforts to combat opioid addiction and confront this public health crisis,” said Senator Van Hollen. “I’m pleased that Maryland is now getting additional resources to help those suffering from addiction. We must continue to fight to finally turn the tide on this heartbreaking epidemic.”
Grants are being awarded to all 50 states, as well as the District of Colombia, totaling $485 million nationwide. The 21st Century Cures Act authorizes the funds for opioid abuse response efforts, such as implementing prevention programs, training healthcare workers, and expanding access to opioid treatment programs.
Graduation ceremonies for high school seniors in the Charles County Public Schools Class of 2017 are planned for June 1-3 at the Convocation Center at North Point High School in Waldorf.
The ceremony for St. Charles High School is Thursday, June 1. Ceremonies for Thomas Stone, La Plata and North Point high schools are Friday, June 2. Seniors from Henry E. Lackey, Maurice J. McDonough and Westlake high schools are set for Saturday, June 3.
St. Charles’ ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 1. School will be closed June 1 for all St. Charles students.
The schedule for Friday, June 2 is
· Stone, 9 a.m.;
· La Plata, 2 p.m.; and
· North Point, 7 p.m.
The schedule for Saturday, June 3 is
· Lackey, 9 a.m.;
· McDonough, 2 p.m.; and
· Westlake, 7 p.m.
All Charles County public high schools, with the exception of St. Charles, and the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center will be closed Friday, June 2. The childcare center at North Point will be closed on June 1 and June 2. School is open June 2 for students who attend St. Charles.
Additionally, students who attend William A. Diggs Elementary School and Theodore G. Davis Middle School will not attend school on Friday, June 2. This is to accommodate expected traffic on the Davis, Diggs and North Point campuses.
Graduation ceremonies will stream live on the school system website, www.ccboe.com. The Convocation Center is located at 2500 Davis Road, Waldorf, Md., 20603. Questions about a specific school’s planned graduation activities should be directed to the specific school.
Possession of Marijuana:â€‹ On 4/20/17 at 11:34 am, Corporal Esnes stopped a vehicle
in the 900 block of Costley Way in Prince Frederick for traffic violations. A strong
odor of burnt marijuana was emitting from within the interior of the vehicle. A search
revealed a large amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.
Amanda R. Rush, 20 of Stafford, VA was arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert
County Detention Center.
Theft and Destruction of Property:â€‹ On 4/20/17 at 11:32 pm, Trooper First Class
Costello responded to the 1400 block of Woods Rd. in St. Leonard for a reported theft.
The victim reported a Go-Kart had been taken from the residence and damage to the
rear door had occurred during the theft. Ralph A. Woodward, 27 of St. Leonard was
found to be in possession of the Go-Kart and was arrested. Woodward is incarcerated at
the Calvert County Detention Center.
Possession of Heroin:â€‹ On 4/21/17 at 3:55 pm, Trooper First Class Costello stopped a
vehicle for traffic violations on H. G. Trueman Rd. in Lusby. Paul A. McGinty was
operating the vehicle on a suspended license. The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
were given and McGinty was unable to complete them successfully. He was arrested
for Driving Under the Influence. A K-9 scan of the vehicle was requested and a bag
containing heroin powder was located.
Prince Frederick, Md. – April 25, 2017 – The Calvert County, Maryland, Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) today approved a reorganization plan designed to improve overall government operations and services to the public. The plan does not call for staff reductions. Changes in the county’s organizational structure will take effect July 1, 2017.
The BOCC reviewed and approved the proposed organizational structure in open session during its regular meeting. To better meet the needs of the citizens, changes in the departments of Economic Development, Finance & Budget, General Services, Personnel and Public Safety are planned. The reorganization is a response to guidance established by the BOCC to ensure the effective and efficient use of county resources by determining alternative approaches to the way government is run.
“These changes set the foundation for a more effective county government now and in the years to come,” said BOCC President Tom Hejl. “More effective management of operations will help us provide improved service to Calvert County residents and also help identify talents and skills in the organization that can be grown and better utilized. The reorganization accomplishes a board goal for restructuring and efficiency and its implementation will have long-term benefits to Calvert County.”
“Restructuring has been a personal goal of mine since being selected for office in 2010,” said Board Vice President Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr. “It allows an organization to review and apply efficiencies and processes that make for better government operations. Today’s decision will lead to a better-aligned government that will ultimately better serve the public and our employees.”
As part of the reorganization, two new departments will be created: Parks & Recreation (formerly under the Department of General Services) and Communications and Media Relations (formerly under the Department of Economic Development). In addition, two departments will be renamed. The Office of Personnel will become the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Community Planning & Building will return to its designation as the Department of Planning and Zoning.
The departmental reporting structure will also be realigned along two primary functions. Departments responsible for operations and public services – Planning and Zoning, Community Resources, Economic Development, Parks & Recreation, Public Safety and Public Works – will report to County Administrator Terry Shannon. Departments providing internal support and administrative services – Communications & Media Relations, Finance & Budget, General Services, Human Resources and Technology Services – will report to Deputy County Administrator Wilson Parran.
Specific organizational changes include:
· Department of Economic Development – marketing and communications, public information, statistics and related functions will relocate to the new Department of Communications and Media Relations. The remaining functions in Economic Development will allow for a more focused effort on business development, business retention, agri-business and tourism.
· Department of Communications and Media Relations – the new department will take the county’s outreach program to the next level, providing a stronger emphasis on internal and external communications, media relations, website services and intergovernmental relations.
· Department of General Services – the department’s Division of Parks and Recreation will become the new Department of Parks & Recreation. Responsibility for the Calvert Marine Museum and the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum will move from General Services to the Office of the County Administrator. The remaining functions in General Services will enhance the operations of the county’s buildings and grounds, capital projects and mosquito control.
· Department of Parks & Recreation – the new department will place a stronger emphasis on program management and will absorb from the Department of General Services oversight of aquatics, business management, parks (including the Division of Natural Resources), recreation and the Chesapeake Hills Golf Course.
· Department of Community Planning & Building – the department will be renamed the Department of Planning & Zoning.
· Department of Finance & Budget – the Benefits Office will relocate to the new Department of Human Resources and the Purchasing Office will be renamed the Procurement Office.
· Office of Personnel – the office will be renamed the Department of Human Resources to better reflect its functions. It will include the Benefits Office to better align with the services and functions of personnel operations.
· Department of Public Safety – Animal Control will relocate from the Sheriff’s Office to Public Safety, along with management and oversight of the county’s new animal shelter.
The reorganization creates three new positions: director of Parks & Recreation, director of Communications and Media Relations and an executive assistant position. Costs associated with the creation of these new positions are approximately $300,000.
The governmental restructure is the first part of a two-phase process. The second phase, to be launched during Fiscal Year 2018, will include initiatives to enhance employee training, government accountability and problem solving. Like Calvert County Government on Facebook.
(Indian Head, Maryland) – On March 24, 2017 at approximately 3:56 p.m., Troopers from the
Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded to a personal injury collision involving two vehicles on southbound Indian Head Highway at Lackey Drive.
An investigation conducted by Troopers indicates that a 2009 Ford Econoline van, operated by
William Cooper, was attempting to turn left from Lackey Drive onto northbound Indian Head
Highway when it failed to yield the right-of-way to, and was struck by, a 1992 Chevrolet LLV postal truck, operated by Russell Brann, as it was traveling southbound on Indian Head Highway.
The Ford Econoline, owned by a martial arts company, had just departed Indian Head
Elementary School with 8 students, ages 6-10, on board. As a result of the collision, Brann and 4
children were injured and transported by EMS to local hospitals for treatment. The remaining 4
children were not injured and were reunited with their parents on scene.
Driver error was found to be the cause of this collision and Cooper, who was uninjured, was
issued a citation for failing to yield the right-of-way.
Burglary Case #17-20834:
On April 22, 2017, Deputy A. Ostazeski responded Cowpoke Circle, in Lusby, for a report of a burglary. The complainant explained that after hearing a loud noise outside their home around 1:30am, they looked around outside and found the lock on their shed broken and the door left wide open. Items stolen from the shed: a red and white Honda 70 dirt bike and two (2) five-gallon cans of Kerosene.
Burglary Case #17-20321:
On April 19, 2017, at approximately 11:00am, Deputy C. Johnson was dispatched to Southern Maryland Blvd, in Dunkirk, for the report of a burglary. He made contact with the property manager who stated someone(s) broke into a vacant office space. The property was last inspected on April 17, when the front door to the business was locked. Today, April 19th, he discovered the front door unlocked and entry was made by an unknown object(s).
Burglary Case #17-19984:
On April 17, 2017, Deputy A. Ostazeski spoke with a complainant at the Sheriff’s Office who wanted to report a burglary that occurred on Decatur Street, in St. Leonard. Around 9:00pm, on the evening of April 15th, the victim had inadvertently left a pair of 14K gold diamond stud earrings in the console of one of their vehicles. The vehicle was parked in the garage but it was left unlocked. Sometime during the night, an unknown person entered the garage and rummaged through their vehicle, stealing the earrings. Nothing else appears to be missing from the vehicle or garage.
CDS Violation Case #17-21000:
On April 23, 2017, at approximately 2:30pm, Deputy N. Buckler was able to locate and conduct a traffic stop, at Northbound Rt. 4/Sheckells Road, in Huntingtown, on a vehicle that was broadcast as being driven all over the road. As he approached the vehicle from the passenger side, he observed the passenger side mirror was broken. When the driver and sole occupant, Grace Hammett, 31, of Glen Dale, MD, rolled down the window, he immediately detected the odor of raw marijuana and alcohol emitting from the vehicle. Hammett spoke with slurred speech and had red glassy eyes. A search yielded an orange pill bottle with marijuana, a clear plastic bag with marijuana on the driver’s side floorboard, a cut plastic straw with residue, a pill bottle with no label, containing multiple CDS pills and an opened bottle of vodka. She was charged with DUI, DWI, Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance-Not Marijuana, Possession of Paraphernalia and multiple traffic offenses.
Damaged Property Case #17-21080:
On April 23, 2017, at approximately 2:00pm, Deputy J. Ward responded to the area of Windcliff Road and Goldstein Road, in Prince Fredrick, for the report of damaged property. He spoke with one of the victims who stated a neighbor notified him that his mailbox was one of two (2) that were damaged. The damage occurred sometime between 8:00pm on April 22 – 7:00am on April 23.
Damaged Property Case #17-20669:
On April 21, 2017, at 11:00am, Deputy R. Shrawder responded to HG Trueman Road, in Lusby, for the report of damaged property. He spoke with the victim who stated that they noticed 2 holes in the siding of their house. The home sits along the edge of the golf course and the holes appear to be the size of a golf ball. Although it does not appear there was any intent behind the damage, there was no golf balls recovered from the area.
Theft Case #17-20743:
On April 21, 2017, Deputy A. Ostazeski responded to the Patuxent High School for the report of a stolen iPhone 5s. The complainant explained that around 3:00pm they had placed their phone on a table within the Theater Department; when returning to retrieve it, discovered the phone missing. This case is suspended at this time.
Theft Case #17-20679:
On April 21, 2017, Deputy J. Ward spoke with a complainant at the Sheriff’s Office who wanted to report a theft. The victim explained that back in January he had parked his truck and trailer on Holiday Drive, in Solomons, and today discovered the tag on the trailer was missing. Due to the length of time, it is unclear when the theft actually took place.
Theft Case #17-19997:
On April 17, 2017, Deputy A. Ostazeski was dispatched to Sedalia Trail, in Lusby, for the report of a theft. The victim explained his Jon Boat, that he stores along the edge of Lake Lariat, has been stolen. He last saw it around 11:00pm on April 15 and noticed it missing, today, around 5:30pm. The boat is silver/gray aluminum, twelve feet long and has a dent in the bow (front).
Theft Case #17-20003:
On April 17, 2017, at approximately 6:00pm, Deputy A. Locke was called to Christiana Parran Road, in Chesapeake Beach, for the report of a theft. Upon arrival he made contact with the victim who stated someone stole a rear registration plate off of his motorcycle. The bike was parked on their back deck and was covered with a tarp on January 7th. It was on April 14th that he uncovered the motorcycle and discovered the tag missing.
Theft Case #17-19944:
On April 17, 2017, Deputy P. Wood responded to Daybreak Drive, in Prince Frederick, for the report of a theft. He met with the victim who stated that an unknown suspect(s) had stolen the left front headlight and assembly out of their vehicle. The vehicle was last seen with the headlight on April 16, at approximately 2:30pm. It was parked in front of the house and was unlocked. Nothing in the vehicle other than the headlight was tampered with.
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.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office received information about a possible sexual offense involving a juvenile female. The investigation revealed on April 16, 2017, a 14-year-old victim was solicited for a sex act by an unknown male. The victim admitted she and the male engaged in a sexual act inside his vehicle while in the area of Great Mills, Maryland.
Several investigatory tools were utilized during the course of the investigation identifying Joseph Aloysious Maddox, age 51, of Mechanicsville, Maryland as the male in question.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) obtained an arrest warrant for Maddox charging him with the following criminal violations:
Sexual Solicitation of a Minor
Sex Offense Third Degree
Child Porn Solicit Subject
Assault Second Degree
Maddox was located and placed under arrest. He was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center to await a bond review before the District Court Commissioner.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Melissa Hulse at 301-475-4200, ext. *1996 or by email, Melissa.Hulse@stmarysmd.com.
Joseph Aloysious Maddox, age 51, of Mechanicsville
Leonardtown, MD – The spring season is a time of transition from the cold winter months to days of warm, sunny days. As summer rapidly approaches, the Great Mills Swimming Pool is also transitioning in preparation for the summer season.
This transition will force the pool to be closed for seasonal maintenance, beginning Monday, May 15 through Friday, May 26. The pool reopens Saturday, May 27 for normal operating hours to kick off the summer season.
During the closure, the pool’s air supported “bubble” structure will be removed, transforming the pool into an outdoor facility. Other seasonal maintenance and staff training will also occur during this time.
Recreation and Parks regrets any inconvenience the temporary closure of the pool may cause. For more information, please contact the Great Mills Swimming Pool at 301-866-6650. The pool is located at 21100 Great Mills Road in Great Mills.
For information on activities and programs at the Great Mills Swimming Pool, visit the Department of Recreation and Parks website at www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/aquatics.
At 8:06 pm on April 23, 2017, units from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police responded to the area of northbound Maryland Route 2/4 and White Sands Drive Lusby, in reference to a serious single vehicle crash. A preliminary investigation revealed an unknown truck towing a trailer with what appeared to be “children’s playground equipment”, dropped a large green plastic pipe (part of a slide) in lane #2 on the northbound side of Maryland Route 2/4. A blue 2004 Ford Explorer, operated by Bertina Thompson (26 of Lusby), was traveling northbound in lane #2, swerved to the right to avoid the debris in the roadway. In an attempt to steer back into lane #2, the Sport Utility vehicle over corrected and induced a spin in a counter-clockwise direction. Roadway evidence indicated that the front right tire rolled (off the rim) causing the vehicle to rollover 3 times in the roadway.
During the rollover, a 5 year old female child, name withheld, who was seated in the third row bench seat, unbelted/unsecured/no child safety seat (exact position unknown), was ejected from the vehicle. The front right passenger was identified as Bertha Thompson (58 of Lusby) and was not wearing her seatbelt. Rudolph Mackall (62 of Huntingtown) was seated in the right seat of the second row bench seat and was not wearing his seatbelt. A female infant (2 months), name withheld, was seated in the second row middle seat, in a carrier, but was not secured. A 10 year old female juvenile, name withheld, was seated in the third row bench seat, exact position unknown, and was also not secured by a seat belt.
Bertina Thompson, sustained serious injuries and was flown by MSP Aviation Medivac Trooper 7 to Washington Hospital Center ( Medstar), where she is listed in serious but stable condition. The 5 year old, who was ejected, was also transported by Trooper 7 to Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, DC), where she is listed a critical condition with life threatening injuries. Rudolph Mackall and Bertha Thompson were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital by ground transport with non-life threatening injuries. The 10 year old female Juvenile and the 2 month old infant female were transported by MSP Aviation Medivac Trooper 2 to Children’s National Medical Center, where they are both listed as stable and being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
This investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information regarding the truck/trailer combination transporting the playground equipment, please contact DFC. Hardesty or Cpl. Moschetto of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Crash Reconstruction Team (410)535-2800.
“The Fate of the Furious” is racing to defend its title at the top of the box office, while a number of new releases including “The Promise” and “Unforgettable” are being left in the dust.
Universal’s eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise proved to be a global box office titan when it opened last weekend to a record-shattering $532.5 million. This time around looks to tell mostly the same story â€• while domestic grosses slipped 61% from its first to second weekend, the movie is still easily topping the box office with $38.7 million from 4,329 locations.
But slipping domestic earnings (and lower U.S. grosses than “Furious 7,” which pulled over $250 million in its first two weekends versus “Fate’s” current sum of $163.6 million) are majorly overshadowed by the movie’s international appeal. A bankable, diverse cast including Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron is leading the film, directed by F. Gary Gray, to a two-frame global total of $744.8 million and worldwide sum of $908.4 million.
While studios wait for summer season to commence, there are no surprise hits to come of this weekend’s releases. Warner Bros.’ “Unforgettable” seems to have slipped audiences’ minds, earning $4.8 million in its first weekend from 2,417 theaters.
“It just didn’t resonate with the intended audience,” said Jeff Goldstein, the president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. Goldstein stressed that the movie was made for a moderate price, and the marketing was “targeted and appropriate” for the audience.
The directorial debut of Denise Di Novi stars Katherine Heigl as a scorned ex-wife, and Rosario Dawson as a woman who is newly engaged to the same man. In his review for Variety, critic Peter Debruge lauded Heigl’s “terrific” performance, and wrote that her casting “savvily exploits the actress’s prickly reputation within the industry.”
“Unforgettable” joins a string of so-so to disappointing releases from Warner Bros. so far this year, including “Chips” and “Fist Fight.” At least the Heigl movie had a low production budget ( about $12 million) to minimize losses.
“The Promise,” too, couldn’t follow through, despite a social media push from stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, the Kardashian sisters and Cher. The movie, from Open Road Films on behalf of Survival Pictures, looks to round out the weekend with about $4.1 million from 2,251 locations â€• barely cracking the top ten for the weekend.
While “The Promise” could be considered a massive disappointment for its $90 million price tag, the film’s backers hoped it would raise awareness more than earn money. Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale make up the central love triangle in the movie directed by Terry George (”Hotel Rwanda”). The film is set during the Armenian Genocide, and bankrolled by the late businessman Kirk Kerkorian who wanted to bring visibility to the systematic extermination to 1.5 million Armenians at the order of the Ottoman empire in 1915 â€• a politically fraught subject that Turkey continues to deny happened. All proceeds made from the movie will be donated to charity.
“We certainly hoped for a better box office result,” said Open Road’s president of marketing Jonathan Helfgot, adding that the film’s mission was not purely box office-related. “It was about bring the world’s attention to this issue,” he said. “And looking at the amount of conversation ... it’s undeniable that there’s been more focus and attention in the past two weeks than the past hundred years since the atrocity took place.”
Disney’s latest animal documentary “Born in China,” a co-production between Disneynature and Shanghai Media Group, is making $5.1 million from 1,508 theaters. Narrated by John Krasinski, the docu earned more than previous films “Monkey Kingdom” ($4.6 Million) and “Bears” ($4.8 Million), and is the highest grossing Disneynature opening since 2012’s Chimpanzee ($10.7 million).
Cinelou’s “Phoenix Forgotten” opened at 1,592 theaters to an estimated $2 million this weekend. A24’s “Free Fire” raked in only $1 million from 1,070 spots in its first weekend.
In its fourth frame, Fox’s “The Boss Baby” will bottle up $12.8 million from 3,697 locations, putting it in second place behind “Fate.” Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” should hold onto third with $10 million from 3,315 theaters.
Warner Bros.’ “Going in Style” should slide into fourth with $5 million from 3,038 spots. The heist comedy starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin is targeting an older demo, and saw only a 20% decline in ticket sales from its second to third weekend. “Born in China” looks to round out the top five.
On Keeping up with the Kardashians, Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner were making an effort to spend some quality time together by sharing wine and getting facials and massages at Kris' home. They also looked back at their shared past and Kris recalled how her makeup used to go missing mysteriously and it turned out that Caitlyn had been taking it and letting Kris blame it on the kids. Despite the efforts at bonding, their already strained relationship took a turn when Caitlyn finally shared the book she'd been writing about her life with Kris. Kris, who was featured prominently throughout the book, did not like how she was portrayed claiming that everything in it is all made up and that Caitlyn only said Kris was nice one time at a party. When Kris confronted Caitlyn about how she was portrayed, things did not improve. Though we didn't see their conversation on camera, Kris said Caitlyn said, "You would just never understand." And in the end, Kris decided that her relationship with Caitlyn was "done."
After appearing on the hit sitcom Happy Days and the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi, Erin Moran - who was found dead at age 56 on Saturday afternoon in Corydon, Indiana - seemed to have struggled with life outside of the spotlight.
Although she did not appear as a series regular after her two shows ended, Moran continued acting on TV, taking small roles on The Love Boat and Murder She Wrote in the ’80s. She also appeared on episodes of Diagnosis Murder and The Bold and the Beautiful in 1998 and 2009, respectively. She also is credited with having small roles in the films Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Broken Promises and Not Another B Movie. Moran also appeared on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Fit Club in 2008.
Despite working on and off as an actress, Moran reportedly lost her Palmdale, California, home to foreclosure in 2010, according to documents obtained by TMZ. According to the documents, the house was sold at public auction for $291,150. TMZ also reported that Moran refused to leave the home after it was sold and was served with eviction papers.
In June 2012, Moran’s publicist confirmed to ABC News that Moran and her husband Steve Fleischmann - a Walmart employee she married in 1993 - had moved into Fleischmann’s mother’s trailer in Indiana so Moran could act as her caregiver.
“Erin and her husband did in fact move in with her ailing mother-in-law over a year ago,” Moran’s publicist told ABC News. “They are helping take care of her, as any loving family would do.”
However, it appears the couple did not live with the mother-in-law for too long. In September 2012, E! News confirmed that Moran and her husband had staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon. The owner of the hotel told E! News that the couple stayed there for a few days and Moran had “caused a disturbance of some type” but was not kicked out of the hotel.
A photographer also told E! News that Moran was often spotted hanging out with locals at bars in Corydon. She apparently remained in Corydon until her death on Saturday.
It’s unclear if Moran was currently employed at the time of her death - her last listed acting credit is 2010’s Not Another B Movie, though she continued to make appearances as herself on reality TV through 2012.
In 2012, Moran reached a legal settlement for an undisclosed amount after suing CBS for breach of contract, claiming that she had not been paid for merchandising relating to Happy Days.