Local News

Governor Hogan to Invest $130 Million More for Pre-K Expansion and Other Education Priorities

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today, following his recent announcement to launch the next chapter of education reform in Maryland, committed another $130 million in additional education spending, including prekindergarten expansion and Concentrations of Poverty Grants. The governor will also introduce new legislation to expand access to Advanced Placement (AP) tests for low-income students.
 
“I believe very strongly that every single child in Maryland deserves access to a world-class education, regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in, and that commitment must begin with our youngest Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Education has been, and will continue to be, our administration’s highest priority. With this funding, we are reaffirming our commitment to provide increased investment for our schools, more accountability for Maryland parents, teachers, and taxpayers, and most importantly, better results for our children.”
 
Pre-K Expansion
 
More than $100 million will be dedicated over the next two years to expand access to early support and interventions for young children and their families, including access to high-quality, full-day prekindergarten for three- and four-year-olds. In Fiscal Year 2020, $31.7 million in Pre-K Supplemental Grants provided funding for more than 8,000 four-year-olds in full-day Pre-K.
 
The governor also committed more than $30 million over two years to fund Concentration of Poverty Grants to provide full-time coverage of health care practitioners and community school coordinators. The funding would also include wraparound services for extended learning time, safe transportation to school, and additional social workers, mentors, counselors, and psychologists. This investment would allow the state to provide funding for a total of 309 local schools.
 
Since taking office, Governor Hogan has invested a record $32 billion in K-12 education and committed over $420 million above the current funding levels required by legislatively mandated formulas. Additionally, this year the governor released $255 million for the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education’s Fiscal Year 2020 spending plan.
 
AP Opportunities Act of 2020
 
Governor Hogan committed to fund over $1 million with the AP Opportunities Act of 2020 to provide low-income students in Maryland access to AP tests free of charge. This legislation would cover the costs of over 25,500 AP exams.
 
“With this important legislation, we are giving deserving Maryland students from low-income families the opportunity to take AP exams free of charge,” said Governor Hogan. “We are excited to expand access to the AP program, which gives high school students the chance to pursue college-level studies, allows them to learn skills that are essential to college and career access, and provides students with an opportunity to save time and money through college placement and credit-granting policies.”

Detectives Identify and Arrest Suspect in Homicide at Smallwood Village Center

Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have identified and arrested the suspect in the homicide of John Ercell Staton, 54, of Newburg, who was shot and killed on December 10 in the 100 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf. The suspect, Fred Odell Scott Sr., 55, of Waldorf, was arrested on December 12 and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm during the commission of a crime and other related charges. He is being held with no bond at the Charles County Detention Center. The suspect and victim were known to each other. The investigation is ongoing.


Santana Sentenced to Life in Prison for Conspiracy to Commit Murder

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Thursday, December 12, 2019, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier sentenced Miguel Angel Santana, 29 of Waldorf, to life in prison for Conspiracy to Commit the First-Degree Murder of Lydell Wood and Possession of a Firearm with a Disqualifying Crime.

 

On April 3, 2019, a Charles County jury found Santana guilty of the above-mentioned charges.

 

On January 6, 2016, officers responded to the 2600 block of Rooks Head Place in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found one victim, Lydell Wood, with a single gunshot wound in his back. The victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. 

 

An investigation into the shooting revealed that an acquaintance of Wood got into a confrontation with Santana earlier that day while Wood and other men were present. The acquaintance brandished a handgun and shot at Santana. Wood had no involvement in the shooting. Santana fled the area unharmed and contacted co-defendant Antonio Ka-Juan Owens to help him retaliate.

 

Santana and Owens returned to the area in search of the person who shot at Santana earlier in the day. When Wood was spotted, Santana and Owens confronted him. Wood ran away after both men brandished guns. Santana and Owens gave chase and fired several gunshots, striking Wood in the back as he attempted to find safety and enter a house in the neighborhood. After the shooting, both men fled the area.

 

Santana was later identified as one of the shooters by witness testimony, as well as other extensive corroborating evidence.         

 

Co-defendant Owens was previously found guilty by a Charles County jury of First-Degree Murder and related charges for his involvement. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 50 years in prison on August 30, 2018 by the Honorable Judge H. James West.

 

At sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Jonathan Beattie addressed the judge, “[the defendant] has shown a propensity for violence. Mr. Santana is a violent and dangerous person. There’s no other way to spin it. The only thing to look at is his history – and that is a very horrifying and dismal picture. The State asks that Your Honor incapacitates the defendant for as long as humanly possible to ensure he does not victimize anyone else in this community or another [community].”

 

Prior to his conviction for this case, Santana was convicted for the first-degree murder of another victim. Santana is serving life plus 105 years in a prison for that case. 


Wanted Individuals-Fail to Register (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of the following convicted sex offenders who have failed to comply with the Maryland rules and regulations of the sex offender registry.
 
 
Gary Ignatius Branson, age 34 of Lexington Park
5’11” 230 pounds, brown eyes, black hair
 
Roger Glenn Chin, age 32 of Lexington Park
5’8” 170 pounds, brown eyes, brown hair
 
 
Phillip Chainey Farrell, age 33 of Coltons Point
5’9” 150 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair
 
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Branson, Chin, or Farrell is asked to contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008 or Detective Melissa Hulse at (301) 475-4200 extension *1996 or by email at Melissa.Hulse@stmarysmd.com.
 
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at (301) 475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

St. Mary's County Regional Airport Plans Yearlong Celebration to Commemorate 50th Anniversary

Leonardtown. MD – The St. Mary’s County Regional Airport is planning a series of events to celebrate 50 years of service to the community. The original airport properties were acquired in August 1968, construction was completed in 1969, and the Airport was in operation before the end of that year. 2020 will mark 50 years of operation.

 

Planned events include pilot safety forums, a taxiway 5k run, and several fly-in breakfasts. All events are free and will take place at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport located at 44200 Airport Road, California, MD. The kickoff event is Saturday, December 21, 2019 with a Holiday Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a fly-in from Santa Claus at 10 a.m. John Deatrick, Director of Public Works and Transportation stated “The anniversary of the airport is a yearlong celebration to showcase this terrific facility and the all of the unique services, job opportunities and learning environments available. St. Mary’s County Regional Airport is more than a hub for transportation, it is rapidly becoming a center for community resources mirrored in the events we’ve put together to commemorate the 50th anniversary.”

 

For more information on the airport, please visit www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/airport-operations/


Detectives Investigating Kidnapping and Robbery of Woman

On December 12 at 3:37 a.m., officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department responded to the area of Accokeek Road near Gardiner Road in Accokeek, MD for the report of a woman walking in the roadway. When officers arrived, the woman reported she had been abducted from her home in Waldorf at 7:30 p.m. on December 11 by a man who was already inside her residence. The man forced the victim into her car and he drove her to various ATMs where he forced the victim to withdraw money. The man then left the woman on the roadside on Gardiner Road and fled. Shortly after, the suspect backed the victim’s car into the front doors of the Waldorf AMF bowling alley on Acton Lane. He got out of the car, walked toward the ATM inside the business but left after realizing the ATM was not operable. He left in the victim’s vehicle and has not been located. The CCSO is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect and locating the victim’s car. The suspect is described as a male with a light complexion, between 20-30 years old, approximately 5’8” with a medium build. The victim’s vehicle is a 2010 black four-door Toyota Camry with Maryland registration plates 6BM 3802; it has damage to the rear of the car. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective H. Burgess at (301) 609-6494. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. The investigation is ongoing. 


NAS Patuxent River Initiates Fifth Basewide 5-Year Review

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – The Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River’s Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) is a partnership between the base, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The mission of the ERP is to clean up federal land that was impacted due to past Navy activities, protect communities from possible contaminants associated with those activities, and to restore the environment such that it is productively re-used, while being mindful of taxpayer resources. That mission is executed by the Navy, with all decisions informed by sound science and
agreements among members of a Tier I Partnering Team, composed of representatives of all four agencies.
Final cleanup decisions are also informed by input from the public.
Five-Year Reviews
Five-Year reviews are conducted at sites where it was determined that it was either technically infeasible or cost-prohibitive to remove all environmental contaminants. The sites were addressed such that they do not present a risk to human health or the environment. However, because some contamination is still present, the Navy maintains responsibility to ensure the sites’ continuing protectiveness. This responsibility includes conducting formal reviews of each site, every 5 years. The 2019 Five-Year Review is the fifth the base has
conducted since 1994.
2019 Review: Sites
The recently concluded 5-Year Review looked at six sites: Site 1, Fishing Point landfill; Site 6, the Boneyard; Site 11, the Former Sanitary Landfill; Site 12, the Landfill Behind the Rifle Range; Site 17, the the Pesticide Control Shop; Site 31, The Tire Shop; and Site 39, the Perchloroethylene Storage Area.
2019 Review: Process
The five-year Review process included the following elements: community involvement; document review; data review; a site inspection; and report preparation and review.
Community involvement is obtained through NAS Patuxent River’s Restoration Advisory Board (RAB). The RAB was established in 1995 and is composed of community members as well as representatives of the
Navy, MDE, and USEPA. The RAB meets annually in the spring to keep the community informed of environmental issues at NAS Patuxent River. 
 
The document review looks at all records and documents, generated since the last 5-Year Review that relevant to the sites that the review covers. For example, at Sites 1, 11, and 12, which are landfills, documents pertaining to the maintenance of the protective cap or cover are reviewed to ensure that the integrity of the cap or cover has been maintained.
The data review, like the document review, looks at all data generated since the last 5-Year Review. For example, at Sites 31 and 39, both groundwater cleanup sites and sites at which quarterly sampling is occurring, the results of that sampling is reviewed. The data review helps the Navy understand whether or not the cleanups are working as intended and whether or not contaminants have migrated.
The site inspection is a physical evaluation of the site. The inspection would look to identify any factors or conditions at the sites that might have changed since the last 5-Year Review. For example, at the landfill sites, the inspector would examine the integrity of the protective cap or cover.
Report preparation and review is the final step. The report complies all findings from the review and it is shared with the USEPA, MDE, and the public. The 2019 5-Year Review report is available for anyone to review at either the base library located at 22269 Cedar Point Road, Building 407, Patuxent River, MD
20629 or the St. Mary’s County Public Library, Lexington Park Branch at 21677 FDR Boulevard, Lexington Park, MD 20653
2019 Review: Results
As presented in each site’s protectiveness statement “The remedy [was found to be] protective of human
health and the environment under current and future conditions.” The next 5-Year Review will be completed in 2024.
The Navy, through the ERP and in partnership with the regulatory community, is committed to maintaining a healthy environment for all those who live and work at its bases as well as those who live in nearby communities. 

St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks Seeking Community Input

Leonardtown, MD - St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks is accepting input from citizens as the department develops their strategic plan.  As part of that effort, the department is conducting a Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis.
 
Input from the community through a short survey will aid in gathering information for strategic planning efforts to form future goals, recommendations and departmental actions.  Additionally, information provided will help improve customer service, enhance programs and activities, and recommend funding for parks and facilities.
 
To participate in the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/recparksinput2019.  Responses will be accepted through the end of December.
 
For more information, please visit our website at www.stmarysmd.com/recreate or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stmarysmdrecreation.

Sobriety Checkpoint on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Maryland State Police and the Maryland State Highway Administration, will be conducting a roadside sobriety checkpoint on Friday evening, Dec. 13, 2019, in central St. Mary’s County.
 
The sobriety checkpoint will be conducted on Route 235 on Friday night in the California/Lexington Park area.
 
At the checkpoints, law enforcement officers will evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Drivers will also be checked for other traffic infractions.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office recognizes that roadside sobriety checkpoints are highly visible and efficient tools used in efforts to combat impaired driving. Advance notification of sobriety checkpoints gives motorists the opportunity to make better decisions by preventing and deterring impaired driving in the first place. Advance notifications are also required by law for the validity of a sobriety checkpoint.
 
Sheriff Tim Cameron requests that everyone drive safely and sober, no matter what the occasion.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

20th Anniversary of the Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival Wins Annual Statewide Tourism Award from the Maryland Office of Tourism

Leonardtown, MD – The 20th Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival was honored as the only event in Maryland to win one of four statewide awards at the 39th annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit on November 7, 2019 in Allegany County, Maryland. The award was accepted by Dale Springer, President of the Friends of St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point Museums; Andrew Ponti, Marketing Manager of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division; Jason Aul, Executive Director of Visit St. Mary’s MD; and the Town of Leonardtown, all of whom were partners in guaranteeing the success of the multi-day weekend event.

 

The 20th Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival won the “Maximizing Opportunities Award.” The recipients of this award are recognized for successfully taking advantage of an existing event to generate overnight stays. The festival expanded from a one-day Saturday event into a three-day weekend celebration by partnering with the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, the Town of Leonardtown, the Friends of St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point Museums, and Visit St. Mary’s MD. 

 

The four partner organizations who won the “Maximizing Opportunities Award” worked for nearly a year prior with organizations and businesses throughout St. Mary’s County and beyond to make the 20th anniversary a success. Representatives were even chosen to appear on two Baltimore-area news stations with the Maryland Office of Tourism to promote the festival as part of Maryland’s larger “Summer of Music Series” to encourage music lovers from all over the mid-Atlantic to visit.

 

“This award is a huge testament to how relationships and working well together for a common goal can eventually reap great rewards,” says Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division. “We are honored that the Maryland Office of Tourism recognized the efforts of partner organizations to make St. Mary’s County a premier tourism destination. The award shows that we can make a true economic impact on our state by encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more here.”

 

The Commissioners of Leonardtown were proud to work side-by-side with the other partners in expanding the premiere, one-day-festival at St. Clement’s Island Museum to a full weekend jazz celebration throughout historic Leonardtown. “The 20th Anniversary Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival Weekend Celebration provided a wonderful opportunity to highlight historic Leonardtown along with St. Clement’s Island Museum. Jazz enthusiasts traveled from near and far to enjoy a full weekend of jazz-themed events and special offers from the local businesses. The Commissioners of Leonardtown are excited to continue this fruitful partnership with the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, the Friends of St. Clement’s Island & Piney Point Museums, and Visit St. Mary’s MD.” says Brandy Blackstone, Public Relations & Events Coordinator for the Commissioners of Leonardtown. Brandy Blackstone and Laschelle McKay, Town Administrator for the Commissioners of Leonardtown, accepted the Town’s award at the December 9, 2019 Town Council Meeting.

 

The county’s tourism organization, Visit St. Mary’s MD, helped to promote the event and engage local businesses, hotels, and restaurants with the weekend activities. “The year-over-year increase in hotel occupancy for this festival exemplifies how our collaborative efforts are helping to bring in more visitors,” said Jason Aul, Executive Director of Visit St. Mary’s MD. “With everyone working together, we were able to showcase more of our beautiful county than ever before.”

 

The 2019 Maryland Tourism Awards, given by the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland Tourism Development Board, recognize excellence and major contributions in expanding the market of Maryland tourism products, maximizing opportunities to generate overnight stays, leveraging partnerships, and showcasing Maryland as an exciting, must-see tourism destination.

 

The partners are now hard at work planning the 21st Annual Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival Weekend to take place the weekend of July 10 – 12, 2020.

 

For more information about the Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival, please visit www.PotomacJazzAndSeafoodFestival.com or contact Andrew Ponti, Marketing Manager, St. Mary’s County Museum Division, at Andrew.ponti@stmarysmd.com. For information on tourism group sales, please contact Gail Perry, Sales Lead, Visit St. Mary’s MD at Gail@VisitStMarysMD.com.

 

The Friends of St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums raise funds in order to support historical interpretation, education programs and special needs of the sites managed by the Museum Division of St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks. The Friends organization is a 501(c) 3 organization sponsoring events, assisting with acquisitions and supporting efforts to broaden the understanding of our culture and community's heritage.


Mid-County Transportation Bus Schedule to Change Beginning Jan. 2, 2020

The Calvert County Department of Community Resources, Public Transportation Division, announces updates to the mid-county public transportation schedule, beginning Jan. 2, 2020. All locations on the route will continue to receive service. Improvements to time and bus sequence ensure increased passenger safety and convenience.
 
The schedule updates include a new 11:25 a.m. connection to St. Mary’s County, which will reduce wait time for passengers. Extended service to the White Sands neighborhood on the northbound route will be added to prevent passengers from having to cross Route 2/4.
 
 “We are excited to provide these enhancements to the route for the convenience of our passengers,” said Community Resources Director Jennifer Moreland. “We continually look for ways to improve our public transportation system to provide high quality services to all county residents.”
 
For a full list of transportation bus schedules, visit online or contact Calvert County Public Transportation at 410-535-4268.
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.
 

St. Mary's County Government Holiday Hours

Leonardtown, MD – All St. Mary’s County Government administrative offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25, and Thursday, Dec. 26, for the Christmas holiday. Offices will reopen Friday, Dec. 27. Offices will also be closed Wednesday, Jan. 1, and Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, for the new year’s holiday. Offices will reopen Friday, Jan. 3.

 

All three Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed Dec. 25 and 26 for Christmas and Jan. 1 and 2, 2020, for new year’s. No Home-Delivered Meals deliveries will be made on these dates.

 

The St. Clements Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas. The museums will be open Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 from noon – 4 p.m.

 

All St. Mary’s County Library locations (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 and Jan. 1 for the holidays. All library locations will close at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.

 

The St. Mary’s Transit System (STS) System will operate until 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, be closed Dec. 25, and return to a regular operating schedule Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. STS will be closed Jan. 1 and return to a regular operating schedule Jan. 2.

 

The Statewide Specialized Transit System (SSTAP) service will operate Monday, Dec. 23, be closed Dec. 24 and 25, and return to normal service Thursday, Dec. 26. SSTAP service will be unavailable Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, and will return to regular service, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.

 

The St. Andrews Landfill and six (6) Convenience Centers will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, and Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. Additionally, the six (6) convenience centers will open early for operations Thursday, Dec. 26, and Friday, Dec. 27, at 8 a.m., The purpose of opening early is a convenience to our customers and allows us to be able to accommodate the increased usage of the facilities by County residents during the busiest holiday season.  The Landfill hours of operation will remain unchanged during these two days (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). The convenience centers and landfill will return to regular operating hours Saturday, Dec. 28.

 

As a reminder, Christmas trees can be dropped off at the Landfill and Convenience Centers free of charge. Undecorated trees may be placed in the designated areas at these sites beginning Dec. 26, 2019, continuing through Jan. 31, 2020.  Last year, the County collected nearly 2 tons of Christmas trees, which were mixed with the collected yard waste and ground into mulch. Just over 5 thousand tons of mulch is available annually at the St. Andrews Landfill site and is provided to the citizens of St. Mary’s County free of charge while supplies last.

 


Calvert County Government Announces Holiday Schedules

UPDATE: The Calvert County Department of Public Works, Water and Sewerage Division, will open the Solomons Septage Receiving Facility Thursday, Dec. 26 and Friday, Dec. 27.
 
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Dec. 11, 2019 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces county offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, in observance of the Christmas holiday. County offices will also close at noon Tuesday, Dec. 31 and remain closed Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, for New Year’s Day. In addition:
 
·         County senior centers will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27. County senior centers will also close at noon, Tuesday, Dec. 31 and lunch will be served at 10:45 a.m. The centers will remain closed on Wednesday, Jan. 1. Meals on Wheels will not be delivered on days the centers are closed. However, participants will be provided shelf-stable meals in advance.
 
·         There will be no county bus service Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27. Regular service will resume Saturday, Dec. 28. County bus service will be open Tuesday, Dec. 31 with normal operating hours and will close Wednesday, Jan. 1.
 
·         Calvert Library locations will close Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Wednesday, Dec. 25 for the holiday and will reopen Thursday, Dec. 26 with normal hours of operation. Library locations will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31 and remain closed Jan. 1. Online services and electronic checkouts will be available.
 
·         All community centers will close at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24 and remain closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27. Community centers will close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31 and remain closed Jan. 1.
 
·         All recreation parks including Dunkirk, Hallowing Point and Cove Point parks will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 only. Winter hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 
·         The Appeal Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and transfer station, and all county customer convenience centers will close Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. Solid waste facilities will remain closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
 
·         The Water & Sewerage billing and customer service office, and the Solomons Septage Receiving Facility, will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27. The billing and customer service office will close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31 and remain closed on Jan. 1. On-call crews will be available for water and sewer service emergencies only at 410-535-3491.
 
·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will close at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 and remain closed Wednesday, Dec. 25. The golf course will be open with normal operating hours Tuesday, Dec. 31 and Wednesday, Jan. 1.
 
·         The Calvert Marine Museum will close at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 and remain closed Wednesday, Dec. 25.  The museum will be open exclusively for members and close at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31 and remain closed Wednesday, Jan. 1.  The Museum Store will close at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. The store will remain closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
 
·         The Solomons Visitor Center, located in the Calvert Marine Museum, will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. The center is currently operating on a winter schedule of Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
·         Flag Ponds Nature Park will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. The park is operating on a winter schedule and is closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Memorial Day.
 
·         Kings Landing Park will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27 and Wednesday, Jan. 1.
 
·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp will be closed and remain closed through spring while undergoing renovations to the nature center.
 
 
·         The Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. The aquatic center will remain closed Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020.
 
·         Breezy Point Beach & Campground is closed for the season.
 
·         The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter and Animal Control Division will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 25 through Friday, Dec. 27. Animal shelter normal hours of operation will resume Saturday, Dec. 28. The shelter will close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31 and remain closed Wednesday, Jan. 1. 
 
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov. Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.

December 10th Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Charles County Board of Commissioners participated in a joint meeting with Boards of County Commissioners from St. Mary’s County Government and Calvert County Government. The College of Southern Maryland and the Tri-County Council presented legislative proposals that could benefit those they serve in all three counties. Staff presented statistics and outcomes of their local government partnerships to provide mutual aid for emergency medical services. They also discussed transportation initiatives, including road improvement projects, safety considerations, and transit priorities that have regional impacts for Southern Maryland.
 
Commissioners received a briefing to consider the addition of a chief equity officer. Director of Human Resources Alexis Blackwell presented an overview of the county’s changing demographics, current climate, available training and tools, and anticipated outcomes being sought through the appointment of a chief equity officer. She described how equity could be applied to the goals of the Board of County Commissioners and add perspective to the decision-making process. Commissioners discussed and deferred action so it could be considered along with other requests in next year’s budget.
 
Approval Items:
 
Commissioners made adjustments and approved the 2020 Board Session Calendar.
Commissioners approved change order #4 and change order #5 to provide additional design services for electrical and automation improvements at the Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plan.
Commissioners also discussed a draft letter from the Charles County Board of Commissioners to Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) regarding opportunities to partner on providing broadband access. They discussed and recommended changes to the letter, and it will be brought back for consideration and approval at a future Board meeting.
 
Recognition:
 
Commissioners recognized the employees who won awards in the annual Truck Rodeo competition. View and download photos in Flickr.
Commissioners joined the Board of Education in recognizing students who were State Golf Champs. View and download photo in Flickr.

Fire Destroys Home In Mechanicsville

Monday afternoon at 4:26 p.m. fifteen firefighters from the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire at a one story single family dwelling on Grand Road in Mechanicsville. It took them fifteen minutes to control the blaze. The fire originated in the living room of the home.  The home was vacant and there was no electric power to the home at the time of the fire.  There were no injures as a result of this incident.  Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Regional Office, at 443-550-6835. The estimated total loss in the fire is $200,000. 


Detectives Investigating Homicide at Smallwood Village Center

On December 10 at 3:09 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. A preliminary investigation revealed the suspect and victim were involved in an altercation in the parking lot of the shopping center when the suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim multiple times. The suspect then fled in a gray vehicle. The victim, John Ercell Staton, 54, of Newburg, was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Detectives are pursuing leads. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for the tip that leads to an arrest in this case. The investigation is ongoing. 


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of December 2 – December 8 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,523 calls for service throughout the community.
 
Burglary: 19-70494
On December 5, 2019, Deputy Sturdivant responded to Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick for the report of a burglary. The complainant advised that sometime between 5:30pm on December 4th and 6:00am on December 5th an unknown suspect(s) broke the glass of an interior door in one of the barns and stole money as well as a camouflage Cabela’s jacket. The value of stolen property is $765. The value of damaged property is $250. 
 
Damaged Property: 19-69895
On December 2, 2019, Deputy Barger responded to Tall Pine Trail in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) had put small bullet holes through the screens and outside window panes in the windows at the back of their residence. It appears the BB’s were shot from the direction of Catalina Road. The value of damaged property is $900.
 
Damaged Property: 19-69970
On December 3, 2019, Deputy Trigg was notified of graffiti at Patuxent High School in Lusby. The complainant advised that the graffiti was written on the stalls and the walls of a 3rd floor boy’s bathroom. The value of damaged property is $50.
 
Damaged Property: 19-70252
On December 4, 2019, Deputy Beisel was notified of damaged property on North Flynt Hill Road in Owings. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) had damaged the passenger side mirror on their vehicle while it was parked across the street from Northern High School. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Damaged Property: 19-70470
On December 5, 2019, Deputy Burggraff responded to the Charter boat dock in Dowell for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime between 7:00pm on December 4th and 11:00am on December 5th an unknown suspect(s) damaged Christmas lights that were installed on their boat. The value of damaged property is $200.
 
Damaged Property: 19-70641
On December 5, 2019, Deputy R. Evans responded to Broomes Island Road in Port Republic for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that a dark colored Jeep pulled into their driveway, struck their vehicle and threw eggs at their vehicle, then drove away. The value of damaged property is $500.
 
Damaged Property: 19-70995
On December 7, 2019, Deputy Aranda responded to Deane Avenue in Prince Frederick for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised that an unknown suspect(s) had damaged their mailbox causing it to crack and detach from its post. The value of damaged property is $300.
 
Theft: 19-70508
On December 5, 2019, Deputy Trigg was notified of a theft that occurred at Patuxent High School in Lusby. The complainant advised their Apple airpods as well as the airpod charger were stolen. The value of stolen property is $176.54. 
 
Theft: 19-70514
On December 5, 2019, Deputy Lewis responded to the Huntingtown Volunteer Firehouse in Huntingtown for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that between 1:01pm and 1:07pm a man was seen tampering with a vehicle in the parking lot and stole the battery from the vehicle. The value of stolen property is $80.
 
Theft: 19-70955
On December 7, 2019, Deputy Aranda responded to South Shore Terrance in Prince Frederick for the report of theft and damaged property. The complainant advised that sometime the night before, an unknown suspect(s) kicked off both their mailboxes from the posts as well as rummaged through the center console of their vehicle and stole a red Beats auxiliary cord, a lime green android charging cord, and change. It was also determined that the suspect had taken the vehicle and driven about 17.3 miles before parking it back in the complainant’s driveway. The value of stolen property is $27. The value of damaged property is $50.
 
Theft: 19-71044
On December 7, 2019, Deputy R. Shrawder responded to Ruddy Duck in Solomons for the report of a theft. The complainant advised that they went into the restroom while at the restaurant and left their wallet behind. When they returned to the restaurant to look for the wallet it was gone. The wallet was beige in color and had fur on the front as well as a wrist strap. The value of stolen property is $150.
 
Theft: 19-71177
On December 8, 2019, Deputy Flynt responded to Walmart in Prince Frederick for the report of a theft. The complainant advised they had set their wallet down while using a self-checkout register and left it in the store. When they went back inside to retrieve the wallet, it was gone. The value of stolen property is $170.
 
Arrests:
 
On December 4, 2019, Deputy Crum responded to Pushaw Station Road in Sunderland for the report of a burglary and welfare check. The complainant advised that Crystal Kay Sweeney (38), attempted to enter her residence through the front door. Upon making contact with Sweeney in the area of Trouble Lane in Sunderland, Deputy Crum detected a strong chemical odor emanating from Sweeney’s person, and observed her to be lethargic and confused. Sweeney was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center and a search was conducted resulting in a clear plastic Ziploc bag containing suspected marijuana that had been laced with PCP. Sweeney was charged with 3rd and 4th Degree Burglary, and CDS: Possession- Not Marijuana.
 
On December 6, 2019, Deputy N. Buckler responded to E Chesapeake Beach Road in Chesapeake Beach for the report of a burglary. Upon arrival, deputies observed glass on a rear door was broken and located Richard McGrath (48) hiding in the upstairs of the residence. McGrath was placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with 4th Degree Burglary. 
 
On December 7, 2019, Deputy N. Buckler conducted a traffic stop at Tyler’s Tackle Shop on Bayside Road in Chesapeake Beach. Upon making contact with the driver, Jordan Johnson (20), and the passenger Mikhi Jackson (19), Deputy Buckler detected the strong odor of raw marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Both Johnson and Jackson refused multiple commands from deputies to exit the vehicle, and after briefly resisting and shutting Deputy Buckler’s arm in the window, Johnson and Jackson were detained. A search of the vehicle was conducted which resulted in a pill bottle with Johnson’s name containing a small black plastic bag of suspected marijuana. Johnson and Jackson were placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where Johnson was charged with Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order, Resisting/ Interfering with Arrest, and 2nd Degree Assault to a Law Enforcement Officer. Jackson was charged with Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order. 

Motor Vehicle Collision in Charlotte Hall Under Investigation

On December 7, 2019, at approximately 11:08 a.m., deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 38100 block of Golden Beach Road in Charlotte Hall, for the reported motor vehicle collision. Deputies arrived on scene and located a Ford F-150 and a Chevrolet Cobalt in the roadway. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Accident Reconstruction Unit responded to the scene and continued the investigation.
 
Preliminary investigation determined the Ford F-150 operated by Paul Andrew Hamby, age 55 of Mechanicsville, was traveling northbound on Golden Beach Road, when the Chevrolet Cobalt, operated by Noah Andrew Stathers, age 19 of Mechanicsville, entered the roadway. Stathers attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Golden Beach Road and was struck by the Ford F-150. Stathers and a juvenile front-seat passenger were transported via helicopter to area trauma centers with incapacitating injuries. Hamby was not transported to a medical facility from the scene.
 
At this time, speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the collision. Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact Deputy Shawn Shelko at (301) 475-4200 extension *8147 or by email at Shawn.Shelko@stmarysmd.com.
 
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff.

Governor Hogan Announces Three Judicial Appointments

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced the following judicial appointments:
 
Jonathan Biran for the Court of Appeals
Richard Trunnell for Anne Arundel County Circuit Court
James Lee Tanavage for St. Mary’s County District Court
“The appointment of these qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and the rule of law,” said Governor Hogan. “I have every confidence that Mr. Biran, Mr. Trunnell, and Mr. Tanavage will continue to be strong advocates for the law and will serve the citizens of Maryland admirably.” 
 
Jonathan Biran was a federal prosecutor for 17 years and is currently a partner at Baker Donelson, a nationally prominent law firm, practicing both criminal defense and appellate law. He worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. He also served in the U.S. Attorney’s office for Maryland under Rod Rosenstein, working on fraud and public corruption matters. He served on the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force and served as Appellate Chief of the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office from 2010-2013, supervising the appellate work of dozens of assistant U.S. Attorneys. He previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable David F. Levi, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.  
 
Richard Robert Trunnell is a solo practitioner operating under the name Trunnell Law, LLC. His practice areas include criminal, traffic, juvenile, domestic relations, and personal injury law. He also practices estate planning and administration, and has a significant mediation practice, which includes both court ordered and private mediations. Throughout his 31-year legal career, Trunnell has worked primarily as either a solo practitioner or at small firms. He also spent six years as a prosecutor in Prince George’s County. He served as a law clerk to Judge Calvin R. Sanders, Circuit Court for Montgomery County from 1987-1988. He received his B.A. from Gettysburg College and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.
 
James Lee Tanavage is a solo practitioner with the Law Office of James L. Tanavage, LLC. He is a general practitioner handling criminal defense, DWI/DUI, domestic cases, family law, personal injury, and wills and estates cases. Prior to creating his own firm in 2011, he was an assistant state’s attorney in St. Mary’s County for 18 years. He also worked as an associate with the firm of Farmer and Braun and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert C. Nalley, Circuit Court for Charles County from 1990-1991. Tanavage holds a B.S. from LaRoche College (now LaRoche University) and obtained his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Teen Killed In Traffic Accident In Faulkner

(Faulkner, Maryland) – On Saturday, December 07, 2019, at approximately 0045 hours, Troopers from the Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack responded for a report of a motor vehicle collision involving two vehicles on northbound United States Route 301 in the area of Faulkner Road in Faulkner, Maryland. Due to the seriousness of the collision, a request was made for the Maryland State Police CRASH Team to assume the investigation.
A preliminary investigation conducted by Troopers from the MSP CRASH Team and the MSP La Plata Barrack indicates a 1994 Jeep Wrangler operated by a 17 yoa male of Lorton, VA and occupied by Shane Haley (19 yoa) of Lorton, VA and Raymond Andrews (18 yoa) of Front Royol, VA were traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of United States Route 301 in the area of Faulkner Road.
At the same time, a 2007 Hyundai Elantra operated by Zenobia Sharp (40 yoa) of Richmond, VA was traveling northbound United States Route 301 at Faulkner Road. The Jeep collided off-set head-on with the Hyundai in lane number one. As a result of the collision, the 17 yoa male was pronounced deceased on the scene.
Alcohol and driver error are believed to be factors in the collision.
 Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact Cpl. Justin Zimmerman of the Maryland State Police CRASH Team at (301) 392-1231.
The investigation is continuing and being investigated by Cpl. Justin Zimmerman of the
Maryland State Police CRASH Team. (19-MSP-052080)

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