Local News

Maryland Battles Northern Snakehead with Information

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is increasing its efforts to educate the public about the northern snakehead, an invasive fish found throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The department has introduced several informational videos, supplemental fact sheets and an updated webpage.
Northern snakeheads were first observed in Maryland waters in 2002, and the species gained a foothold in tidal waters. Since then it has spread to every major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay — as have stories about the species that aren’t always accurate.
The department relies heavily on conservation-minded anglers, armed with correct information,  to help address the problem.
The videos provide general information on snakeheads, regulations and advice from an expert angler on how to target the snakehead. Links to the videos along with additional information can be found on the department’s website.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection on May 4

The Department of Public Works is holding a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday, May 4. 

What:                                   Household Hazardous Waste

Where:                                Department of Public Works building (10430 Audie Lane, La Plata)

When:                                  Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Items accepted: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.


Unacceptable materials: bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition.  Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites.  Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified.  This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener, or sawdust to aid in drying it out.

For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.

Van Hollen Announces Service Academy Applications Now Being Accepted

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen announced that his office is now accepting applications from students in Maryland for nominations to one of the Uniformed Service Academies for the class of 2024.


All applications and supporting materials must be received electronically by 5:00 pm on September 30, 2019. More information and the online application can be found here.


Qualified applicants will interview with Senator Van Hollen’s Service Academy Advisory Board on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the University of Maryland University College Largo Campus.

Wanted-Donald Edward Rankin

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Donald Edward Rankin, age 63 of Lexington Park. Rankin has an active arrest warrant for two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Rankin is 6’1” in height, weighs 190 pounds, and has gray hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Donald Edward Rankin is asked to call Detective Trevor Teague at (301) 475-4200 extension *8128 or by email at Trevor.Teague@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.

Change to the Solomons Visitor Center Summer Hours

The Calvert County Department of Economic Development announces the Solomons Visitor Center hours of operation will change beginning Thursday, May 2. New hours of operation will be Thursday and Friday, 12:30-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The center will be closed Monday through Wednesday. Summer hours are effective through Sunday, Sept. 29.
The visitor center is located at 14175 Solomons Island Road S. in Solomons. Knowledgeable staff is on hand to provide information about local attractions, hotels, marinas, restaurants and other travel information. While there, browse the retail store offering local and regional gift items, including Taste of the Beaches cookbooks, handmade blue crab pottery, Calvert crab artistic renderings and much more.
For more information about Calvert County visitor sites and attractions, check out the 2019 Calvert County Visitors Guide online; call 410-535-4583 or 301-855-1880; send an email to info@ecalvert.com; or visit online at www.choosecalvert.com. Like Calvert County Government on Facebook.

Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person operating the vehicle pictured. On Friday, March 29, 2019, between 10 and 10:30 p.m., the suspect removed and stole an “In the Ditch” brand, two-piece tow dolly from a PJ’s Towing tow truck. The suspect appeared to be male, wearing pants with a reflective stripe. At the time of the theft, the tow truck was parked at Hollyrock Customs at Commerce Drive in Hollywood. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl. David Corcoran at 301-475-4200, ext. *8011 or email david.corcoran@stmarysmd.com. Case # 18909-19
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

Advisory: Missing Person Johnnie William Raines Jr. (Photo)

Johnnie William Raines Jr. (W/M/41 YOA) has been reported missing by family. Raines was last seen 04/21/19 in the Valley Lee area driving a blue 2007 Kia Sorento bearing Maryland registration 4CY5957. If you have seen or know the whereabouts of Raines please contact the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office at (301)475-8008.

Identification Needed For Theft Suspect (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the individual pictured. On April 12, 2019, the individual left the Walmart store located on Miramar Way in California, with a large screen television and other merchandise he did not purchase. The individual was observed leaving the area in a red Ford Explorer.
Anyone with information on the identity of the pictured individual is asked to contact Corporal Gray Maloy at (301) 475-4200 extension *8035 or by email at Gray.Maloy@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.

Burglary Suspect's Identity Needed (Photo)

April 23, 2019 – The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured. On Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 4 a.m., the suspect broke into the Dollar General store on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park and stole several Tide laundry detergent products. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect and/or this incident is asked to call Deputy Michael Rycyzyn at 301-475-4200, ext. *8030 or email michael.rycyzyn@stmarysmd.com. Case # 22591-19
For official news and information, follow the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @firstsheriff

Alisa Casas Appointed Communications Director

Leonardtown, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have appointed Alisa Casas Communications Director.


Ms. Casas comes to St. Mary’s County Government from MAG Aerospace, formerly Ausley Associates Inc., where she was employed as an Export Compliance Analyst and Associate Director of Communications for the F/A-18 program at NAVAIR.


“We are pleased to appoint Ms. Casas as our next Communications Director,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “Ms. Casas comes to the County with tremendous experience in communications and on behalf of all the Commissioners, we are looking forward to working together.”  


“I am grateful and excited to be offered the position of Communications Director for St. Mary’s County Government”, said Ms. Casas. “It is an honor to serve the Commissioners and the residents of St. Mary’s County and I look forward, with great anticipation, to getting to work.”


Ms. Casas’ appointment is effective May 6, 2019.

Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of April 15th through April 21st deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,385 calls for service throughout the community.


Damaged Property: 19-21925

On April 18th, 2019 Deputy Aranda responded to Golden West Way in Lusby for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between 10 pm on April 17th and 11 am on April 18th, an unknown suspect egged their vehicle. After washing the eggs off, there appeared to be no damage to the vehicle or the vehicle’s paint. 


Theft: 19-21250
On April 15th, 2019 Deputy Sturdivant responded to Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant located in Lusby for the report of a theft. The complainant advised $3,500 worth of copper wiring had been stolen between Thursday, April 11th and Friday, April 12th from the storage facility. 


Theft: 19-21939
On April 18th, 2019 Deputy Anderson responded to Lower Marlboro Road in Owings for the report of a theft. The complainant advised around 11:30 am he noticed his vehicle registration plate had been torn from the tag bracket. The estimated value of stolen property is approximately $134. 




On April 18th, 2019 Corporal Wilson responded to Horseshoe Trail in Lusby for the report of a domestic argument coming from a car parked in the roadway. As Corporal Wilson exited his agency vehicle, a black male who was later identified as Tyree Jamal Johnson (23), started charging at him in an aggressive manner. Johnson stood in a fighting position with his hands balled up into fists and shoulders squared up to Corporal Wilson. Corporal Wilson put his hand out to create space between them when Johnson pushed his hand away and retreated back to the vehicle parked in the roadway. Johnson was ordered to exit the vehicle but refused to comply with orders given by Corporal Wilson. Johnson was very combative and argumentative during the incident. Johnson was subsequently placed under arrest then transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Disorderly Conduct, Assault Second Degree and Resist/ Interfere with Arrest. 


On April 20th, 2019 Deputy Lewis responded to Mattapany Road in Saint Leonard for the report of a 911 hang up. Deputy Lewis made contact with the victim on scene who stated that the suspect, Charles Edward Chase Jr. (53), was yelling and screaming inside the home and wanted to fight. The victim stated they exited the home in attempt to separate themselves from Chase. While on scene, Chase was yelling from the front porch at the victim after being instructed to stop yelling profanities and to calm down.  Deputy Lewis could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Chase’s breath and person. Chase continued to yell and use profanity, so he was then placed under arrest and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Disorderly Conduct. 


On April 21st, 2019 Detective Rector contacted the Calvert Control Center and advised there was a fight in progress in the middle of South Bound Route 4 at Fox Run Boulevard. Deputy Sturdivant arrived on scene to assist Detective Rector. Detective Rector placed the suspect, Branden Lee Barger (39), in handcuffs and sat him on his knees in the grass. Deputy Sturdivant made contact with Barger, who began yelling obscenities at the driver of the other vehicle then became disorderly and started cursing at deputies on scene. After interviewing witnesses on scene, it was discovered that Barger was weaving throughout traffic, tailgating other vehicles, and aggressively driving. Barger then got out of his vehicle and started banging on the window of the victim’s vehicle with his metal rings, trying to pull the door open to get to the driver. Deputy Sturdivant discovered a switch blade knife in the cup holder of the suspect’s vehicle. Barger was arrested and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where he was charged with Assault 2nd degree, Disorderly Conduct, and Dangerous Weapon- Conceal. 

Buckle Up. Phone Down

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and sheriff’s offices from St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles counties today announced a partnership focused on enhancing driver safety. 
“More than 120 unbelted drivers and passengers are killed every year in Maryland” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA Administrator and Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Not being belted can cause passengers to become projectiles in the event of a crash, causing serious injuries or death to other people in the car. To ensure you arrive at your destination safely, everyone in a vehicle should buckle up, and drivers should park the phone, day and night.” 
“BUCKLE UP. PHONE DOWN.” combines sustained education and enforcement to encourage motorists to always wear seat belts and park cellphones. Failure to wear a seat belt and distracted driving are among the primary causes of injuries and fatalities on Maryland roads. Between 2013 and 2017, more than 16,000 crashes in the three southern counties involved unbelted motorists and/or distracted drivers. 
“Buckling a seat belt takes three seconds and is your best defense in the event of a crash,” said Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry. 
In Maryland, drivers and passengers can be fined $83 for not wearing a seat belt. Fines for using a handheld cellphone while driving are $83 for a first offense, $140 for a second and $160 for a third. Writing, sending or reading a text or electronic message while driving can result in a $70 fine and one point on the motorist’s record. These penalties increase if the use of a device contributes to a crash, serious injury or death.
“Sadly, many people are driving with a cellphone in their hand, and people are losing their lives because of this irresponsible and illegal action,” said St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron.
The “BUCKLE UP. PHONE DOWN.” campaign includes week-long enforcement and education initiatives through August. During the enforcement waves, information on the dangers of unbelted and distracted driving will be conveyed via billboards, digital and social media, as well as additional outreach. 
“Our deputies will be out enforcing Maryland’s distracted driving and seat belt laws because those laws save lives,” said Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans.
Drivers are also reminded to move over if safe to do so or slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle using emergency signals. 
The MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office is dedicated to saving lives and preventing injuries by reducing motor vehicle crashes. Learn more about the Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at towardzerodeathsmd.com, on Facebook at TowardZeroDeathsMD, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.

Public Hearing Set for the Draft Calvert County Comprehensive Plan

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will hold a public hearing Tuesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. to consider and receive comments on the Calvert County Planning Commission’s recommended Calvert County Comprehensive Plan (December 2018 Draft). The public hearing will be held at the Calvert Pines Senior Center located at 450 W. Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick.
If approved by the BOCC, the plan will replace the current Calvert County Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2004 and amended in 2010 and 2017. The BOCC may choose to adopt, amend, remand or disapprove the recommended plan, or consider earlier drafts of the plan.
The initial series of meetings and workshops for the public to provide input began in 2016. County staff held informational meetings, interactive workshops and open houses to receive feedback from residents. Comprehensive Plan drafts, summaries of meetings, presentations and more are available at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/FutureCalvert.
Citizens are encouraged to view the draft Calvert County Comprehensive Plan (December 2018 Draft) along with the earlier drafts, available online.  For additional information, contact the Calvert County Department of Planning & Zoning at 410-535-1600, ext. 2356 or via email at Pz@calvertcountymd.gov. Individuals who cannot attend the public hearing may submit written comments.
Written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., April 29, 2019, and may be submitted by emailing COMMISS@calvertcountymd.gov or through the U.S. mail to the BOCC at 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678. Any reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities or linguistic barriers should be requested by contacting the BOCC office at 410-535-1600, ext. 2202.
For information on Calvert County Government, visit www.CalvertCountyMd.gov or like us on Facebook.

Former Middle School Instructional Assistant Charged with Sex Offenses

On April 18, detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division arrested a former instructional assistant at Mattawoman Middle School in connection with making inappropriate comments to a female student and having inappropriate contact with another female student. Anthony Tyrone Williams, Jr., 23, of Waldorf, was arrested at his residence and charged with second-degree rape, 4th-degree sex offense, obscene telephone misuse, stalking and other related charges. The first allegation involving inappropriate comments was made in January and Williams was immediately removed from the schools. During the investigation, a second student reported inappropriate contact. The CCSO is asking parents to talk with their children. Anyone who has further information about Williams is asked to contact Det. G. Higgs at (301) 609-6498. 

Great Mills Swimming Pool to Close for Seasonal Maintenance May 10 through May 24

Leonardtown, MD - St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks would like to inform the public that the Great Mills Swimming Pool will be closed for seasonal maintenance from Friday, May 10 through Friday, May 24.  During this time, the pool’s air supported dome structure will be removed, making the pool an outdoor facility. Other seasonal maintenance and staff training will also occur while the pool is closed.


The pool will reopen for normal hours of operation on Saturday, May 25 as listed below:

Monday – Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


The summer hours of operation will begin on Monday, June 17 as listed below:

Monday – Saturday
12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


The Department apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closing of the pool may cause.  For more information, please contact the Great Mills Swimming Pool at 21100 Great Mills Road, in Great Mills, at (301) 866-6560.  For information on activities and programs at the Great Mills Swimming Pool, visit our website at www.stmarysmd.com/recreate

Child Killed In Go-Cart Accident

On Sunday, April 21, 2019 at approximately 11:15 a.m., members of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 2300 block of Golf Club Drive, Dunkirk, MD for a report of a crash involving a motorized go-cart.  Upon arrival, deputies and rescue personnel discovered an overturned go-cart with multiple patients on the scene.
A preliminary investigation by the Calvert Reconstruction Team revealed three juveniles were riding in a go-cart operated by an 11 year-old juvenile female of Dunkirk, MD.  The go-cart passengers were a 7 year-old juvenile male of Dunkirk, MD and 12 year-old juvenile female of Frederick, MD.  The go-cart was being driven on the street and entered the cul-de-sac located in the 2300 block of Golf Club Drive.  During a right turn maneuver the go-cart overturned on its left side ejecting the occupants. 
The driver, the 11 year-old female, was transported to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC by MSP Trooper 2 where she succumbed to her injuries sustained in the crash.  The 7 year-old male passenger was transported to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC by MSP Trooper 7, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries sustained in the crash.  He is listed in stable condition.  The 12 year-old female passenger was treated for non-life threatening injuries on the scene and released.      
The collision remains under investigation by Cpl. V. Bortchevsky of the Crash Reconstruction Team.  Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Cpl. V. Bortchevsky by email: vlad.bortchevsky@calvertcountymd.gov or by calling the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office at 410-535-2800.

Airport Road Will Close On Or About April 22nd For Work

Leonardtown, MD - Due to the replacement of a drainage pipe, Airport Road will close on or around Monday April 22, approximately 500 feet west of MD Route 235 and 100 feet west of the northern Wildewood Shopping Center entrance on Airport Road. Changeable message signs and detour signs will be provided to route unfamiliar motorists around the closure. Roads will be closed for approximately 1 week, weather dependent.

For additional information, please contact the St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation at (301) 475-4200, or the St. Mary’s County Public Information Office at (301) 475-4200, Ext. *1340.

Noise Advisory – Pax River Sets Noise Advisory for April 22 to May 17, 2019

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, Maryland – Communities surrounding the naval air station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place April 22 - May 17, 2019 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Pilots at NAS Patuxent River will be conducting Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs). FCLPs are simulated carrier landings conducted to prepare the pilot to land safely on an aircraft carrier. The practices consist of series of touch-and-go maneuvers, called “bounces.” Airspeed, altitude and power are all precisely choreographed in order for a pilot to approach the ship within an acceptable window to land on the deck safely. FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. Landing on an aircraft carrier is a complex skill, and requires intense periods of training. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information, please call our toll-free noise hotline at 1-866-819-9028.

Wanted for Escape-Brandon Lee Bates (Photo)

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Brandon Lee Bates, age 26 of Charlotte Hall. Bates has an active warrant for the charge of escape second degree for violating the conditions of his pretrial release. Bates was previously arrested on theft charges. Bates is 5’10” in height, weighs 175 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Brandon Lee Bates is asked to contact Detective Austin Schultz at (301) 475-4200 extension *1953 or by email at Austin.Schultz@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.

Shawn Mendes Gets Rejected From Dublin Bar Goes To McDonald's Instead

Shawn Mendes, 20, was turned away from a bar in Dublin, Ireland earlier this week, even though the legal drinking age there is 18. In a fan-captured video of the incident, one of the bouncers at Bruxelles [brew-ZELLE] pub explains to a dejected Shawn that many bar managers have their own age restrictions after certain hours. “OK, thank you. Wow,” Shawn said before walking away. “All right, bye. I tried.” Shawn, who had just finished a concert at Dublin’s 3Arena, then did the next best thing: He went to McDonald’s. He reportedly ordered a Happy Meal and posed for a bunch of selfies with fans there just after 3 a.m. 



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