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Expanded Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has updated the eligibility criteria for local COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics in accordance with updated authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as recommendations from the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The following populations are now eligible to schedule a third additional COVID-19 vaccine dose through SMCHD:
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems (Pfizer or Moderna recipients, at least 28 days after 2nd dose)
  • Individuals age 65 and older (Pfizer recipients only, at least 6 months after 2nd dose)
  • Individuals age 18 and older with underlying medical conditions (Pfizer recipients only, at least 6 months after 2nd dose)
 Individuals should receive the same type of vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) as their first and second doses. SMCHD will verify individual age and vaccine history at the time of vaccination (bring ID and vaccine record/card). Patients will be required to self-certify underlying medical conditions during registration for appointments (documentation/proof will not be required at the vaccine site). The CDC does not recommend additional doses for any other population at this time, including for those who initially received the J&J/Janssen vaccine. 
“Local case rates are as high now as they were during our peak earlier this year,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “We need to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our community. Mask up and if you’re eligible, get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available are effective at preventing severe illness and hospitalization, even against the Delta variant, compared to not being vaccinated. Booster doses ensure the highest level of protection for those most at risk for breakthrough infections.”
For more information or to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, please visit or call the SMCHD COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4330. Please review the allergy guidance and the FAQs for SMCHD COVID-19 Vaccination prior to registering for a vaccine appointment.
For local COVID-19 updates, information, and data visit  

Final Free Drayden African American Schoolhouse Open House of the Season

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The St. Mary's County Museum Division, in partnership with the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), will be offering the final free Open House for visitors and the community at the Drayden African American Schoolhouse in Drayden, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. The monthly open houses will resume at the beginning of 2022.


The Drayden African American Schoolhouse is one of the nation's best-preserved one-room African American schoolhouses. Its story represents a significant part of St. Mary's County's African American history. Visitors are invited to learn more about the restored schoolhouse, its rich history and its importance to education in St. Mary's County. Hear the real stories about how African American students learned in this school up until the mid-20th century.


"The Division encourages the public to attend this final open house at the Drayden African American Schoolhouse and learn more about this important piece of our county's African American history," says Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary's County Museum Division. "We further appreciate the continuing support of the volunteers who operate it for us, most of whom are members of the UCAC."


Volunteers will be available on-site during the open houses to share stories about the schoolhouse's history with visitors. All ages are welcome, and admission is free to visit.


The St. Mary's County Museum Division also offers special programs for school, bus and other tour groups who would like to schedule a visit to the Drayden site. Individual visitors who would like to see the schoolhouse during times outside open house hours can contact the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum at 301-994-1471 to arrange a visit.


For more information about the Drayden African American Schoolhouse Open Houses, programs, admission prices and more, visit the Drayden African American Schoolhouse Facebook page at or call 301-994-1471.


About the St. Mary's County Museum Division

The St. Mary's County Museum Division was established by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County to collect, preserve, research and interpret the historic sites and artifacts which illustrate the natural and cultural histories of St. Mary's County and the Potomac River. These sites include St. Clement's Island Museum, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum, the Old Jail Museum and the Drayden African American Schoolhouse. With this as its charter, the Museum Division serves as a resource, liaison and community advocate for all St. Mary's County public and private cultural assets.

St. Mary's County Government Awarded $398,118 by the Defense Community Infrastructure Program

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The Department of Defense announced that they have selected the St. Mary’s County Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) application as one of only thirteen grant awards for the country. 

St. Mary’s County’s Departments of Economic Development and Public Works and Transportation collaborated with the Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS PAX) to submit the application to build a signalized crosswalk across Three Notch Road at Gate 2.  The $395,118 grant award will fund most of the $564,454 project. 

DCIP is designed to address deficiencies in community infrastructure, supportive of a military installation, to enhance military value, installation resilience, and military family quality of life.  The County crosswalk project will also include a sidewalk extension linking Gate 2 to the existing sidewalk and crosswalk at Gate 1. This infrastructure improvement will allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross the six lane Three Notch Road and travel the one-mile distance between Gate 1 and Gate 2.  Currently, Three Notch Road’s design and heavy traffic volumes do not allow for bike lanes and force bicyclists to use the sidewalks. These interlinked improvements will allow safe bike and pedestrian access to the base and for base personnel to reach the Lexington Park commercial district to access local restaurants, services, and other businesses. 

The concept for this project was discussed between the Commissioners of St Mary’s County and the Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS PAX) Commanding Officers during previous Joint Meetings of the two entities. This project implements an improvement listed in the Naval Base Commuter Multi-Modal Mobility Planning Study Naval Air Station, Patuxent River

Additionally, the construction of this project will allow a direct link to the fully funded and under design Three Notch Trail, which when completed will stretch 28 miles from Gate 1 to Charles County through the County’s most heavily residential and commercial districts.  The sidewalk link to Gate 2 and the Frank Knox Educational Center will complete that connection to the two primary NAS PAX gates and a major group of destinations for NAS PAX personnel.

The Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) plans to begin construction of the crosswalk project within 12 months of grant award. The total project estimated cost is $564,454. The proposal seeks $395,118, with $169,336 matched with County funds.

Read the U.S. Department of Defense’s Press Release here:

Sept. 21 and 22 Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, County Commissioners participated in a discussion with Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell on Maryland State House Bill 655- Local Elections- County Council and County Commissioner and County Boards of Education. Three options were presented, including amending the county code to remove Commissioner districts; amending the county code to require district Commissioners be voted by a plurality of votes in a district; or becoming a charter form of government. County Commissioners requested staff to draft a bill that would implement option two, amending the county code to require district Commissioners be voted by a plurality of votes in a district.


Open Session Briefings  


  • Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney and Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County. There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. For a list of county vaccination clinics, visit the Department of Health’s website. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics available, visit the State of Maryland’s website. University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on current COVID-19 hospitalizations and staff COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the importance and availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as misinformation. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ COVID-19 contact tracing process and case statistics. County Commissioners discussed COVID-19 vaccination mandates for County Government employees. County Commissioners directed legal and human resources staff to gather data on COVID-19 impacts on the workforce, explore implications of requiring vaccinations or weekly testing, and to return with an update.
  • Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services Director Jenifer Ellin and Chief of Budget Jacob Dyer provided a presentation on the fiscal 2021 Fourth Quarter General Fund Review. The fiscal 2021 year-end estimate net operating gain is more than $32 million. County Commissioners approved new fund balance reserves for one-time items and revenue stabilization.
  • Chief of Environmental Resources Frances Sherman and Department of Public Works Acting Director Bernard Wilson Cochran provided a presentation on litter control efforts in Charles County. Staff provided information on the three facets to an effective litter abatement plan, including enforcement, removal, and education and outreach.


Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:



County Commissioners virtually met with the executive staff of the Charles County Public Schools to include Superintendent Dr. Maria V. Navarro, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Lowndes, Executive Director of School Administration Dr. Marvin Jones, Jr., and Coordinator of District Innovation Christina Miller. Superintendent Dr. Maria V. Navarro provided a presentation on the schools’ Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The blueprint includes five steering committees based on five policy areas to include early childhood education; high quality and diverse teachers and leaders; college and career ready pathways; more resources to ensure all students are successful; and governance and accountability.


County Commissioners also participated in a discussion with Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Deborah Carpenter and Chief of Roads Stephen Staples regarding signage in western Charles County. County Commissioners discussed the benefit of a sign recognizing the entrance of Bryans Road to denote the area and approved for county staff to research costs and process for installing such as sign.


County Commissioners participated in a discussion with Department of Community Services Director Dina Barclay regarding the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Local non-profits including United Way of Southern Maryland; Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc; LifeStyles, Inc.; Maryland Legal Aid Bureau worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to assist residents through ERAP funds. Residents can find more about assistance resources online.


Follow-Up Work Session

County Commissioners participated in a follow-up work session on Bill 2021-02 Zoning Text Amendment 19-154 Single-Family Attached Residential and Multi-Family. Planner III Kirby Blass provided a presentation on updated language of the zoning text amendment. County Commissioners approved the zoning text amendment.


Public Hearing

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, County Commissioners also provided a virtual public hearing on Bill 2021-04 Zoning Text Amendment 20-160 Processing Facility Transfer Station- Solid Waste in the IH Zone. County Commissioners approved the amendment.


County Commissioners provided a public hearing on Zoning Map Amendment 20-03 Hungerford Property. County Commissioners also provided a public hearing on Amendment to the 2016 Comprehensive Plan- Land Surrounding Maryland Airport.  For both public hearings, the public record will be open until Thursday, Sept. 30. Residents can provide input by:

Residents with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service TDD 1-800-735-2258.

Next Commissioners Session: Sept. 28, 2021 (held virtually) 


Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258. 

Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission To Begin Third Round of Public Meetings on October 6

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission (Citizens Commission), a balanced commission created by Governor Larry Hogan to draw fair and representative legislative and congressional district maps for the 2022 elections, is continuing their map drawing process with public map submissions due to the Commission by end of day tomorrow, Friday, September 24.

Since May 5, the Citizens Commission has held a total of 26 open public meetings, all of which were available on Zoom and YouTube. The 26 meetings were a combination of public meetings, where testimony and public input were encouraged, and working sessions, where the public could watch. Information for each of the meetings including maps discussed, agendas, video recordings, and transcripts can be found at

In addition to more than 2,100 citizens attending one of the meetings on Zoom or YouTube, social media posts about the meetings resulted in more than 42,500 impressions on Twitter and a reach of more than 50,000 on Facebook.  

Following the end of the public map submission period on September 24, the Citizens Commission will consider comments received either by email or during Commission meetings. They also will continue their review of all of the public maps submitted as they draw their final maps prior to the beginning of the Round 3 meetings on October 6.  Every Wednesday in October at 6:00 p.m., the Commission will hold a public meeting where the people of Maryland are encouraged to register and provide comments on the proposed final maps. A list of all upcoming meetings is here.

As with all of the Commission meetings where there was public testimony, you must register to provide LIVE TESTIMONY in advance of the meeting. For more information about how to provide testimony, either in advance or during an upcoming meeting, please click here, then click on the specific meeting. Additional meeting details will be posted in the next week. Each meeting, which includes closed captioning and Spanish translation, will conclude upon the completion of testimony from the last speaker, and any discussion among the commissioners.

The four Round 3 meetings in October are the final of three rounds of public meetings – the first round was a listening tour to discuss redistricting in general; the second round is complete and included dozens of hours of discussion about citizen maps and DRAFT Commission redistricting maps; and the third round begins October 6 to discuss the Commission’s legislative and congressional maps. 

We encourage people to continue submitting comments electronically and to send any redistricting questions to

Enrollment For Charles County Public Schools Virtual Learning Programs Is Complete

Enrollment in both Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) virtual learning programs is now complete. This includes the kindergarten through Grade 8 virtual option, as well as the high school Virtual Academy program.  

Both opportunities were offered to CCPS families this school year. The kindergarten through Grade 8 virtual program included 450 spaces, with 50 spaces per grade level. Virtual Academy is for students in Grades 9-12. Eligible students for both programs met minimum criteria to apply.  

Applications for Virtual Academy and students on the waitlist for the kindergarten through Grade 8 virtual program are no longer being accepted.    

Classes for kindergarten through Grade 8 virtual students began this week with Proximity Learning. Proximity Learning is still in the process of hiring and onboarding additional teachers for the combined classes. Virtual Academy high school students are in classes with CCPS teachers from the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center.  

Parents of students enrolled in the Virtual Academy with questions about the program should call 301-932-6612. Families with questions about their child enrolled in the kindergarten through Grade 8 virtual program should call their zoned home school and ask to speak to the virtual learning point of contact.  

About CCPS  

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.  

Cardin, Portman Commend Biden Administration for Continuing U.S. Policy Against Participation in U.N. Conference That Promotes Anti-Israel Agendas

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken commending the Biden administration for continuing the United States’ long-standing policy to boycott the United Nation’s World Conference on Racism, also known as the Durban Conference IV. The Durban Conference, first held in 2001, does not advance the cause of combatting racism, but rather promotes a discriminatory and anti-Israel agenda. This year, a record number of 31 countries plan to boycott the conference.


“Both Republican and Democratic U.S. administrations have consistently boycotted Durban in support of American principles and our Israeli ally,” wrote the senators. “We greatly appreciate comments made earlier this year by the State Department, reiterating that ‘the United States stands with Israel and has always shared its concerns over the Durban process’s anti-Israel sentiment, use as a forum for anti-Semitism, and freedom of expression issues.’”


Text of the letter can be found below and here.


Secretary Blinken,


As the 20th anniversary of the United Nation’s World Conference on Racism, otherwise known as Durban IV, approaches, we appreciate the State Department’s continued stance against participation in this deeply troubling forum.  For the past 20 years, these conferences have advocated agendas that have unfairly and baselessly targeted our democratic ally, Israel.  The United States will lead a coalition of some twenty nations that will boycott the conference and highlight the discriminatory and anti-Israel agenda that is a core component of these conferences. This is the right thing to do and represents a welcome message of support for Israel. It is troubling that at a time when countries of the world should be banding together to nobly fight the evils of racism, discrimination and anti-Semitism, forums such as the World Conference Against Racism are hijacked by Israel’s detractors to propagate their own agenda.


Since its inception, the Durban Conference has provided a venue for intolerance and antisemitism, and has promoted a message of isolating Israel. Some twenty years ago in 2001, America exhibited great leadership in withdrawing from the original Durban Conference as it developed a draft conference report equating Zionism and racism – a move that succeeded in ensuring that the odious language was excised from the final declaration. However, at a parallel NGO Forum which served as a meeting place for civil society groups, anti-Israel activists adopted an informal resolution characterizing Israel as a racist apartheid state and accusing it of genocide. 


At Durban II in 2009, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad infamously called the Holocaust an “ambiguous and dubious question” and a “pretext” for oppressing Palestinians. Every iteration of the Durban process has promoted racism, intolerance, antisemitism, and Holocaust denial while questioning Israel’s fundamental right to exist.


Both Republican and Democratic U.S. administrations have consistently boycotted Durban in support of American principles and our Israeli ally.  We greatly appreciate comments made earlier this year by the State Department, reiterating that “the United States stands with Israel and has always shared its concerns over the Durban process’s anti-Israel sentiment, use as a forum for antisemitism, and freedom of expression issues.”


We also appreciate the pledge you and other senior members of the Biden Administration have made to uphold the longstanding bipartisan tradition of advocating for Israel and opposing her isolation at other international and multilateral fora.  The Israeli people are vital allies and we stand ready to work with you on these and further efforts in their support.  


Calvert County Government Releases 2021 State of the County Video

 The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) announces the release of the Calvert County 2021 State of the County video.
The video was prepared for the annual State of the County town hall event, hosted by the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce. The full State of the County video can be viewed online at
“In 2021, Calvert County has proven itself as a prosperous community with a bright future,” said BOCC President Earl F. “Buddy” Hance. “We draw our strength from many factors, but it is the strength and resilience of Calvert County residents that makes our county special. It is a privilege to live and serve in this community and we continue our commitment to its people above all else.”
The State of the County video highlights achievements such as:
·         Receiving its fifth consecutive AAA credit ratings from three independent credit rating agencies.
·         Allocation of more than $3 million in relief funds directly to small businesses and nonprofits, including local restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses financially impacted by the pandemic.
·         Completion of a $21-million, 800-megahertz public safety communications system.
·         Increased public safety support through the hiring of 31 new positions to support Calvert County’s fire/rescue/EMS, emergency communications, Sheriff’s Office and detention center, and the State’s Attorney’s Office.
·         Continued public schools funding above the state maintenance of effort requirement.
·         Expanding the cybersecurity program with two new positions fully dedicated to protecting county government technology infrastructure and data.
·         Continued development of the Patuxent Business Park and the launch of several new locally owned businesses throughout the county.
·         Engaging the public in the update process for the Prince Frederick and Dunkirk town center master plans.
·         Promoting healthy and active lifestyles through inclusive Parks & Recreation programs and services.
Find information on Calvert County Government services online at Stay up to date with Calvert County Government on Facebook at and YouTube at

Director of Department of Public Works & Transportation Retiring

LEONARDTOWN, MD – John Deatrick, Director of the Public Works & Transportation Department, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2021. In his announcement, Deatrick said, “It has been my privilege to serve the Commissioners and citizens of St. Mary’s County for the last four years. This county is a delightful place to work and live, and I am thankful for my time leading one of the most vibrant departments in St. Mary’s County Government.”


Mr. Deatrick came to St. Mary’s County in 2017 from the City of Cincinnati, where he served as Project Executive for the Cincinnati Streetcar implementation between 2013 and 2016. From 2008 until 2013, he was Cincinnati’s Project Executive for the Central Riverfront Redevelopment Project.


Commissioner President Randy Guy said, “We will miss Mr. Deatrick’s expertise and knowledge and have appreciated his hard work these last four years. I wish him the best as he moves forward into the next chapter of his life.”


For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, ext.1340.

Section of Three Notch Trail Temporarily Closed

LEONARDTOWN, MD - The Department of Recreation and Parks announces a temporary closure of a section of the three Notch Trail from Hidden Pond Court to Mechanicsville Road beginning Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, and lasting until Oct. 11, 2021.

The Department of Public Works and Transportation will replace a pipe and repair a washout in the vicinity.

For information on the Department of Recreation and Parks facilities and operations, please visit

2021 State of the County Video Report and Executive Summary Available Online

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Citizens wanting to learn more about progress made by the county during the last fiscal year can now view the 2021 State of the County video report and Executive Summary.


The video report highlights projects and programs undertaken within the last fiscal year and looks ahead to projects currently underway in St. Mary’s County. The Executive Summary is a companion piece to the video and details the accomplishments recognized in the video.


Citizens may view the 2021 State of the County video report on the Public Information Office webpage at; a copy of the Executive Summary is also available for viewing and downloading.


For more information, please contact the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, ext.1340.


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of September 13 – September 19, deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,504 calls for service throughout the community. 
Destruction of Property: 21-52001
On September 14, 2021, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to 100 block of Winslow Place in Prince Frederick, MD for the reported destruction of property. The complainant advised sometime between 4:45 a.m. and 12:58 p.m., unknown suspect(s) spilled soup and powdered biscuit mix on the front door mat destroying it. The total value of damaged property is $45.
Destruction of Property: 21-51943
On September 14, 2021, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to 4000 block of Buena Vista Road in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of destruction of property.  The complainant advised sometime between 10 a.m. on Sept. 12 and 9:30 a.m. on September 14, unknown suspect(s) had done donuts in a field on the property destroying the soybean crops. The value of damaged property is $1000.00.
Damaged Property: 21-52683
On September 17, 2021, Deputy Durnbaugh responded to Avenue E in St. Leonard, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised sometime between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m., unknown suspect(s) damaged the front passenger window of a vehicle parked at the residence. The value of damaged property is $600.00.
Theft: 21-51793
On September 13, 2021, Deputy Huy responded to the 2000 block of Marble Lane in Owings, MD for report of a theft from vehicle. The complainant advised a black backpack with a 13 inch MacBook Air laptop was stolen from inside the vehicle. The value of stolen property is unknown at this time.
Theft: 21-52446
On September 16, 2021, Deputy Aley responded to the 1500 block of Solomons Island Road S. in Prince Frederick, MD for the report of damaged property. The complainant advised a vehicle parked at the aforementioned address appeared to have the catalytic converter cut off. The value of stolen/damaged property is unknown at this time.
Theft: 21-52245
On September 15, 2021, Deputy Mason responded to the Tractor Supply located at 3150 N. Solomons Island Road in Huntingtown, MD for report of a theft. The complainant advised three unknown suspects were observed loading several items to include 8000 Watt Dual Fuel Generator; a 2000 Watt Inverter Generator; a 3600 PSI – 2.5 GPM Gas Pressure Washer; and a HD 2000A Lithium Jump Starter into a shopping cart. The same individuals bypassed the checkout line and exited the store without making payment. The estimated value of stolen property is $2,570.00
Theft: 21-52573
On September 16, 2021, Deputy Anderson received report of a theft. The complainant advised sometime between 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., unknown suspect(s) stole the front registration plate off of a vehicle that was parked in the 200 block of Village Center Drive in Lusby, MD. The value of stolen property is unknown at this time.
Theft: 21-53010
On September 19, 2021, Deputy Shoemaker responded to report of a theft call at the 7-Eleven located at 15 Solomons Island Road N. in Prince Frederick, MD. The complainant advised an unidentified black male approximately 5’8”-5’10” tall wearing a gray hoodie, gray mask and jeans stole 2 packs of Vuse Original Alto Pods and 2 packs of Vuse Alto Vapor devices then fled the store without making payment. The total value of stolen property is $46.35.
Theft: 21-52890
On September 18, 2021, Cpl. Robshaw responded to a residence in the 3500 block of Yellow Bank Road in Dunkirk, MD for a reported theft. The complainant advised sometime between 4:30 p.m. on September 17 and 11 a.m. on September 18, unknown suspects stole a black plastic mailbox in the cluster of mailboxes located in the 3600 block of Yellow Bank Road. The value of stolen property is $90.00.
On September 19, 2021, Deputy Lee met Deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office to take possession of a wanted individual, Davayus Alex Young, 24 of Lexington Park, MD. Young was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center (CCDC) and served an active warrant for his arrest. Upon arrival at the CCDC, a search of Young’s person was conducted and marijuana was located in Young’s jacket pocket. Young was charged with Possession of Contraband in a Place of Confinement.
On September 15, 2021, DFC T. Buckler conducted a traffic stop in the area of southbound Rt. 4 just south of Ball Road in St. Leonard, MD. The driver, Jennifer Lynn Brady, 31 of Prince Frederick, MD was in possession of stolen registration plates and was wanted on multiple warrants through the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police and two additional warrants through the state of Virginia. Brady was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she was charged with Theft Less than $100.00.

Maryland State Department of Education Awards Over $4 Million to Maryland Schools to Provide Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Students

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has awarded more than $4.2 million in federal funds to more than 180 Maryland elementary schools across the State to help children build lifelong healthy eating habits. The funds, made available by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), expand student access to fresh fruits and vegetables in participating schools. School participation data for the FFVP can be found here.

 “Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of basic nutrition that every child deserves access to,” said State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury. “This critical federal, state and local partnership enables schools to provide students with healthy food options that help fuel overall student success and achievement.”

The FFVP supports schools with a high percentage of low-income students, who often have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Selected schools provide students with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, at no charge. The FFVP teaches students that fresh produce can be a healthy and delicious snack. Additionally, the Program provides an opportunity for teachers and school administrators to provide experiential nutrition education.

In order to facilitate participation for schools serving non-congregate meals, the MSDE has requested, and been approved for, a statewide waiver. The waiver allows FFVP foods to be provided to parents or guardians when they are picking up meals for their children.

 For more information on Maryland’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, please contact Jill Hann of the Office of School and Community Nutrition Programs of the MSDE at

The Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are equal opportunity employers and providers.

Van Hollen, Cardin Join Amicus Brief Urging SCOTUS to Protect Reproductive Rights by Upholding Roe & Rejecting Mississippi's Blatantly Unconstitutional Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) have joined their colleagues in filing bicameral amicus brief in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, urging the Supreme Court to uphold nearly 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Wade and protect the constitutional right to abortion care.


After the Court refused to block the dangerous, cruel abortion ban in Texas from going into effect, Dobbs represents yet another case that could undermine nearly 50 years of precedent and potentially overturn RoeDobbs is a challenge from Mississippi’s sole remaining abortion provider against H.B. 1510, the state’s extreme law banning all abortions after 15 week of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape and incest, and only narrow, inadequate exceptions for a medical emergency or in cases of a severe fetal abnormality. The law is blatantly unconstitutional under Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that individuals have the right to decide whether or not to be pregnant prior to fetal viability. In 2019, the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court decision halting the Mississippi law’s implementation. 


“This Court has made clear that abortion bans like H.B. 1510 are unconstitutional because they violate the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy before viability; the decision below should be affirmed on that basis alone. But as a matter of public policy, it is also important to recognize that laws like H.B. 1510 do not merely encroach on individual liberty and autonomy; they also do so in a way that disproportionately imperils the health and economic security of vulnerable populations,” wrote the lawmakers.


The lawmakers stressed that the only thing that has changed since Casey and Roe were decided is the composition of the Court—which is not a compelling reason to re-examine RoeTherefore, the members emphasized that overturning Roe would represent a disregard for settled law, our legal system, and the Constitution, stating, “Respect for precedent—a fundamental principle that is essential to our legal system, the legitimacy of judicial and legislative institutions, and the rule of law—compels affirmance of the decision below.”


The lawmakers also noted that the abortion rights codified in Roe and Casey have been settled law for nearly 50 years and 30 years respectively, highlighting that, “adherence to Roe and Casey is even more necessary to protect the settled expectations and reliance interests of multiple generations of individuals who have rightly understood the freedom to decide to terminate a pregnancy before viability as a firmly established constitutional right, and who have never known a world without Roe’s constitutional guarantee.” The Supreme Court has upheld the Constitutional right to an abortion as recently as 2016, in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, and again just last year in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo.


The amicus brief was led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in the Senate.  In the House, the brief was led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.).


In addition to Senators Van Hollen, Cardin, Schumer, Murray, Durbin, and Blumenthal, the amicus brief was signed by Senators Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bennet (D-Colo.), Booker (D-N.J.), Brown (D-Ohio), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Carper (D-Del.), Coons (D-Del.), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Feinstein (D-Calif.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Hassan (D-N.H.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kaine (D-Va.), Kelly (D-Ariz.), King (I-Maine), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Luján (D-N.M.), Markey (D-Mass.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Murphy (D-Conn.), Ossoff (D-Ga.), Padilla (D-Calif.), Peters (D-Mich.), Reed (D-R.I.), Rosen (D-Nev.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Schatz (D-Hawaii), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sinema (D-Ariz.), Smith (D-Minn.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tester (D-Mont.), Warner (D-Va.), Warnock (D-Ga.), Warren (D-Mass.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Wyden (D-Ore.).


In addition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representatives Pallone, Nadler, DeGette, Lee, and Chu, the amicus brief was signed by Representatives Adams (D-N.C.) , Aguilar (D-Calif.), Allred (D-Texas), Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Barragán (D-Calif.), Bass (D-Calif.), Beatty (D-Ohio), Bera (D-Calif.), Beyer (D-Va.), Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Bonamici (D-Ore.), Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), Bowman (D-N.Y.), Brown (D-Md.), Brownley (D-Calif.), Bush (D-Mo.), Bustos (D-Ill.), Carbajal (D-Calif.), Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Carson (D-Ind.), Carter (D-La.), Cartwright (D-Pa.), Case (D-Hawaii), Casten (D-Ill.), Castor (D-Fla.), Castro (D-Texas), Cicilline (D-R.I.), Clark (D-Mass.), Clarke (D-N.Y.), Clyburn (D-S.C.), Cohen (D-Tenn.), Connolly (D-Va.), Cooper (D-Tenn.), Correa (D-Calif.), Costa (D-Calif.), Courtney (D-Conn.), Craig (D-Minn.), Crist (D-Fla.), Crow (D-Colo.), Davids (D-Kan.), Davis (D-Ill.), Dean (D-Pa.), DeFazio (D-Ore.), DeLauro (D-Conn.), DelBene (D-Wash.), Delgado (D-N.Y.), Demings (D-Fla.), DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Deutch (D-Fla.), Dingell (D-Mich.), Doggett (D-Texas), Doyle (D-Pa.), Escobar (D-Texas), Eshoo (D-Calif.), Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Evans (D-Pa.), Fletcher (D-Texas), Foster (D-Ill.), Frankel (D-Fla.), Gallego (D-Ariz.), Garcia (D-Texas), García (D-Ill.), Gomez (D-Calif.), Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Hayes (D-Conn.), Higgins (D-N.Y.), Himes (D-Conn.), Horsford (D-Nev.), Hoyer (D-Md.), Huffman (D-Calif.), Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Jacobs (D-Calif.), Jayapal (D-Wash.), Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Bernice Johnson (D-Texas),  Johnson (D-Ga.), Jones (D-N.Y.), Kahele (D-Hawaii), Kelly (D-Ill.), Khanna (D-Calif.), Kildee (D-Mich.), Kilmer (D-Wash.), Kim (D-N.J.), Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Kuster (D-N.H.), Lamb (D-Pa.), Larson (D-Conn.), Lawrence (D-Mich.), Lawson (D-Fla.), Lee (D-Nev.), Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Levin (D-Mich.), Lieu (D-Calif.), Lofgren (D-Calif.), Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Malinowski (D-N.J.), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Manning (D-N.C.), Matsui (D-Calif.), McBath (D-Ga.), McCollum (D-Minn.), McEachin (D-Va.), McGovern (D-Mass.), McNerney (D-Calif.), Meeks (D-N.Y.), Meng (D-N.Y.), Moore (D-Wis.), Morelle (D-N.Y.), Moulton (D-Mass.), Murphy (D-Fla.), Napolitano (D-Calif.), Neal (D-Mass.), Neguse (D-Colo.), Newman (D-Ill.), Norcross (D-N.J.), Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Omar (D-Minn.), Panetta (D-Calif.), Pappas (D-N.H.), Payne (D-N.J.), Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Peters (D-Calif.), Pingree (D-Maine), Pocan (D-Wis.), Porter (D-Calif.), Pressley (D-Mass.), Price (D-N.C.), Quigley (D-Ill.), Raskin (D-Md.), Rice (D-N.Y.), Ross (D-N.C.), Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Ruiz (D-Calif.), Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Ryan (D-Ohio), Sánchez (D-Calif.), Sarbanes (D-Md.), Scanlon (D-Pa.), Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Schneider (D-Ill.), Schrier (D-Wash.), Scott (D-Va.), Sewell (D-Ala.), Sherman (D-Calif.), Sherrill (D-N.J.), Sires (D-N.J.), Smith (D-Wash.), Soto (D-Fla.), Speier (D-Calif.), Stanton (D-Ariz.), Stansbury (D-N.M.), Stevens (D-Mich.), Strickland (D-Wash.), Swalwell (D-Calif.), Takano (D-Calif.), Thompson (D-Miss.), Thompson (D-Calif.), Titus (D-Nev.), Tlaib (D-Mich.), Tonko (D-N.Y.), Torres (D-Calif.), Torres (D-N.Y.), Trahan (D-Mass.), Trone (D-Md.), Underwood (D-Ill.), Vargas (D-Calif.), Veasey (D-Texas), Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Waters (D-Calif.), Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Welch (D-Vt.), Wexton (D-Va.), Wild (D-Pa.), Williams (D-Ga.), Wilson (D-Fla.), and Yarmuth (D-Ky.).


Read the amicus brief here.

September 21st St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held their regular business meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

The Commissioners recognized Constitution WeekUnderground Railroad Month and National Senior Center Month with Proclamations.

The Commissioners received a briefing from County Attorney David Weiskopf on 10 legislative proposals.

Funding agreement requests from the Sheriff's Office were approved for the FY2022 Jail Mental Health Services, Five County, PATH, STOP, and SOR MAT Agreements between the St. Mary's County Health Department and the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Detention and Rehabilitation Center, for a total amount of $778,951.

Representatives from St. Mary's County Public Schools presented their proposed six-year capital plan, historical information, enrollment information, their FY2023 request and plan for FY2023 – FY2028 to the Commissioners. Following the presentation. The Commissioners voted to sign a letter of support for the Capital Improvements Program to be submitted to the state Interagency Commission on School Construction.

The Department of Finance requested and received approval for authorization to award the Inmate Medical Services Contract to Prime Care Medical, Inc., in an amount estimated to exceed $1 million.

The Commissioners approved a request from the county attorney's office to sell the surplus real property known as the Bethune Educational Center, located at 22975 Colton Point Road, Bushwood.

The Commissioners provided funding from the American Rescue Act to the Department of Emergency Services to continue the interoperability needs for the Maryland First Emergency Radio System

John Deatrick, Director, Department of Public Works & Transportation and Steve Walker, Director, Department of Emergency Services, provided an update to the Commissioners on the Animal Shelter Construction project.

The next regularly scheduled Commissioner business meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, at 9 a.m. Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocsCommissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.

Identity Needed for Theft Suspect (Photos)

Sept. 21, 2021:
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office is seeking the identity of the person pictured in a theft investigation. On Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 at 12:30 pm, the victim left a black leather bi-fold wallet on the counter of the 7-Eleven convenience store in Charlotte Hall after making a purchase. The suspect, who was the next customer in line, picked the wallet up and put it in his pocket. The wallet contained the victim's driver's license, insurance cards and cash.
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Deputy Christopher Palmer at 301-475-4200, ext. 78162 or email Case # 45683-21
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 

COVID-19 Testing Now Offered at Mass Vaccination Site in Hollywood

LEONARDTOWN, MD (September 20, 2021) - In order to meet increased demand for COVID-19 testing locally, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is moving COVID-19 testing operations to the mass vaccination site at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department beginning September 22, 2021. COVID-19 testing will no longer be available at the SMCHD main office in Leonardtown, though will continue to be available at the SMCHD Hub in Lexington Park. 
SMCHD COVID-19 Testing (effective September 22, 2021)
Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department at 24801 MD-235 in Hollywood
Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Drive-thru only
Behavioral Health Hub at 21625 Great Mills Rd in Lexington Park
Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Drive-thru, bike-thru, or walk up
Enter from Saratoga Drive and follow directional signage (traffic pattern has changed from former PNC Bank)
Pre-registering is recommended for reduced wait times at both locations
No appointment or doctor’s order needed for testing
Free of charge (no out-of-pocket cost, co-payment, co-insurance, etc.)
Available for those who live or work in St. Mary’s County 
For more information or to pre-register, visit: 
“We are seeing sustained high community spread of COVID-19 in St. Mary’s County. This has dramatically increased the demand for testing,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. "The drive-thru site at Hollywood allows us to more efficiently manage heavy traffic flow and reduce wait times for our community members in need of testing or vaccination."
COVID-19 vaccinations are also available in Hollywood and Lexington Park for anyone age 12 and older. Appointments are highly recommended; walk-ups will be accepted as vaccine supply allows. For more information or to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, visit or call the SMCHD COVID-19 Community Hotline at (301) 475-4330. Please review the allergy guidance and the FAQs for SMCHD COVID-19 Vaccination prior to registering for a vaccine appointment. Pre-registration is available for those who are waiting to become eligible for their initial or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information about COVID-19 updates and information, visit

Maryland State Police Continue Work To Reduce Traffic Fatalities

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating seven separate fatal vehicle crashes that occurred over the past week.
The most recent occurred Sunday evening when a man died in a multi-vehicle crash in Howard County. At about 8:55 p.m., troopers from the Waterloo Barrack responded to a crash involving a motorcycle and a car that occurred in the area of eastbound Interstate 70 and Maryland Route 32 in Marriottsville, Maryland.
According to a preliminary investigation, a 2021 Honda CBR1000 motorcycle and a 2005 Buick Lacrosse, were traveling east on I-70 when the motorcycle rear-ended the Buick. The driver of the motorcycle, Harold Joseph Sweeney III, 56, of Columbia, Maryland, was ejected from his vehicle. He was transported to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died. The driver of the Buick, a female, was transported to Howard County General Hospital for treatment of her injuries. 
Eastbound I-70 was closed for about an hour following the crash. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration assisted with the road closure. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Since Wednesday, state troopers are also investigating three fatal crashes in Worcester County and one each in Baltimore, Somerset and Prince George’s counties. For the year, Maryland State Police have investigated 137 fatal crashes, up from 120 at the same point in 2020. This represents a 17 percent increase over the past year. Troopers have also responded to 16,165 crashes in 2021, up from 14,224 over the same period in 2020.
The Maryland State Police are continuing to work to combat impaired, aggressive and distracted driving across the state. Troopers have recorded 4,849 DUI arrests in 2021, up from 4,401 at the same point last year. 
Troopers have conducted dozens of initiatives over the past year to reduce vehicle fatalities. The most recent initiative came over the weekend when Maryland State Police partnered with Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Montgomery County Police, and the Prince George’s County Police to conduct a cooperative high visibility patrol initiative late Friday night into early Saturday morning. 
Efforts were focused on I-495 from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George’s County to the American Legion Memorial Bridge in Montgomery County and on US Route 50 from Washington D.C to the Anne Arundel County line, and major roadways leading to them. This results in law enforcement recording 291 traffic stops, while issuing 315 citations, 205 warnings, 80 safety equipment repair orders and 8 civil citations. Troopers and officers removed 21 impaired drivers from the roadways and seized two illegal guns. In addition, there were five people arrested on warrants and other criminal charges. 
In addition, the State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort, or SPIDRE Team, recorded 7 DUI arrests, while making 19 traffic stops and issuing 54 citations and 10 warnings over the weekend. The SPIDRE Team has recorded 260 DUI arrests in 2021.
Maryland State Police will continue to conduct traffic safety initiatives throughout the coming months.  These initiatives are data-driven and will be focused in areas where crash data indicates they are most needed. 

Update: Shooting in Great Mills Under Investigation

UPDATE: On Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, a 16-year-old female was arrested in connection with the shooting that occurred on Sept. 15, 2021. Further investigation determined prior to the shooting, the juvenile suspect was arguing with a group of individuals and was observed walking to the vehicle where the victim and passenger were later injured and retrieved a handgun. The suspect was seen getting into the passenger side of the vehicle and shooting towards the crowd. As the vehicle was leaving the area, a victim reported one or more individuals in the crowd shot at the car. The juvenile suspect in the vehicle was positively identified and charged with the following:
Firearm Use/Felony Violent Crime
Handgun in Vehicle
Possession of Firearm/Minor
Loaded Handgun in Vehicle
Reckless Endangerment
Reckless Endangerment from Car
Assault First Degree
Assault Second Degree
The juvenile was charged as an adult and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown and remains incarcerated. Due to a change in Maryland law, the juvenile will not be identified by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and no booking photograph will be released until a waiver hearing is conducted to determine the jurisdiction of this case.
This case remains under investigation and anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Warren Forinash at (301) 475-4200 extension 78072 or by email at

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at approximately 11:00 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 45500 block of Norris Road in Great Mills for the reported shooting. Deputies located a female victim, age 28 of Lexington Park, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to her lower body. Preliminary investigation determined that prior to the shooting, a large crowd had gathered, and a fight ensued among the crowd. During the incident, the victim and two other individuals entered a vehicle and proceeded to leave the area. As the vehicle was leaving, suspects began shooting at the vehicle. As a result, the female victim was shot three times and another female passenger in the vehicle sustained injury from shattered automotive glass. The gunshot victim was transported to an area trauma center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger was treated at the scene and not transported.

Detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and crime lab personnel responded to the scene and continued the investigation. A handgun and multiple shell casings were recovered from the scene.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Warren Forinash at (301) 475-4200 extension 78072 or by email at

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.

Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app:

Officers Arrest Suspect in Assault Case and Recover Firearms

Suspect in Assault Case Arrested / Firearms Recovered: On September 13, a patrol officer responded to the area of Hope Circle in Waldorf for a call about a dispute. The victim reported the suspect, who was not known to him, brandished a firearm and threatened to shoot and kill him after the victim asked the suspect’s family member not to pet the dog he was walking. Through investigation, the officer was able to positively identify the suspect as Kaleb Brooks, 25, of Waldorf. The officer obtained an arrest warrant charging Brooks with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and carrying a handgun. Brooks is prohibited from possessing a firearm. 
On September 16, officers located Brooks at his residence. While he was being arrested, he spat on an officer. Further, he was in possession of a backpack that contained a large amount of suspected marijuana and prescription pills. Detectives also served a search warrant at Brook’s residence and his vehicle and recovered a handgun, drug packaging, and a large amount of cash.
While officers were conducting the search warrant, an unknown male approached the back of the house. Officers observed what appeared to be the shape of a handgun in the person’s waist area. The subject was stopped and officers found a loaded semiautomatic firearm on him. A computer check revealed the subject was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a previous felony conviction. Kareem Wali Bright, 26, of Waldorf, was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
Brooks is currently being held at the Charles County Detention Center without bond. Bright was released on September 17 after posting bond. Officer Nyamekye is investigating.

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