Local News
May 17, 2021:
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the identity of the person shown in a theft investigation. On Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 6:10 pm and again on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 2:55 pm, the suspect scanned items at the self-checkout register at the California Walmart store, but did not pay for the merchandise. The suspect then proceeded past the last point of sale when he was stopped by loss prevention staff. The suspect fled the store on both occasions before he could be identified.
 
 
Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or this incident is asked to call Cpl. Milton Pesante at 301-475-4200, ext. 78053 or email milton.pesante@stmarysmd.com. Case # 25272-21
 
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

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Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has partnered with the Charles County Department of Health to host vaccine clinics at area high schools for children. Priority registration is for children ages 12 and older. Registration for the below clinics is available on the health department website at https://charlescountyhealth.org/.  
 
The clinics will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and take place in either the listed school’s gymnasium or cafeteria. CCPS is partnering with the health department in an effort to vaccinate as many county residents as possible, including children. CCPS does not require any student or staff member to be vaccinated for COVID-19.  
 
Families can register children ages 12 and older for the following clinics.  
 
May 19, La Plata High School, 3 to 7 p.m.  
May 26, Westlake High School, 3 to 7 p.m.  
June 2, Henry E. Lackey High School, 3 to 7 p.m.  
June 8, Thomas Stone High School, 3 to 7 p.m.  
 
Parents with questions about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or the clinics should call the health department at 301-609-6717. Details about future clinics for children will be released as planned.  

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ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MD (May 17, 2021) - Deputy State Fire Marshals have charged Jesse M. Russell, 37, after determining she was responsible for intentionally setting curtains on fire in the living room of her Piney Point home yesterday afternoon.
 
Around 3:30 p.m., deputies with the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office were driving by a home in the 46000 block of Crowder Lane and observed Russell standing in the foyer with flames inside the home. Deputies stopped and ordered Russell out of the home, where deputies then observed a cigarette lighter in her hand. Deputies extinguished the fire with portable fire extinguishers, and Russell was detained. The Office of the State Fire Marshal was requested to conduct an origin and cause investigation.
 
St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office advised they had responded to the same address earlier in the day after a landlord and tenant dispute involving Russell. Deputy State Fire Marshals concluded the fire was intentionally set and determined Russell was responsible for setting the fire during their investigation.
 
Russell was charged with Arson 1st Degree, Malicious Burning 2nd Degree, and Malicious Destruction of Property under $1,000. Russell is currently being held without bond at St. Mary's County Detention Center.

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The Charles County Department of Health will offer Pfizer vaccine clinics beginning Wednesday, May 19th to youth ages 12-18.  Appointments are required.   The Moderna vaccine will continue to be provided to individuals 18 and older. To schedule an
appointment to receive the vaccine, visit charlescountyhealth.org.  Registration links will be posted on the website every Friday between
4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. for the general population to schedule an appointment.
 
Pfizer Clinics
 
• Wednesday, May 19th 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at La Plata High School 
 
• Wednesday, May 26th 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Westlake High School 
 
• Wednesday, June 2nd 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Lackey High School 
 
• Tuesday, June 8th 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Thomas Stone High School
 
Moderna Vaccine Clinics
 
• Monday, May 17th 9:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Village Green Park & Pavilion, Indian Head 
 
• Monday, May 17th 3:30 PM-5:30 PM at the Nanjemoy Fire Department, Port Tobacco Rd, Nanjemoy 
 
• Thursday, May 20th 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM at the Newburg Rescue & Fire Station, Newburg 
 
• Thursday, May 20th 3:30 - 5:30 PM at the Waldorf Fire & EMS Station 12, St Florian Dr 
 
• Friday, May 21th 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at New Life Church, La Plata 
 
• Saturday, May 22nd 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM at St. Peter's Catholic Church, Waldorf 

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PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Fully vaccinated DoD personnel (two weeks beyond final dose) are no longer required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors at DoD facilities. This guidance applies only to fully immunized personnel.  Unimmunized personnel will continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors on DoD installations IAW NAVADMIN 095/21. 
 
In full support of our 53 mission partners, please contact your parent command for amplifying command guidance.   Patients and visitors to Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River are still required to wear masks inside the clinic. 
 
Commanders and supervisors should not ask about an employee's vaccination status. The COVID-19 vaccination is readily available and all are encouraged to get vaccinated.
 
The threat of COVID-19 transmission remains.  Personnel shall continue to practice personal hygiene protocols and maintain physical distance, in accordance with Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.   
 
Our team will continue to examine the expansion of base services – including MWR programs – to DoD retirees, eligible civilians, and other patrons based on public health emergency officer recommendations.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County will follow Gov. Larry Hogan’s action to ease COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the lifting of capacity restrictions and the indoor mask mandate. Masks are still required for public transportation, healthcare settings and schools.
 
Effective Saturday, May 15, 2021:
 
• Indoor and outdoor venues may resume normal operations. All remaining capacity restrictions will be lifted on all indoor entertainment venues and conventions and all outdoor entertainment, art and sports venues, including all ticketed events.
 
• Restaurants and bars may resume normal operations, as all remaining capacity and distancing restrictions, and all other limits will be lifted on indoor and outdoor dining.
 
The county continues to share updates surrounding St. Mary’s County’s response to COVID-19 through a virtual resource center on its website at https://www.stmarysmd.com/covid-19/updates/.

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The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces that Calvert County will follow Gov. Larry Hogan’s action to ease COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the lifting of capacity restrictions and the indoor mask mandate. Masks are still required for public transportation, healthcare settings and schools.
 
Effective Saturday, May 15, 2021:
 
·         Indoor and outdoor venues may resume normal operations. All remaining capacity restrictions will be lifted on all indoor entertainment venues and conventions and all outdoor entertainment, art and sports venues, including all ticketed events.
 
·         Restaurants and bars may resume normal operations, as all remaining capacity and distancing restrictions, and all other limits will be lifted on indoor and outdoor dining.
 
Local businesses and citizens are encouraged to review the state guidelines online at https://governor.maryland.gov/recovery. For business assistance, please contact the Calvert County Department of Economic Development by email at info@ecalvert.com or call 410-535-4583.
 
The Calvert County Department of Parks & Recreation is working to increase capacity at pools and facilities. At this time, parks and indoor facilities will maintain current capacity limits until further notice. For capacity limits or more information, contact individual facilities. Facility hours of operation and contact information can be found online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/ParksAndRecreation.
 
Calvert County Government is open, however buildings remain closed to the public. The county continues to share updates surrounding Calvert County’s response to COVID-19 through a virtual resource center on its website at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Coronavirus.
 
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.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday the lifting of all capacity restrictions on outdoor entertainment, art, and sports venues and indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all remaining restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, as of Saturday, May 15.
 
The governor also announced that the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted as soon as 70% of adults receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
 
EFFECTIVE SATURDAY, MAY 15:
 
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR VENUES. Indoor and outdoor venues may resume normal operations. All remaining capacity restrictions will be lifted on all indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all outdoor entertainment, art, and sports venues, including all ticketed events.
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR DINING. Restaurants and bars may resume normal operations, as all remaining capacity and distancing restrictions and all other limits will be lifted on indoor and outdoor dining.
In response, St. Mary’s County Government is acting in accordance with the Governor’s orders and is operating under the St. Mary’s County COVID-19 Pandemic Roadmap to Recovery. Please note that St. Mary’s County is permitted to be more restrictive than the state of Maryland, but not less restrictive.
 
St. Mary’s County Government continues to work with businesses and the community to expand reopening efforts under Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recove

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ANNAPOLIS, MD—As a result of the state’s rapid pace of COVID-19 vaccinations and subsequent declines in key health metrics, Governor Larry Hogan today announced the lifting of all capacity restrictions on outdoor entertainment, art, and sports venues and indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all remaining restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, as of Saturday, May 15.
 
The governor also announced that the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted as soon as 70% of adults receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
 
“Here in Maryland, our plan is to get everything back to normal by Memorial Day,” said Governor Hogan. “We are making amazing progress toward that goal. But once again, the fastest way to get rid of our damn masks and to put this pandemic behind us once and for all is for every single eligible Marylander to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
 
EFFECTIVE SATURDAY, MAY 15:
 
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR VENUES. Indoor and outdoor venues may resume normal operations. All remaining capacity restrictions will be lifted on all indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all outdoor entertainment, art, and sports venues, including all ticketed events.
 
INDOOR AND OUTDOOR DINING. Restaurants and bars may resume normal operations, as all remaining capacity and distancing restrictions and all other limits will be lifted on indoor and outdoor dining.
 
CRUISE TERMINAL. The cruise terminal in Baltimore City will be reopening. The CDC is working directly with cruise ports and industry representatives to prepare for a safe return to business.
 
INDOOR MASK MANDATE TO EXPIRE AFTER THE STATE ACHIEVES 70% OF MARYLAND ADULTS VACCINATED. The governor announced that the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted as soon as 70% of Maryland adults receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine—the national goal set by President Biden. Yesterday, the state officially surpassed the milestone of vaccinating more than 65% of adults.
 
WORK SEARCH REQUIREMENTS TO BE REINSTATED NEXT MONTH. To further accelerate the state’s economic recovery and with every business in Maryland fully reopened, Governor Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Labor to work in collaboration with the federal administration to begin the process of reinstating work search requirements to connect more job seekers with good opportunities. The requirements are scheduled to be reinstated by late June.
 
VACCINATIONS FOR ADOLESCENTS READY TO BEGIN TOMORROW. With approval from the FDA and CDC, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for Marylanders age 12 to 15 is ready to open tomorrow. Eleven of the state’s mass vaccination sites and hundreds of pharmacy locations will be ready to administer the Pfizer vaccine—which was granted FDA approval earlier this week—to adolescents right away. Marylanders will be able to search for providers vaccinating adolescents at covidvax.maryland.gov.
 
Also today, the governor issued an order extending the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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STATEWIDE (May 13, 2021) - With the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack causing gas shortages in parts of the East Coast and Maryland, there have been reports of long lines at gas stations with some motorists traveling to remote locations to find gas reserves to stock up.
 
"Gasoline should only be placed into a vehicle directly or into an approved container," State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci stated. "You're not only endangering yourself but the other drivers around you when you place large quantities of gasoline in containers incorrectly or in unapproved containers. Firefighters and other first responders are also being put into harm's way if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident". 
 
The Office of the State Fire Marshal wants to remind residents and commuters about safe ways to dispense flammable fuels such as (gas, diesel, or heating oil) into a portable container for proper storage:
 
Flammable fuels should not be dispensed into portable containers over 6 gallons, and the containers should be listed and approved for the flammable liquid intended for the portable container.
Portable containers should have a tight closure with a screwed or spring-loaded cover to prevent spills and vapors from escaping.
When transporting gasoline in a portable container, ensure it is secured against tipping and sliding, never leaving it in direct sunlight or the trunk of a car.
Flammable fuel should never be dispensed into portable cargo tanks or any other container not listed for flammable liquids.
Never fill a container while located in the trunk, passenger area of a car, or the bed of a pickup truck.
All containers should be placed on the ground and clear of possible ignition sources such as the exhaust from a vehicle.
Fill portable containers slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup and minimize spilling or splattering. Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the container opening while refueling. Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion.
If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before placing the container in your vehicle. Report spills to the station attendant.
Never smoke around flammable fuels.

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Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is partnering with the Charles County Department of Health to survey parents about their interest in the COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for children 12 and older. CCPS is asking parents of children who meet the age criteria to complete an optional interest survey.  

 

The survey will help the health department plan for vaccine supplies and distribution clinics. The survey is available by clicking here. Deadline to complete the survey is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, May 16.   

 

CCPS does not require any staff member or student to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 12 to 15. Anyone 16 and older is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Maryland. Parents with questions can contact the health department at 301-609-6717.  

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On May 10 at 3:53 p.m., officers responded to the 6200 block of Seal Place in Waldorf for the report of an armed carjacking. Upon arrival, officers met with the victim. Initial investigation revealed the victim met the suspect on a dating website, and they arranged to meet in the area of Seal Place. When the victim pulled into the parking area, an unknown male walked up to the driver’s side door and brandished a black handgun. He ordered the victim to get out of the vehicle at gunpoint. Once the victim got out, the suspect got into the victim’s vehicle and fled the area. The vehicle is a 2008 Honda Civic 4-door sedan, tan in color, bearing Maryland registration 8BX5170. The suspect is described as a black male in his late teens or early twenties. If anyone has information about this crime or about the whereabouts of the vehicle, please contact Detective Wimberly at (301) 609-6491. The investigation is ongoing.

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PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – The U.S. Navy invites you attend a virtual public meeting on May 18 or 19 regarding the Patuxent River Complex Testing and Training Activities Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS.
 
The Draft EIS evaluates the potential environmental effects of continuing to conduct military testing and training activities within the Patuxent River Complex needed to meet current and projected military readiness requirements.
 
The Navy will hold two virtual public meetings: on Tuesday, May 18, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Wednesday, May 19, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
 
The meetings will consist of a presentation and question-and-answer session, to discuss the proposed action and the draft environmental analysis. You can access the meetings, review the draft EIS, and view supplemental materials at www.PRCEIS.com.
 
If you would like to submit questions for discussion during the virtual public meetings, complete the form available at www.PRCEIS.com between May 10 and May 17. The Navy will post a recorded copy of the presentation on the project website for interested parties who were unable to attend.
 
The Patuxent River Complex includes Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Webster Outlying Field, Bloodsworth Island Range, and the water and airspace where the Navy conducts aircraft testing and training activities in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
 
Written comments on the Draft EIS are being accepted until June 15, through U.S. mail or the project website at www.PRCEIS.com.
 
If you have questions about the meetings or would like more information, please visit www.PRCEIS.com or contact the Range Sustainability Office at (301) 342-9902.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Government announces the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. The program also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.
 
A household is eligible if one member of the home meets at least one of the criteria below: 
 
Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment opens May 12, 2021.
 
For more information on the application process in St. Mary’s County, go to the Atlantic Broadband website at https://atlanticbb.com/ebb  or Comcast’s Emergency Broadband Benefits Program page https://tinyurl.com/33un85ta. Eligible households can also enroll directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail-in application.
 
Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at  www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.
 
For additional information on St. Mary’s County Broadband efforts, visit the county website www.stmarysmd.combroadband.

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Charles County Government is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy to hire two student interns from Morgan State University, Khadija Smith and Nicholas Wright, through its Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL) Summer Internship program.

 

Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center will be mentoring the summer interns as they work on projects to map opportunities to improve access to green space, protected areas, and recreational opportunities for underserved communities in Charles County.  The PEARL Summer Internship program develops students’ skills in project design, fieldwork, laboratory research, and scientific writing. Chesapeake Conservancy will provide the students training and work experience in using geospatial analysis to support land use planning and conservation goals.

 

“Chesapeake Conservancy is thrilled to be a part of this terrific partnership, and we thank our partners for making this possible.  One of our organization’s key beliefs and goals is to make sure that diversity is reflected in the conservation movement,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Executive Vice President Mark Conway. “We want to make sure that all voices are heard in the conservation movement and are working to open doors for new leaders from all backgrounds through programs such as this partnership with Morgan State University and Charles County.”

 

Charles County Government will support students in selecting their research topics and provide hands-on experience in the field and in the lab.  Research is conducted in the Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory in Saint Leonard, Maryland, a state-of-the-art facility. The internship will last ten weeks, starting June 1, 2021. 

 

“This first-of-its-kind partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the PEARL internship program not only benefits the students with professional development and training, but also supports environmental priorities in Charles County. I look forward to the contributions the students can offer and unique perspectives they will provide,” said County Administrator Mark Belton. 

 

To learn more about the Chesapeake Conservancy, visit https://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/ and to learn more about the Morgan State University PEARL Center, visit https://bit.ly/3erFeXF.

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LEONARDTOWN, MD (May 12, 2021) - Following authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use of Pfizer vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age, the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is expanding eligibility for SMCHD vaccination clinics to include individuals ages 12 and older. Please note: the Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for those under the age of 18, and parental consent is required. 
 
"Protecting our young people with COVID-19 vaccine is key to helping our community recover from this pandemic, especially as we have recently seen some of our highest new case rates in the 0-19 age group," said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. "Getting fully vaccinated means you are safer in doing activities you had paused because of the pandemic, and can stay in school or sports when you might otherwise have had to quarantine."
 
To register for a vaccine appointment, visit the SMCHD website at www.smchd.org/covid-19-vaccine or call (301) 475-4330. New appointments are posted to the website weekly. Pre-registration is also available if clinic options for the week are filled and community members would like to be contacted when new appointments are available. 
 
Community members are encouraged to review the allergy guidance and the FAQs for SMCHD COVID-19 vaccination prior to registering for an appointment. 
 
For local COVID-19 updates, information, and data, please visit www.smchd.org/coronavirus or call the St. Mary’s County Health Department at (301) 475-4330. 

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LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will host a Public Forum Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building, at 41770 Baldridge Street, in Leonardtown.
 
Public Forums provide residents an opportunity to speak directly to the Commissioners on topics of their choosing. In addition, residents may offer appreciation, questions or suggestions in a mutually respectful format.
 
Meetings are accessible to the public as long as social distancing guidelines can be maintained and the Commissioners Meeting Room capacity limits do not exceed 33. Those in attendance must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a face covering except when speaking, consuming food/drink or have a disability. If social distancing guidelines or room capacity limits cannot be maintained, a portion or all of the meeting may be rescheduled.
 
In lieu of appearance, comments may be submitted via:
 
         a. Email: csmc@stmarysmd.com.
 
         b. Mail: Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD, 20650.
 
         c. Call 301-475-4200, ext. 1234 to speak via telephone during the public forum.
 
d. Submit a three-minute video clip to publicmtgs@stmarysmd.com through 5 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2021.
 
Those wishing to speak at the forum will receive up to three minutes to address the Commissioners. Anyone wishing to provide more detailed comments can do so via email or regular mail.
 
Commissioners of St. Mary’s County Public Forums are televised live on St. Mary’s County Government TV 95 (SMCG TV 95) and streamed live on the St. Mary’s County YouTube Channel.
 
For those without access to cable television or the internet, a listen-only line is available by calling 301-579-7236; Access code: 963443.

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Officers Respond to Call for Man with Gun: On May 10 at 11:42 a.m., officers responded to the 11900 block of Acton Lane in Waldorf for the report of a subject “practice drawing” a firearm just outside of a store. Upon arrival, officers located the suspect, Dorvay Dante Bell, 41, of Waldorf, in the parking lot and immediately gave verbal commands.  The officers were able to de-escalate the situation and the suspect complied. He was taken into custody without incident. Investigation revealed that the firearm concealed in his waistband was a BB gun replica of a 9mm handgun. Additionally, Bell and his female acquaintance, Cheryl Lynn Spiegel, 49, of Waldorf, were found to be trespassing at the business after being banned. Bell was arrested and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, and concealed air gun. Spiegel was charged with trespassing and released on the scene. Officer R. Watson investigated.

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On Tuesday, May 11, the Board of County Commissioners participated in a Budget Work Session. Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff continued discussions on the Fiscal 2022 General Fund Operating Budget, Enterprise Funds, Fiscal 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Projects, new positions list, and vehicle and equipment list. County Commissioners discussed potential annual and one-time budget reductions of $861,000, in order to provide additional funding to the Charles County Board of Education.

 

County Commissioners approved one-time funding of $90,000 to be added towards development services for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) social and mental health employees; $30,000 of this funding would come from the Social and Mental Health CCPS Sign-on Bonus that was approved last week. County Commissioners voted 3 to 2, to revisit using money from annual and one-time budget reductions, cable fund support, and fund balance to support 1 percent cola for Charles County Public Schools; Commissioners will review this again on Tuesday, May 18 before formal adoption.

 

Open Session Briefings  

 

The  Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna E. Abney provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Pfizer vaccine is now available for eligible individuals age 12 and older and the Department of Health is in the planning stages of vaccine clinics at high schools. COVID-19 vaccinations are available for eligible individuals age 16 and older.  Residents can now make their own appointments to get vaccinated on the Department of Health’s website. Those who lack computer access or need assistance with making their appointment can call the Department of Health at 301-609-6717. The mass vaccination site in Southern Maryland is open at the Regency Furniture Stadium and Maryland residents who are eligible can register for a vaccination at the site and other locations in the county online. The State of Maryland has a call center number for those who need assistance registering one of the state mass vaccination sites or need help locating a vaccination site. The state call center number is 855-MDGOVAX (855-634-6829), available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy.  The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on the hospital operations, including their COVID hospitalizations declining and continuing to monitor their visitation policy. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on next school year and this year’s graduations. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and answers to their frequently asked questions. 
Charles County Chief Equity Officer Renesha Miles, Maryland Center on Economic Policy President/CEO Benjamin Orr, and Associated Black Charities’ Chief of Racial Equity Strategy Shauna Knox provided a presentations on creating a Racial Equity Resolution/ Policy for Charles County and incorporating a racial equity lens in policymaking. County Commissioners affirmed the racial equity work that the county is doing and approved staff to research and begin the process of creating a racial equity resolution.
 

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $500,000 for the sludge disposal expense account.
A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $215,000 for construction bids related to the Gilbert Run Boardwalk Replacement Capital Project.
The Resolution for the 2021-10 Water-Sewer Service Category Amendments-Spring 2021 Cycle.
 

Proclamation

National Police Week
Emergency Medical Services Week
Emergency Medical Services for Children Day
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month
 

Next Commissioners Session: May 18, 2021 (held virtually) 

 

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

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The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will hold a public hearing Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 7 p.m. to consider and receive comments regarding the fiscal year (FY) 2022 commissioners’ recommended operating and capital improvement budget.
 
Citizens are encouraged to view the budget in its entirety and learn more about the FY 2022 budget process by visiting www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/FY2022BudgetProcess.
 
The public hearing will be held virtually in keeping with social distancing guidelines and to protect the health of citizens and staff. The public is encouraged to participate in the meetings by viewing the livestream on www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/Meetings or on channel 6 or 1070 HD. The public can also listen or comment by telephone by calling either of the following toll-free numbers to participate remotely:
 
·         888-475-4499 or 877-853-5257
 
·         Meeting ID: 899 4188 8251
 
·         Passcode (if asked): #
 
·         Request to speak: *9
 
Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities or linguistic barriers should be requested by contacting the BOCC office at 410-535-1600, ext. 2202. Individuals interested in providing comment may also submit written comments. These written comments may be submitted by emailing COMMISS@calvertcountymd.gov or mailed to the BOCC at 175 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20678.
 
The proposed budget includes changes from the FY 2022 staff recommended budget presented on March 23, 2021. General Fund proposed changes to the revenue side of the commissioners' proposed budget include the refinement estimates that net to an increase of approximately $2.5 million. The expenses were increased by approximately $1.4 million. This budget also contains changes to the Department of Planning & Zoning and Inspections & Permits Fee Schedule, along with some new fees for reviews, inspections and applications.
 
For additional information, contact the Calvert County Department of Finance & Budget at 410-535-1600, ext. 2651 or by email to Beth.Richmond@calvertcountymd.gov.
 
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 and YouTube at www.youtube.com/CalvertCountyGov.

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