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Cardin, Stabenow and Barragán Urge Expanded Dental Coverage for Children

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), along with Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (Calif.-44) today announced the reintroduction of legislation that would significantly expand dental insurance coverage available to vulnerable children nationwide through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which currently provides health coverage to 9.6 million, through both Medicaid and separate programs.

 

The Ensuring Kids Have Access to Medically Necessary Dental Care Act (S. 109 / H.R. 590) would eliminate lifetime and annual limits for dental care for children under CHIP.  The bill would also require states to provide “wraparound” CHIP dental coverage, meaning CHIP would cover dental services for eligible children who are not enrolled in CHIP. Currently, if a child is eligible for CHIP but instead has coverage under a group health plan or employer-sponsored insurance, states have the option of providing dental-only coverage to this child through CHIP. This bill requires that dental coverage be offered.

 

“Good oral health is essential to overall health, especially for children. Our legislation fills in the gaps to ensure that no child is left without access to proper dental care,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. “Tragically, we have seen what can happen when basic pediatric dental care is out of reach. We cannot let another child suffer from wholly preventable issues that start with untreated tooth decay.”

 

“Children need good dental care to grow up healthy and happy. But right now, that care is still out of reach for many families. Senator Cardin and I partnered together to make it easier for kids to get the care they need by improving dental coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program,” said Senator Stabenow.

 

“It’s simple: when kids need to see a dentist, they should be able to see a dentist,” said Rep. Barragán. “Poor dental health as a child can lead to lifelong complications and too many children in America cannot access the care they need.  This bill will help thousands of children start off on the right foot with accessible and affordable dental healthcare.”

 

Research on childhood oral health care indicates that dental care is the most common unmet treatment need in children. Many low-income families face barriers such as accessibility and costs that deter them from seeking oral care services, leading to increased risk of dental diseases or dental emergencies. Children in low-income families, including those covered by Medicaid and CHIP, are twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay compared to children with higher incomes. Thus, annual and lifetime limits further exacerbate unmet treatment needs for CHIP children by placing a financial burden on low-income families.

 

More information on CHIP is available here.

 


Lexington Park Man Arrested for Intent to Distribute Narcotics

Feb. 2, 2023:

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, detectives from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the Patrol Division, Emergency Services Team and K-9 Unit, executed search and seizure warrants at the 46000 block of Sue Drive in Lexington Park, as part of an ongoing narcotics distribution investigation.

 

The residence has been identified as being occupied and used as a CDS distribution location by Dimitri Paul Brooks, age 27 of Lexington Park.

 

A search of Brooks’ residence located a significant quantity of crack cocaine, a quantity of Fentanyl, a loaded Ruger Security 9-mm handgun, US currency, a digital scale and various packing/production materials. Brooks is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous criminal convictions.

 

Brooks was located in the area and taken into custody without incident. Brooks was served with multiple outstanding arrest warrants for failure to appear on CDS Possession and Violation of a Protective Order and also charged with: CDS Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotics; Possession of a Firearm with Nexus to Drug Trafficking Crime; CDS Possession: Not Cannabis; Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm and Illegal Possession of Ammo.

 

Brooks was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown, where he was released by a court commissioner on personal bond on Feb. 1.

 

Download and Share the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office mobile app: https://apps.myocv.com/share/a48820650


Maryland State Police Arrest Man Following Barricade Situation In St. Mary's County

(CALIFORNIA, MD) – Maryland State Police arrested a man following a barricade situation Tuesday evening in St. Mary’s County.

 

The suspect, identified as Dennis Andrew Gibson, 40, of California, Maryland, is charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and numerous firearms violations. He is being held without bail at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.

 

At about 8 p.m., a female victim contacted troopers from the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack regarding a domestic incident that occurred at a residence in the 23300 block of Sugar Maple Court in California, Maryland. According to a preliminary investigation, Gibson and the victim were involved in a verbal alteration. He then retrieved a handgun and shot a wall in the residence.

 

The female victim and two children were able to escape the home. Troopers unsuccessfully attempted to call Gibson out of the home. Members of the Maryland State Police STATE Team entered the home shortly before 4 a.m. on Wednesday and took the suspect into custody without incident. No injuries were reported as a result of this case.

 

Troopers recovered seven firearms, rounds of ammunition and loaded magazines in the home. The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division will be leading the investigation into this case.

 

The case remains under investigation…

 


School Resource Officer Investigating Possible Overdose at Middle School

School Resource Officer Investigating Possible Overdose at Middle School: On February 1, at 12:34 p.m., Charles County Emergency Medical Services responded to a home in Waldorf for the report of an overdose. Responders discovered a 14-year-old complaining of feeling ill after eating edibles that may have contained THC while at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School. A subsequent investigation revealed the student, along with another student, was in the boy’s bathroom at the school where one of the students ingested the edibles while the other student was using a vaping device. The students’ parents responded to the school to pick up the children who were reportedly not feeling well. The school resource officer is conducting an investigation. A pouch containing an unknown substance was recovered. There were no other similar incidents reported. Anyone with information about this case should contact Officer Watkins at 301-609-3282 ext. 0721. Tipsters who want to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.


Public Safety Issues Animal Safety Alert Due to Severe Cold Weather

Due to severe cold temperatures forecast for Calvert County, the Department of Public Safety has issued an animal safety alert through Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. Animal owners or custodians are required to provide the following protections for the duration of the alert:

·         Dogs and cats should be brought inside. If a dog or cat is left outside, they must have free access to a solid structure that is heated or is set against the prevailing winds and allows the dog or cat to maintain their core body temperature.

·         Livestock and farm animals should have free access to protection from the weather that allows animals to maintain their core body temperature.

·         Livestock and farm owners should provide access to additional food to allow animals to recover from the loss of additional calories.

·         All animals outdoors must be continually monitored for signs of distress.

·         All animals must have access to clean, unfrozen water at all times.

Any person in violation of the requirements set forth in this alert may be subject to enforcement, which could include fines up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.

To report concerns, citizens may contact the Animal Control Division at 410-535-1600, ext. 2526, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If the office is closed, reports may be made to the non-emergency line at 410-535-3491.

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.


NYC Housing Executive, Simone Ross to Lead Housing Authority of St. Mary's County

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Housing Authority of St. Mary’s County (HASMC) announces Simone Ross, MPA as the new Executive Director for the organization. Ross comes to HASMC with more than 20 years of housing, medical, and mental health experience.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the second Executive Director in the history of this organization,” Ross shared. “The sands of housing are shifting in St. Mary’s County, and I am excited to roll my sleeves up and get to work!”

Ross previously served as the Director of the Tenant Interim Lease Program and Acting Assistant Commissioner of Co-op Readiness and Technical Services for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. In this role, she oversaw 99 buildings, 87 tenant associations, and 1,523 residential and commercial units. Ross has also managed multiple supportive housing programs, Department of Human Services contracted shelters, affordable housing projects, scatter site programs, and other human service initiatives.

“Access to housing and preservation of sustainable communities is essential,” said Commissioner President, James Randy Guy. “On behalf of the Commissioners and county government, I am pleased to welcome Ms. Ross to St. Mary’s. We look forward to working with her and are confident her experience will benefit the Housing Authority and our residents.”

Following the retirement of long-time HASMC Executive Director, Dennis Nicholson, the organization launched an exhaustive and competitive nationwide search.

“We are so pleased to welcome Simone to St. Mary’s County. Simone brings the energy, enthusiasm, and experience that this job demands,” remarked Tina Dean, HASMC Chair.

Ross holds a master’s in public administration from Metropolitan College of New York. In 2019 she received the City Council Citation for Philanthropy and Community Service from Councilmember Farah Louis as well as the Brooklyn Borough President Citation for Housing and Community Development from now NYC Mayor, Eric Adams. She also received the Women’s Empowerment award that same year.

 


County Locations Provide Refuge as Warming Centers During Cold Temperatures

The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, reminds citizens that locations throughout the county are open for people who need a warm, dry place to take temporary refuge from the cold.

County community centers and library locations are available during regular operating hours:

·         Calvert Library (Main Branch) 850 Costley Way, Prince Frederick 410-535-0291

·         Harriet E. Brown Community Center 901 Dares Beach Road, Prince Frederick 410-535-7080

·         Northeast Community Center 4075 Gordon Stinnett Ave., Chesapeake Beach 410-257-2554

·         Mt. Hope Community Center (temporarily closed through Feb. 16) 104 Pushaw Station Road, Sunderland 410-257-6770

·         Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center 130 Auto Dr., Prince Frederick 410-414-8350

·         Fairview Library 8120 Southern Maryland Blvd., Owings 410-257-2101

·         Southern Community Center 20 Appeal Lane, Lusby 410-586-1101

·         Southern Library 13920 H G Trueman Road, Lusby 410-326-5289

·         Twin Beaches Library 3819 Harbor Road, Chesapeake Beach 410-257-2411

The following locations are available 24/7:

·         Maryland State Police Barrack “U” Lobby 210 Main St., Prince Frederick 410-535-1400

·         Calvert County Detention Center Lobby 325 Stafford Road, Prince Frederick 410-535-4300

Residents who need transportation to a warming center outside of regular public transportation operating hours should call the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 410-535-2800 to request transportation assistance. For medical emergencies, including signs of hypothermia, citizens should call 911.

Citizens are encouraged to reduce their risk of cold-related medical emergencies by limiting exposure to extreme cold as much as possible and wearing multiple layers of warm clothing. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms are detected, get the victim to a warm location and remove wet clothing. Focus on warming the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help immediately.

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.


Arthur Shepherd Announced as Recreation & Parks Director

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County are pleased to announce that Arthur Shepherd will return full-time to the position of Director for the St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation & Parks.

 

“Mr. Shepherd has done a tremendous job leading our Recreation and Parks Department,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “His commitment to our community is evident, and we couldn’t be happier that he has decided to stay on with us and return to full time in this role.”

 

Mr. Shepherd has been with Recreation & Parks since 1978, serving as a Coordinator, Recreation Division Manager, and Director. During that time, he has overseen many key initiatives for the Department, to include the opening of Snow Hill Park, the Wellness & Aquatics Center, Lexington Manor Passive Park, and the Old Jail & Museum as a local visitor center and historical site. Mr. Shepherd also managed extensive athletic field improvements, including the construction of six synthetic turf fields, as well as major improvements to the Wicomico Shores Golf Course. He led the Recreation & Parks team through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as through the application process for national accreditation. In 2022 St. Mary’s County Recreation & Parks joined the ranks of elite park and recreation agencies across the country by earning accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies.

 

“Receiving national accreditation in September of 2022 confirms that St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks is driven towards excellence,” said Shepherd. “I look forward to our continued progress, working in partnership with the County Commissioners, the talented Rec & Parks team, the invaluable work of our volunteers, and the input of county citizens.”

 

For more information on St. Mary’s County Recreation & Parks, please visit: stmaryscountymd.gov/recreate.

 


Jan. 31st Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell provided a legislative update for the 2023 Maryland General Assembly Session. Updates included that a draft for LR1963 has been forwarded to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office for review; the Revenue Authority proposal and the bill to add a citizen member to the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland are awaiting a draft; and a follow up discussion on Senate Bill 130 for a new Health and Wellness Center.

 

The Resilience Authority of Charles County representatives introduced the new Resilience Authority Executive Director Stacy Schaefer and provided a presentation on the Authority’s current work. County Commissioners approved adding an ex-officio position for a Soil Conservation District representative to the Resilience Authority of Charles County; updating the Resilience Authority’s bylaws; and the Stormwater Prioritization List. As a part of the Residential Stormwater Drainage Improvement Program, the Resilience Authority hired a consultant to derive a model to prioritize known private stormwater concerns. Information on this program will be available to the public in the near future.

 

Commissioner Comments

Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. provided sentiments and remarks on the death of Tyre Nichols and expressed the county’s work to provide the Charles County community with respect and human dignity.

 

Approval Items

County Commissioners approved:

 

Open Session Briefings

  • Charles County Board of Education, Charles County Public Schools, and Charles County Department of Health representatives provided a presentation on an Indian Head Elementary School-Based Health Center. Measurable benefits of these centers include addressing social determinants of health, reducing absenteeism, improving community health partnerships, reducing emergency department visits and hospitalizations, increasing mental health resources, and providing financial and economic value.

 

Update

Climate Resilience and Sustainability Officer Beth Groth provided a presentation on Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment and Initiatives. Highlights include EV deployment in Maryland, Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments efforts, SMECO’s EV Recharge Program, and Charles County’s Vehicle Fleet. Next steps include a zoning ordinance rewrite and the Climate Action Planning Process.

 

Employee Recognitions

  • Length of Service Awards for OctoberNovember, and December 2022.
  • Top Performer for the Fourth Quarter: Lt. Amanda Karwacki for her extraordinary service to a family in our community facing a terrible loss.
  • 2022 Top Performer of the Year: John McConnell and David Hill for COVID-19 contact tracing.

 

Proclamations

 

Viewing option of meetings: Click Here

 

Next Commissioners Session Feb. 7 and 8, 2023

 

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


Applications Now Open for 2023 Summer Student Academy in Public Health

LEONARDTOWN, MD (February 1, 2023) - The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) is now accepting applications for the summer Student Academy in Public Health (SAPH) internship program, which will run from July 17 – August 18, 2023. 

The SAPH provides an opportunity for rising, current, and recently graduated high school seniors to have hands-on experience in the field of public health. SAPH student interns will learn about key public health topics, shadow health department services, participate in field experiences, and help promote community health through outreach and education events.  

Interested students and parents are invited to attend a virtual information session about the SAPH on February 15, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. To attend this session, please register here. Please contact the SMCHD Office of Human Resources via email to smchd.hr@maryland.gov or by phone at (301) 475-4330 if you have any questions. 

“The Student Academy is a wonderful way for local high school students to learn about the diverse field of public health,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Our student interns get hands-on experience and develop a better understanding of health issues affecting their community.”  

Interested students can learn more about the program and how to apply at smchd.org/jobsThe deadline to submit application materials is Friday, April 14, 2023


Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

During the week of January 23 – January 29, 2023, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to 1,594 calls for service throughout the community.

 

Burglary: 23-6228

On January 29, 2023, Det. Jernigan responded to the Peachtree Professional Center located at 10351 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Dunkirk, for a commercial burglary. Investigation revealed an unknown suspect (s) forced entry to the basement. The basement door had been pried open and damaged. Nothing appears to have been stolen. The estimated value of damaged property is unknown at this time.

 

Burglary: 23-5750

The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a commercial burglary that occurred at Prince Frederick Dodge located at 265 S Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick. The burglary occurred during the early morning hours of Friday, January 27, 2023. Investigation revealed unknown suspect(s) broke a glass door to gain entry to the service building. Once inside, four key fobs were removed. Three were recovered on scene; the fourth was used to remove a 2018 white Dodge Journey bearing Maryland registration 3EX0469. Anyone with information regarding this incident or possible suspects is asked to contact Detective Weems at Richard.Weems@calvertcountymd.gov. Please refer to case 23-5750.

 

Theft: 23-4748

On January 23, 2023, Deputy Aley responded to Patuxent Imaging & MRI Center located at 230 W. Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised a cash box had been stolen from the business. The estimated value of stolen property is $740.00.

 

Theft: 23-5370

On January 25, 2023, Deputy Tavares responded to the 800 block of Golden West Way in Lusby, for the report of a theft. The complainant advised a package and its contents delivered to the residence had been stolen from the front porch. The estimated value of stolen property is $119.48.

 

ARRESTS

On January 23, 2023, DFC Ostazeski responded to the Dunn Clean Laundry located at 66 S. Solomons Island Road in Prince Frederick for the report of trespassing. The complainant advised a female, Kimberly Louise Parran, 55 of Chesapeake Beach, inside the business had been trespassed indefinitely from the property. Deputies arrived on scene and observed Parran inside the laundromat with her belongings strewn all over the floor. Parran was asked to leave but refused commands and resisted arrest. Parran was placed into custody and transported to the Calvert County Detention Center where she spat on and attempted to bite correctional deputies. Parran was charged with Trespass: Private Property, Disorderly Conduct, Resist/Interfere with Arrest, Failure to Obey Reasonable/Lawful order of a Law Enforcement Officer and Assault 2nd/DOC Employee - Simple Assault (Not Aggravated).
 

On January 24, 2023, Deputy McCourt was on routine patrol in the area of the Safeway located at 80 W. Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick and encountered Angalo Cole Anastasi, 28 of Chesapeake Beach. Investigation revealed Anastasi had been previously trespassed from the property. Anastasi was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center and charged with Trespassing: Private Property.
 

On January 26, 2023, Deputy Newton responded to the Wawa located at 305 Market Square Drive in Prince Frederick, for the report of trespassing. Investigation revealed Nyequaan Jacquice Washington, 25 of no fixed address, had been trespassed indefinitely from the property. Washington was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center and charged with Trespassing: Private Property.
 

On January 27, 2023, DFC Plant conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic violation in the area of Route 260 and Journey Drive in Owings. A vehicle search revealed a cut straw containing heroin residue and clear capsules containing heroin. The driver, Jessica Grenier Donaldson, 33 of Lothian, was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center and charged with CDS: Possession-Not Cannabis and CDS: Possession of Paraphernalia.


Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (410) 535-2800 and reference the case number provided. Citizens may remain anonymous thru the ‘Submit a Tip’ feature on the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office mobile app. To download, visit https://apps.myocv.com/share/a39520678 . Tipsters may also email ccsotips@calvertcountymd.gov


Department of the Navy Invites Public Comment on Proposed Remedial Action Plan for Munitions Response Site UXO-001 At Pax River NAS

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – In accordance with the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River invites public comment on the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) for the Munitions Response (MR) Program Site UXO-001, Historical Munitions Disposal Area.  

 

MRS UXO-001 is located south of the NAS Patuxent River installation and consists of a private beach along the Chesapeake Bay, owned by the Cedar Cove Subdivision. The private beach is bounded to the north by Pine Hill Run; to the south by a community revetment structure; to the east by the low tide level of the Chesapeake Bay; and to the west by a wooded area. From approximately 1954 to 1974, NAS Patuxent River personnel discarded a variety of excess munitions, both live and inert, into the Chesapeake Bay. This practice was halted at NAS Patuxent River in 1974. NAS Patuxent River has responded to the appearance of munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) and material potentially presenting an explosive hazard (MPPEH) along the shoreline in and around the historic munitions disposal areas for over 30 years. The Navy conducted periodic surveys and cleanup activities of the former seaplane basin to the north and nearby beaches, including sweeps by divers as far as 300 feet offshore. In cooperation with USEPA and MDE, and in accordance with applicable guidance and consultation, the Navy performed additional investigations at MRS UXO-001 in 2018 to evaluate the potential extent of MEC and MPPEH and to assess the potential risks to human health. 

The findings of the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at MRS UXO-001 indicate it is highly unlikely that MEC and MPPEH are present at the private beach resulting from historical disposal operations immediately to the north. Furthermore, to address any uncertainty the Navy proposes the most conservative approach to ensure protection of human health and assumes the potential for MEC and MPPEH to be present. Therefore, “Action” is proposed for institutional controls at the private beach to inform residents and visitors of the potential hazard of the presence of MEC and MPPEH is proposed for MRS UXO-001. 

________________________________________________________ 

 

Public comment begins on February 1, 2023, and closes on March 2, 2023. A public meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on March 8, 2023, at the Frank Knox Employee Development Building, Building 2189, Room 100, to present the PRAP for MRS UXO-001 and answer any additional comments or questions. 

 

PRAPs are issued as part of the Navy ER Program. The purpose of a PRAP is to describe the background and rationale for the selection of the remedy proposed by the Navy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The PRAP includes solicitation of public comments on the remedy. 

 

The public is encouraged to comment on the PRAP. The final remedy will be selected only after the public comment period has ended. An alternative remedy may be selected for MRS UXO-001 only after all comments have been received from the public. Relevant environmental documents for MRS UXO-001, including final technical reports and the PRAP, are available at:   

NAS Patuxent River Public Website Administrative Record: Public may use a computer to access the public website at: St. Mary’s County Public Library 21744 FDR Boulevard Lexington Park, MD 20653 301-863-8188 

https://go.usa.gov/xSjbt Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m. — 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 9:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m. Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Comments may be written and mailed (postmarked by the closing date of March 9, 2023) to any of the following points of contact: 

 

Naval Air Station Patuxent River  Public Affairs Officer 

Attn: Patrick Gordon 

22268 Cedar Point Road 

Building 409, PAO 

Patuxent River, MD 20670-1154 

 

U.S. EPA Region 3 

Attn: Ms. Jenna O’Brien 

NPL/BRAC Federal Facilities Branch, Four Penn Center 

1600 John F. Kennedy Blvd 

Philadelphia, PA 19103-2852 

Maryland Department of the Environment 

Attn: Mrs. Jenny Herman 

Land and Materials Administration  

1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 625 

Baltimore, MD 21230-1719 

 

For further information, contact the Naval Air Station Public Affairs Officer at 301-757-3343 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. 

 


January 31st St. Mary's County Commissioner Meeting Rollup

LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary's County (CSMC) held their regular business meeting on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, beginning with the invocation and pledge, followed by approval of the consent agenda.

 

The Commissioners then presented a proclamation for Transit Equity Day. St. Mary’s County Government is currently hiring drivers for the St. Mary’s Transit System (STS), learn more or apply online at: stmaryscountymd.gov/careers.

 

The Commissioners then held a recognition ceremony to celebrate our community volunteers serving on St. Mary’s County boards, committees, and commissions. All residents are encouraged to learn more and apply at: stmaryscountymd.gov/boards.

 

The CSMC then welcomed Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer to provide a Board of Health update on local public health issues and initiatives.

 

During County Administrator time, the Commissioners took the following action:

  • Approved the request of the Circuit Court for St. Mary's County of $60,000 in additional budget funds to cover the cost of jurors fees through the end of FY2023.
  • Approved the lease addendum between the CSMC and the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association.
  • Accepted grant funding for the Exelon Grant from the Exelon Generation Company, LLC, on behalf of the Department of Emergency Services in the amount of $30,000.00 and approved the budget amendment for an increase of $10,000, based on the award.
  • Approved the FY2023 Area Plan Application update and Notice of Grant Award for the state grants from the Maryland Department of Aging on behalf of the St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services in the amount of $169,599 to provide various programs and services to the seniors of St. Mary's County.
  • Approved the purchase of a real property parcel from the Hollywood Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc., in the amount of $500,000.
  • Approved the Shannon Farm Master Plan document, subject to future Capital Project budget appropriations to be addressed during the CIP Budget process.
  • Approved the employment contract for the St. Mary's County Government Director of Recreation and Parks, and the creation of a Deputy Director position for the Department of Recreation and Parks with FY23 funding from department salary savings.

 

The Commissioners then received a legislative update from the Office of the County Attorney.

 

The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will host a Public Forum on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. in the CSMC meeting room in the Chesapeake Building, located at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown. More information on this forum, and how to participate is available at: stmarysmd.com/pio/docs/2023-008NewsReleasePublicForumJan31.pdf

 

The CSMC will host their next regular business meeting will be Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 9 a.m. CSMC decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. CSMC meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary's County Government YouTube Channel.


Replica Firearm Recovered at Middle School

Replica Firearm Recovered from Student at Middle School: On January 31, a student at John Hanson Middle School notified school administrators that another juvenile student was possibly in possession of a gun at school. Administrators located the student and recovered a replica firearm from his backpack, which turned out to be a BB gun. A school resource officer is investigating and the student’s parents have been contacted. In accordance with Maryland law, the student will not face criminal charges due to his age; however, the student could face disciplinary action from the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). The school resource officer will contact the Department of Juvenile Services about this incident as a matter of recordation and to offer services as needed. Parents are urged to talk with their children about the dangers of bringing replica firearms, weapons, and drugs to school and the consequences they could face. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact M/Cpl. Anderson at 301-609-3282 Ext. 0422.


Increased Flight Operations at Webster Outlying Field Beginning February 1

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the Webster Outlying Field are advised that there will be an increase in aircraft flight activities associated with the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School training (USNTPS) from Feb. 1 through March 10, 2023.  

 

USNTPS provides instruction to experienced pilots, flight officers, and engineers in the processes and techniques of aircraft and systems test and evaluation. The school investigates and develops new flight test techniques, publishes manuals for use of the aviation test community for standardization of flight test techniques and project reporting, and conducts special projects. 

 

As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information call 1-866-819-9028. 


St. Mary's County Health Hub Now Offering Stella's Girls Mentoring Programs

Stella’s Girls and the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) have partnered to launch a youth mentoring program at the St. Mary’s County Health Hub, located at 21625 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park. The program begins February 7, 2023 and will continue every Monday and Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 pm. Stella's Girls Mentoring Programs address the needs of youth from 8 to 24 years old, with an emphasis on black youth, providing a framework for mentees to discover and understand their individual brilliance. 

The mission of the mentorship program is to provide youth with a firm structural foundation that will enhance their self-esteem, academic achievement, leadership skills, and cultural awareness. This in turn will provide them with the opportunity to develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually and be prepared to take an active role in their success as they face the challenges of the world. Using evidence-based mentorship techniques, the trained volunteer mentors teach leadership skills, self-empowerment, and self-esteem while affirming gender equality for generations to come.
 
“According to Mentor.org, one in three young people grow up without a mentor, a clear indicator of America’s mentoring gap,” said Kaprece James, Founder and CEO of Stella’s Girls. “Stella’s Girls’ mission, in the mentoring movement, is to educate and empower all youth through investment in programs that ensure every young person has at least one trusting relationship with an adult or peer mentor in their life.”
 
“Mentoring youth as they navigate the challenges of childhood and teen years helps to build resiliency, mental well-being, and important life skills,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Having a healthy, positive relationship with an adult mentor can also be a key factor in preventing youth drug misuse and addiction.”
 
To apply to be an adult mentor with Stella’s Girls, click here. To apply to join the program as a mentee between the ages of 8 and 24, click here
 
To learn more about services and programs offered at the St. Mary’s County Health Hub, visit smchd.org/hub.


Maryland Delegation Announces $2.9 Million for Local Foods in School Meal Programs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie B. Raskin, David Trone and Glenn Ivey (all D-Md.) today announced $2.9 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for Maryland schools to purchase local foods and beverages for school meal programs.

 

The federal dollars come from the USDA’s Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program. Through the program, the Maryland Department of Education will buy local and nutritious foods from area farmers and processors to use in school lunches. Meals will vary depending on each school district’s regional specialties.   

 

“Maryland’s farmers and producers not only provide the food on our kitchen tables, but they also help drive our state’s economy,” said the lawmakers. “This program will help instill an early appreciation for our Maryland’s essential agriculture, while providing healthy options to fuel young minds.”

 

The Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program was authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. The program will prioritize historically underserved producers and processers in Maryland.

 


Board Member Coulby Resigns From Charles County Board Of Ed - Vacancy To Be Filled

The Board of Education of Charles County today announced the resignation of Board Member Cindy Coulby. In sharing her resignation with the Board, Coulby cited personal reasons behind her decision to vacate her seat on the Board representing Charles County District 1.   

 

"While I am not able to continue serving on the Board, I wish my colleagues well in their endeavors. Together and collectively, I know they will keep the best interests of children in Charles County at the forefront of all decisions they will make over the next four years," Coulby said.  

 

According to Section 3-501 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, elected members of the Board must select a qualified individual to fill any vacancy for the remainder of the term. State law also requires the individual to be a resident from the same county commissioner district of the vacating member.  

A qualified individual for the vacancy is a person who is a resident of Charles County District 1, registered Charles County voter and someone who is not subject to the authority of the Board. The term left vacant by Coulby extends through November 2026.  

According to State law, the Board must also complete the following:  

  • Conduct applicant interviews in a public meeting.  
  • Publish a list of applicant names for a vacancy at least two weeks before the interview of the first applicant occurs.  
  • Publish the date, location and time of all applicant interviews.  

The law does not require the Board to hold public discussions of applicants or make the final selection of the member to fill the vacancy of the elected member at a public meeting.   

Board Chairperson Michael Lukas said he looks forward to working with the Board to find a qualified and committed person to fill the vacancy.    

“On behalf of the Board of Education and my colleagues, I wish Mrs. Coulby well and appreciate her support of the school system, the Board and the children of Charles County,” Lukas said.  

The Board plans to discuss the application process for District 1 replacement candidates at its Feb. 14 executive session meeting. There is no timetable set in law, so the Board may develop its own for the interview and selection process.  

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will publish those details as the Board confirms its process and timeline.  


Public Safety Reminds Multi-line Telephone System Users to Ensure Phones Allow Direct Access to 911

The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Communications Division, reminds residents and business owners to ensure that their multi-line telephone systems provide direct access to 911, without requiring an individual to dial any other numbers first, as required by state and federal law. Multi-line telephone systems are typically found in office buildings, campuses, hotels and other enterprises.

Dubbed “Kari’s Law,” the law is named in honor of Kari Hunt, who was murdered by her estranged husband in a Texas motel room in December 2013. Her 9-year-old daughter tried to call 911 four times, but was unable to reach emergency services because she did not know the motel phone required “9” to be dialed to reach an outside line. Gov. Larry Hogan enacted Kari’s Law in 2015 for the state of Maryland. The law was enacted by Congress in 2018.

Businesses and organizations using a multi-line telephone system should contact their provider to find out how their system is set up and to ask for direct dialing of 911 without having to dial a prefix or access code first. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules require any new system to be pre-configured to support direct dialing of 911; however these rules apply only to those that were manufactured, imported, offered for first sale or lease, or installed after Feb. 16, 2020.

For questions or more information, citizens may contact the Department of Public Safety, Emergency Communications Division, at 410-535-1600, ext. 2492.

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.


Public Invited to Provide Input on Concepts of New Parks

The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism is in the development phase of three new parks in Charles County – Waldorf Park, Popes Creek Waterfront Park, and La Plata Farm Park. Citizens are invited to view the park plans and concepts developed by the Project Planning Task Force, department staff, and consultants and provide input at two upcoming community meetings.

 

The in-person meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center (90 Post Office Rd, Waldorf).

 

The virtual meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. via Zoom. Virtual attendees can register online at https://bit.ly/3R4ePAS. Attendees will receive a confirmation email with information on joining virtually.

To learn more about the three new parks in development and the Project Planning Task Force, visit www.CharlesCountyParks.com/about-us/development. For more information or questions, contact Sam Drury, Deputy Director, at 301-934-0137 or DruryS@CharlesCountyMD.gov.   Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD at 800-735-2258. 


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