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Colonial Beach, Va. Residents Told E.coli Found In Water Weeks Ago

COLONIAL BEACH, Va. - Residents of Colonial Beach in King George's County were notified on Tuesday that local water samples tested positive for E.coli as far back as July 8.
"Our water system testing recently detected a fecal indicator - E.coli - in our water," a statement from the Town of Colonial Beach released on Tuesday read.
The statement indicates water samples collected on July 8 tested positive for the contaminant.
A positive test for E.coli in water could indicate traces of human or animal feces in the water, Town officials said.
"Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term health effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms," the statement warned. "They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems."
The Town said it is performing "system pipe flushing, increased chlorination, increased field disinfection testing, and additional follow-up/special and routine samples" to correct the situation.
In the meantime, residents have been advised to boil water before using it for certain purposes.
"Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice," the statement advised. "Boiling kills the bacteria and other organisms in the water."
The Town said it anticipates resolving the matter quickly, but said residents should continue boiling water until further notice
"We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water," officials said.
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SMECO Receives Approval to Reduce Customer Rates

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) on July 23 to reduce its residential Standard Offer Service (SOS) energy charges. SMECO also received approval for its proposal to change how May and October are designated as summer rate and winter rate months.    
SMECO will reduce the residential SOS energy charge for summer months from 8.83 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 8.61 cents per kWh, a reduction of 2.5 percent. The new rate will go into effect on August 1, 2014. SMECO received approval to change the summer rate months to May through September and winter rate months to October through April. Residential SOS energy charges for winter months will decrease from 9.62 cents per kWh to 9.25 cents per kWh, a reduction of 3.9 percent. The winter rate will go into effect on October 1, 2014.
The total SOS rate in August will be the combination of the new reduced energy charge and the PCA, which changes monthly. For a residential bill of 1,300 kWh, the average monthly base SOS rate will be $4.00 less. SMECO’s SOS rate covers the cost of electric supply only. Costs incurred for maintaining the electric system are covered by distribution service charges and do not affect the SOS rate.
“The average customer-member who uses 1,300 kWh per month will realize a savings of nearly $50 a year on the SOS energy charge,” said Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO.  He added, “We encourage customers who want to save money on their energy costs to control the amount of energy they use. Rather than setting the thermostat on 72, turn it up to 78 degrees in summer and down to 68 in winter. The co-op does not make a profit on energy charges, but customers can profit by saving energy.” 
SMECO also received approval to revise commercial rates for general service non-demand, general service demand, and large power customers. General service non-demand customers will be charged base rates of 8.51 cents per kWh for all energy used for summer months and 9.22 cents per kWh for winter months. General service demand customers will be charged base rates of 6.99 cents per kWh for summer, 7.49 cents per kWh for winter, and $4.28 per kilowatt (kW) for demand. Base rates for large power customers will be 7.14 cents per kWh for summer, 7.64 cents per kWh for winter, and $5.40 per kW for demand.
SMECO provides electricity to more than 156,000 services in southern Prince George’s County, and in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County. Co-ops are distinctly different from investor-owned utilities because co-ops are owned by their customers, and these members elect the men and women who serve on the Board of Directors. 
Co-ops also issue capital credits to their members. What are capital credits? They are the member’s share of the co-op’s margins, based on how much electricity the member purchased and the rate at which the account was billed. SMECO’s margins—revenue less expenses—are used as working capital for new construction and system improvements. When SMECO’s Board of Directors determines that a percentage of the capital credits can be distributed to members through a general refund, capital credits will be issued by check or credited to members’ electric bills.
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St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Arrests

DOMESTIC ASSAULT – on July 23, 2014, Deputy L. Johnson responded to a residence on Morningside Lane in Lexington Park, for a reported assault. The victim alleged suspect John William Kegley, 31, of Lexington Park, strangled the victim with his hands during an argument over property. The victim blacked out during the assault. Deputy Johnson observed evidence of injury on the victim. Kegley was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with 2nd Degree Assault.
TRESPASSING – On July 23, 2014, DFC Beishline assigned to the Lexington Park COPs UNIT, observed suspect Joseph Kenneth Morgan, 50, of Lexington Park, on the property of Lex’s Apartment’s. Morgan had been served with a no trespass notice for the property on 9-13-14 by DFC T. Snyder. Morgan was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with Trespass: Private Property.
PUBLIC INTOXICATION – On July 22, 2014, DFC Beishline assigned to the Lexington Park COPs UNIT, was flagged down by citizens on South Shangri La Drive in Lexington Park. Citizens reported seeing a white male subject with long gray hair walking in the roadway. He was nearly struck by vehicles. 3 additional callers to 9 1 1 reported seeing the same subject intoxicated in the roadway. DFC Beishline subsequently located suspect Steven Wayne Carter, 55, of no fixed address, sleeping in the back parking lot of the Bay District Fire Department. Carter appeared to be extremely intoxicated. DFC Beishline placed Carter under arrest. He was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with Alcoholic Beverage Intoxication: Endangerment.  
THEFT SCHEME – On July 23, 2014, Deputy Potter responded to the BJ’s Wholesale Club in California, for a reported employee theft. The store manager alleged suspect Patrick Louis Campbell, 20, of Lexington Park, stole nearly $16,000 in cash, gift cards, and merchandise while employed from 3-5-14 to 7-22-14. Campbell would purchase a low price item and then use the receipt to create a fraudulent return for cash or gift cards. Campbell was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with Theft Scheme $10,000 to $100.000
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Person Falls Victim To Phone Scam

7-23-14 FRAUD - A victim, who resides on Midway Drive in Lexington Park, reported he received a phone call from a Hispanic male suspect claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The suspect told the victim he needed to pay $2,500 immediately to avoid being arrested. The victim purchased (5) $500 Green Dot cards and provided the suspect with the information. Case #40112-14

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Maryland Has Successful Sale of $1.15 Billion in General Obligation Bonds

ANNAPOLIS – Maryland State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp 
announced that the Board of Public Works (BPW), composed of Governor 
Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Kopp, completed the 
sale of $1,149,715,000 of General Obligation bonds today in three series, 
including the direct retail sale of $50,385,000 of Series A bonds which sold on 
July 18th and July 21st exclusively to retail investors with a first priority to 
Maryland residents. 
The direct retail bond sale (Series A), conducted through a group of 
underwriters led by Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., carried a true interest rate of 
1.1883%. The net premium was $6,381,311.
Competitive sales for Series B and Series C occurred at today’s BPW meeting. 
The State received bids for the $449,615,000 of Tax-Exempt General Obligation 
Bonds (Series B) and the $649,715,000 of Tax-Exempt Refunding Bonds (Series 
C). The Series C Refunding Bonds will reduce the State’s debt service by 
approximately $58.3 million.
In today’s competitive sales:
 $449,615,000 in tax-exempt bonds in Series B sold at a true interest cost
of 2.6535%; the winning bidder was J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC, and the 
net premium was $64,221,141; and
 $649,715,000 in tax-exempt refunding bonds in Series C sold at a true 
interest cost of 1.8821%; the winning bidder was Morgan Stanley & Co., 
LLC, and the net premium was $148,876,381.
There were five bidders on Series B and five bidders on Series C.
Treasurer Kopp commented “Today’s results were very satisfying for the 
taxpayers of Maryland. The State was well-timed to be in the market and 
benefited from investors’ ‘flight to quality’. The demand for Maryland bonds 
and the resulting favorable interest rates are a reflection of the top quality of 
Maryland’s credit and the security of the investment it provides. The State’s
taxpayers benefit from saving millions of dollars because of our strong AAA 
bond ratings and resultant lower interest rates. In addition, today’s successful 
sale of tax-exempt refunding bonds will save Maryland taxpayers more than $58
million in debt service costs. It is also good news that all Marylanders who 
wanted to do so were able to buy the State’s high-quality bonds during the retail 
sale period. Their investment in Maryland in turn will allow Maryland to invest in 
projects that support communities throughout the State. Overall, Maryland’s 
citizens benefit from the investment in Maryland’s schools, colleges, hospitals, 
prisons and cultural projects that are supported with bond proceeds.”
Maryland is one of only ten states to currently hold the AAA rating, the highest 
possible rating, from all three major bond rating agencies. The AAA was 
affirmed by Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s as recently as July 7, 2014, 
in anticipation of this bond sale.
The Maryland State Treasurer’s Office expects to conduct another bond sale in 
February or March 2015.
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Man Killed In Hughesville Accident

On Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at approximately 3:32 p.m., Troopers from the Maryland State Police, La Plata Barrack, and Deputy’s from the Charles County Sheriffs Office, responded to the area of Leonardtown Rd at Herbert Rd, Hughesville, MD, for the report of a motor vehicle collision.
The first responding unit arrived on scene at 3:35 p.m.and immediately requested further assistance.  The Maryland State Police Crash Team Members and other collision reconstructionists, responded to the scene of the collision at 3:50 p.m.  A detailed crash investigation was conducted utilizing investigative techniques to determine cause and manor of the collision.
Preliminary investigation revealed, a 2005 Pontiac G8 driven by 24 year old James Hunter Rowley Jr. of Mechanicsville, was traveling southbound MD Rt 5 (Leonardtown Rd) in lane 1.  The G8 attempted to make a left turn onto Herbert Road at a high rate of speed.  Rowley lost control and crossed through the grassy median into the northbound lanes of Leonardtown Rd.  
A 2003 Dodge Ram, driven by 73 year old John Raymond Sellner of Brandywine, was traveling northbound Rt 5 in lane 2.  The Ram collided into the passenger side of the G8.  As a result of the collision, Rowley Jr. was pronounced deceased on the scene by paramedics.  Sellner was flown to Prince George's Hospital via MSP Trooper 7.  
During the investigation it was determined that Sellner was under the influence of alcohol.  A Blood Kit was submitted at Prince Georges Hospital.  Charges are pending for DUI.  Alcohol is not listed as a contributing factor for the collision in this case.
This collision is still actively being investigated and any witnesses to the incident are encouraged to contact Trooper First Class Mark Galgan or Cpl. Justin Zimmerman of the Maryland State Police Crash Team.  Either can be reached at 301-392-1200.  
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Dominion Receives Tidal Wetlands License For Cove Point Export Project

The Maryland Board of Public Works Wednesday approved unanimously a tidal wetlands license for the Dominion Cove Point export project. A crowd of about 250 Calvert County leaders and other citizens, labor representatives and supporters rallied outside the State House before the hearing. The BPW voted 3-0 to approve the license after two hour, 40 minute public hearing.
The license authorizes construction of a temporary pier in the Patuxent River adjacent to the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge in Calvert County. The temporary pier will be used over an 18-month period for unloading barges delivering equipment for the expansion project. It will be removed and the area will be restored to its present condition when project-related barge traffic ends.
Recent favorable project developments include the approval of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity by the Maryland Public Service Commission, a favorable draft environmental assessment from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Maryland Supreme Court decision to not hear the appeal of the Sierra Club in its effort to stop LNG exports from the Dominion Cove Point terminal. The FERC is expected to reach a final decision on the project within a few months.
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Power Outage Scheduled For Spring Ridge Middle School Today

LEONARDTOWN, MD - Due to construction activities, Spring Ridge Middle School will be closed on Thursday, July 24, 2014.  It will be reopen on Monday, July 28, 2014.

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Elderly Woman From Virginia Found In Lexington Park

Lexington Park, Maryland - On July 22, 2014, DFC Tim Snyder and DFC Al Beishline assigned to the Lexington Park COPs UNIT, observed a green passenger vehicle traveling the wrong direction on Great Mills Road. The vehicle then parked in Millison Plaza where the operator was contacted by DFC Snyder and DFC Beishline. The operator was a 76 year old female from Dale City, Virginia. She left her home to go shopping at approximately 10:00 AM, when she became confused and got lost. She had been driving for over 12 hours, ending up in St. Mary's County. Deputies contacted her daughter who was about to file a missing person's report in Virginia. DFC Snyder and DFC Beishline then assisted in returning her safely to the Virginia State line where she was reunited her family.   
St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Arrests
On July 22, 2014, Deputy Al Beishline observed Anthony Charles Wright, 45, of Lexington Park, on the property of St. Mary's Square after having been served a no trespass notice for the property. Wright was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary's County Detention Center. He was charged with Trespass Private Property.
On July 22, 2014 at 9:36 PM, DFC Tim Snyder observed suspect Robert Keith Long, 54, of Lexington Park, drinking an alcoholic beverage on the property of the Checkers restaurant in Lexington Park. Long was charged with the Alcohol Violation by criminal citation.
On July 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM, DFC Al Beishline observed suspect Robert Keith Long, 54, of Lexington Park, on the property of Lex's Apartments located on Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, drinking an alcoholic beverage. Long was charged with the Alcohol Violation by criminal citation.
On July 22, 2014, Deputy Al Beishline arrested William Cornelius Curtis, 55, of Lexington Park, on an outstanding warrant for Failure to Appear in Court. The original charge was Trespassing Private Property.
On July 22, 2014, Deputy Krum arrested Eric Dwayne Dickerson, 41, of no fixed address, on an outstanding warrant for Failure to Appear in Court. The original charge was Trespass Private Property.
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Sheriff's Office Has Advice On How To Keep Your Property Safe

Recently, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office has seen a spike in burglary/theft crimes from motor vehicles. In the overwhelming majority of these cases the vehicles had been left UNLOCKED by the owner. Just within the last week, property was stolen from unlocked vehicles located at residences in the area of Route 234 at Route 5 in Leonardtown.  
Typically, there are two scenarios which burglars who commit these crimes look for.
ONE - Burglars pull on door handles looking for a vehicle that has been left UNLOCKED. When they find one, go in and steal anything they can get their hands on.
TWO - Burglars who WINDOW SHOP by looking in the windows of vehicles for property that has been left IN PLAIN VIEW. When they find something they want, they BREAK IN and TAKE IT.
These GRAB & GO crimes are avoidable. Sheriff Tim Cameron and the men and women of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office remind citizens to LOCK YOUR CAR, TAKE YOUR KEYS, AND HIDE YOUR BELONGINGS.
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Maryland Board Of Education Accepts New Guidelines For Student Discipline

BALTIMORE (July 23, 2014) – The Maryland State Board of Education voted unanimously yesterday to accept guidelines for the state’s student code of discipline that can serve as a model for local school systems to use when developing their own discipline codes.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) presented the new framework for school systems to use as they review and revise their local district codes of discipline, and develop and establish new discipline-related policies. These guidelines include behavioral expectations for all members of the community who have a direct impact on creating healthy learning environments and promoting student success. They also were designed to reduce disparities in discipline based on race and disability.
“The State Board is committed to establishing policies that lead to safe learning environments for all students, and keep more students in school and on track for graduation, while eliminating the disproportionate impact of school discipline on students of color and students with disabilities,” said State Board Vice President Dr. Mary Kay Finan, who presided over yesterday’s meeting.
“It is imperative that we continue learning and make decisions that are in the best interests of students regardless of where they live, what they look like or what challenges they exhibit.”
The Maryland Guidelines for a State Code of Discipline align closely with the Maryland State Board of Education’s discipline reform efforts as laid out in their 2012 report, School Discipline and Academic Success: Related Parts of Maryland’s Education Reform. The guidelines were written in accordance with state law and the Code of Maryland Regulations. They complement and support the new state regulations, which the State Board adopted in January to keep students in school, maintain their progress toward graduation, and strengthen school safety overall. 
In response to the Board’s request for an inclusive, thorough, and participatory process, MSDE convened a workgroup in 2012 and appointed two co-chairs, MSDE’s Robert Murphy, M.Ed., and Kate Rabb, JD, of Open Society Institute-Baltimore. MSDE staff issued initial invitations to representatives from all 24 local school systems in Maryland, and numerous organizations and stakeholders including: ACLU-MD; Advocates for Children and Youth; Baltimore Teachers Union; Department of Juvenile Services; Johns Hopkins; MD Association of Boards of Education; MD Association of Pupil Personnel; MD Association of Secondary School Principals Association; MD Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health; MD Disability Law Center; MD State Education Association; MD Parent Teacher Association; MSDE; NAACP; and Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland. Members of the State Board also were invited. Through the course of six open meetings between November 2012 and July 2013, additional groups were invited and additional people participated.
As a model, the guidelines provide suggested roles and expectations of the broadly-defined school community, and a framework for choosing appropriate and fair consequences for students. In response to the State Board’s directives, the guidelines create a structure that emphasizes discretion for decision-makers and is designed to eliminate disparities in discipline, and make consequences meaningful and appropriate.
The draft guidelines, workgroup report and the report to the State Board of Education have been linked to yesterday’s State Board meeting agenda.
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Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days Coming This Fall

Leonardtown, MD – The time has once again arrived for citizens to clean out their barns, basements, sheds, garages, storage areas under kitchen sinks, etc. to take advantage of the opportunity to properly discard of potentially toxic/dangerous materials. Residents wishing to safely dispose of household hazardous waste materials will have two opportunities this fall. 
The St. Andrew’s Landfill will host Hazardous Waste Collection days on Saturday, September 6, 2014 and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Both events will take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Hazardous waste items which will be accepted for collection include Acids, Ammonia, Bleach, Cleaners, Fuels, Gas/Oil Mixtures, Gasoline, Household and Lawn Pesticides, Mercury Thermometers, Photography Chemicals, Pool Chemicals, Solvents, Wood Preservatives, Paint Thinners, and Alkyd (oil-based) Paint. Since Latex Paint is not considered hazardous, it can be disposed with your regular trash collection as long as the mixture is harden by adding absorbents (cat litter, sand, sawdust, or paint drying crystals) prior to disposal. However, if you are unable to do so, Latex Paint will also be accepted.      
Items which will not be accepted include Ammunition, Asbestos, Explosive Materials, Medical Waste, Pharmaceuticals, Radioactive Materials, and Picric Acid.
Almost 50 tons of materials were collected during last year’s event. Help us collect even more this year and dispose of it through safe, environmentally responsible practices.
For more information please contact the St. Mary’s Department of Public Works and Transportation at 301-863-8400. You can also log on to their website at www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/RecycleAnnouncements.asp. 
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St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Arrests

DOMESTIC ASSAULT – On July 21, 2014, DFC Knott responded to a residence on Eric Road in Lexington Park, for a reported domestic assault. The victim alleged suspect Matthew Taylor Burnside, 22, of Lexington Park, grabbed the victim by the throat and threw the victim on to a bed. Burnside also broke the victim’s phone during the incident. Burnside was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with 2nd Degree Assault.
ASSAULT – On July 21, 2014, Deputy Roszell responded to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center for a fight between inmates. The investigation revealed inmates Jamarr Sherman Mackall, 21, of Lexington Park, and Joe Derrick Young, 26, of no fixed address, entered the victim’s cell and assaulted him. The victim sustained facial injuries during the assault. Mackall and Young were both charged with 2nd Degree Assault.  
PROTECTIVE ORDER VIOLATION – On July 22, 2014, Deputy Pleisse responded to a residence on Shenandoah Drive in Mechanicsville, for a violation of a protective order. The victim alleged suspect Joseph William Vestraci Jr., 70, of Mechanicsville, drove by the victim’s residence repeatedly in violation of an active protective order. Vestraci was located and placed under arrest. He was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with Violation of Protective Order.
DISORDERLY CONDUCT – On July 22, 2014, Deputy Schultz responded to Indian Way in Lexington Park, for an assault. After conducting the investigation into the assault, Deputy Schultz advised all parties to leave the area. Suspect Shantell Shanese Swales, 21, of Lexington Park, began yelling profanity at one of the victim’s involved in the assault. Deputy Schultz ordered Swales several times to stop yelling and leave the area. Her actions caused the individuals involved in the original incident to return to the scene. Swales refused all orders and was placed under arrest. She was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with Disorderly Conduct and Failure to Obey a Lawful Order.
Mechanicsville, Maryland - On July 6, 2014, Gary Lee Weaver, 26, of Mechanicsville, reported his 2012 Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle stolen to the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office. Weaver reported the motorcycle had been stolen from his residence in the early morning hours on 7-6-14. Detective M. Green from the Criminal Investigations Division assumed the investigation. During the course of the investigation, Detective Green received information regarding the location of the motorcycle and subsequently located it at a residence in Lexington Park on 7-16-14. Detective Green further determined Weaver had filed a false police report regarding the theft of his motorcycle in order to receive insurance money
On 7-23-14, Weaver was charged with False Statement to Police Officer Causing Investigation and False Statement to Police Officer by criminal summons.
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Fatal Accident at Maryland Internation Raceway

Update: Further investigation revealed, Aaron Slemker, age 21, of Clayton, Ohio, was participating in a motorcycle drag racing class. After the warm up lap, Slemker was returning to the staging area operating his 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the motorcycle.
Additional details will be released as they are developed.
Budd's Creek, Maryland - on July 22, 2014 at 12:45 PM, deputies responded to the Maryland International Raceway for an accident involving a motorcyclist. Preliminary investigation revealed the operator of a racing motorcycle, identified as 21 year old Aaron Slemker, was participating in a training session on an access road behind the drag-strip when he lost control and struck a cement barrier. Life saving efforts were administered; however Slemkez succumbed to his injuries. The next of kin have been notified. Sheriff's Office accident reconstruction team member Corporal W. Watters responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.
Additional details will be released as they are developed. 
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Charles County Sheriff's Office Incident Report

The following is a sample of recent Charles County Sheriff’s Office investigations. For information about crimes not included in this report, visit CrimeReports.com and search by county, city, zip code or street address.
THEFT: Between July 20 and July 21, during the overnight hours, someone broke into a shed in the area of Ridge Grove Estates in Hughesville and stole tools. A tractor was also damaged. Cpl. R. Heishman is investigating. 
THEFT: Between July 20 and July 21, someone stole parts to an air conditioner in the 9800 block of Leighland Court in Waldorf. PFC. D. Warker is investigating.
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: Sometime between July 20 and July 21, unknown suspect(s) broke out several back windows of Wade Elementary School, 2300 Smallwood Drive West and Barnhart Elementary School, 4800 Lancaster Circle, both in Waldorf. Anyone with information is asked to call PFC R. Gass at (301) 932-2222. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or submit a tip via the web at www.tipsubmit.com.
FIRST-DEGREE ASSAULT:  On July 19 at 10:11 p.m., officers responded to the area of Caroline Drive at Cedar Court in La Plata for the report of a stabbing. Investigation showed a male suspect stabbed the victim - a 26-year-old male - during an altercation. The victim was flown to a hospital and treated for an injury that was later determined to be non life threatening. Detectives are pursuing leads. Det. C. Shankster and Det. G. Higgs are investigating.
BURGLARY: On July 19 at 7 a.m., officers responded to the Dorchester Recreation Center at 5005 Dorchester Circle in Waldorf for the report of a burglary. Investigation showed someone broke into a pool house and stole a small amount of cash. Officers are pursuing leads in this case. PFC R.E Gass and Det. J. Morales are investigating.
THEFT: On July 16 between 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., unknown suspect(s) stole two large children’s  outdoor party inflatable’s  which were stored on a trailer in the area of Ann Harbor Drive in Port Tobacco. One inflatable is an obstacle course with a water slide about 70’ in length and the other is a playground inflatable about 54' in length. The victim said at least two people would have to carry the items due to their weight. Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Myers at (301) 932-2222.
TWO MEN CHARGED WITH POSESSION OF DRUGS AND A WEAPON: On July 17 at 3:43 p.m., Officer C. Shaw initiated a traffic stop in the area of Crain Highway and Sub Station Road in Waldorf after observing the driver of a car operating in an erratic manner. Upon approaching the car, Officer Shaw smelled the odor of marijuana. Further investigation revealed a handgun in the car and a large amount of marijuana (bulked and ready for sale). The driver and a passenger were arrested and the car was seized for forfeiture.  Thaddeus Cornell Edwards, 19, of Clinton, and Eric Brandon Branch-Simpson, 20, of Clinton, were arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell drugs and possession of a firearm.
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4 Year Old Says He Was Molested At Capital Club House By Another Minor

ASSAULT REPORTED/CRIME SOLVERS OFFERING CASH REWARD: On July 20 at 6:36 p.m., officers responded to the Capital Clubhouse at 3033 Waldorf Market Place for the report of an assault that occurred earlier. Investigation showed a 4-year-old male was at the clubhouse for an event and began playing with an older boy, possibly 10 to 12 years old, whom he just met. Later in the evening, the victim told a relative that the older child molested him. Detectives responded and interviewed the family and investigators are pursuing leads. The suspect is described as a young male, possibly Hispanic or Asian, with dark hair. There have been no other similar reports. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Shankster at (301) 609-6513. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or submit a tip via the web at www.tipsubmit.com. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.  
Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at tipsubmit.com. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Learn more at the CCSO’s website.
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Sustainable Growth Commission Seeks Public Comment on Draft Recommendations

BALTIMORE, MD - As it continues with a directive to bring about more and better quality infill, redevelopment and revitalization (I/R/R) statewide, the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission has released a draft of recommendations that will make up the bulk of a comprehensive report due at summer's end.
Infill, Redevelopment & Revistalization
Recognizing the many benefits of reinvesting in communities large and small, Governor Martin O'Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in January asked the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission to undertake an initiative to advance I/R/R statewide.
The growth commission now seeks public review and comment on its preliminary draft recommendations. Commission members would like to hear from anyone interested in Maryland community revitalization during a 30-day review period ending August 20.
The many recommendations crafted to date -- based on interviews with community leaders and representatives, responses to an online survey, workshops and an analysis of existing reports -- cover a gamut of ideas to advance I/R/R in education, advocacy, state funding, regulations, policies, programs and financing tools. They include general goals such as coordinating state and local resources and improving state regulatory review processes, as well as specifics like creating a state smart growth investment fund. Comments on specific recommendations as well as broad approaches are welcomed.
The final report will contain case studies identifying what works in communities' efforts to revitalize, redevelop and attract infill development, and what impediments have slowed progress. The report will feature a searchable online database of state funding programs.  
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#ONVACATION! AAA Cautions Travelers To Leave Status Updates 'Offline'

TOWSON, MD – Nothing is more exciting than packing and getting ready for that much needed summer vacation to “get away from it all.” Unfortunately, some vacationers will return home to find “it all” no longer there when they return home. One of the biggest mistakes travelers make today is advertising their travel plans and whereabouts on social media sites.        Broadcasting your location information and posting photos while on vacation is like handing the key to your house to potential thieves. AAA Mid-Atlantic warns travelers to be vigilant and secure their property before leaving on vacation and to only share details of their trip after returning home.
Every 14.6 seconds, someone becomes a victim of burglary in the U.S., according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Moreover, household burglaries accounted for $4.6 billion in lost property at an average loss of $2,119 per offense. Over half of those break-ins occurred at a time when no one was home and nearly half of said violations transpired in the daytime hours when homeowners were either at work or enjoying other leisurely activities, such as a vacation.
“Summer vacation plans can quickly turn into a disaster for travelers who fail to execute a plan to protect their homes while they are away,” warned Duane Stremmel, Supervisor for AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Agency. “AAA Mid-Atlantic advises homeowners to safeguard all property while away from home, and to avoid the need to post detailed status updates online in social media forums.”
Travelers that post details of their itineraries and travel plans on social media sites often think that only their social media “friends” will be able to see their activity. According to the creators of PleaseRobMe.com, a website that uses Twitter’s search functionality to show location-based messages, people expose themselves to vulnerability by over-sharing their whereabouts. “We started the site when we noticed that quite a few of our friends were posting Foursquare check-ins to Twitter. Sometimes we saw people sharing their home address or that of their friends and relatives. By publishing these check-ins on Twitter, these messages became public. With PleaseRobMe.com we wanted to make sure people are aware of how easy it is to get this information and what you can do to prevent oversharing,” advised Boy van Amstel of PleaseRobMe.com.  
Trust everyone in your “friends” list? So did the Cheatheam family.  Earlier this year, Lavern Cheatheam and her family decided to take a trip to Las Vegas and document the details of their travel online via social media. They were so caught up in the excitement of sharing their news, that one of her daughter’s online “friends” began immediately sending text messages to find out if they were in Vegas, how long they would be there and the exact day they would return home. As luck would have it, a U-Haul truck pulled up to their home while they were away with perpetrators emptying the contents of their home. Fortunately, the Cheatheam family was able to recover their stolen items as the police just happened to be surveilling the neighborhood for recent thefts. 
AAA Mid-Atlantic advises to not only safeguard social media practices while away from home but also to plan how you will protect your property while away. Homeowners can take action before leaving town to reduce the likelihood of a home invasion.
AAA Mid-Atlantic offers the following tips to protect your home while you’re away:
·       Log out of social media content from your device while traveling. 
  Even if you are not “bragging” about your vacation details, social media settings can display your location online. It’s best for travelers to completely log out and wait to log back in once home or make sure privacy and location settings are restricted.
       Remember, a “lived-in” look is the single most important deterrent against burglars.
  Use timers on your lights, radios and televisions.
  Keep your grass cut.
  Arrange to have a trusted neighbor pick up your mail, circulars and newspapers when you are on vacation. If that isn't possible, cancel all deliveries, including newspapers and arrange with your post office to hold your mail.
  Park an extra car outside and ask a trusted family member to move it from time to time.
  Ask your family or trusted neighbor to get boxes if you expect deliveries while you are gone.
  Don’t let the trash pile up.
Don’t say you are out of the house or on vacation on voice mail. Likewise, make sure your family and children do not use an e-mail auto response noting you are out of town. Cyber crooks issue mass mailings in hopes of receiving these automatic reply messages and cross check them with on-line directories to determine where you live.
Use flood lights and motions detectors. Keeping your lights on during the day time is a dead give-away that you’re not at home.
Look through your windows and see what valuables are in plain sight. If you can see any special possessions such as rifle collections, coin collections, etc., move them out of clear sight.
Use a video camera to video all of your possessions – everything from furniture to jewelry to stereo equipment and televisions. Then be sure to review and update your insurance coverage.
Store your valuables in non-traditional places such as the bathroom or attic. Burglars tend to get agitated and want to get out quickly, so they go to the most likely room in the house first.
If possible, get an alarm system. They are a great deterrent to burglars.
·       Remember, burglars are creatures of opportunity. Pretend that you are a burglar. Try to think the way they would and go around your house making sure to lock windows, etc.
·       If you do become a victim of a home invasion, call 911 right away and report the crime. Once you have the police report, call your homeowners insurance agency to file a claim for property theft and damages.
“Protecting your assets while away from home is key to a successful vacation,” noted Stremmel. “A failure to plan ahead can lead to disappointing financial losses and a sour ending to a sweet vacation.”
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Charles County Charter Moves Forward for Public Vote

On Tuesday, July 22, the Charter Board presented the County Commissioners with the final draft of the proposed charter. The charter is a blueprint for the structure of county government that defines duties, powers, rules, and procedures. In accordance with the Maryland Constitution it will be published in a local newspaper and forwarded to the Board of Elections to be placed on the November 2014 ballot.
Charles County’s current form of government is code home rule. If approved by majority vote, charter would replace code home rule as the form of county government. Currently, 10 Maryland counties operate under the charter form of government: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Talbot, and Wicomico.
Key provisions in the charter include:
·         Separates legislative and executive branches of county government by creating a County Council and a County Executive;
·         Provides for election by district for three County Council members and election at large for two County Council members;
·         Sets term limits for the County Council and the County Executive;
·         Allows for citizen referendum for most laws;
·         Provides procedural safeguards for funding county pension and post-employment obligations;
·         Creates a cap of three percent on County debt;
·         Provides for future amendments to the Charter in accordance with the Maryland Constitution; and
·         All existing laws, boards, and commissions will remain unchanged unless they directly conflict with the charter.
The full text of the charter is available online at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/commissioners/boards/charter-board.
For more information about the charter or the steps to adopt a new form of county government, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov or contact Melody Weschler, Charles County Attorney’s Office, at 301-645-0555 or WeschleM@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
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Vehicle Fire Being Investigated

Monday evening around 11:07 p.m., six firefighters from Anne Arundel Station 9 and Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call at MD Route 260/Route 4 in Owings for the report of a vehicle on fire.  
The incendiary fire began in the interior of a 1997 Lincoln Mark VIII. The vehicle received extensive damage as a result of the fire. Witnesses or anyone with information about this fire is asked to call the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, Southern Region at (443)-550-6834.

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