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Charles County Board Of Education Appoints La Plata Lawyer To Ethics Panel


The Board of Education of Charles County has appointed William Olmsted, a La Plata lawyer, to serve as chairman of the newly appointed Board of Education Ethics Panel. The panel is serving a four-year term that ends in June 2018.
 
Joining Olmsted on the panel are James Cornette of La Plata, Theresa Everette of Waldorf, Jessie Morris of Waldorf and Derrick Nunn of Waldorf.
 
The Board appoints the all-volunteer, five-member panel every four years prior to a Board of Education election. The ethics panel interprets ethics regulations and provides advisory opinions to Board Members and employees subject to the regulations. The panel also reviews complaints concerning any alleged ethics violation and receives and maintains all forms required to be filed under the ethics regulation.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
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Health Department Seeking Proposals for Healthy Families Initiative in St. Mary's County


LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking proposals from organizations credentialed as a provider/site by Healthy Families America to implement the Healthy Families program model for St. Mary’s County families. The national Healthy Families model provides regular home visits from the beginning of pregnancy through the first five years of life for families that may be at higher risk for adverse childhood experiences.  The evidence-based Healthy Families initiative has been demonstrated to:
 
Reduce Averse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s)
Increase utilization of prenatal care and decrease incidence of preterm, low weight babies
Improve parent-child interaction and school readiness
Decrease dependency on welfare and other social services
Increase access to primary care medical services
Increase immunization rates
 
The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking a vendor to implement and provide Healthy Families services to residents of St. Mary’s County.  The vendor will serve families in St. Mary’s County who have been identified as having risk factors according to the national Healthy Families model.  For more information about the Healthy Families program model and request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at www.smchd.org/rfp.
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Bank Robbed In Indian Head. Police Request Help From Public (Photos)


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.
 
BANK ROBBERY/CRIME SOLVERS OFFERING REWARD: On August 25 at 4:50 p.m., officers responded to the PNC bank on North Prospect Avenue in Indian Head for a hold-up alarm. When officers arrived, bank employees said a masked man entered the bank and approached a teller. He showed a note announcing a robbery and demanded money, threatening to blow the bank up if the teller did not comply. The suspect obtained money and fled towards Strauss Avenue. Patrol officers, K9 teams, and the Maryland State Police Aviation Unit assisted with the search, but the suspect was not located. The suspect is described as a white male, 6’0”, thin build, possibly in his late thirties, wearing a maroon plaid long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, blue bandana, baseball cap, sunglasses, and white gloves. Photographs of the suspect were captured on a surveillance camera. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. A. Celia at (301) 609-6518. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or provide a tip via a secure website at www.tipsubmit.com. A cash reward is being offered for the tip that leads to the arrest of the suspect.  
 
 
BURGLARY REPORTED: Sometime between August 25 and August 26, unknown suspect(s) broke into a bakery in the 3600 block of Leonardtown Road in Waldorf and stole currency. There were no signs of forced entry. POI C. Gustafson is investigating.
 
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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McDaniel Road to Close for Construction


McDaniel Road at the Piney Branch Stream Crossing, approximately 1,500 feet south of Hallmark Lane, will be closed to all through traffic on or about Sept. 12. McDaniel Road will reopen on or about March 31, 2015.
For more information about this road closure, contact Donna Daugherty, P.E., Highway Engineer III, Codes Permits & Inspection Services Division of the Department of Planning and Growth Management, at 301-645-0596.
Signs will be posted identifying the closure and detour routes. 
 
Construction will involve replacing the stream crossing, widening the road, and extending the hiker-biker trail. The road closure may be postponed due to extended inclement weather or other conditions that may cause construction delays.
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Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack Arrests And Warrants


Drug Arrest – On Friday, August 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm, Tpr. B. Ditoto initiated a traffic stop on a silver truck on St. John’s Road and Narrow Way for a minor traffic infraction. The driver, Jake Allen Clark, 24, of Lexington Park, was placed under arrest for three open warrants through St. Mary’s County.  A search incident to arrest revealed suspected CDS and paraphernalia.  Mr. Clark was transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with CDS Possession – Marijuana, CDS Possession – Parapherlia, CDS Possession – Not Marijuana, and CDS: Poss w/ Intent to Distribute.  He was held pending a bond review with the District Court Commissioner (14-MSP-026987)
 
Drug Arrest/ DUI – On Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 6:48 AM, TFC E. Mersman responded to a disturbance located on the 18000 block of Premier Lane.  While enroute to the disturbance, a lookout was given for the male suspect.  TFC Mersman observed the suspect’s vehicle, a black truck, and initiated an investigative stop on the vehicle on Park Hall Road and Route 235.  A wanted check on the driver, Robert A. Bozman, 45, of Salisbury, revealed he had two outstanding warrants through the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office.  Search incident to arrest revealed suspected CDS in the vehicle.  Mr. Bozman was arrested and charged with DUI/DWI and Possession of CDS – Not Marijuana.  He was transported to the Maryland State Police, Leonardtown Barrack for processing.  He was then transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and held pending a bond review with the District Court Commissioner.  (14-MSP-027079)
 
Assault – On Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm, TFC E. Mersman responded to the 23000 block of Upland Drive for a reported disturbance.  Investigation revealed Ronald L. Scruggs, 20, of Bushwood, had assaulted a female victim.  He was arrested and charged with Assault – Second Degree and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.  Mr. Scruggs was held pending a bond review with the District Court Commissioner. (14-MSP-027261)
 
Warrant Services
 
Robert Adrian Bozman, 45, of Salisbury, served on 8/23/2014 at 9:50 am for Violation of Probation (2014-00306194)
 
John William Alvarado, 37, of Lexington Park, served on 8/20/2014 at 2:41pm for Failure to Appear in Court (2014-00300726)
 
Daniel A. Faucette, 28, of Waldorf, served on 8/19/2014 at 8:40 pm for Failure to Pay Fine in District Court (2014-00298704)
 
Jonmika Cecelia Swann, 31, of Mechanicsville, served on 4/9/2014 at 8:07 pm for Failure to Appear in Court (2014-00301882)
 
Robin Marie Yowaiski, 34, of St. Inigoes, served on 8/21/2014 at 8:39 pm for Failure to Appear in Court (2014-00303515)
 
Randy Allen Murray, 23, of Mechanicsville, served on 8/21/2014 at 6:47 pm for Failure to Appear in Court (2014-00303279)
 
Jamar Sherman Mackall, 22, of Lexington Park, served on 8/18/2014 at 12:45 pm for Assault (2014-00297828)
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Baltimore Man Arrested For Stealing From Mechanicsville Business


On March 27, 2014 Sheriff’s Office patrol units responded to a  business located in Mechanicsville, Maryland for the report of a burglary.  The victim/owner stated unknown person(s) forced entry to his business and stole several pieces of equipment.  The Criminal Investigations Division was contacted and assumed the investigation.
Following a lengthy investigation, detectives were able to identify a suspect in the burglary and recover several pieces of the stolen equipment.
Detectives located and arrested William J. Chialastri, age 35, of Baltimore, Maryland charging him with 2nd Degree Burglary, Theft $10,000 to under $100,000 and Theft $1,000 to under $10,000.  Chialastri appeared before a District Court Commissioner and was released on personal recognizance.
William J. Chialastri
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Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept. 6


The Charles County Department of Public Works would like to remind citizens that the next household hazardous waste collection will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6.  The household hazardous waste collection site is held in the parking lot of the Department of Public Works building, located at 10430 Audie Lane, off of Radio Station Road in La Plata.   Collection hours are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Items accepted free of charge include: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.
 
Unacceptable materials include bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition.  Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites.  Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified.  This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener, or sawdust to aid in drying it out.
 
Household hazardous waste collection will occur on the first Saturday of each month through December.  Upcoming 2014 collection dates are:  Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, and Dec. 6.
For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD:  800-735-2258.
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Fire Bugs May Have Set Home On Fire


Friday evening at 5:05 p.m. 10 firefighters from Prince Frederick and Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Departments responded to a call at 4590 Camp Kaufmann Road, Huntingtown for the report of a vacant two story single family home on fire. The fire was discovered by a neighbor and the firefighters had it under control in about 10 minutes. Investigation revealed that two individuals were seen leaving the area 
just before the fire was discovered. The investigation is continuing. If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Region, at 443-550-6835. 
No one was injured in the fire and the total estimated loss is $149,000. 
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Dameron Burglars Caught


On June 28, 2014, Sheriff’s Office patrol units responded to a private residence on St. Jeromes Neck Rd. in Dameron, Maryland for the report of a burglary.  Deputies determined unknown culprit(s) forced entry to the victim’s residence by breaking a window and stole various property belonging to the victim.  The Criminal Investigations Division was contacted and assumed the case.
 
Following an investigation by detectives, suspects were identified and arrested.  Natasha M. Kelly, age 28, of Great Mills, Md. and Steven L. Thomas, age 44, of Lexington Park, Md. were both charged with 1st Degree Burglary and Theft $10,000 to under $100,000.   Thomas was incarcerated in the St. Mary’s County Detention Center under $5,000 bond.  Kelly was incarcerated under a $25,000 bond.  Thomas later posted bond and was released pending an appearance in District Court. Kelly remains incarcerated.
 
 
 
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Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack


Theft/Shoplifting:  On 8/19/14 at 2:40 pm, Trooper First Class Oles responded to the K-Mart in Prince Frederick for a shoplifting complaint.  Investigation revealed that Charlotte M. Mackall, 47 of Prince Frederick, walked out of the store with $752.00 in merchandise that she had not paid for.  She was arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.
 
Carrying Concealed Weapon:  On 8/22/14 at 6:25 pm, Trooper First Class Lewis stopped a vehicle at Rt. 4 near Doris Dr. in Sunderland for traffic violations.  A strong odor of marijuana and alcohol was emitting from inside the vehicle.  A probable cause search revealed a juvenile passenger in the vehicle was carrying a 16 inch Bowie knife.  The juvenile gave a false name and was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and making a false statement to the police.  He was released to a parent.  Two other passengers in the vehicle were issues Uniformed Civil Citations for consuming alcohol under 21 years of age.
 
Possession of Marijuana:  On 8/22/14 at 8:40 pm, Trooper Newcomer stopped a vehicle at Rt. 260 and Wesley Stinnett Blvd. in Chesapeake Beach during the sobriety checkpoint.  A strong odor of marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle.  A probable cause search revealed marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  Lehn D. Thomas, 18 of Edgewater, was transported to the MSP Barrack in Prince Frederick for processing.  He was charged and released on two Criminal Citations.
 
Possession With Intent to Distribute:  On 8/22/14 at 10:00 pm, Trooper First Class Barlow stopped a vehicle on Rt. 231 in the area of Mason Rd. in Prince Frederick for traffic violations.  An odor of raw marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle.  A probable cause search revealed individually wrapped small baggies containing marijuana.  Maurice L. Jones, 29 of Hughesville, was arrested for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  He was incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center. 
 
Theft of Wallet:  On 8/23/14 at 7:10 am, Trooper Palumbo responded to Project Echo on Main St. in Prince Frederick for a report of a stolen wallet.  The victim reported that the wallet and all of its contents were taken while he was at Project Echo.  A possible suspect has been developed.  Investigation continues.
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Robbers Caught In The Act At Checkers


On 08-25-14 at approximately 3:35 a.m. St. Mary's County Deputy Lefave responded to an interior intrusion alarm at the Checkers on Miramar Way in California, Maryland. Dep. Lefave approached the location on foot and observed two subjects inside with masks over their face. Additional sheriff’s office deputies and a Maryland state trooper arrived. The two men then exited the building through the drive-thru window and were approached by Dep. Lefave. Dep. Lefave ordered the two to show their hands and stop. The two men fled and were detained by backup officers. The two were identified as James Daniel Short 20 year old of No Fixed Address and Charles Patrick Balsbaugh 28 year old of Valley Lee, Maryland. Short and Balsbaugh were transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and charged with Second Degree Burglary, Fourth Degree Burglary- Storehouse, Fourth Degree Burglary-Theft, Malicious Destruction of Property Over $1000, and Theft less than $100.00. 

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Early Morning Fire Destroys Home In Chesapeake Beach


Early Tuesday morning, 40 firefighters from North Beach, Dunkirk, Anne Arundel, Huntingtown and Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Departments were called to 8611 Addison Bridge Place in Chesapeake Beach for the report of a 3 story single family townhouse fire. The incendiary fire began as the result of unknown suspect(s) setting fire to the rear deck of the residence. The entire residence was damaged as well as adjoining townhouses. 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. 
No one was injured in the fire and the estimated total loss was $500,000. 
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2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Gets to Work Today


Baltimore, MD – Thirty-two young people have been selected for the 2015 Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program, which kicks off today (Tuesday). One hundred thirty-five applied for the spots where they gain on-the-job experience related to environmental projects for a year. The young people will work with organizations on environmental projects that benefit Chesapeake Bay –whether that be getting their hands and feet muddy or teaching in school classrooms. Chesapeake Bay Trust executive director Jana Davis says the experience is coveted whether participants recently graduated from high school or college. 
 
"It’s a program that provides professional-development experience as well as an opportunity to spend a year really delving into a project, or a suite of projects, that help them set up their career for the future."
 
The Trust administers the program, which was created by the Legislature five years ago. Young people ages 18 to 25 can apply to the program. Volunteers receive a stipend and health insurance.
 
Davis says up to 50 percent of Corps participants are hired by their host organizations when their volunteer commitment is completed. Others move into positions within the environmental field for nonprofits, state governments and county governments.
 
"And when they come to these positions, they come with an incredible training and an incredible breadth of knowledge that many other young people who haven’t had this experience can offer."
 
While most of the corps will serve in Maryland, the project has been expanded this year to Washington, D-C, thanks to funding from the E-P-A, and Davis says the goal is to keep expanding to other states with connections to the bay. Additional funding comes from the state of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, National Park Service, U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, Arlington Echo and Environmental Concern.
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Calvert County Sheriff's Office Incident Brief


During the week of August 18 through August 24 deputies of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1,426 calls for service throughout the community.  
Citizens with information on the following crimes or any criminal activity in Calvert County who wish to report it anonymously can now access the Calvert County Crime Solvers link through the Sheriff’s Office website.   
Go to http://www.co.cal.md.us/residents/safety/law/sheriff/ and click on the Crime Solvers link to leave an anonymous tip on-line.  Information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect could result in a $1,000 reward.
 
Theft Case #14-46490:
Someone went into a mailbox, opened a piece of mail and stole a $20 bill that was inside.  The theft happened in the 1000 block of Concord Court in Owings on August 18 sometime during the day.  Dep. W. Rector is investigating.
 
Burglary Case #14-46526:
A home in the 2600 block of Cove Point road in Lusby was burglarized on August 18 between 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Two briefcases were stolen.  Cpl. P. Foote is investigating.
 
Burglary Case #14-46636:
A home in the 12000 block of Rio Grande Trail in Lusby was burglarized between August 17 and 19.  Small home appliances were stolen.  Dep. D. Naughton is investigating.
 
Destruction of Property Case #14-46664 and 46680:
A fence, mailbox and two vehicles sustained damage between 2:30 and 6:45 a.m. on August 19 in the 11900 block of Susan Lane in Lusby.  A mirror on one vehicle was broken and the windshield of another was smashed at two separate homes.  One post and some post caps on a fence were broken and a mailbox was damaged.  DFC R. Kreps is continuing the investigation.
 
Destruction of Property Case #14-46717:
Unknown suspect(s) cut the telephone and cable lines to the Lusby Fastop on H.G. Trueman Road on August 19 at 1:30 p.m.  DFC R. Wilson is investigating.
 
Destruction of Property Case #14-47050:
Someone broke out the back passenger windows on a vehicle parked outside a home on Kyler Road in Huntingtown overnight between August 20 and 21.  The back hatch of a van was also dented.  The amount of damage is $1600.  DFC J. Lord is investigating.
 
CDS Violation Case #14-47339:
On August 22 at 10:23 a.m. DFC R. Kreps responded to Prince Frederick Ford for the report of a woman trespassing and possible CDS activity.  An employee advised Kreps that there was a woman in the bathroom who would not come out.  Kreps knocked on the door and the woman opened the door.  She was identified as 20 year old Amber Michelle Coppage of Mechanicsville.  Coppage appeared disoriented and under the influence of a substance.  Coppage was found to be in possession of two packages of K2/Spice and a smoking device.  She was arrested and charged.
 
Theft from Vehicle Case #14-47664:
On August 23 between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. someone entered a vehicle that was parked in an overflow parking area of the Flag Ponds Nature Park in Lusby and stole cash and credit cards.  The victim advised that the money was taken from his wallet and a friend’s purse that had been left inside the vehicle.  He was unsure if he had locked the vehicle.  DFC J. Bell is investigating.
 
CDS Violation Case #14-47679:
DFC J. Bell responded to the area of Sharon Drive and Susan Lane in Lusby on August 23 at 9:28 p.m. for a reported possible intoxicated driver.  He located the vehicle on Susan Lane parked on the side of the road with the headlights on.  He pulled behind it and could see a male sitting in the driver’s seat.  Upon walking up to the vehicle, he noticed the male slumped over with his cell phone in his hand.  He knocked on the window and the male woke up.  He was instructed to exit the vehicle.  Drug paraphernalia and suspected Heroin could be seen inside the vehicle and in the suspect’s lap.  The suspect was identified as Vincent Douglas Smith II, 24 of St. Leonard.  Smith was arrested and charged with possession of Heroin and a hypodermic syringe.
 
Theft from Vehicle Case #14-47726:
Someone broke the window of a vehicle parked outside a home in the 1100 block of Golden West Way in Lusby on August 24 at about 1:30 a.m. and stole money and clothing.  It is being investigated by DFC J. Bell
 
Disorderly Conduct Case #14-47858:
Lynn Evans Hayden, Jr., 46 of Mechanicsville, was arrested by Dep. W. Durner for being disorderly on August 24 at 9:00 p.m. while attending a concert in Solomons.  Hayden was asked multiple times by police to stop yelling and screaming profanities but he continued to do so.  
 
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SMCSO Takes First Place in National and Maryland Law Enforcement Challenge


The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office competed with several other agencies throughout the State of Maryland as well as nationally in the specified categories.  On behalf of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, the Maryland Sheriff’s Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office was selected as the winner of the 2014 Maryland Law Enforcement Challenge as well as the National Law Enforcement Challenge. Several members of the Sheriff's Office from the Patrol and Special Operations Divisions participated in this challenge. Most notably, Corporal Kevin Meyer from the Special Operations Division, Traffic Safety Unit (pictured with Sheriff Cameron), conducted over 1,200 traffic stops. Sheriff's Office personnel will be recognized at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference being held in Orlando, Florida and at the Maryland Chiefs Association conference being held in Ocean City, later this year.
 
 
Maryland Law Enforcement Challenge / St. Mary’s County was judged under the following category:  101 – 250 sworn officers:
The Maryland Law Enforcement Challenge (LEC) is a way to recognize the excellent work being done by our uniformed men and women.  It encompasses all traffic initiatives, year round, with the goal of reducing traffic crashes that result in injuries and fatalities.
 
The Maryland LEC focuses upon three main traffic safety areas – enforcement of Maryland’s occupant protection laws, impaired driving prevention, and aggressive driving prevention.  Smooth Operator, Click It Or Ticket, and Checkpoint Strike Force are campaigns that make up a large portion of the judging criteria required.  A comprehensive traffic safety plan, such as motorcycle safety, younger/older driver safety, pedestrian/bicyclist safety, and innovative programs or technologies were also criterion for the award.
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Old Piney Church Road to Close for Construction


The new section of Piney Church Road is now open to the public. The old section of Piney Church Road will be closed for construction between MD 488 and 1,300 feet south of St. Rita Drive.  The road will close Monday, Aug. 25 at approximately 6 a.m.  Signs will be posted notifying the public of the closure and detour routes.
 
For more information, contact Donna Daugherty, P.E., Highway Engineer III, Codes Permits & Inspection Services Division of the Department of Planning and Growth Management, at 301-645-0596.
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Will Ballot Measure Create Protection For The MD Transportation Trust Fund?


TOWSON, MD (August 22, 2014) – A measure to protect Maryland’s often-raided Transportation Trust Fund is one of two key constitutional amendments appearing on the ballot in the general election in Maryland this November.  If approved by the voters, the ballot measure will create constitutional protections for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which funds the construction and maintenance of highways and other transportation projects.  The proposed amendment would place a so-called “lock box” on the dedicated transportation funds, explains AAA Mid-Atlantic, which championed the measure.
Earlier this week, the Secretary of State, John P. McDonough certified the ballot language for the Transportation Trust Fund constitutional amendment.  Adoption of a constitutional amendment requires the state legislature to first pass legislation (Senate Bill 829), which it did in the 2013 session, and then requires the measure to be approved by voters, notes AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The constitutional protections will make it far more difficult for politicians to raid, divert or transfer dollars out of the fund for non-transportation uses, beginning in Fiscal Year 2015, explains the motorists’ organization.  Going forward, any transfer from the TTF to the general fund could only occur with the Governor first declaring a fiscal emergency and then with a three-fifths vote in both Chambers of the Maryland General Assembly. 
“This sorely needed and long-overdue constitutional amendment puts the ‘trust’ back in the Transportation Trust Fund, ensuring that the fund is no longer the state’s cookie jar,” said Ragina Cooper-Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs.  “Amending the Maryland Constitution provides the very best protection for taxpayers’ transportation dollars.”
If passed, the amendment, in part, would add this language to the 47,000 word-long Maryland Constitution: “Transportation Trust Funds may be used for non-transportation related purposes or transferred to the general fund or a special fund only if the Governor declares a fiscal emergency and the General Assembly approves legislation, by a three-fifths vote of both houses, concurring with the use or transfer of the funds.” AAA Mid-Atlantic applauds the language that amends Article III of the Maryland Constitution.
In the past, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues have been transferred from the TTF to the general fund to help balance the state’s budget.  It was a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, contends AAA Mid-Atlantic.  For example, more than a billion dollars were transferred from local Highway User Revenues (HUR) to the General Fund in the period from Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 to FY2012, according to the Maryland Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding.  “None of that money has been repaid,” according to AAA’s Managing Director, Mahlon G. ‘Lon’ Anderson, who was a member of the Commission.  “That’s why this measure is so desperately needed.”
The Commission explained, “the majority of transfers from MDOT [Maryland Department of Transportation] funds have been repaid. However, a large amount [approximately $1.1 billion] of funds from the local government portion of the Highway Users Revenues [HUR] has not been, and is not scheduled to be, replenished.”  The report was issued in November 2011 when the state’s transportation system was “on the verge of financial collapse.”
To forestall this, the Blue Ribbon Commission recommended amending the “Maryland Constitution to prohibit transfers out of the Transportation Trust Fund for non-transportation purposes (except in declared fiscal emergencies).” AAA Mid-Atlantic served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Maryland Transportation Funding.  The Transportation Trust Fund was “created in 1971 to establish a dedicated fund to support the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).”
The proposed Constitutional Amendment (Senate Bill 829) was principally sponsored by State Senator Thomas V. (Mike) Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert), President of the Maryland Senate, and other key co-sponsors during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly.  More specifically, the language of the amendment that appears on the ballot this November “limits the use of Transportation Trust Funds to the payment of principal and interests on transportation bonds and for constructing and maintaining an adequate highway system or any other transportation-related purpose.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic, which represents nearly 900,000 members in Maryland, is urging Maryland voters in the general election to vote in favor of the ballot question “to ensure that funds raised for transportation will be spent on transportation,” Cooper-Averella said.  “This is a critical measure that adds transparency and ends the deceptions in transportation funding.”
The general election will be held this fall, Tuesday, November 4, 2014.  Early voting will be available at early voting polling locations from Thursday, October 23, 2014 through Thursday, October 30, 2014.
What are its odds of passage? “Since 1994, an average of three measures has appeared on even-year ballots in Maryland. Therefore, 2014 is a below-average year based on the number of certified measures,” according to BallotPedia.com. “Since 1994, 28 of 32, or 88 percent, of Maryland ballot measures have been approved by voters. Conversely, four of 32, or 13 percent, of measures have been defeated.”
Historically, Maryland’s Constitution has been amended nearly 200 times and it was last amended in 2012. As a footnote, “Maryland has had four constitutions;” according to the Maryland State Archives.  “At the time of the Revolutionary War, the first constitution was adopted by the Ninth Provincial Convention, meeting at Annapolis, in November 1776. Voters adopted the second constitution in June 1851. During the Civil War, the third constitution was adopted by the voters in October 1864. Voters adopted the fourth and last constitution under which Maryland government now functions in September 1867.”
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Man Has Medical Emergency And Crashes Car


8-21-14 Motor Vehicle Accident - The driver, male, age 59, suffered a medical emergency while in the parking lot of the McDonald's in Leonardtown Center. After going unconscious, his vehicle accelerated crossing Route 243 and entered the parking lot of the Dash Inn. The vehicle stopped after it struck the brick pillars supporting the fuel pumps. The driver was transported to the MedStar St. Mary's Hospital. Case #45277-14
 
8-21-14 BURGLARY - Unknown suspect(s) forced entry in the Knight Life car located in Oakville. Once inside, suspect(s) stole property and US currency from the business. Case remains open and is assigned to Deputy Cole. Case #45309-14
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St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Incident Brief


8-20-14 PROPERTY DESTRUCTION - A victim, who resides on Liberty Street, reported unknown suspect(s) broke a window out on his vehicle. Case remains open. Case #45028-14
 
8-20-14 BURGLARY MOTOR VEHICLE - A victim, who resides on Spyglass Way, reported unknown suspect(s) entered his vehicle and stole property. Case #45027-14
 
8-20-14 BURGLARY MOTOR VEHICLE - A victim, who resides on Driftwood Court, reported unknown suspect(s) entered her vehicle and stole property. Case #45034-14
 
8-20-14 BURGLARY MOTOR VEHICLE - A victim, who resides on Spyglass Way reported unknown suspect(s) entered her vehicle. Nothing appeared to have been stolen. Case #45119-14
 
8-20-14 BURGLARY MOTOR VEHICLE - A victim, who resides on Spyglass Way, reported unknown suspect(s) entered her vehicle and stole property. Case #45112-14
 
8-20-14 FRAUD - A victim, who resides  in Hollywood, reported unknown suspect(s) filed state income taxes in multiple states using her personal information. Case #45064-14
 
8-20-14 THEFT - A victim, who resides on Ledford Lane, reported unknown suspect(s) stole registration plates from 2 trailers he owns. Case #45111-14
 
8-21-14 BURGLARY - A victim, who resides on Millstone Landing Road, reported unknown suspect(s) forced entry into their home and stole property. Case #45170-14
 
8-21-14 BURGLARY - Unknown suspect(s) kicked in a door to a residence on Chancellor's Run Road. A washer and dryer were stolen. Case#45135-14
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Standard & Poor's Upgrades Charles County Bond Rating


Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service in New York announced today Charles County’s rating on its generation obligation bonds raised from “AA ” to “AAA” with a stable outlook.  “AAA” is the highest of Standard & Poor’s bond ratings.  According to the news release, the rating upgrade reflects Standard & Poor’s opinion of several factors, including Charles County’s very strong economy with strong income and wealth levels, strong budgetary flexibility, and a diverse revenue stream.  
 
“’AAA’ rating with Standard & Poor’s was a goal I hoped we would achieve,” said Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly.  “During this economic environment, I am pleased we were recognized so favorably.  The successful bond sale is the outcome of the efforts of the Commissioners and Charles County Government staff, specifically the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services, who made presentations to three bond rating agencies in New York City.”
 
“This is the best rating possible, and I'm proud of the Fiscal and Administrative Services Department’s leadership and the direction taken by the Commissioners during budget deliberations. The ‘AAA’ rating gives the county an exceptional stamp of approval and represents tremendous savings for the taxpayers now and in the future.  Some of the decisions were very difficult but were the right ones,” said Commissioner Vice President Reuben B. Collins, II (District 3).
 
“This is outstanding news for county government and especially for our citizens. It is confirmation that our fiscal policies are on target and are being recognized as such," said Commissioner Ken Robinson (District 1).
 
“It's an exciting time in our county.  I'm pleased that the bond rating agencies recognize that we are making the tough decisions to ensure Charles County's financial security,” said Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2). “My congratulations go to David Eicholtz, director of the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services, and our entire finance team for a job well done. We now stand in the company of an elite group of counties nationwide holding the ‘AAA’ rating. The bottom line for our citizens is that we are in a position to borrow funds for infrastructure including roads, parks, and schools, at a lower interest rate, which will bring savings to our taxpayers. It's a sign of great management and leadership, and Standard & Poor's has given us its highest grade. I'm pleased to have been one of the presenters, and I’m thrilled with the outcome.” 
 
Commissioner Bobby Rucci (District 4) said, “The ‘AAA’ rating from Standard & Poor's is great news for the taxpayers.  We have county staff to thank, as well as the citizens who understand the hard decisions we had to make to keep vital services ongoing without the need to raise taxes this year.”
 
“The Standard & Poor’s upgrade to a ‘AAA’ rating is very rewarding. I compare it to receiving an ‘A ’ from your teacher on a school assignment. It is a very positive recognition from an expert evaluation of many factors, including our economy, debt structure, financial condition, demographics, and management practices. The Standard & Poor’s upgrade accompanies our other ‘AAA’ rating from Fitch. The ratings continue to show the financial markets that our bonds are a good investment. On a personal note, I am very delighted Standard & Poor’s recognized the hard work and valuable assets of our community,” said Dave Eicholtz, director of Fiscal and Administrative Services.

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