In a sure sign that fall is here, watermen in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore today are kicking off the beginning of the six-month oyster harvest season.
“As the weather cools, the transition from harvesting blue crabs to oysters begins and we are again reminded of the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay and how it helps define us as Marylanders,” said DNR Secretary Joe Gill. “It is our responsibility to be good stewards and ensure that this tradition is protected for generations to come.”
Maryland has 1,100 licensed oyster harvesters. For the first month of the season, only hand tonging, patent tonging and diving are permitted. Power dredging season begins on Nov. 1, when harvest activity rises dramatically.
Last season was a banner one for Maryland’s watermen, who harvested a total of 422,382 bushels with a dockside value of $14 million â the highest in at least 15 years. In addition, the 2013 Fall Oyster Survey indicated that the oyster population is continuing to increase, more than doubling since 2010 to reach its highest point since this type of monitoring began in 1985.
However, from a harvest of 15 million bushels in 1884, this population has dropped precipitously and since 1994 has languished at one percent of historic levels. The Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population historically supported a robust commercial fishery that was believed to have filtered the entire volume of the Bay’s water every few days.
The 2010 Oyster Recovery Plan championed by Governor O’Malley provided a blueprint to rebuild and protect Maryland’s oyster population â and its vital ecological functions â and bolster the industry it once supported.
That plan contained a vigorous law enforcement strategy that combined customary water patrols, aerial and radar surveillance, and inspection of wholesale and retail establishments. Violators can expect that their cases will be heard in district court before a judge well-versed in natural resources law.
“Last season once again demonstrated the benefit of having our officers, the State Police aviation unit, Office of the Attorney General and our District Court judges working in concert,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “As a result, NRP officers issued 131 citations and 160 warnings for offenses, ranging from possession of undersized oysters to harvesting in protected areas.”
Saturation patrols targeted known poaching hot spots and areas set aside as oyster sanctuaries. NRP officers flew as observers on State Police helicopters 17 times during the season to monitor compliance and protect sanctuaries. Already this year, the law enforcement partnership has resulted in the arrest of two watermen for illegally clamming on natural oyster beds in Eastern Bay.
The further refinement of the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN) â a network of radar-and-cameras â has enhanced the ability of NRP officers to monitor and track illegal activities.
Tougher penalties, authorized by the General Assembly, have created a “one and done” revocation process for the most egregious offenders and increased the penalty for engaging in commercial fishing with a suspended license, a revoked license or without a license, by establishing a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
Maryland State Police Prince Frederick is asking for the public's assistance in finding a missing 17 year old teen age girl. Tyree Tyquonna Nolan was last seen on Monday in Lusby. She was last seen wearing black/green skirt, gray or blue pullover sweater, carring red handbag with black strap and white lettering. If located contact Maryland State Police at 410-535-1400 refer to 14-MSP-031831.
Calvert County Crime Solvers and the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for theft and damage to six vehicles parked outside a business on Investment Court in Owings on September 23 between 3:30 and 4:30 in the morning. The suspect(s) broke windows and door handles to gain access to the inside of the vehicles to steal radios, batteries, cables and instrument clusters. The total amount of damage and theft is $1,850.
Citizens with information on this crime or any criminal activity in Calvert County who wish to report it anonymously can now access the Calvert County Crime Solvers link at www.CalvertCountySheriff.us or by calling 410-535-2880.
If the information leads to an arrest and conviction, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.
A number of new laws—involving everything from marijuana to online shopping—will take today in Maryland.
Possessing small amounts of marijuana will no longer be a crime. People caught with 10 grams of pot or less will only face a fine—no more than $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for the second or third. The new law is designed to let police focus on higher-priority crimes. However, the possession of paraphernalia will still be a criminal offense.
Also starting today, transgender people in Maryland will have protection against discrimination related to housing, employment, credit and the use of public restrooms.
The law defines gender identity as the gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth. The law says gender identity is demonstrated as "consistent and uniform assertion of the person's gender identity or any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the person's core identity."
People who commit domestic violence in front of a child face an added penalty of up to five years in prison. The standard of evidence for obtaining a final protective order will be reduced from clear and convincing evidence to a preponderance of evidence.
Maryland consumers who shop online at Amazon.com will start paying a 6-percent sales tax. The online retail giant now has a physical presence in the state—a massive new distribution center in southeast Baltimore, requiring Amazon to start collecting sales tax in Maryland.
If you’re gabbing on your cell phone while driving in Maryland, the penalty is going up today; police will be able to pull you over and ticket you as a primary offense. Up until now, talking on a hand-held cell phone was a secondary offense; police had to stop you for another violation first. The fine goes up from $40 to $75 for a first-time offense, but no points are assessed.
Drivers will have to move into an open lane away from tow trucks attending to roadside emergencies. That new law is in addition to the Move Over law that's already on the books.
The Calvert County Health Department is offering three free rabies vaccination clinics during the month of October. The clinics will be held from 10am to 12pm on:
Saturday, October 4th at Northern High School
Saturday, October 18th at Huntingtown High School
Saturday, October 25th at Patuxent High School
Cats, dogs, and ferrets must be in a carrier or on leash and muzzled, if necessary. The clinics are open air with no special facilities to vaccinate animals that cannot be restrained, such as feral or stray animals, by the owner.
To get a 3-year rabies shot, owners should bring proof of prior vaccination. Calvert County pet licenses will also be available with proof that animals have been spayed/neutered.
For more information, call the Calvert County Health Department at 410-535-5400 or 410-535-3922. Visit online at www.calverthealth.org.
Any citizen, group, or organization interested in submitting a legislative proposal or suggestion for revision or amendment to an existing state law should submit a written request by Tuesday, Oct. 14 to:
Office of the County Attorney
P.O. Box 2150
La Plata, MD 20646
The Charles County Commissioners have established the time guidelines for the preparation of their 2015 General Assembly Legislative Package. Each proposal requiring Maryland General Assembly enactment will be included in a preliminary package available for distribution on Friday, Oct. 17 and presented to the County Commissioners at a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. Anyone submitting a proposal will be asked to attend the hearing to provide a brief synopsis of the initiative and answer questions.
A preliminary work session is scheduled tentatively for Tuesday, Oct. 28 to review the proposals and determine which ones will be included in the County Commissioners’ 2015 General Assembly Legislative Package and forwarded to the Charles County Delegation for consideration.
For more information, call the Office of the County Attorney at 301-645-0555. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division executed a search and seizure warrant in reference to this crime at a residence in Charles County, Maryland, belonging to one of the suspects charged with the robbery. Additional property, which had been stolen during the robbery, was recovered from the residence.
Several of the stolen items belonged to the 95 year old victim's late husband and had enormous sentimental value.
"We could never take away what happened to these two innocent victims, but we hope getting important items back for them helps them move forward. Detectives working the case, felt strongly about recovering the property stolen from the 95 year old victim. Some of these items belonged to her husband and could never be replaced. Detectives work hard to close every case assigned to them, however there is a certain amount of extra job satisfaction when suspects like these are put in jail and we can return important personal property to the victims" -- Captain Terry L. Black, Commander, Criminal Investigations Division.
On September 5, 2014, detectives arrested three suspects responsible for the burglary to an occupied residence on Town Creek Dr., Lexington Park, Md. Information was obtained during the investigation a former caretaker had recently been terminated from employment and may have been involved in the incident. The employee, Jessica L. Johnson was located at a hotel in Charles County and a search and seizure warrant was executed by CID detectives at that location. Following the execution of the search and seizure warrant, information was obtained indicating property stolen from the burglary was being stored at a residence in Newburg, Maryland. A separate search and seizure warrant was executed at that residence with assistance from detectives from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Items related to the burglary were located at the residence.
Jessica L. Johnson, age 24, of Mechanicsville, Md., Johnny B. Young, Jr., age 27, of no fixed address and William J. Gross, age 60 of Newburg were arrested and each was charged with 1st Degree Burglary, Armed Robbery, Unlawful Detention, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, 1st Degree Assault, 2nd Degree Assault and Theft $1,000 to $10,000. The suspects were transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center and incarcerated pending an appearance before the District Court Commissioner.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE: 9-4-14
Lexington Park, Maryland - On September 4, 2014 at 3:10 AM, Sheriff’s Office patrol units responded to a private residence on Town creek Dr., for a reported Burglary which had just occurred. Deputies determined three suspects, dressed in all black clothing and wearing masks had entered an occupied residence through a window. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun. Once inside, the suspects tied the victim’s hands and feet together and stole personal items from the residence before fleeing the scene. One of the victim's was able to free herself and call 9 1 1. A second elderly female victim was transported to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital for precautionary reasons and was not injured in the incident.
Leonardtown, MD – Important deadlines for the upcoming 2014 Gubernatorial General Election are approaching. The deadline to register to vote, change party affiliation, update an address and request an alternate polling place for the November 4 election is Tuesday, October 14 at 9 p.m.
To vote in the upcoming general election, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not yet registered, including 17 year olds who will be 18 years old or older on or before the November 4 General Election, must register by 9 p.m. on October 14. This is also the last day for registered voters to update their address with the board of elections or change their party affiliation.
St. Mary’s County residents with a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID may register to vote, change their address or change their party affiliation online at https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/OnlineVoterRegistration. Voters and members of the military, their spouses and dependents who are overseas and who do not have a Maryland driver’s license or MVA-issued ID may also register or change their address or party affiliation using different identifying information.
Paper voter registration applications must be hand delivered or mailed to the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections. A hand-delivered application must be received by the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections by 9 p.m. on October 14 and a mailed application must be postmarked by October 14.
Voter registration applications are available throughout Maryland at the following locations:
Local boards of elections
Motor Vehicle Administration offices
State Department of Health offices
Local Department of Social Services offices
Offices on Aging
Public institutions of higher education
Division of Rehabilitation Services Public institutions of higher education Marriage license bureaus
State Board of Elections
You may also call 1-800-222-8683 to request an application by mail or download and print a voter registration application at www.elections.maryland.gov/voter_registration/application.html.
Most of Maryland’s polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities. An elderly voter or voter with a disability who is assigned to an inaccessible polling place may ask to be reassigned to an accessible polling place. This request must be submitted in writing by 9 p.m. on October 14. The request form is available online at www.elections.maryland.gov/pdf/request_for_accessible_polling_place.pdf or by calling 1-800-222-8683 to request a form by mail. On receipt of a timely request, the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections will review the request and determine whether there is an accessible polling place with the same ballots the voter’s home precinct and notify the voter of the status of his or her request.
To verify voter registration status or to find out if an assigned polling place is accessible, voters may visit https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch.
The 2014 Gubernatorial General Election is Tuesday, November 4. Beginning Thursday, October 23 through (and including) Thursday, October 30, voters may vote in person between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the designated early voting center(s) in their county or residence. The early voting site for St. Mary’s County will be Room 14 inside the Potomac Building, at the Governmental Center, 23115 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown. Information about early voting centers and early voting in general is available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early_voting.html.
For more information, voters may contact the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections at 301-475-7844, ext. 1100 or the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-VOTE (8683) or visit www.elections.maryland.gov.
THEFTS: On Sept. 30, during the early morning hours, unknown suspect(s) stole items from several unlocked cars in the 2400 block of Pimpernel Drive in Waldorf. Officer K. Barry is investigating.
THEFT: Between Sept. 29 to Sept. 30, unknown suspect(s) stole a large amount of cable which was lying on the ground near Crain Highway and Billingsley Road in White Plains. PFC R. Walls is investigating.
OFFICERS ARREST THEFT SUSPECTS: On Sept. 29 at 6:15 p.m., Officer A. Duckett and PFC D. Walker responded to the 3200 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf for the report of suspicious activity behind a shopping center. When they arrived, the officers located two people who were in possession of a large amount of clothes, valued at more than $400, which had just been stolen from a nearby store. Through further investigation, the officers learned the suspects were responsible for the thefts. Justin Lontay Johnson, 19, of Indian Head was charged via a citation with theft. Darmarius Leon Smothers, 25, of Indian Head was transported to the Charles County Detention Center where he was charged with theft and possession with intent to distribute marijuana after the officers found suspected marijuana in his duffle bag. PFC D. Walker 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.
Residents are encouraged to attend an informational public meeting to discuss the sewage sludge utilization permit for Residents are encouraged to attend an informational public meeting to discuss the sewage sludge utilization permit for the Malcolm area. The meeting will be held at Malcolm Elementary School (14760 Poplar Hill Road, Waldorf) on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. Representatives from Synagro, Charles County Department of Health, Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Charles County Environmental Program will be present to address questions and concerns.
For more information, contact Charles Rice, environmental program manager at 301-645-0651 or RiceC@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
(St. Mary’s County, MD) On September 29, 2014 at 2209 hrs, Troopers from the Leonardtown Barrack responded to the AMC Lowes Theatres, 21882 F.D. Roosevelt Blvd., Lexington Park, St. Mary's Co., MD for a reported robbery.
When Troopers arrived on the scene, they made contact with the manager of AMC Lowes Theatre. Investigation revealed the manager was walking to her vehicle when she was approached by an African American male with dreadlocks and a ski mask. The suspect brandished a handgun and ordered her back into the movie theater. The suspect obtained an undisclosed amount of currency and fled from the scene.
Investigators from Criminal Enforcement Division-Central South Region responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.
Any witnesses, or anyone having information relating to possible suspect and/or suspect vehicle information, are urged to contact TFC Eric Reuschling of the Maryland State Police – Criminal Enforcement Division at 301-475-8955 or 410-535-1400.
The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office took a motor vehicle theft report on September 5th for the 2006 Subaru Legacy. The vehicle was found at a pond located off of Yowaski Mill Road burned as a result of arson. Anyone with information about the theft or arson is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal's Office @ 443-550-6835. The estimated total loss of the vehicle was $15,000.
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 30, 2014 – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and the Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board announce the opening of the application period for the county’s Purchase and Retirement Fund program. Through the program, Transferable Development Rights are purchased, retired and permanently removed from the market to protect farmland from development.
Applications are accepted from the owners of Agricultural Preservation Districts and ranked by an established formula. The purchase price approved by the BOCC is $3,750 per Transferable Development Right.
The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. Applications are available on the county website under Forms in the Community Planning and Building section. Completed applications should be sent to Community Planning and Building, Attention-Veronica Cristo, 150 Main St., Prince Frederick, MD 20639 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fiscal Year 2015 county budget includes $1.25 million for the Purchase and Retirement Fund. More than $500,000 of the total comes from the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, with $200,000 from agricultural transfer taxes dedicated to land preservation. Remaining funds come from the prior year land preservation fund balance; none are taken from the county’s General Fund.
The Purchase and Retirement Fund program is part of Calvert County’s longstanding effort to preserve agricultural land. The county has preserved more than 28,000 acres of productive farms and forests over the past 30 years.
To learn more about the Purchase and Retirement Fund program, contact Rural Planner Veronica Cristo of the Department of Community Planning and Building at 410-535-1600, ext. 2489, or email email@example.com.
Daniel Patrick Evans (Age 27 of Piney Point, Md.) was indicted and charged for “Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute”.
A search and seizure warrant was executed on a California, Maryland home after detectives identified that location as a distribution point for cocaine. Suspects Anthony Tyrone Harvey aka “Ty” (Age 28) and Charles Kevin Niles (Age 41) were arrested after cocaine, marijuana and digital scales were recovered from the residence.
Paul Thomas Coup (Age 44 of Great Mills) was indicted and charged for “Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person”.
Reginald Delante Thomas (Age 23 of Great Mills) was identified by detectives as a distributor of cocaine. Several undercover purchases of cocaine were made from suspect Thomas. He was indicted and charged with multiple counts of “Distribution of Cocaine”.
California, Maryland - The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public's help with identifying the suspect pictured below. On Monday, September 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM, the suspect used the victim’s stolen credit card to make a purchase in the Marshalls Store located at 22599 MacArthur Boulevard.
The suspect is a thin black female wearing a Chicago Bulls #1 jersey, a pink ball cap, with dark reddish colored hair. Anyone with information as to the identity of the suspect or about the crime in general is asked to call Corporal D. Corcoran at 301.475.4200 x 9011. Case #49612-14.
1st DEGREE ASSAULT – On September 29, 2014, Corporal O’Connor responded to a residence on Heather Street in Great Mills, for a reported stabbing. Corporal O’Connor observed a wound on the victim’s arm consistent with having been cut with a sharp object; however the victim was initially uncooperative. Further investigation revealed the victim and suspect, identified as Felix Alexander Gillis, 34, of Great Mills, were arguing when the victim threw a can of wood stain at Gillis. Gillis allegedly then attacked the victim, cutting the victim on the arm with a knife. Gillis was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. He was charged with 1st and 2nd Degree Assault.
1st DEGREE ASSAULT – On September 30, 2014, Deputy Lawrence responded to Bridgette Lane in Lexington Park, for a reported assault. The investigation revealed suspect Frankie Lee Russell, 18, of California, started a fight with two victims. Russell produced a knife during the fight and cut one of the victim’s on the hand. He swung the knife at the second victim, cutting him on the chest. Russell was placed under arrest and charged with 2 COUNTS of 1st Degree Assault and 2 COUNTS of 2nd Degree Assault.
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – Sept. 30, 2014 – The Calvert County, Md., Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is pleased to learn about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of the proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project slated for Dominion’s Lusby, Md., LNG terminal.
FERC’s order approving the project was announced Sept. 29, 2014. The order clears the way for an expansion allowing the facility to receive a portion of surplus U.S. natural gas supplies and liquefy it for export to overseas customers.
The BOCC recognizes the major economic impact the Dominion Cove Point liquefaction project will have on the county, state and nation. The liquefaction project promises to bring thousands of temporary construction jobs during the peak of construction activity and, once in operation, more than 70 permanent new jobs.
The Cove Point facility has been a partner and asset in Calvert County for more than 30 years and has exercised outstanding environmental stewardship and a commitment to the community. The full BOCC welcomes the liquefaction project as a strong complement to the county’s economic development efforts.
Dominion Cove Point is owned and operated by Dominion Resources and has been in operation since 1978. Dominion Cove Point is the only LNG import, and soon to be export, facility in the state of Maryland. We will continue to work with Dominion to ensure that safety remains paramount in our community.
“We are pleased that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved Dominion’s proposal, which promises to be one of Maryland’s largest economic development projects” said BOCC President Pat Nutter. “The Board of County Commissioners recognizes the important role that FERC and many other federal, state and local agencies will play in ensuring this facility is built to the strictest industry standards. We appreciate FERC’s thorough, open review process and look forward to working with Dominion as the project moves ahead.”
Monday, Dominion welcomed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval to site, construct, and operate the Cove Point LNG liquefaction and export project.
"We are pleased to receive this final approval that allows us to start constructing this important project that offers significant economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits," said Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy. "This order is based on more than two years of thorough, exhaustive analysis by FERC along with numerous other federal and state agencies. It also reflects a robust public input process. Dominion is dedicated to constructing a safe, secure, environmentally compatible and reliable export facility."
Dominion must review and accept the order. Upon completion of that review, the company expects to file an implementation plan describing how it will comply with the conditions set forth in the order. Dominion expects to ask the FERC for a "Notice to Proceed" at that time and plans to begin construction when the notice is received. This process – from Dominion review through FERC's notice – is expected to take several weeks.
The construction of the export project, which is estimated to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, will create thousands of skilled construction jobs, 75 permanent jobs and an additional $40 million in annual tax revenue to Calvert County. Other economic benefits included millions of dollars of new revenues for Maryland and the federal government as well as a reduction in the nation's trade deficit by billions of dollars annually.
With its June 2012 pre-filing application, Dominion notified the FERC that it was planning to add export capability at its Cove Point terminal in Lusby, Md. The FERC has been researching and analyzing the proposal since then. Dominion filed its application in April 2013 and, with supplemental filings, it now totals more than 21,000 pages. In May, the FERC issued a 241-page environmental assessment of the project that showed it can be built safely and operated safely with no significant impact to the environment.
The proposed export facility will be within the 131-acre footprint of the existing LNG terminal site, which has been in Calvert County on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay for nearly 40 years. No new pipelines or storage tanks are needed at the facility.
"Cove Point has been a good neighbor to the region and to the Chesapeake Bay for almost four decades and we expect that record to continue," Leopold said. "Initially, Cove Point helped the United States overcome what was then an energy shortage. Now that our nation is developing a burgeoning surplus of natural gas, Cove Point can help send a small portion of that surplus to allied nation's looking for stable supplies of clean energy, supporting economic development and replacing coal as a fuel."
Cove Point is the fourth liquefied natural gas export project to receive approval to site, construct and operate. It is the first such project on the U.S. East Coast.
Dominion has fully subscribed the marketed capacity of the project with 20-year service agreements with ST Cove Point, LLC, a joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation, a Japanese corporation that is one of the world's leading trading companies, and Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., a Japanese corporation that is the largest natural gas utility in Japan; and GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a wholly owned indirect U.S. subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited, one of the largest natural gas processing and distributing companies in India.
IHI/Kiewit Cove Point, a joint venture between IHI E&C International Corporation of Houston and Kiewit Corporation of Omaha, Neb., is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the new liquefaction facilities.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation, 10,900 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 10 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
PHILADELPHIA Â The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded today $2,012,904 to help public housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents in Maryland connect with local services to improve their education and employment, placing them on a path to self-sufficiency.
Funded through HUDÂs Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program, these grants allow public housing authorities (PHAs) to work with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses and other local partners to help public housing residents and individuals participating in HUDÂs Housing Choice Voucher Program increase their education or gain marketable skills that will lead to employment. In 2014, Congress combined funding for the Public Housing FSS (PH FSS) and Housing Choice Voucher FSS (HCV FSS) programs into one program serving both populations.
In Maryland, the following recipients have been awarded funding. See the national list.
Housing Authority of Baltimore City: $409,595
Housing Opportunities Commission: $550,371
Hagerstown Housing Authority: $149,526
Rockville Housing Enterprises: $56,936
Havre De Grace Housing Authority: $68,424
The Housing Authority of Prince George's County: $102,637
The Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County: $194,623
Housing Authority of St. Mary's County, Maryland: $44,672
Howard County Housing Commission: $60,550
Harford County Housing Agency: $27,883
The Housing Authority of Washington County: $31,049
Cecil County Housing Agency: $51,600
Commissioners of Carroll County: $53,627
Baltimore, County of: $173,826
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development: $37,585
As HUD approaches its 50th anniversary next year, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including helping families and individuals secure quality housing by connecting housing efforts to education and job opportunities.
HUD connects folks to opportunity,Â said Castro. ÂThese grants will link people to the computer access, financial literacy, job training, childcare and other tools they need to compete and succeed in the workplace. Every American deserves access to the skills and resources necessary to become self-sufficient.Â
With $6.3 million in funding being awarded to housing authorities in the Mid-Atlantic region, public housing residents will be better equipped to improve their knowledge, skills and abilities for greater financial independence,Â said Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator of HUDÂs Mid-Atlantic region.
Participants in the program sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and no longer receive cash welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. As the familyÂs income rises, a portion of that increased income is deposited into an interest-bearing escrow account. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds, which can be used for any purposeÂincluding improving credit scores, paying educational expenses or a down-payment on a home. More information on the FSS program can be found here.
The FSS Program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants. HUDÂs Office of Policy Development and Research issued Evaluation of FSS Program: Prospective Study in 2011, which evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study showed financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain in and complete the program. An earlier study found that individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD is currently conducting a longitudinal study on the program, with the first set of results expected in 2018.
Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Russell Edward Johnson, age 23, of Lusby, Maryland, today on charges of drug distribution, including one count of distribution of heroin resulting in death.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; and Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin.
“Heroin is quickly becoming the drug of choice, leaving in its wake countless victims who have succumbed to heroin related overdoses, and in some cases, death. Today, Mr. Johnson is charged with supplying heroin, causing the ultimate, tragic death of an innocent person. Heroin has claimed another casualty: a victim that could have been your brother, your father, or a friend,” said Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division. “This investigation was a collaborative effort of DEA and the United States Attorney’s Office, Calvert County Sheriff’s Department and the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office. Together we send a message that drug dealers will pay the price for their acts. DEA will use all resources at its disposal to investigate and arrest those individuals whose only motivation is greed and who carry with them a complete disregard for human life.”
The four count indictment alleges that on April 10, 2013, Johnson possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute and that on July 11 and July 18, 2013, Johnson distributed heroin. Finally, the indictment alleges that on July 18, 2013, Johnson distributed heroin and a person died as a result of using that heroin.
Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison for distribution of heroin resulting in death; and a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the two counts of distribution of heroin and for possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute. An initial appearance has not yet been scheduled. Johnson is currently detained on related state charges.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, and Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Ridge of the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office, for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Arun G. Rao and Daniel C. Gardner, who are prosecuting the case.