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Possession of Nucynta Tapentadol & Marijuana:  On 5/23/16 at 4:33 pm, Trooper First Class Costello stopped a vehicle on Rt. 4 near Calvert Beach Rd. in St. Leonard for traffic violations.  Timothy J. McClanahan, 24 of Prince Frederick displayed numerous criminal indicators and a K9 scan was requested.  The K9 scan resulted in a positive alert for the presence of narcotics and a search was conducted.  Several Nucynta Tapentadol pills were located, for which McClanahan did not have a prescription, and marijuana was located.  McClanahan was arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.
 
Burglary, Theft, Destruction of Property:  On 5/23/16 at 6:37 pm, Trooper First Class Newcomer responded to the 5400 block of Cherry Hill Rd. in Huntingtown for a reported burglary.  The victim reported that a trailer on the work site had been forcibly entered and several tools were missing.  Investigation continues.
 
Assault of Law Enforcement Officer / Disorderly / Resisting Arrest / Destruction of Property:  On 5/24/16 at 10:34 pm, Trooper First Class Costello responded to the WAWA in Prince Frederick for a reported disorderly person.  Upon arrival he observed two people causing a disturbance yelling profanities at each other.  Antonio M. Davis, 23 of North Beach was ordered to stop walking away.  Davis refused to obey a lawful order and after a brief struggle, was taken into custody, arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.  The other subject involved was arrested by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Officers and taken to the Calvert County Detention Center.
 
Possession of Marijuana over 10 grams:  On 5/25/16 at 7:41 am, Trooper First Class Barlow and Trooper Backus stopped a vehicle on Rousby Hall Rd. in Lusby for traffic violations.  The strong odor of raw marijuana was emitting from inside the vehicle.  A search was performed and 28.3 grams of marijuana were located.  Lindsey L. Green, 27 of Lusby was arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.  
 
Possession of THC Wax, Oxycodone & Marijuana:  On 5/25/16 at 11:36 pm, Trooper Warrick stopped a vehicle for traffic violations on Rt. 4 north of Hospital Dr. in Prince Frederick.  A K9 scan was requested due to multiple criminal indicators observed.  After a positive K9 alert, a search was conducted and THC wax and marijuana were located.  During a secondary search, Oxycodone was found in the front pocket of the subject’s shorts.  Steven L. Castillo, 25 of Lusby was arrested and incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.
 
Disorderly Conduct:  On 5/29/16 at 12:37 am, Trooper Warrick responded to the Holiday Inn in Solomons for a reported disorderly subject.  Paul E. Flood, 46 of Fairfax, VA was observed being disruptive to the patrons at the hotel bar and starting fights.  After he became uncooperative and was observed preventing others from getting onto a bus, he was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication.  He was incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.
 

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(Columbia, MD)  Maryland State Police investigators from the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) arrested a St. Mary’s County man on sexual solicitation related felony charges yesterday.
 
The accused is identified as Joseph Hall, Jr., 31, of the 37000 block of New Market Road in Charlotte Hall, Maryland.  Hall was arrested yesterday at 7:30 a.m. without incident.  He is charged with the sexual solicitation of a law enforcement officer posing as a minor.  Upon conviction, Hall faces up to ten years imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines.
 
 On Sunday, May 29, 2016, the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted a proactive operation involving the online sexual solicitation of minors.  During the covert operation Hall communicated online with an undercover police officer posing as a minor. He made statements expressing a desire to meet the minor and engage in sexual activity.  
 
On Monday, May 30, 2016, Hall traveled to an undisclosed location in St. Mary’s County for the encounter.  Shortly after 7:30 a.m. during the operation, Hall was arrested without incident and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center for processing. Investigators from the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit and state troopers from the Field Operations Bureau conducted the covert operation.
 
The Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is organized under the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Section. The task force is comprised of police agencies from around the state and its primary mission is to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation. The Task Force works cooperatively with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to provide resources to combat these crimes. Additionally, the Task Force provides community awareness campaigns helping to prevent the spread of these crimes through education.
Joseph Hall, 31 of Charlotte Hall

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On May 30, 2016, at approximately 2:22 p.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a serious motor vehicle collision on Mechanicsville Road in the area of Gander Court.  Units arrived on scene to find two vehicles involved in a head-on style collision.  Due to the severity of injuries, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Collision Reconstruction Unit was requested.
 
A preliminary investigation determined a 2013 Hyundai Accent, operated by Kellie Murphy, age 19, of Mechanicsville, was traveling northbound on Mechanicsville Road, when for unknown reasons the vehicle crossed the center line and struck a 2010 Toyota Sienna, operated by Joseph Thomas, age 72, of Mechanicsville. The Hyundai was occupied by two other passengers, Bryce Hurry, age 20, of Chaptico and Jeffrey Townsend, age 18, of Mechanicsville.  The Toyota was occupied by one passenger, Ann Thomas, age 68, of Mechanicsville.  At this time, it is believed the primary cause of the collision is interference from a passenger in the Hyundai.
 
Both operators and all passengers were transported to area hospitals for treatment. Bryce Hurry remains in critical condition.  
 
Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to contact Corporal Brandon Foor at 301-475-4040. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 31, 2016) – Sheriff Franchot, a.k.a. Comptroller Peter Franchot, and his trusted steed Abacus are hitting the trail in search of the rightful owners of abandoned bank accounts, security deposits, insurance benefits, and safe deposit boxes. They’re planning stops with agency staff at local fairs and festivals this summer and fall to help reunite Marylanders with Unclaimed Property accounts worth more than $1 billion.
“I’m saddling up Abacus and we’re riding out to find Marylanders to reunite them with money owed to them,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Right now, my office has more than one million accounts worth more than $1 billion.”  
Last summer, more than 4,200 people discovered and received more than $485,500 in unclaimed funds after visiting the agency’s booth at fairs and festivals. One visitor to the Maryland State Fair discovered an unexpected windfall of $13,204. There were similar occurrences at the Montgomery County Fair, where someone found $23,036, and at the 50 Expo in Howard County, where an attendee claimed $35,186.
Each spring, a list of new accounts is published and distributed in local newspapers statewide. Taking a creative approach to raising awareness about the Unclaimed Property program, Comptroller Franchot appears on this year’s cover of the insert as Sheriff Franchot. Alongside him in a promotional video is his trusted quarter horse, Abacus, heading out throughout the state in search of Unclaimed Property recipients.
Financial institutions, insurance companies and corporations are required by law to notify the Comptroller’s Office of any property that has gone unclaimed, or without activity, for more than three years. Once reported to the agency, staff works to locate the rightful owners to match them with their property. Funds are available to be claimed at any time, with no statute of limitations.
 
In Fiscal Year 2015, the Comptroller's Office honored nearly 56,000 claims totaling more than $66 million. Since 2007, the Comptroller’s Office has returned more than $450 million in Unclaimed Property. To search the Unclaimed Property database online, visit www.marylandtaxes.com.

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Toward Zero Deaths Maryland has begun a statewide initiative to promote seatbelt safety and enforce seatbelt laws through the “Click-it or Ticket Campaign”. As part of the effort to educate people on the dangers of riding in or operating a motor vehicle without wearing a seatbelt, Sheriff Troy Berry said the Charles County Sheriff’s Office will conduct special enforcement operations looking for drivers or passengers who violate this law.
On May 25 between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., the CCSO Traffic Operations Unit conducted a Border-to-Border Seatbelt initiative with the Calvert County Sheriff's Office. The Traffic Operations Unit observed and stopped vehicles on the west side of the Benedict Bridge. As a result of the two hour initiative, officers stopped 20 vehicles, issued 14 warnings, 7 citations and arrested 2 suspended drivers. The Calvert County Sheriff's Office contacted 24 vehicles on the east side of the Benedict Bridge and issued 21 citations and warnings. The CCSO is committed to keeping our roadways safe. Additional enforcement, which is supported by a grant, will take place in the coming weeks.   

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On May 25, 2016, at approximately 3:30 p.m., officers responded to Myrtle Point Park in California, for the report of underage drinking and fighting on the beach. While responding to the scene, a witness called 911 advising multiple suspects were breaking into motor vehicles and stealing property. Upon arriving on the scene, Cpl. James Stone observed two of the suspects inside a vehicle and determined it to be one they had broken into earlier. Stone attempted to detain them at which time, one suspect ran and a foot chase ensued. Maryland State Police Trooper Evan Krenik detained the second suspect, Christian Jamal White, age 20, of Waldorf, who remained at the vehicle.
 
Sgt. Clay Safford gave chase and apprehended a 17-year-old male suspect from Waldorf, MD
 
In their possession were a large amount of small plastic containers containing suspected marijuana and multiple suspected Alprazolam tablets, in addition to suspected stolen property—including cell phones. 
 
Further investigation revealed, a total of six suspects. One of the six suspects stole an iPhone off a beach towel, and all of the suspect(s) were witnessed selling suspected marijuana.
 
Two additional suspects Damon Lamont Pleasant Jr, age 18, of Waldorf, MD, and Jelonnie Dujuan Johnson, age 19 of Waldorf, MD, were located a short time later by DFC Vince Pontorno in the same area. Johnson initially provided a false name and identification to DFC Pontorno.
 
A fifth suspect, a 17 year-old-juvenile, was located later at Elms Beach in St. James. In his possession were materials indicating he was selling narcotics out of his bookbag.
 
All five suspects were arrested and charged with various criminal and drug offenses. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public's help locating the sixth suspect, who deputies believe was operating a dark colored Honda Civic at the time of thefts.
 
Deputies recovered multiple stolen items believed to have been taken from a minimum of six vehicles and returned them to their owners. However, there is still stolen property which has not been claimed.
 
Deputies believe the suspects are responsible for additional thefts from motor vehicles and beach towels at Myrtle Point Park. If you believe you have been a victim of theft or have additional information, please contact Corporal James Stone at James.Stone@stmarysmd.com or 301- 997-8531.
 
Anyone with information is asked to call CRIME SOLVERS at 301.475.3333 or text a tip to "TIP239" plus your message to "CRIMES" (274637).
Or call the #SMCSO Duty Officer at 301.475.8008
 
St. Mary's County CRIME SOLVERS offers rewards up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary's County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
 
Calls to CRIME SOLVERS are NOT RECORDED.
CALLERS CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

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On May 28, 2016 at 9:00 p.m., deputies from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office responded to the report of an ATV collision on Fresh Pond Neck Road.  Officers arrived on scene and dsicovered the ATV in a grassy area on the side of the road.  The driver and passenger both had serious injuries and were transported to Prince George's Hospital. Due to the seriousness of the injuries, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Collision Reconstruction Unit was requested.    
Preliminary investigation determined the ATV was operated by Thomas Edward Dean III, age 19, of Scotland.  He was traveling westbound on Fresh Pond Neck Road when for unknown reasons he lost control.  Dean and the juvenile passenger were ejected from the ATV.  Neither party was wearing a helmet and both were seriously injured.
 
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Deputy First Class Christopher Beyer #246 at 240-925-5313.

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PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the naval air
station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place Tuesday, May 31 – Thursday, June 2, 2016 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
Pilots at PAX will be training for realistic flight scenarios including Field Carrier Landing Practice
(FCLP). FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. Landing on an aircraft carrier is perhaps the most difficult task in military aviation. It is a highly complex and perishable skill, and requires intense period of training before pilots deploy. FCLP training is critical for Navy pilots to learn to safely conduct landing patterns in as realistic conditions as possible. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing
activities on the community. For more information call 1-866-819-9028

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Calvert County Government Memorial Day Closures

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners announces that county offices will be closed Monday, May 30, 2016, in observance of Memorial Day. In addition:

·         The county senior centers will be closed and Meals on Wheels will not be delivered.

·         There will be no county bus service.

·         Calvert Library locations will be closed Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30.

·         Mt. Hope, Southern, Harriet Brown and Northeast community centers will be closed May 30.

·         The Appeal Landfill and county convenience centers will be closed May 30.

·         Battle Creek Cypress Swamp will be closed May 30.

·         Chesapeake Hills Golf Course will be open May 30 with normal hours.

·         The Calvert Marine Museum will be open May 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

·         Flag Ponds Nature Park and Kings Landing Park will be open with normal park hours.

·         Kings Landing Pool will open for the season Saturday, May 28 at noon and Cove Point Pool will open for the season Monday, May 30 at 11 a.m.

·         Edward T. Hall Indoor Aquatic Center will be open with normal hours May 30.

 

Charles County Government May Holiday Schedule

The Charles County Commissioners wish to remind residents of changes to normal operating schedules for the month of May.  All offices, facilities, and services not listed will be operating their normal hours.

Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day)

All Charles County Government offices and the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville will be closed.

The Charles County Landfill and Recycling Center on Billingsley Road in Waldorf, and the Pisgah Recycling Center on Route 425 in Pisgah will be closed.

Curbside recycling and yard waste collection will be delayed one day for the entire week, Tuesday, May 31 through Saturday, June 4.

VanGO services will not be operating.

The Nanjemoy Community Center, senior centers, Port Tobacco Recreation Center, and all school based community centers are closed.

Lackey, Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center, and North Point High indoor pools will be open from 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Charles County Public Library is closed (All branches - Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30)

Charles County Health Department is closed.

For questions about County Government holiday closures, contact the Public Information Office at 301-885-2779 or PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.govPressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov.  Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

 

Memorial Day Closures for St. Mary’s County Government Offices

All St. Mary’s County Government Administrative Offices will be closed Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 31.

 The St. Andrews Landfill, six (6) Convenience Centers and St. Mary's Transit System (STS) will be closed Monday, May 30. The Landfill, Convenience Centers and STS System will be open for normal business hours the day before and day after the observed holiday.

All three St. Mary’s County library locations and all Senior Activity Centers will be closed and there will be no Meals on Wheels deliveries on Monday, May 30. All will resume their normal operating schedules on Tuesday, May 31.

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On Monday, officers charged two commercial fishermen with crabbing violations after checking the area near Hills Point in Dorchester County.
 
Windy Karpavage, 63, of Taylors Island, was charged with setting five crab pots in a restricted area.
 
John R. Abner, 52, of Chesapeake Beach, was charged with setting 37 crab pots in a restricted area.
 
They are scheduled to appear in Dorchester District Court on July 20. If found guilty, each fisherman could be fined up to $1,000

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The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Maryland State Police, will conduct enhanced impaired driving initiatives surrounding Memorial Day weekend extending from Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, 2016.
 
The efforts include increased patrols throughout the weekend and a sobriety checkpoint the evening of Friday, May 27. Officers will evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, in addition to other traffic infractions.
 
The funds for the checkpoint are provided by the Maryland Highway Safety Office.

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The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $18,783 in grant funds per the Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program: FY2016 Local Solicitation (CFDA #16.738). As part of the application’s requirement, the Sheriff’s Office is providing the citizens of St. Mary’s County the opportunity to comment before the application submission.
 
Overview of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program
 
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.  This program furthers the Department’s mission by assisting state, local and tribal efforts to prevent or reduce crime and violence.
 
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Jag) Program (42 U S C 3751 (a)) is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state and local jurisdictions. The JAG Program provides states and units of local governments with critical funding necessary to support a range of program areas including law enforcement; prosecution and court programs; prevention and education programs; corrections and community corrections; drug treatment and enforcement; crime victim and witness initiatives; and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs.
 
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff Office will receive $18,783 in local solicitation. 

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Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Robert Anthony Fitzgerald Lathan, age 48, of Accokeek, Maryland, today to 42 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a bank fraud conspiracy in which the conspirators obtained fraudulent vehicle loans.  Judge Chasanow also ordered Lathan to forfeit and pay a money judgment of $169,385.83. 
 
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
 
According to his plea agreement and other court documents, from January 2009 to April 29, 2015, Lathan and others applied for vehicle loans with financial institutions and lenders using false information as to employment history at shell entities created by the conspirators, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers.  Lathan and others created and submitted fake documents, such as lien releases, utility bills, paystubs, letters of recommendation and a police report. The defendants often applied for vehicle loans on the same vehicle with different lenders.  They sold the vehicles, obtained money from the sales and then did not provide the vehicles to the buyers.  They deposited the loan funds into bank accounts and cashed loan checks at liquor stores.  Lathan and his co-conspirators failed to pay the vehicle loans, which often resulted in the vehicles being repossessed by the lenders.  Lathan knew that he had no intention of purchasing a vehicle and that the loan proceeds would be split between himself and his co-conspirators.
 
One of Lathan’s roles in the conspiracy was to create fake documents for other co-conspirators to use when making fraudulent loan applications.  For example, Lathan created a fake lien release for a vehicle, a deal worksheet with false information, and fake paystubs.  Lathan sent the fake documents to a co-conspirator, who either used the documents himself or provided them to other conspirators to use while applying for fraudulent loans.  In addition, Lathan permitted co-conspirators to use his name and other information on fraudulent loan applications.
 
The total intended loss resulting from Lathan’s conduct in the scheme was at least $304,560.83.
 
Four co-defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.
 
The Maryland Identity Theft Working Group has been working since 2006 to foster cooperation among local, state, federal, and institutional fraud investigators and to promote effective prosecution of identity theft schemes by both state and federal prosecutors. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Working Group, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to work with financial institutions and businesses to address identity fraud, identify those who compromise personal identity information, and protect citizens from identity theft.
 
Today’s announcement is part of the efforts undertaken in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.  Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations.  Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants.  For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
 
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Windom and Joseph R. Baldwin, who are prosecuting the case.

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St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Canine (K9) Officers Cpl. Todd Fleenor and Cpl. Shawn Cathcart traveled to Montreal, Canada, during the week of May 15-19, 2016, to participate in canine officer training exercises. With their canine explosive-detection partners, “Filly” and “Jasmine”, they practiced scanning for suspected explosive devices in the airport terminals, passenger airlines, passenger baggage systems, and surrounding grounds of the Montreal International Airport. The canine teams also responded to a ‘live’ call for service and assisted in the investigation of suspicious packages in and around the airport terminal.
 
In addition, during Basic Patrol Canine Training, International Police Work Dog Association (I.P.W.D.A.) Master Canine Trainer Corporal Fleenor conducted evaluations of several other canine teams. Patrol Canine duties consist of building searches, tracking, area searches, evidence/article searches, aggression control, and obedience to commands. During the assessments, Cathcart assisted as a decoy for the patrol canines. 
 
“The timing of this training could not have been more fitting,” said Captain Steven Hall, Commander, Special Operations Division. “Based on recent world events, the experience our K9 officers obtained while training in an airport environment will prove to be invaluable. I am proud of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, their dedication to duty, and the reputation of excellence they have earned both nationally and internationally.”
 
Along with Sheriff Tim Cameron and Captain Steven Hall, Fleenor extended his thanks and gratitude to the members of the Montreal Canadian Airport Canine Unit for their hospitality, especially Head Trainer Yanick Choquette. “This was the experience of a lifetime for Corporal Cathcart and me,” Fleenor stated. “The knowledge and expertise we gained in Canada will be applied daily while performing our K9 duties.” He added, “Thank you to the Montreal Canada Canine Unit for the invitation to participate in this valuable training and for our continued partnership. Also, thank you to Sheriff Tim Cameron for your continued support of the K9 Unit.”

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PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Communities surrounding the naval air
station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place Thursday, May 26, 2016 between the hours of 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Pilots at PAX will be training for realistic flight scenarios including Field Carrier Landing Practice
(FCLP). FCLP training is essential for the precision and safety of our military men and women and the success of their mission. Landing on an aircraft carrier is perhaps the most difficult task in military aviation. It is a highly complex and perishable skill, and requires intense period of training before pilots deploy. FCLP training is critical for Navy pilots to learn to safely conduct landing patterns in as realistic conditions as possible. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing
activities on the community. For more information call 1-866-819-9028.

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On May 19 at 5 p.m., a Charles County Correctional Officer was conducting a security round when he discovered a 27-year-old female inmate attempting suicide by hanging. The officer called for immediate help, and he and responding officers lowered the woman and accessed her condition. At the time, the woman was not breathing. Officers began CPR, and the inmate began to breathe on her own. She was flown to a hospital where she was initially admitted in critical condition. In accordance with operating standards, investigators assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division responded. A preliminary investigation revealed the inmate was in her cell alone and had earlier in the day made comments to other inmates that she wanted to go to the hospital instead of being incarcerated. None of the inmates reported the comments to detention center staff.  The woman had been arrested four days earlier for violating her probation. Since the incident, the woman’s health has improved and her condition is no longer life-threatening. The investigation is continuing. 

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The CCSO has recently seen an increase in thefts of packages delivered to residences during the day. To prevent your items from being stolen, be sure to require a signature upon delivery or have items shipped to a location where someone can receive them during business hours. We ask citizens to report suspicious activity at 301-932-2222. If you see a theft in progress, call 911. We will continue to patrol the neighborhoods to deter would-be criminals. 

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Two men have been arrested on charges stemming from the robbery of a Springfield jewelry store Saturday that led to an exchange of gunfire with police and injured a bystander. The robbery happened at the Brookfield Plaza shortly after noon Saturday. The Dubai Jewelry Store was robbed, and a robber began shooting at officers who responded. One of the suspects stole a vehicle, but crashed it trying to flee. The condition of the passing motorist who was shot is improving.
 
William Franklin, 24, was arrested at his home in Waldorf, Maryland, at about 9 p.m. Monday.
About the same time, Jasminder Sethi, 26, also of Waldorf, was arrested at an airport in Newark, New Jersey, by agents of the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey plus U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
 
Investigators don’t know where Sethi might have been going or whether he had help getting out of the D.C. area.
 
Police characterize the arrests as just one part of an active investigation with many more questions to answer.
 
Franklin will be charged with robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, police said; Sethi, with robbery. Both suspects were awaiting extradition to Fairfax County.

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Leonardtown, MD – National statistics indicate an average of 700 people die each year in boating related accidents nationwide and nearly 70% of these deaths are caused by drowning. With the summer season about to begin the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County observed National Safe Boating Week with a proclamation ceremony.
 
Boating experts indicate the vast majority of deaths in boating accidents are due to human error or poor judgment rather than by the boat, equipment, or environmental factors. Upwards of  80% of boaters who lose their lives by drowning each year would be alive had they worn their life jackets.
 
“Modern life jackets are more comfortable, more attractive, and more wearable than styles of years past and deserve a fresh look by today’s boating public,” said Commissioner Todd Morgan (4th District).
 
The Patuxent River Sail and Power Squadron, which received the proclamation, offers Boating Education classes to citizens of St. Mary’s County and Southern Maryland. They have been doing so for more than 60 years. Successful completion of the Maryland’s Boating Course meets educational requirements for boating operation in all 50 states.
 
In proclaiming May 21 – 27 National Safe Boating Week, commissioners kicked off the year-round effort to promote safe boating and urged all citizens who boat to wear their life preservers while on the water and practice safe boating habits.

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Today the Department of Economic Development released its Economic Development Strategic Plan, a five-year action plan to increase the county’s long-term economic prosperity. The Strategic Plan is available for online viewing at www.MeetCharlesCounty.com. The county developed the plan in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI), one of the country’s leading economic development and tourism marketing firms, and Garner Economics, LLC, specialists in site selection, industry targeting, and organizational development. 
 
The Strategic Plan includes more than a dozen recommendations to improve the county’s competitiveness, strengthen existing businesses, and identify new investment opportunities. Highlights from the plan include a comprehensive, analytics-based update and rationale for a new set of target industries, including new industry sectors. 
 
“We are taking a professional and inclusive approach towards planning our economic future. A strategic guide with concrete action steps will ensure our efforts have benchmarks and a roadmap for achieving the Commissioner’s goal of expanding the county’s commercial and industrial employment and tax base,” said County Administrator Michael D. Mallinoff.
 
“The plan represents a monumental shift in the way Charles County approaches economic development and building prosperity for our community, where decisions are based on data and research, and are not merely anecdotally driven,” said Darrell A. Brown, director for the Department of Economic Development and representative member of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
 
The plan identifies key target industry groups that best match Charles County’s competitive advantages. The county will focus on future business expansion, retention, and attraction efforts toward companies in the following four industries: federal contracting and high-value professional/business support services; health services; entrepreneurial and retail development; and research, development, engineering, and computing.  
 
The plan includes a snapshot of the county’s overall competitiveness based on Garner Economics’ research, analysis, and feedback from stakeholders. Garner Economics conducted an in-depth assessment of the county’s competiveness, which included a demographic and economic analysis, labor market and cluster analysis, comparison of benchmarked communities, and a community assets and challenges assessment. Garner Economics gathered stakeholder input through four focus group sessions in October 2015, followed by a county-wide electronic survey completed by 510 residents.  These findings helped redefine the county’s target industries, and serve as the rationale for the strategic recommendations detailed in the plan. 

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