Thursday, June 30, 2011
Charles County Commissioners Meeting Audio and Video





Sammy 02:50 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Second Suspect Charged in Chris Mader Homicide

Diligent Police Work Credited in Identifying Second Suspect in Six-Year-Old Murder Case

Charles County Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division have arrested Shawn Marshall Myers, 33, of Waldorf, in connection with the murder of Chris Mader who was shot and killed on the eve of Thanksgiving, 2004 near the intersection of Smallwood Drive and St. Stephen’s Drive. Chris had just left his job as a bartender at Bennigan’s and was heading home when he was shot. Myers is the second person charged in Mader’s death.

Since 2004, detectives pursued a number of leads. Then in 2010, additional information regarding the case surfaced and as a result, a Charles County Grand Jury returned a six-count indictment charging Matthew Derek Correll, 29, of King George Virginia, with first degree murder, attempt robbery and other charges. Correll was arrested on October 22 and held on bond.

Sammy 02:44 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Smooth Operator Enforcement

Focus on Aggressive Driving, Speeding, Improper Passing and Other Dangerous Maneuvers  

Charles County Sheriff Rex W. Coffey said officers will be cracking down on aggressive driving as part of the region’s “Smooth Operator” program which starts this Fourth of July weekend and continues throughout the summer.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that aggressive driving behaviors –speeding, tailgating, running red lights and stop signs, improper passing and other dangerous driving maneuvers – has cost billions of dollars and may be responsible for one-third of injury crashes and two-thirds of highway fatalities. The probability of death and debilitating injury increases with impacts at higher speeds – doubling for every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels.

Sammy 01:00 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
School system changes online meal payment system

Charles County Public Schools Food Services Department is changing the online Café Prepay payment system, which students use to pay for meals at school, to MealpayPlus. MealpayPlus is a secure, Internet-based system parents can use to deposit money electronically on their child’s cafeteria account. The change will occur on Friday, July 1, and any remaining account balances on the Café Prepay system will be transferred to the new system.

Student accounts on the new system will not be available for view or registration until Monday, Aug. 1. The new Internet-based system is available at and provides a tutorial for parents to follow to set up their child’s account. The system is also accessible from the home page of the Charles County Public Schools Web site, Parents will also receive a packet of information by mail later this summer to include details of the new system.

Sammy 12:38 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Nanjemoy Plan Draws Controversy
Andy Marquis ― The Bay Net

Dozens of people from the Nanjemoy area showed up at Wednesday night’s public forum to have their say regarding a plan to build a low-income housing development in Nanjemoy.  The response came mostly from supporters of the proposal, demanding Charles County do what they feel is best for them.

One citizen spoke about the need to create jobs and that construction of the development would create jobs where they are needed.  The development would sit on 25 acres, but the plan has seen backlash from other residents in the area and environmentalists who want to preserve Nanjemoy’s rural nature.

Sammy 12:34 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Trail of the Month: July 2011 - Maryland’s Indian Head Rail Trail

On a warm summer morning, Maryland’s Indian Head Rail Trail is buzzing with activity. Not with the two-wheeled or two-footed variety; people and their machines are scarce on this weekday. It’s the winged, finned, shelled, furred and other forms of life that dominate a marshy stretch alongside this 13-mile asphalt path.

Red-headed woodpeckers flit back and forth between their roosts in dead tree trunks and stands of oak across the trail. Frogs thrump and squeak. Fish splash briefly to the surface of the water. A red-winged blackbird darts into a stand of cattails, calling raucously. Bluebirds and cardinals sing as they move through the trees. Painted turtles sunbathe on a log floating only a few feet from a beaver lodge. Dragonflies hover and zoom out of sight. Down the trail, a young deer browses in the grass while rabbits hop for cover. The sweet scent of lizard’s tail—a plant whose flower has a fragrance somewhere between jasmine and honeysuckle—washes through the air.
“This is the first rail-trail conversion in southern Maryland,” Roland says proudly. “Since 2009, we’ve probably had close to 170,000 visitors, and it’s been very well-accepted by our community. We’re seeing families, runners, bikers, birders, photographers, artists. It has been really nice.”

Sammy 12:30 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Former Md. county exec’s wife enters guilty plea

The wife of former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson entered a guilty plea Thursday for her role in what prosecutors have described as a sweeping corruption scheme in the Washington suburb.

Leslie Johnson, a member of the county Council, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit witness and evidence tampering. She was arrested last November after prosecutors say she flushed an illicit $100,000 check down the toilet and stashed nearly $80,000 in cash in her undergarments as FBI agents knocked on the door.

Sammy 10:52 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Decision to close Charlotte Hall Post Office could come in 10 months
JASON BABCOCK ― Enterprise

The public notification about the meeting was swift and limited, Jarboe said. “They really didn’t give any public notice,” he said. Residents of Charlotte Hall got a notice in the mail on June 16, a week before the June 23 community meeting. The USPS expected all public comment on the matter back by yesterday, June 28.

Jarboe said no one who spoke at the meeting supported the idea of moving postal operations to Hughesville. “I’ve never seen a 100 percent issue, but this was the first 100 percent issue I’ve ever seen,” he said.


Sammy 10:43 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Farmers support going back to whiskey making
JASON BABCOCK ― Enterprise

Illegal whiskey stills were once commonplace in the woods of St. Mary’s County during Prohibition and the decades afterward. Now the St. Mary’s County Farm Bureau is requesting a zoning amendment to allow distilleries in rural areas.

The St. Mary’s County commissioners heard comment on the matter Tuesday.

George Baroniak of Dameron brought in an unopened bottle of rye whiskey made in Pikesville. “We used to have a very fine tradition in Southern Maryland. We made excellent whiskey. We’ve lost a very fine tradition in St. Mary’s County,” he said.


Sammy 10:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Panel to Hear Reactor Challenge
Marty Madden ― The Bay Net

Arguments will be aired Thursday, July 7 in Rockville regarding a combined license (COL) application filed three years ago for construction and operation of a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby.

An Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel will conduct the hearing at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) headquarters beginning at 10 a.m. The session, which is open for public observation, is expected to take two hours. Federal officials said earlier this week that participation will be limited to the parties admitted to the proceeding. Those parties include several public interest groups, the state of Maryland, NRC staff and the applicant, Unistar Nuclear Operating Services.
Anyone planning to attend the hearing is advised to arrive early to allow for security screening. The NRC prohibits attendees from bringing signs, posters or displays into the hearing room.

Sammy 09:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
‘Fast and Furious’ sparks new gun control debates

ATF recovered U.S. weapons in Mexico after losing track of them

The tainted “Operation Fast and Furious” has dealt the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms its worst blow since the agency’s botched 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco that left four ATF agents dead.

With federal agents testifying against their commanders, members of Congress calling for the top man’s ouster and accusations that ATF is fudging its gun smuggling numbers, the political fallout itself has become fast and furious.

The operation, conducted jointly with agents from ATF, FBI, DEA and other agencies was aimed at reaching beyond the low-level “straw purchasers” of weapons and building a complex case against Mexican traffickers and their weapons brokers.

Sammy 07:19 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Panel votes today on breaks in crack cases
JESSICA GRESKO ― Houston Chronicle

One in every 20 federal prisoners could be eligible for early release under a potential sentencing change for inmates convicted of crack cocaine offenses that will be voted on Thursday.

Congress passed a law last year substantially lowering recommended sentences for people convicted of crack cocaine crimes, ranging from possession to trafficking. The idea was to fix a longstanding disparity in punishments for crack and powder cocaine crimes, but the new, lower recommended sentences for crack offenders didn’t automatically apply to people already in prison. Now it is up to the six-member U.S. Sentencing Commission to decide whether offenders locked up for crack offenses before the new law took effect should also benefit and get out earlier.

Sammy 07:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Local towns, cities change ethics laws, not practices
Alex Ruoff ― Gazette

New rules being considered across Maryland

Kensington, along with nearly all municipalities in Maryland, currently is trying to change its ethics laws because of a Maryland law requiring local rules to conform to state ones.

Sponsored by more than a dozen lawmakers and signed into law in May 2010, the new rules are meant to ensure government officials at all levels are held to the same standards, said Robert Hahn, executive director of the State Ethics Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the standards.

Sammy 06:58 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Conservation group asks White House to commit to national parks
Los Angeles Times

Tom Kiernan, president of the NPCA, pointed out parks are receiving two-thirds of what they need. Funding parks amounts to “one-thirteenth of 1% of the national budget. Cutting funds or not providing funds is not going to impact the deficit.” Kiernan said parks are an economic investment, with a $4 million return annually. The parks system generates $13.3 billion in economic activity, according to NPCA.

“National parks are becoming North American biological life boats, but they are leaking,” said Jim Nations, vice president of NPCA’s Center for Park Research.

Sammy 06:43 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
German parliament approves nuclear shutdown

German lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved the government’s plan for the country to shut down all its nuclear power plants by the end of 2022.

Parliament’s lower house voted 513-79, with eight abstentions, for the shutdown plan in Europe’s biggest economy. Most of the opposition voted in favor.

Thursday’s decision sets Germany on the road to an ambitious build-up of renewable energy.

Sammy 06:39 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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