Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Prepare for Weather-Related Outages
The Bay Net

As Hurricane Irene approaches the eastern seaboard, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) reminds area residents to prepare for storm-related power outages. According to SMECO, their operations section is monitoring weather forecasts, and co-op crews are preparing to restore power when outages occur.

SMECO’s outage restoration policy is to make repairs that will restore service to the most people in the least amount of time. Transmission lines and substations are repaired first, followed by distribution lines that feed neighborhoods; tap lines and individual service lines are then repaired to restore power to customers who may still be without electricity.

Customers can view a two-minute video, “Preparing for a Power Outage” to help them take steps to get ready in case an outage occurs.  Customers can watch the video and get more information from the co-op’s website at www.smeco.coop.

The following is a list of steps customers can take to prepare for power interruptions:

Sammy 06:25 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rockfish poaching leads to crackdown on watermen
PAMELA WOOD ― The Capital

Catching rockfish is going to become more complicated for Chesapeake Bay watermen.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is proposing new regulations to clamp down on fraud and poaching in response to the discovery of more than 13 tons of rockfish, also called striped bass, stuck in illegal nets this winter.

“It’s going to be a nuisance to us, but I think it’s necessary,” said Larry Simns, longtime president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association. “We’ve got to keep those fellas that are breaking the law from breaking the law.”

Sammy 04:53 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
F.B.I. Focusing on Security Over Ordinary Crime
New York Times

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been more likely to be hunting for potential threats to national security than for ordinary criminals in recent years, but much of the time found neither, according to newly disclosed internal information.

Data from a recent two-year period showed that the bureau opened 82,325 assessments of people and groups in search for signs of wrongdoing. Agents closed out most of the assessments, the lowest-level of F.B.I. investigation, without finding information that justified a more intensive inquiry.

Read more...

Sammy 04:38 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Navy to spend $500M for alternative energy

The Department of the Navy is about to take another step aimed at reducing its reliance on foreign sources of energy. The Navy and Marines want the private sector to help them come up with replacements for petroleum-based fuels.

The Navy has just issued a Request for Proposals for developing alternative energy sources that can replace diesel, jet fuel and other crude-oil derivatives.

Sammy 04:34 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Red Cross Helps Households & Businesses Prepare for Emergencies
The Bay Net

The Red Cross is urging families, businesses, schools and organizations to take steps now to become better prepared for the next emergency or disaster. As Hurricane Irene moves closer in the Atlantic, we are further reminded of the importance of preparedness in order to be proactive in times of disaster.

As we were reminded yesterday, disasters can strike at any time – from earthquakes to hurricanes to terrorist attacks like those that occurred on 9/11 ten years ago. 
[...]
Emergency preparedness kits need to include enough supplies for at least three days in case you have to evacuate and should contain the following:

Sammy 04:26 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Sheriff’s Reports
Southern Maryland Online

LA PLATA, Md. (August 24, 2011)—The Charles County Sheriff’s Office released the following incident and arrest reports.

Sammy 04:23 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
The Day After: Earthquake 5.8
Southern Maryland Online

By David Noss

Since yesterday’s 5.8 earthquake centered northwest of Richmond—approximately 80 miles from Lexington Park as the crow flies—there have been 3 aftershocks: a 2.8 at 2:46 p.m., a 4.2 at 8:04 p.m., and a 3.4 at 12:45 a.m. The initial quake was felt as far north as Ontario Province in Canada.

The magnitude reported by USGS refers to the Richter magnitude scale. The Richter scale is logarithmic. A 5.0 quake has a shaking amplitude 10 times larger than one that measures 4.0.

Sammy 04:19 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Medicare Rate Change Worries Nursing Homes
Southern Maryland Online

By Barbara Pash, Barbara@MarylandReporter.com

A new rule cutting Medicare reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities may cost the state’s nursing homes $89 million this fiscal year.

“It’s devastating,” said Isabella Firth, president of LifeSpan Network, the Columbia-based provider association with 300 member senior care facilities in the Mid-Atlantic.

Sammy 04:16 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Outdoor Pools Closing Early Due to Weather

Due to the forecasted inclement weather this weekend from Hurricane Irene, the Department of Community Services, Recreation Division, announces that the outdoor pools at Thomas Stone, La Plata, and McDonough High Schools will close for the season on Friday, August 26, at 8 p.m. The indoor pools at Lackey and North Point will remain closed as well for scheduled maintenance, but will re-open for the fall season on Monday, August 29, with weekday hours from 3:30 – 9 p.m. and weekend hours from noon – 6 p.m.

Sammy 04:14 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
MACo recap: Montgomery officials in sync with governor
Sarah Breitenbach ― Gazette

Leggett says Plan Maryland proposal right approach

[...]
Although a number of other municipal leaders at the conference said they were unhappy with the governor’s Plan Maryland proposal, which seeks to unify development policies and practices across the state by factoring in population demographics, land use and economic development, Leggett said he supports the governor’s strategy.

“I think the approach is a sound one because if you look at the state overall there really have been some huge changes,” Leggett said. “We need to have some type of coordination with the state to ensure that we are all working in a coordinated fashion.”

Sammy 11:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Area all shook up, little harm reported
ERICA MITRANO ― SoMdNews.com

An earthquake that shook Charles County shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday did not cause injuries or property damage here, according to early reports from government officials.

Some public buildings, including the county government building and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office headquarters in La Plata, were evacuated in response to fire alarms or as a precaution, and Charles County Public Schools closed for building inspections, spokeswomen said.

Sammy 11:18 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Residents suggest growth options
PAUL S. WARNER ― SoMdNews.com

Several people state preference for scenario one

Residents who gathered for the final design charrette for the Charles County Comprehensive Plan update Thursday in Waldorf asked for more growth options.

Some citizens came out for the first time and had problems with scenarios that targeted growth only in Waldorf.

Sammy 11:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
D.C. radio station pledges Nanjemoy aid
ERICA MITRANO ― SoMdNews.com

Activists tour subststandard housing

Rallied by an Internet radio station, people toured dilapidated homes and trailers in Nanjemoy on Saturday and pledged to raise money to replace them or fix them up.

Tim “Wak” Lyons, who performs on 420FriendlyRadio.com as Eddie Kayne, convinced about 15 people to come from Prince George’s County to visit the rural town, car trunks full of bottled water to distribute to residents without tap water. Cornell Posey, Nanjemoy developer and activist, escorted the visitors to dwellings whose owners were willing to let them inside.

Sammy 11:12 AM | (7) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Survey: Employers consider ending health coverage
Daily Record

Nearly one of every 10 midsized or big employers expects to stop offering health coverage to workers once federal insurance exchanges start in 2014, according to a new survey from a large benefits consultant.

Towers Watson also found in a survey completed last month that an additional 20 percent of the companies are unsure about what they will do.
[...]
Employer-sponsored health insurance has long been the backbone of the nation’s health insurance system. But the studies suggest that some employers, especially retailers or those offering low wages, feel they will be better off paying fines and taxes than continuing to provide benefits that eat up a growing portion of their budget every year.

Sammy 11:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Commissioner Davis Announces Plans for District 2 Housing Summit

Charles County Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2) is inviting all stakeholders, community leaders, churches, state and local partners, and interested citizens to participate in a District 2 Housing Summit now being planned for the fall. The purpose of the summit is to bring problem-solvers together to develop a plan of action to eradicate homelessness and substandard housing conditions in District 2 by the year 2020. Election District 2 covers much of western Charles County, including Nanjemoy, Pomfret, Indian Head, and Marbury.

“A county with a solid foundation must find ways to offer housing assistance to those most in need,” said Commissioner Davis. “We’ve established a reasonable timeline, and now it’s time for us to learn more about successful remedies, and to do more to find creative solutions to this housing crisis. We need everyone’s help to succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

The date and location for the summit will be announced as details are finalized.

Sammy 08:45 AM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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