Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Possible Legionellosis Scare at Ocean City Hotel

An Ocean City hotel is voluntarily closing for the season a week earlier than planned after three guests developed legionellosis about a week after staying there.
Preliminary results from water samples suggest the presence of Legionella bacteria in hotel water, but final culture results are not expected until the end of next week at the earliest.

Legionellosis is a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling aerosolized water, or water mist, containing Legionella bacteria. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea or severe body aches.

Sammy 06:58 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Don’t give credibility to unsubstantiated claims - LTE

Regarding the article, “Woman accuses commissioners of deleting emails” [Maryland Independent, Sept. 28], I wanted to take a moment to express displeasure with the tone of the headline and article.

We must always be mindful when accusing others of wrongdoing that casual observers may only remember headlines or summaries (or worse, rumors) of alleged wrongdoing, so we owe it to the public to not give credibility to totally unsubstantiated claims.

I congratulate the investigative work following up on the allegations and uncovering that there are serious questions about who is raising the concerns, who wrote the letter that was read in the public forum, and running down and attempting to interview primary sources. I think a fair read of the article does convey the facts accurately.

Sammy 04:18 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Residents raise concerns about preservation proposal

Many say PPA should wait for 2012 update

Developers, environmentalists and residents raised a variety of concerns about a proposed Priority Preservation Area plan element during a public hearing before the Charles County Planning Commission last week.

The proposed PPA for Charles County comprises 151,000 acres in three subareas: Nanjemoy, southeastern Charles County and the Zekiah Swamp.

One of the major goals of the PPA is to preserve 80 percent of the remaining undeveloped land within its boundaries.

Sammy 04:16 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County trash collection plan riles residents

Haulers not pleased by public plan

A push for Charles County government to take over residential trash collection would likely be controversial among haulers and residents, Environmental Resources Chief Dennis Fleming warned last week.

Even though the county would contract trash collection out to private trash haulers, not do it itself, under a plan now being considered, residents are concerned about higher costs and haulers worry their customer bases would disappear, he said.

“Expect to see some citizen opposition as we go through this process as we did last time,” Fleming said. He referred to a similar proposal made in 2009, then dropped in the face of opposition.

Sammy 04:13 PM | (9) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County drops pit bull rules after protests

Higher fines, tethering rules to go to hearing

Charles County government has abandoned a proposal to specially regulate pit-bull-type dogs following vocal protests by scores of dog owners who have been objecting since the measure was introduced in July.

The proposal would have pre-emptively labeled their pets “potentially dangerous” based on their breed.

Pit bulls were not mentioned by county staff or commissioners during Animal Control Chief Ed Tucker’s follow-up Tuesday on proposed revisions to the county Animal Control Ordinance. The pit bull rule, which would have imposed strict rules for leashing and confinement of pit bulls and related dogs, has been dropped, Tucker said in a brief interview afterward.

Sammy 04:11 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Concerns Raised About PlanMaryland
Dick Myers ― The Bay Net

The proposed PlanMaryland could mean “an economic death spiral” for some of the state’s rural counties. That’s how the proposal has been described in some comments on the proposal and what was repeated during a briefing Tuesday to the St. Mary’s County Commissioners by an official from the Maryland Association of Counties.

While admitting the comments may been somewhat of an exaggeration, Les Knapp, Jr., MACO’s associate director, didn’t do anything to dispel strong concerns about the proposal that is working its way through state bureaucracy and could end soon on the governor’s desk. Maryland’s attorney general has issued an opinion that the governor has the authority to adopt the plan although implementation pieces would have to come from the legislature. The most recent draft of the plan is in comment stage until early November at which time the Maryland Department of State Planning is expected to come up with a final draft.

Sammy 04:09 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Economic State St. Mary’s County
The Bay Net

By Bob Schaller, Director of Economic and Community Dev.

Last week the Chamber hosted the State of the County luncheon and address by the Board of County Commissioners. This week our department briefed the Commissioners on the state of the local economy in preparation for the annual county budget process. Some of the information has already been reported as new information from the 2010 decennial census continues to be released. We reviewed status and trends in population, income, employment, and development.

A few weeks ago we discovered that St. Mary’s County ranked 4th in the entire nation out of some 2,000 counties in fastest median household income growth between 2007 (before the recession) and 2010. At 20.1% and an absolute increase of almost $15,000 to $88,444, we trail three smaller college town counties in income growth. Monongilia County, WV, home of West Virginia University in Morgantown; Muskogee County, OK, a former Indian territory, thus Bacone Indian College; and Scioto County, OH, home of Shawnee State University, share this attribute which we’ve learned of late is good insurance during recessionary times. To our benefit, the quality of defense-related jobs tends to be better. Our median household income is more than twice each of these three counties. Note that during this same period the state and nation both experienced declines in real median household income. In fact, incomes are at their lowest points nationally and statewide since the high water mark in 1999. Locally this last decade, our county incomes are ahead by 59% while Leonardtown lead all jurisdictions with a 72% growth in incomes.

Sammy 04:07 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public Meeting on Proposed Subdivision Regulations Amendment, SRA 11-16

Notice is hereby given that the Charles County Planning Commission will hold a Public Meeting on proposed Subdivision Regulations Amendment, SRA 11-16 on October 17, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s Meeting Room located in the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

Subdivision Regulations Amendment #11-16

The proposed amendments to the Subdivision Regulations are to clarify subdivision types, definitions and rights-of-way requirements. The proposed subdivision amendments amend Article II, §278-12 Definition of Terms, Article III, §278-17 Minor Subdivisions, Article III, §278-18 Resubdivision of Lots, Article V, §278-46 Lot and Block Standards, Article VII, §278-80 Roads and Sidewalks, and Article IX, §278-104 Modifications and Variations from Subdivision Regulations in the Charles County Subdivision Regulations (May, 2007 Edition).

Sammy 08:31 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public Hearing on proposed Bill 2011-09, Sheriff’s Office - Director of Administrative Services

Notice is hereby given that the Charles County Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on proposed Bill 2011-09, Sheriff’s Office - Director of Administrative Services on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s Meeting Room located in the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

Sheriff’s Office - Director of Administrative Services
Bill 2011-09

The proposed Bill would amend Section 210-5 of the Public Local Laws of Charles County, Maryland to allow the appointment of civilian or sworn personnel as the Director of Administrative Services for the Office of the Sheriff; and clarify that the appointment is at the Sheriff’s discretion and the duties or tasks of the Director of Administrative Services shall be determined by the Sheriff.

Sammy 08:27 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public Hearing on proposed Bill 2011-08, Code of Ethics

Notice is hereby given that the Charles County Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on proposed Bill 2011-08, Code of Ethics on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s Meeting Room located in the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

Code of Ethics
Bill 2011-08

The proposed Bill would enact provisions of the County Code of Ethics relating to financial disclosure, conflicts of interest and lobbying to be in compliance with new State law requirements.

Sammy 08:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. puts $10 million bounty on Iraq al-Qaeda leader

The Obama administration has put the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq on a terrorism blacklist and is offering a $10 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

The State Department said Tuesday it has added Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, also known as Abu Du’a, to its list of specially designated terrorists. The move freezes any assets he may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bars Americans from providing him material support. At the same time, the department said its Rewards for Justice program would pay $10 million for information leading to his location.

Sammy 08:04 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Report: EPA will give some states, companies more time on cross-state rule

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night that the Environmental Protection Agency will give some states and power plant operators more time to comply with the Cross State Air Pollution Rule set to begin on January 1.

According to the report, the EPA will propose allowing certain states and companies to emit more pollutants than previously permitted — from 1 percent to 4 percent above the levels set when the rule was finalized in July.

Sammy 07:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
FAA’s new air traffic system hits turbulence
JOAN LOWY ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The government’s program to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system has run into serious problems that threaten to increase its cost and delay its completion, a government watchdog said.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s program to replace the current air traffic control system with a system based on satellite technology is being held back by software problems that have delayed full deployment of a critical flight tracking system, Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel said in prepared testimony to be delivered at House hearing Wednesday.

The agency also hasn’t set deadlines for when key aspects of the new air traffic control system will be in place, Scovel said. Nor has FAA made clear to airlines and other air traffic system users exactly what benefits they can expect and when they’ll be achieved, he said.

Sammy 07:39 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Annapolis debate: White or yellow for State House dome?
Earl Kelly ― Daily Record

The State House dome, which is getting a new paint job, is a near-sacred place for people who appreciate its historical significance. And because people care so deeply, there is a vigorous debate going on over what color it should be.

One group wants to keep the dome white, as it has been for about the past 180 years; the other thinks the eight-sided structure should be yellow, as it may have been during its first few decades.

To muddy the palette, there are no detailed documents that tell how the dome was originally painted.

Sammy 07:36 AM | (5) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Court seems divided over Miranda rights in prison
Daily Record

The Supreme Court seemed split Tuesday on whether to require police to read Miranda rights to prison inmates every time they interrogate them about crimes unrelated to their current incarceration.

The high court heard arguments from lawyers from the state of Michigan who want a federal appeals court decision overturning Randall Lee Fields’ conviction thrown out.

Fields was serving a 45-day sentence in prison on disorderly conduct charges when a jail guard and sheriff’s deputies from Lenawee County, Mich., removed him from his cell and took him to a conference room. The deputies, after telling him several times he was free to leave at any time, then questioned him for seven hours about allegations that he had sexually assaulted a minor. Fields eventually confessed and was charged and convicted of criminal sexual assault.

Sammy 07:33 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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