Saturday, December 20, 2014
Charles County Government - PGM News


Dec. 19, 2014

Sammy 07:19 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Sheriff’s Office Helps Local Program and Families in Need
Southern Maryland News Net

This week members of our agency helped the Children’s Aid Society gather toys and load up trucks for Christmas Connection – a local program that provides clothing, shoes, essentials and even toys to families in need.

Earl Knapp, chairman of Christmas Connection, said without the help from the CCSO, Christmas Connection would be difficult to pull off. “They fill a critical void in the area where we need the most help – the pickup and drop off of all donated goods. They make sure everything is loaded into the trucks from our various distribution points.”

This year, more than 1,000 local families and over 2,000 children will benefit from Christmas Connection. The CCSO is committed to helping families all year round.

Sammy 07:17 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Southern MD Dirt Riders Aided The Center For Children at Annual Christmas Party
Southern Maryland News Net

On December 8th, for it’s 16th year in a row the Southern Maryland Dirt Riders came to the aide of The Center For Children in providing something special for those children in need at Christmas time. Many gifts of all shapes and sizes were donated by SMDR members for the children. Not only that, Santa and Mrs. Claus being long time Southern Maryland Dirt Riders members also attended the party and rode in the club parade.

The weather was very cold but this did not deter them from the annual event. They met behind the Jaycees building in Waldorf, MD, where The Center For Children holds it’s party. Waiting for the assigned time, with a quick signal they were led with flashing lights by Charles County Officer D. Baker in his cruiser from the back lot, forming a parade traveling up and down the parking lot rows out front.

The excitement of the children was obvious right away. They had been moved to the outside and were singing Christmas carols. High pitched squeals, giggles and laughter are heard as soon the cruiser and first motorcycles rounded the corner of the building. Dirtbike riders of all age groups reving engines and weaving in and out of the lanes trying to give each child a little something extra to remember about the night.

Sammy 07:10 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Technical Announcement: Advances in Dating Groundwater
U.S. Geological Survey

Groundwater chemists and hydrologists are keenly interested in expanding the knowledge of environmental tracers that can be used to determine groundwater age. The age of groundwater is a valuable parameter that serves to inform many types of groundwater availability studies.

Many environmental tracers — such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), SF6, and tritium — are of atmospheric origin. However, there are several classes of atmospheric trace gases whose application as groundwater age tracers have not been fully explored. Hydrofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs and HCFCs) are among them.

USGS scientists have recently developed a high-sensitivity technique to measure two of these compounds (HCFC-22 and HFC-134a) in groundwater and the unsaturated zone.

Sammy 07:08 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Instagram follower counts plunge after spam purge
Brett Molina ― USA TODAY

Last week, while announcing its ascent to 300 million users, Instagram said it would start killing off all fake or spammy accounts from the popular photo sharing app.

They made good on that promise late Thursday, although many of their current users are now really unhappy. The reason? Those once healthy follower counts have plummeted following the mass spam removal.

Users took to Instagram’s official account to complain in the comments sections of multiple posts. “They deleted 7k followers from me,” writes one Instagram user.

Sammy 07:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Employment up in 41 states in November
Paul Davidson ― USA TODAY

Unemployment rates fell in 41 states in November, reflecting a national labor market that had a breakout month.

Joblessness increased in three states and was unchanged in six, the Labor Department said Friday.

Twenty-two states posted jobless-rate declines of at least 2% on a seasonally adjusted basis last month, the most with significant drops this year.

Sammy 07:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Chrysler gives in, makes air bag recall global
James R. Healey ― USA TODAY

Chrysler will give in to government pressure and make worldwide its existing regional recall to fix driver’s-side Takata air bags, adding 3.3 million vehicles, including 2.9 million in the U.S.

The sweeping action brings to 3.67 million the number of Takata-equipped vehicles that Chrysler — now officially FCA US — has said qualify for free inflator replacements.

Neither Chrysler nor Takata acknowledges that there is a known safety defect with the bags, which means the repairs and replacements technically need not be labeled “recalls.” Chrysler calls them “field actions.”

Sammy 07:04 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Early gift: Gas below $2 at some stations in 24 states
Wes Johnson ― USA TODAY

Just in time for a holiday road trip, gas prices in many places in middle of the country have dipped below $2 a gallon.

And here in Missouri, close to the geographic center of the USA, is where drivers can find the cheapest gas as of Friday, according to GasBuddy.com.

“As of this morning, there are 24 states with prices under $2 a gallon. But Missouri is lowest,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s senior petroleum analyst.

Sammy 07:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
7 Big Tax Changes in 2015
Jeff Reeves ― USA TODAY

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s nearly time for the annual deluge of tax forms – including 1098’s reporting mortgage interest or W-2’s from employers reporting your annual wages.

But while gathering documents for the past year’s taxes is important, equally pressing is the need to adjust your budget to account for changes in the tax code that take effect starting on New Year’s Day.

After all, you have been paying taxes and making retirement contributions all year even though taxes don’t need to be filed until the following April. While there are a handful of last-minute strategies to play catch up on 2014 tax obligations, the sad reality is that many folks who have waited until now to think about their taxes are too late.

Sammy 07:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Deepest fish found 5 miles down in Pacific trench
Michael Winter ― USA TODAY

Oceanographers have discovered a new species of fish at a record depth of 5 miles.

The ghostly snailfish has translucent, winglike fins, a tail like an eel’s and “a head resembling a cartoon dog,” said Alan Jamieson, from Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

They live in complete darkness, near-freezing temperatures and water pressures equal to 1,600 elephants standing on the roof of a small car, as New Scientist explains.

Sammy 06:58 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Staples says breach affects 1.2M cards
Kaja Whitehouse ― USA TODAY

Staples on Friday said cyber criminals may have compromised 1.2 million customer cards.

On Friday, Staples gave an update to a data breach announced in October, saying criminals deployed malware to point-of-sale systems at 115 of its more than 1,400 U.S. retail stores.

Staples said its investigation revealed that the malware may have allowed the criminals access to transaction data “including cardholder names, payment card numbers, expiration dates, and card verification codes.”

Sammy 06:57 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Not just tolls: E-Z Pass keeping an eye on speeders
Larry Copeland ― USA TODAY

Warning to motorists: Don’t speed in the toll lanes. E-Z Pass is watching.

Several states, including New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, say they monitor speeds through the fast pass toll lanes and will suspend your E-Z Pass for multiple speeding violations.

In all, five of the 15 E-Z Pass states have some kind of rules on the books for breaking the speed limit in the convenience lanes.

Sammy 06:56 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
N. Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking
WTOP

North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes will prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack.

U.S. officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used in the Sony attack and previous hacks linked to the North, and have vowed a response. The break-in resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails and business files, and escalated to terrorist threats that caused Sony to cancel the Christmas release of the movie “The Interview.” The comedy is about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

On Saturday, an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman in Pyongyang said North Korea knows how to prove it’s not responsible for the hacking, so the United States must accept its proposal for the joint investigation.

Sammy 06:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths
MARY CLARE JALONICK ― WTOP

Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples because they are linked to four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses in 10 states.

Caramel apples are most popular around Halloween, and the outbreak started just before then, in mid-October. But the commercially produced variety can have a shelf life of a month or more, and some may still be on store shelves.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it knows of 28 cases in which people were sickened with the same strains of the bacterial illness listeria, and at least 26 were hospitalized. Of those, five died. Listeriosis contributed to four of the deaths; a fifth person who died had a strain of listeria linked to the caramel apples, but health officials do not think listeriosis caused that person’s death.

Sammy 06:52 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - December 20, 2014

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Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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