St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Purple Heart Parking Comes to St. Mary's County

St. Mary's County has become the first municipality in Maryland to designate parking spots for veterans injured on the battlefield.

SSGT Justin Skotnicki (ret.) and Jason Link, co-founders of the Purple Heart Initiative, joined the Commissioners of St. Mary's County to debut the first Purple Heart parking spot on the Governmental Center campus in Leonardtown.

The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on July 22 designating the spots for Purple Heart recipients.

Approximately 50 signs will be installed at various locations around the county, such as county office buildings, museums and parks. All spaces will be located adjacent to existing handicapped parking space(s). The total cost to install the signs will be $2,000. Purple Heart Parking donated the signs.

Skotnicki, a two time Purple Heart recipient, says "we wanted to recognize Purple Heart recipients. I think designating parking spots for those injured while serving their country is an ideal way of honoring them."

Commissioner Dan Morris (2nd District), a Vietnam Veteran, says the plan was a great way to honor those who have been wounded in action. "I wholeheartedly support the concept. It's a great idea and I thank Purple Heart Parking for stepping forward and doing the right thing."

Health Department Seeking Proposals for Healthy Families Initiative in St. Mary’s County

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking proposals from organizations credentialed as a provider/site by Healthy Families America to implement the Healthy Families program model for St. Mary’s County families. The national Healthy Families model provides regular home visits from the beginning of pregnancy through the first five years of life for families that may be at higher risk for adverse childhood experiences. The evidence-based Healthy Families initiative has been demonstrated to:

-- Reduce Averse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s)

-- Increase utilization of prenatal care and decrease incidence of preterm, low weight babies

-- Improve parent-child interaction and school readiness

-- Decrease dependency on welfare and other social services

-- Increase access to primary care medical services

-- Increase immunization rates

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking a vendor to implement and provide Healthy Families services to residents of St. Mary’s County. The vendor will serve families in St. Mary’s County who have been identified as having risk factors according to the national Healthy Families model. For more information about the Healthy Families program model and request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at

Commissioners Celebrate Women's Equality Day

In honor of the 94th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Commissioners for St. Mary's County held a ceremony celebrating Women's Equality Day. Members of the St. Mary's County Commission for Women were on hand to receive the proclamation.

On August 26, 1920 the Woman Suffrage Amendment was ratified, securing full voting rights for women in the United States. Women's Equality Day was first celebrated in 1971 after New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug got a Congressional Resolution passed designating August 26 as the day to recognize the passage of the Constitutional Amendment.

In the proclamation commissioners urged all St. Mary's County citizens to "observe this day through appropriate ceremonies and activities to commemorate that day in 1920 in which women of America were first given the right to vote."

Commissioners Recognize September as Forget Me Not Month

On Tuesday the Commissioners for St. Mary's County held a proclamation ceremony to recognize September as Forget Me Not month in the county.

Members of the Disabled American Veterans, St. Mary's Chapter 26, were on hand to receive the proclamation. The proclamation recognizes and supports those who have fought for our country in military service.

During the month of September, the St. Mary's County Disabled American Veterans will hold their annual sale of Forget-Me-Nots in honor those who served in all wars in defense of freedom. The blue flower, received after giving a donation, is a symbol of love, hope, and remembrance for those who have suffered or have been lost in war.

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