Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

VanGO Indian Head Route detoured Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 through 27

Due to construction, the VanGO Indian Head route will be detoured on Friday, Sept. 19 and Monday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 27. The alternate bus route will start at the Indian Head Post Office (4050 Indian Head Hwy, Indian Head) then turn left onto Jenkins Drive to a left on Blair Avenue. It will resume its scheduled route from this point.

For updated information call the Department of Community Services, Transportation Division at 301-934-9305.

Emergency Services Acquires UAV for Incident Response

The Charles County Department of Emergency Services purchased an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the DJI Phantom Vision II, using funds from the Homeland Security Federal Grant Program. The UAV enables emergency responders to remotely and safely acquire a real-time visual operating picture of an incident, and to gather critical information to mitigate an incident, while simultaneously ensuring responder safety.

The UAV will be used for public safety-related missions, including but not limited to: pre-event planning; recording public safety trainings; inspecting radio towers; and emergency calls for service such as hazardous material incidents.

The unit is a remote-controlled quad copter with an integrated live feed camera system and a removable SD card that can capture and store aerial video and still photography. The UAV is small, lightweight, portable and able to be deployed in two minutes. It has a flight time of 25 minutes on a single rechargeable battery with a line of sight flight range of 650 feet from the operator.

Water Advisory: Blue-Green Algae Bloom near Mallows Bay

The Charles County Department of Health advises the public that an algae bloom has occurred in local waters. Concentrations of blue-green algae, called Microcystis, have been reported near Liverpool Point and Mallows Bay and the Potomac River. Microcystis aeruginosa is a naturally occurring algae in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and fresh waters. Blooms of blue-green algae can occur in nutrient rich environments and be harmful when they occur in high concentrations or when they produce toxins in large amounts.

If bathers see bright green waters, sometimes with a surface scum that resembles green paint, they are advised to take the following precautions:

-- Do not swim in areas where a bloom of blue-green algae is evident.

-- Do not drink water from an area with the appearance of a blue-green algal bloom.

-- Wash off with fresh water as soon as possible if contact is unavoidable.

-- See a physician or healthcare provider if any skin irritation occurs or persists.

-- Keep pets and livestock away from bloom areas. Contact your veterinarian if your pets or livestock have come in contact with the bloom.

Dianna E. Abney, M.D. Charles County Health Officer states, “This is a temporary environmental alert. Residents should be aware of the recommendations and adhere to the precautions. We expect this bloom to disperse in a few days to a week.”

Additional information is available from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website: or call the Charles County Department of Health Environmental Services Department at 301-609-6773.

Community Services Offers Children’s Birthday Party Packages

Birthday parties have never been so fun or easy! Choose a theme and a location, bring the kids and a birthday cake, and the Department of Community Services staff will take care of the rest. All parties are two hours on select Friday evenings, Saturdays, or Sundays, varying by location. Parties are for children turning age 4-12, unless otherwise noted.

For the first hour of the party, staff will lead the kids through the selected games or activity. The second hour is for your celebration. The Department of Community Services provides pizza, drinks, goodie bags, and paper products.

The cost for parties with up to 10 participants is $160, and 11-20 participants is $200. There is $8 fee for each additional child up to a maximum of 30 participants, depending on location. Cost includes set-up and clean-up, pizzas, juice boxes, one party favor for each attendee, paper products, and invitations. Parents may bring additional food, drinks, and/or other items to personalize their party.

Birthday party packages may be customized for special occasion parties, such as end-of-season team party. Private rental options are available for parties with more than 30 guests.

Parties are held at various locations, including community centers, indoor pools, and Elite Gymnastics & Recreation Center. Location will depend upon the selected party theme. For a complete list of available party themes and locations, visit

For more information, call the Dept. of Community Services at 301-934-9305. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Morgan Selected to Head Tourism Office

The Charles County Commissioners are pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Timothy J. Morgan as chief of tourism and special events. Morgan began his employment with Charles County Government on Monday, Aug. 25.

Morgan has 12 years of tourism development experience, and has held several leadership positions in this field. His career includes serving as tourism development manager for Clackamas County Economic Development in Oregon City, Ore., state tourism director for the Delaware Economic Development Office in Wilmington, Del., and director of sales for the Washington County Visitors Association in Beaverton, Ore.

Most recently, Morgan was vice president of partnerships for the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission in Tacoma, Wash. In this role, he recruited events with an economic impact of $1.5 million. His responsibilities included developing and managing a hospitality partnership program with hotels and restaurants, assisting with strategic plan development, and soliciting corporate partners.

Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly said, “Mr. Morgan has excellent credentials and a proven record of success in the tourism industry. He brings great enthusiasm and energy to this position. I am confident that Mr. Morgan is the right person to keep Charles County’s tourism efforts moving forward in a positive direction.”

“I believe that with Mr. Morgan at the helm, Charles County will benefit from his vast experiences in both economic development and tourism. I'm looking forward to having him move our county forward by showcasing our bountiful history,” said Commissioner Vice President Reuben B. Collins, II (District 3).

“Tourism is the world's largest industry, and Charles County has so many amenities to offer visitors that it is a natural for us to take destination marketing seriously. The hiring of Mr. Morgan clearly shows the importance we place on sharing Charles County with the world. Whether attracting long-stay visitors or ‘day-trippers’ from the D.C. metro area, we intend to showcase everything Charles County has to offer,” said Commissioner Ken Robinson (District 1). “I look forward to working with Mr. Morgan to achieve our tourism goals.”

“I am delighted to have Tim Morgan leading our county to enhance our promotions for tourism and special events. His background in management and planning will serve our citizens well as he takes on the monumental task he's been asked to undertake. I look forward to working with him,” said Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2).

Commissioner Bobby Rucci (District 4) said, “I'm very impressed by Mr. Morgan's credentials and background. His successes in the past are a solid foundation for putting our county at the forefront in tourism and special events.”

Morgan earned a Master’s degree in Sports Administration/Facility Management from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Morgan said, “I'm excited about this tremendous professional opportunity to lead Charles County's tourism development and promotion efforts. I look forward to collaborating with tourism partners to increase the visibility of Charles County's tourism offerings to visitors, which creates positive economic impact for the area.”

September Declared Turkish Cultural Heritage Month in Charles County

The Board of Commissioners proudly proclaimed September as Turkish Cultural Heritage Month in Charles County. The recognition aims to build awareness of relationships between Turkish heritage and other cultures, and recognize Turkish-American contributions to American society. During the month, an annual Turkish Festival will take place in our nation’s capital. The event will include authentic Turkish art, culture, live music, folk dancing, and food. Currently, 500,000 Turkish Americans live in the United States.

Fall 2014 Trips and Tours Schedule Announced

The Charles County Department of Community Services is offering the following upcoming trips and tours (fees shown are per person):

All Ages

Saturday, Nov. 15: Monticello & Michie Tavern, Charlottesville, Va.

Registration deadline: Wednesday, Oct. 15; Fee: $98

Saturday, Nov. 22: Christmas Spectacular, New York City

Registration deadline: Wednesday, Oct. 22; Fee: $149

Saturday, Dec. 13: Christmas in Washington, Washington, DC

Registration deadline: Thursday, Nov. 13; Fee: $44

Seniors (Age 60+)

Thursday, Oct. 30: The Marvelous Wonderettes, Boiling Springs, Pa.

Registration deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 30; Fee: $107

Tuesday, Dec. 2: It’s a Wonderful Life, Fredericksburg, Va.

Registration deadline: Tuesday, Oct. 21; Fee: $98

Fly Aways (All Ages):

April 27 – May 4, 2015: London & Paris

Registration deadline: Friday, Nov. 21; Fee: $4049 double; $4799 single

May 4-8, 2015: Spotlight on New Orleans

Registration deadline: Friday, Dec. 4; Fee: $2,079; $2479 single

Fall 2015: Discovery Tuscany

Details will be published in the winter GUIDE

Online registration is available at Registrations for senior trips are accepted at the Department of Community Services (8190 Port Tobacco Road, Port Tobacco) and the Richard R. Clark Senior Center (1210 Charles Street, La Plata). For more information on the trips and tours listed above, call 301-934-9305 or 301-870-3388 ext. 5159. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

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