Local Government News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Local Government News Briefs

Phased Re-Opening of Indian Head Rail Trail to Begin July 31

LA PLATA—The Charles County Department of Public Works’ Parks Division is pleased to issue an Indian Head Rail Trail opening schedule. Several weeks of favorable weather allowed construction crews to make significant progress in completing work on portions of the trail. Phases of the Indian Head Rail Trail will begin to re-open for public use starting this week.

The phased opening schedule for Indian Head Rail Trail starts on Friday, July 31. The opening schedule, as listed below, includes trail sections along with their associated opening dates:

Friday, July 31: Mattingly Avenue to Bumpy Oak Road

Friday, August 14: Bensville Road to Theodore Green Blvd.

Friday, August 28: Bumpy Oak Road to Bensville Road

Closure notices can be found on the Department of Public Works’ Parks Division website at www.CharlesCountyParks.com. Current information on closures will be posted on the Charles County Parks and Recreation Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CharlesCountyParksRecreation and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CharlesCoMD.

For more information, contact the Parks Division at 301-932-3470 or 301-870-2778. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

New Landfill and Mulch Facility Operating Hours to Begin Aug. 15

LA PLATA—The Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, announces new operating hours effective Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Charles County Landfill (12305 Billingsley Road, Waldorf) and Piney Church Road Mulch Facility (5370 Piney Church Road). The Landfill and Mulch Facility new operating hours are Monday-Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hours of operation for recycling centers will remain unchanged. The Charles County Landfill Recycling Center and Pisgah Recycling Center are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Breeze Farm Recycling Center and Gilbert Run Park Recycling Center are open Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to the county’s extensive list of recyclable items accepted at the recycling centers, residents are encouraged to utilize the Tag-A-Bag program to properly dispose of bagged household waste. The Tag-A-Bag program is a volume-based recycling incentive system for the disposal of bagged household trash. The more you recycle, the less trash you have; the less trash you have, the more money you save!

The landfill, mulch facility, and recycling centers are closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division, at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Extended Deadline: Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Information for Land Acquisition and a Regional Ag and Food Business Park

HUGHESVILLE—The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) has extended the deadline to August 7, 2015 to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the site of an Agricultural Business and Center for Food Innovation (the “Ag and Food Center”).

This Ag and Food Center is intended to be the site/sites for development of a regional farmers' market, local food and produce distribution hub to efficiently stock and distribute food from local farms to wholesale and retail buyers, value added processing of livestock, seafood, and produce, and an incubation site for beginning farm entrepreneurs. The site must have adequate land to accommodate a diverse set of agri-business uses.

To this end, the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland (TCC), through its Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) is requesting Expressions of Interest (EOI) and information for land acquisition. The EOI should be from landowners or their representatives for the lease or purchase of a site/sites suitable to develop the regional Agri-Business and Center for Food Innovation, located within the Southern Maryland region (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s counties). This is not a solicitation or request for formal proposals that will result in a contractual relationship or commit the TCC/SMADC to enter into a further agreement with any respondent. The EOI should be considered a request for interest and information only.

Two (2) hard copies of the EOI responses are required with accompanying electronic submittal (optional). Deadline for Submittal of Interest is 4:00 p.m. local time, August 7, 2015. For more information, and to view/download a copy of the EOI visit the SMADC website at: www.smadc.com.

Additionally, SMADC is gathering information from farmers and the public via a survey. The survey is posted on the SMADC website at: www.smadc.com. Questions should be directed via e-mail to: AgFoodCenter@smadc.com or by phone to (301) 274-1922.

Communications staff earns top school public relations awards

LA PLATA—The Charles County Public Schools communications department recently received four top awards in the 2015 National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) National School Communications Awards program.

Department staff received a Golden Achievement Award, which recognizes exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing and engagement. The award highlights the communications plan used for graduation 2015, which included efforts to communicate the change of graduation ceremony locations for six public high schools back to a venue in Charles County. The award is among more than 90 Golden Achievement Awards distributed to school systems nationwide.

Two videos produced by communications staff also received awards in the Publications and Electronic Media portion of the awards program. This area of the contest recognizes outstanding work in all types and forms of education communication, including print, electronic, video, audio, websites and social media.

A feature athlete video highlighting a La Plata High School wrestler received an Award of Merit, which is the second highest electronic media award given by NSPRA. A video featuring North Point High School’s Science, Technology and Industry (STI) programs received an Honorable Mention award.

Staff also received an additional Honorable Mention award for a branding package for the James E. Richmond Science Center. Materials submitted included a customized Science Center color folder and brochure, flyers created to advertise feature events scheduled at the Science Center and staff business cards.

Communications department staff includes Katie O’Malley-Simpson, director of communications; Kyle Graves, video production specialist; Kara Gross, communications multimedia assistant; Shelley Mackey, communications specialist; and Gary Nagel, web developer.

This is the third consecutive year that the department has received awards through the NSPRA Communications Contest. Each year, NSPRA sponsors a national communications contest to recognize school districts for their efforts in school public relations. NSPRA was chartered in 1935 and provides school communication training and services to school system leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Dept. of Defense Dependents Schools worldwide. For more information on NSPRA, visit www.nspra.org.

Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Divisional Play

LEONARDTOWN—Starting with the 2015 Fall season, the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) will be piloting Divisional Play across all sports. As the number of schools within the Conference has grown, the state limitations on the number of permitted contests in many sports do not allow all schools in the Conference to play one another to determine a true Conference champion.

There will be two divisions, the Chesapeake and Potomac divisions, and the winner of each division will be the school with the best record against the other schools in their division. When two schools have similar records, head to head competition will be the first criteria used to break the tie. In sports such as field hockey, soccer, baseball and lacrosse where only two teams can compete simultaneously, Divisional Champions will play one another to determine a conference champion prior to state play-offs. In sports such as track and field and swimming that allow for multi team competitions, Conference champions will continue to be determined by a culminating championship event involving all SMAC schools. The one exception will be football which due to the play-off schedule is not permitted an extra contest to determine a Conference Championship.

If warranted, adjustments to the Divisional structure and/or championship procedures will be based on feedback from SMAC Board of Control members received during the initial two-year piloting period.

For more information, please contact Dr. Andrew C. Roper, Supervisor of Instruction for Physical Education/Health, at 301-475-5511, extension 32122.

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