St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Recreation and Parks Board Cancels Meeting

The St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks Board meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, January 5, 2017, has been canceled.

Recreation and Parks Board meetings are generally held on the first Thursday of each month, unless otherwise noted. The Board's next regularly scheduled meeting is Thursday, February 2, at 5:30 p.m., in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

For more information please contact the St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks at 301-475-4200, ext. *1811.

NBA Legend and Former Boston Celtic Chris Herren to Speak about Drug Addiction at St. Mary's County Public Schools

Evening Session Open to the Public

Former Boston Celtic and NBA legend Chris Herren will be the featured speaker at local presentations on drug addiction during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, January 22-28, 2017.

Herren will speak to student assemblies at Leonardtown, Great Mills and Chopticon High Schools on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 24 and 25, 2017. Herren will also give a community presentation on January 24 at Leonardtown High School at 7 p.m. (doors will open at 6 p.m.) The evening presentation will be free and open to the public.

In 1999, Chris Herren realized his lifelong dream to play in the NBA when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. However before his career began, he had a history of substance abuse. Following his rookie season, Herren was traded to the Boston Celtics and within a few years he lost it all. Over time, and with great effort, he was able to re-focus his life. Alcohol and drug free since 2008, Herren has since become a noted addiction speaker.

In a very personal and raw presentation, Herren tells the frank and honest story of his descent into addiction, his remarkable recovery and the new path which is allowing him to make a difference in the lives of others. Now he travels across the country telling his poignant story with the hope he will be able to reach just one person and save them from the effects of substance abuse.

St. Mary's County Public Schools, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and the St. Mary's County Department of Aging and Human Services are partnering to bring this inspiring event to the community.

"When the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office approached us with this we recognized how important it is for our students to hear Chris Herren's message," says Scott Smith, St. Mary's County Public Schools Superintendent. "We need to seize any opportunity available to educate our students about the consequences of drug misuse and abuse. Chris Herren's story has an impact on his audience that will resonate for years to come. Our kids need to hear it and I am confident Chris will get their attention."

"This program not only benefits our students but their families as well," adds St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron. "This is a continuation of our prevention efforts in St. Mary's County and we are pleased to be able to add Chris Herren's intimate point of view to the ongoing conversation surrounding alcohol and drug abuse and the impact it has on families."

Nationally, young adults (age 18 to 25) are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHS stimulants and anti-anxiety drugs. In 2014, more than 1,700 young adults died from prescription drug overdoses. Locally, 59% of middle and high school students have used alcohol in the past 30 days (with 20% before the age of 13) and 32% claim to be currently using.

"My day to day operation hinges upon partnerships such as the one the Sheriff's Office enjoys with the Board of Education. We will continue our commitment in drug awareness and prevention, which is why some of the funding for this event was made possible through monies seized from local drug dealers," concluded Captain Daniel Alioto, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office. "They are contributing to the problem and their ill-gotten proceeds should be a part of the solution."

To register for the evening presentation go to For more information, contact Jennifer Stone, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer, at 240-256-4847.

Hunt to Lead Land Use and Growth Management

Bill Hunt has been selected as interim director of Land Use and Growth Management (LUGM).

Hunt has served as LUGM's deputy director since December 2012. Prior to his arrival he was the Principal Planner and headed the Planning Division in Lake County, Illinois from 2000 to 2010. He began his career as an urban planner in Ocala, Florida in 1984 and was promoted to Planning Director before departing in 2000.

"We are grateful to have Bill Hunt assume the role of interim director of Land Use and Growth Management," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "His selection ensures a smooth transition while we search for a new LUGM director."

Hunt replaces Phil Shire who is set to retire January 31 after 38 years with county government.

"I will miss Phil's valuable guidance, leadership and friendship he's shown to me over the course of the past four years I have been with county government," said Hunt. "I look forward to the challenges Land Use and Growth Management is facing, including the development issues in places such as Charlotte Hall and Lexington Park."

His appointment is effective February 1.

St. Mary's County Government Operations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

All St. Mary's County Government Administrative Offices will be closed Monday, January 16, 2017, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 17.

The St. Andrews Landfill and six (6) Convenience Centers will operate under normal operating hours on Monday, January 16. In addition, St. Mary's Transit System (STS) will operate its normal routes and hours of operation. The SSTAP program for the Senior Activity Centers and SSTAP trips, however, will not operate on Monday, January 16.

All three St. Mary's County Library branches (Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park) will be closed on Monday, January 16.

All Senior Activity Centers (Garvey, Loffler and Northern) will be closed and no Meals on Wheels deliveries will be made.

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