St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

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Replenished Supplies of Free Mulch to be Available to Residents

The St. Mary's County department of Public Works and Transportation has some good news for citizens. Free mulch has been prepared and is set to become available to those seeking to acquire some for their use.

County residents are welcome to pick up mulch free of charge, beginning this Friday, June 8, at the St. Andrew's Landfill. Mulch is available for pickup between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The St. Andrew's Landfill is closed on Sundays. Mulch will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Citizens are reminded that they are responsible for the loading and transportation of the mulch. Please bring a shovel, pitchfork or similar hand tool to load the mulch. Covering the load with a tarp prior to transporting is required in order to minimize material from blowing off the vehicle.

If assistance is required, special needs exist or additional information is requested, please contact the Department of Public Works & Transportation at 301-475-4200, ext. *3517. Additional Recycling/Solid Waste Program information is available on the web at

Recreation & Parks Board Changes June Meeting Location

The location of the St. Mary's County Recreation and Parks Board meeting, scheduled for Thursday, June 7, has been changed. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a tour of the St. Mary's Gymnastics Center facility, located at 21770-A FDR Blvd. in Great Mills. The meeting will then move to the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad, located at 21685 FDR Blvd. in Lexington Park, for the business meeting.

Recreation and Parks Board meetings are generally held on the first Thursday of each month, at 5:30 p.m., in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown, unless otherwise noted.

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

Public Invited to Flag Day Event

Flag retirement ceremony to again cap festivities

2018 Flag Day 2018 festivities, co-sponsored by the Commissioners of St. Mary's County and the Commissioners of Leonardtown, will take place on Thursday, June 14 at 6 p.m.

The event will be held on the Governmental Center Lawn in Leonardtown. If inclement weather should occur, the ceremony will be moved inside the Leonard Hall Recreation Center, adjacent to the lawn.

The event will feature a procession by various color guards and veterans groups from around the county. A formal ceremony and Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance follows the procession.

Again this year, at the conclusion of the formal program, members of the American Legion Post in Avenue, Maryland, will hold a flag retirement ceremony. Legion members will demonstrate the dignified and proper method of disposing of worn, torn and/or tattered flags.

The Seventh District Optimist Club will provide refreshments and free hand-held American Flags will be distributed to all in attendance.

For more information, contact Andrew Ponti, Communications Coordinator, at 301-475-4200, ext. *1340.

Emergency Repair Work to Close Charlotte Hall Convenience Center

Severe deterioration of the road surface, amount of manpower/equipment needed for the asphalt repair and safety concerns regarding residential traffic in a condensed area will force the Charlotte Hall Convenience Center to close Wednesday, June 13 (weather permitting).

Nearby Convenience Center sites include the Oakville Convenience Center, located at 16630 North Sandgates Road and the Clements Convenience Center, located at 24547 Horseshoe Road.

Citizens are asked to go to for more information.

The St. Mary's county Department of Public Works and Transportation apologizes for any inconvenience this closing may cause.

The Charlotte Hall Convenience Center is expected to reopen for regular business on Thursday, June 14.

Public Logic and Accuracy Demonstration to be Held

The St. Mary's County Board of Elections will conduct a Public Logic and Accuracy Demonstration on the DS200 Ballot Scanner and Express Vote voting units, Friday June 8, at 10 a.m.

Testing will take place at the Election Warehouse, 47382 Lincoln Avenue, in Lexington Park (Old Carver Elementary School).

For more information and questions, please contact Wendy Adkins at 301-475-4200, ext. * 1613.

National Hurricane Center Products and Services Update for 2018 Hurricane Season

There are three changes the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is making for the upcoming hurricane season:

1. Adjustments to official hurricane track maps

One of the biggest changes this hurricane season will be adjustments to the NHC's hurricane track map. When the NHC issues a track for a tropical system, the map includes what is known as the "cone of uncertainty." For the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, the cone will be smaller than it has been in past years. This will give the public a better idea of where the center of the storm is headed in the coming days.

"The cone represents the probable track of the center of a tropical cyclone, and is formed by enclosing the area swept out by a set of imaginary circles placed along the forecast track," the NHC said. While this map shows where the center of the storm is projected to track, some impacts may be experienced in areas outside of the cone.

2. Experimental wind maps will become official

In 2017, the NHC introduced an experimental map to help convey to the public when strong winds would arrive at a given location. These experimental maps showed the expected arrival time of tropical storm-force winds in 6 to 12-hour increments extending five days out.

The NHC will issue two different maps showing variations of the expected arrival times.

"One [component] is the 'earliest reasonable time' one could expect tropical-storm-force winds within the forecast cone. The second component is the 'most likely' time one could expect tropical-storm-force winds to reach a given location within the forecast cone

3. Advisories will include potential impacts farther in advance

Whenever there is an active tropical system, the NHC issues a public advisory which includes information about all aspects of the storm, such as current winds, expected storm surge and the precise location of the system's center. In past years, these advisories only discussed the given tropical system for the next two days, limiting the amount of long-range details about the storm. However, beginning this year, these advisories will contain information which talks about hazards as far as five days in advance.

It's Back to School at Drayden

During a recent field trip to the Drayden African American Schoolhouse by 9th and 10th grade Kings Christian Academy students, Dr. Janice Walthour provided the group an arithmetic lesson. The Schoolhouse is one of the few surviving one-room school buildings in St. Mary's County and one of the best preserved African-American schoolhouses in the United States.

Unlike most schoolhouses of this kind, it still occupies its original site and remains significantly unaltered. The school served the African-American community in Drayden for more than 50 years, closing its doors for the last time in 1944. The structure was nearly lost with the passage of time, but the school survived and was given to the county in September 2000.

After being stabilized, work to restore the historic school began in 2015 and was completed earlier this year, thanks to the work of Don Cropp. The St. Mary's County Historic Preservation Commission presented Mr. Cropp with an award on May 15 for his efforts. The schoolhouse is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month and on other days by appointment.

For more information about the Drayden African American Schoolhouse, call the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park at 301-994-1471.

Interfaith Health Alliance Offers Support for Faith-based Youth Mentoring Programs

The Interfaith Health Alliance (IHA), a partnership between the St. Mary's County Health Department and the Interfaith Council of St. Mary's County, is seeking local faith-based organizations to implement youth mentoring programs in the community.

"We see the Interfaith Health Alliance as a perfect opportunity to bring the faith perspective and approach to helping cultivate a generation of young people who are morally fortified to live healthy, productive lives free from the bonds of illicit drug-use" said Michael Martines, President of the Interfaith Council. "An investment of time mentoring young people pays future dividends of peace and prosperity."

The IHA hopes to support local faith-based organizations in building new or expanding existing youth mentoring programs within their faith groups. Mentoring youth as they navigate the challenges of childhood and teen years can help build resiliency, mental well-being, and important life skills. Mentoring can also be a key factor in preventing youth drug misuse and addiction.

"As our community faces the ongoing opioid crisis, we recognize that many faith leaders serve a critical role in guiding their congregants through personal and family struggles," stated Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary's County Health Officer. "We want to support our faith leaders with resources that are effective in preventing youth drug use."

Resources and technical assistance with implementing youth mentoring programs are available, as funding allows, to interested faith-based organizations. Grant funding to support this initiative was provided by the Rotary Club of Lexington Park.

For more information, visit or contact the St. Mary's County Health Department at (301) 475-4330.

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