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20 Apr

WCTR LOCAL NEWS

News April 20 click to listen

Kent Island High School was evacuated on Tuesday due to a bomb threat...

 

Kent Island High School was evacuated on Tuesday due to a bomb threat. The incident happened around 10:04am on April 17 when the school resource officer was informed about a threatening message in the girls’ bathroom. The Queen Anne’s Sheriff’s Department responded with K-9 teams to search the school and after nothing was found, students re-entered the building. The Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit is investigating.

The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office along the county state’s attorney’s office and the school system are investigating an assault that was reported at Kent Island High School on Friday, April 13. The incident happened in the boys’ locker room and cell phone videos of the incident were shared on social media over the weekend. Allegedly the boys involved in the incident are members of the lacrosse team. Sheriff Gary Hoffman and State’s Attorney Lance Richardson said they first heard about the incident on Sunday, April 15 and began investigating the incident. While parents have expressed concerns about lack of information coming from the school system, State’s Attorney Lance Richardson said that his office, law enforcement, and the school system are not allowed to talk about the legal process due to the incident involving juveniles. He said the process is not transparent but he assures the community that the process will be handled fairly. Superintendent Dr. Andrea Kane sent a letter to parents on Wednesday April 17 saying the school system is investigating the incident and they are following the guidelines in the school system discipline code.

Chestertown’s Earth Day Festival is Saturday April 21 in Memorial Plaza from 9am to 1pm. The event is co-sponsored by the Town of Chestertown and Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society. There will be many environmental based businesses on hand with displays. You can recycle batteries, CFL and fluorescent bulbs and free paper shredding is available from 10am to noon. Infinity Recycling will have their “guess the weight” bales of crushed cans and plastic bottles. RiverArts is sponsoring a Recycled Art Contest and there will be face painting, a bounce house, and live music. Food will be for sale as well.

The Calvert Street surveillance camera was the main topic of conversation at the Monday, April 16 Chestertown mayor and council meeting. The concern was brought up by new Third Ward councilman Ellsworth Tolliver who represents the predominantly black Calvert Street area and feels the camera creates a stigma for the neighborhood. Chestertown Police Sgt. Steve Lozar said the camera solves a lot of crimes, especially narcotics enforcement. Councilman David Foster said he used to live near the corner of Kent and High Streets and requested a camera for that area and saw a significant decrease in crime. That camera is now being used at Calvert Street. Tolliver said he is not comfortable explaining to his constituents in the neighborhood why they are the only neighborhood with a camera. He says that school age children are under suspicion when they leave their home. Councilman Marty Stetson, formerly the town’s police chief, asked “who’s uncomfortable?” saying that children are being protected by the camera. Mayor Chris Cerino said the camera was requested by residents of the neighborhood after a drive-by shooting. Town manager Bill Ingersoll said the camera was funded by a state grant for criminal activity hot spots. He said if funding was available, he’d like to have cameras in the parks, rail trail, and the town’s street department yard.

Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin will be the commencement speaker at Washington College’s 235th Commencement on May 20. Martin is currently vice president of Mobile and Global Policy Access at Facebook, Inc. and is a recognized expert on media, communications and technology policy. He currently oversees Facebook’s connectivity programs and communications regulation issues and has been with Facebook since 2015. Prior to his work with Facebook, he was an FCC commissioner from 2001-2005 and then FCC chairman from 2005-2009.

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are mailing out copies of the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Operating and Capital budgets prior to their upcoming budget hearings. Earlier this month, the commissioners announced their proposed budget that will not have tax increases. They will have public hearings on the budget on Monday, April 23 7pm at Bayside Elementary School; Tuesday April 24, 7pm at the Liberty Building in Centreville; and Wednesday April 25, 7pm at Sudlersville Middle School. The proposed Operating and Capital Budgets are also available on the county’s website at qac.org, just type in Budget Section in the Search field.

The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspected Friday night heroin overdose in Grasonville. The incident happened around 10:51pm on April 13 when responders from the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services responded to a call at 115 Quinn Road and found a man lying unresponsive in the driveway. After attempts to revive the man, he was pronounced dead at the scene. The deceased was identified as 19-year-old Harry Louis Zagami of Stevensville. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

The Rock Hall Police Department is getting a new Dodge Charger. The Rock Hall mayor and council voted on April 12 to pay $25,000 for the new police vehicle, $12,500 now and the remainder during the next budget cycle. Police Chief Bill Dempsey said he would like to remove the current 2000 and 2007 vehicles from the fleet due to repair expenses. Chief Dempsey also said the Elks Lodge has set up a drug drop box at the municipal building that will be emptied by the police department once a month. Town manager Ron Fithian said that the town made an error in reading the water meter at Waterman’s Crab House and will correct the $432 mistake. Fithian said the town will put its trash service out to bid and hopes to get a pickup date close to Monday. The town also honored Ryan Glenn, a Rock Hall resident and member of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services who helped saved a man who attempted to jump off the Bay Bridge in a suicide attempt on April 9.

The Maryland Public Service Commission is holding a public hearing on the proposed Massey Solar Farm later this month. The hearing will be at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 26 at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church on Maryland Line Road in Massey. This will be the second public hearing for the proposed Massey Solar LLC’s 5 megawatt solar facility to be located at the intersection of Rt. 299 and Rt. 313. The hearing will be held by Public Utility Law Judge Ryan C. McLean.

A Grasonville man was arrested on multiple drug charges after a Thursday morning search of his home. Around 10:30am, April 12, the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force served a warrant at the residence of 66-year-old Donald Rayfield Handy at 200 Grasonville Cemetery Road. Police seized 25.9 grams of suspected heroin, 113 grams of suspected powdered cocaine, working digital scales, $5,666 in cash, packing materials and mail. Also seized were Handy’s three vehicles after their investigation revealed suspicion that he was selling drugs from his vehicles. Handy has a previous criminal history of drug crimes.

The Kent County Public School System is requesting that the state waive one instructional day in order to allow the school system to make for the two extra snow days this school year. Maryland public schools are required to have 180 instructional days and Kent County built in five snow days but the March snowstorms led the school system to cancel seven days this year. If the school system gets the one day waiver, the other day will be tacked on to the end of the school year. The school system also has to follow the state requirements that the school year starts after Labor Day and has to be done by June 15. The current school calendar has June 14 as their last day.

The Town of Millington may be taking over ownership of the Quaker Burial Ground in the 400-block of Cypress Street. Copies of a two-page agreement with the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and the Philadelphia-based Materials Conservation were handed out at the Tuesday, April 10 Millington mayor and council meeting by town manager Jo Manning. The agreement lists the items necessary to prepare the property to be turned over to the town. Items would include repairing and improving legibility of some grave markers as well as property cleanup. Council member Kevin Hemstock, who has done research on the cemetery, approved of the plan and mayor C.J. Morales added that that if the property lines are clearly defined, he’s OK with the project. The Philadelphia Quakers said the property has been neglected for over 100 years and said it is difficult to maintain the property from Philadelphia and there are not enough local Quakers to be stewards. The town has not taken any action as the presentation was only for information. The town voted to reduce the number of dwelling units on a Sassafras Street property from 6 to 3 for water and wastewater capacity fees due to the property owner converting the second floor to storage space. The town also approved their trash contract with their current vendor Chesapeake Waste, for $4.97 a month per home.

On Wednesday, April 11, the Town of Centreville passed an emergency ordinance to allow citizens to have temporary parking permits for designated areas due to the construction work. The new ordinance will allow the town to enforce two-hour parking at non-metered spaces. Before the ordinance, the town could only enforce two-hour parking at metered spaces. Also, Commerce Street residents will be able to get a reserved parking permit for space at the perimeter of the Happy Lady Lane parking lot while Commerce Street is closed. Applicants can apply at Town Hall at 101 Lawyers Row. You can get more information at townofcentreville.org.

In Fall 2018, the State Highway Administration will start replacing the Rt. 213 bridge over Old Mill Stream Branch in Centreville. The SHA will have a public meeting on Thursday, April 26 from 5:30-7pm at Centreville Middle School at 231 Ruthsburg Road. It’s a self-paced meeting where attendees can view displays and get information from SHA officials

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a Wednesday night arson attempt in Denton. The incident happened around 11:09pm when Denton firefighters were called to the 200 block of South 6th Street when two unknown suspects in a moving car threw Molotov Cocktails toward a backyard shed at the home. One of the cocktails set fire to the grass near the shed while the other hit the shed but did not ignite. A neighbor noticed the fire and the residents were at home at the time. No serious damage was done but investigators are asking if anyone has information to call the Fire Marshal’s office at 410-822-7609.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot was in Chestertown on Tuesday and gave out awards to various businesses and owners. Franchot awarded the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Kent County to Dick Goodall, the CEO of Dixon Valve and Coupling. Franchot said the award was for Goodall’s commitment to his family business and for his involvement in education, especially with Character Counts. Goodall said he appreciates the award but said there are people in the community who deserve it more than he does. Franchot also gave out a proclamation to Al Cassinelli of Bad Alfred’s Distillery on High Street and toured the facility as well as honoring Chuck Ministero of Uncle Charlie’s Bistro.

On Tuesday, the Kent County Commissioners unanimously approved the county’s Comprehensive Plan with a few changes. Among the changes was a request from the town of Millington to reflect future growth in the town which removes language reflecting a past goal of the county not to have housing developments along the Rt. 301 corridor. The commissioners also heard budget requests from several agencies including Chesapeake College, Kent County Public Health’s Post Adjudication Supervision and Treatment program, the Kent Center, Upper Shore Aging, Kent County Public Library, Kent Soil and Water Conservation District, University of Maryland Extension for Kent, Queen Anne’s and Cecil Counties, and the Kent County Arts Council.

On Monday, the Kent County Board of Education unanimously approved Superintendent Karen Couch’s proposed $27.9 million budget which requests an increase of $597,650 in funding from the county over the current maintenance of effort. The school system would also spend their fund balance down to $500,000. Dr. Couch was not at the Monday meeting due to an emergency, so the budget was presented by Jane Towers the school system’s financial supervisor and Gina Jachimowicz, the supervisor of elementary education. The budget will be presented at the April 17 Kent County Commissioners meeting.

ShoreRivers is inviting the community to a series of “State Of The Rivers” presentations in April and May, including one each in Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties. The report cards will show the data that was collected by ShoreRivers and the public will be able to hear about the health, trends and challenges of the local waterways. They will also give the current grades and how they compare with previous years. The Kent County presentation on the Chester River will be on Thursday, April 26 beginning at 5:15pm at Washington College’s Hynson Lounge at 300 Washington Avenue in Chestertown. The keynote speaker will be John Seidel of Washington College. The Queen Anne’s County presentation on the Wye and Chester Rivers along with Eastern Bay will be on Wednesday, May 16 beginning at 5:30pm at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, 600 Discover Lane in Grasonville. The speakers will be Riverkeepers Elle Bassett and Tim Trumbauer. The Sassafras River presentation will be on Thursday, May 3 beginning at 7pm at the Cecilton Firehouse on Rt. 213, 110 E. Main Street. The speaker will be former Chesapeake Bay Program director Nick DiPasquale. Senator Chris Van Hollen will speak on Friday, April 20 beginning at 5pm for the Miles, Wye and Choptank Rivers at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Saint Michaels. The Choptank River presentation will be at 5:30pm on April 26 at the Robbins Heritage Center in Cambridge with Jay Lazar of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the speaker.

Pip’s Liquors in Chestertown has had their license suspended for 30 days and was fined $1,000. The decision came at an April 3 administrative hearing with the Kent County Commissioners after the owners were charged with delivering alcohol for sale in Delaware in violation of Kent County law. The licensees of Pip’s Liquors Fortunato Cristiani, Robert Connell and Denise Norman attended the meeting but did not testify. Kent County Commissioner President William Pickrum announced the decision after the commissioners deliberated in private for about 10 minutes. The decision comes after a Dec. 1 incident where Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement agents seized 117 cases of untaxed liquor from Cristiano’s Bear, Delaware residence along with cash, business records, a pistol and suspected marijuana after a search warrant. Kent County Attorney Tom Yeager said the charges in Delaware were dismissed because of possible issues with the search warrant. The attorney for Pip’s said the alcohol was purchased for personal use and was not being stored for resale.