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Thursday, July 10, 2008 • St. Mary’s County, Maryland

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Kids D.A.R.E. To Stay Drug Free By Guy Leonard Staff Writer As Deputy First Class Angela Muller started up her class Tuesday, she reviewed with her small group of 5th and 6th graders what they had learned about the dangers of tobacco and smoking cigarettes in the previous day’s lesson. “There’s 200 poisons in tobacco,” one student called out. “You can get yellow teeth,” another said. And so began the second day of the return of the D.A.R.E. program (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) after a hiatus of several years to St. Mary’s County. The programs is designed to bring educators, law enforcement officers and students together to teach children through Kindergarten to the 12th grade the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and how to avoid them. Tuesday’s lesson focused on Photo by Guy Leonard how children in their younger years can take a more critical look Deputy First Class Angela Muller, talks with Sydney Armitage and Danielle Hutchinson at D.A.R.E at advertising methods of tobacco Camp during a game of musical chairs to jog their memories on what they learned about the affects of alcohol and tobacco.

See D.A.R.E. page A-

Hoyer Announces $43,500 Grant For Piney Point Lighthouse On July 2nd, Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced the award of a $43,500 grant for the enhancement of visitor access to the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park in St. Mary’s County, one of the oldest original lighthouses built on the Potomac. The funding was awarded through the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network grant program, which helps support more than 156 museums, parks, wildlife refuges, Indian reservations, water trails, and other attractions in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will replace the site’s small pier on the park’s north campus and add a 6’x10’ floating step down platform to facilitate the launching and retrieval of kayaks in the protected creek off the Potomac River.

Citizens Can Access Crime Activity Stats On-line County residents can now access a link on the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Web site that can show them which crimes are happening where in their communities.

The new link to the Web site,, can be accessed through the site, according to information from the sheriff’s office.

Mechanicsville Suspect, 16-YearsMan Charged With Old, Charged Possession of Illegal With Rape Fireworks By Guy Leonard Staff Writer

Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Bomb Technicians with the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Bomb Squad charged a St. Mary’s County man with possession of fireworks with the intent to discharge this weekend. The charge stemmed from a large stash of fireworks confiscated June 28, found on a barge anchored in the Patuxent River, not far from the community known as Patuxent View in Prince Frederick. Investigators discovered $10,000 worth of fireworks purchased from various locations in the Commonwealth of Virginia and belonging to Jack R. Beckwith, 58, of Mechanicsville. Beckwith did not have a permit for the display, and he was not a licensed shooter in the state of See Illegal Fireworks page A-

Detectives with the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations have charged a 16-year-old juvenile from Great Mills with raping a 12-year-old female over the holiday weekend. John K. Edison, Jr. remains incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center after he was denied bond Monday by District Court Judge John Slade. Edison has been charged as an adult and also faces second and fourth-degree sex offense charges as well as a second-degree assault charge. According to charging documents filed by Detective See Rape Charge page A-

Residents Enjoy A Fabulous Fourth Of July Andrea Shiell Staff Writer

What could be more American than soft shell crab sandwiches, funnel cake, rock and roll, puppet shows, lawn chairs, fireworks, and…belly dancers? Hundreds gathered to enjoy these and other attractions, and all seemed to blend seamlessly during this year’s 20th annual Freedom Fest, held at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds this weekend. Families looking to celebrate America’s 232nd birthday this year had no shortage of options when it came to local festivities. On Friday, jazz vocalist Hilary Kole sang at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, as part of the River Concert series, leading into a fireworks display, and similar events were held at Solomons as well. On Sunday, Jeffrey Silberschlag and the Chesapeake Orchestra Brass Quintet performed on the front lawn

The CrimeReports site gets its information directly from the sheriff’s office’s incident and crime reports and then relays them back to the information seekers. Once the site has been accessed citizens can type in either an address, city state or zip code to see which crimes have occurred in their neighborhoods and at what time within a two-mile search radius, according to sheriff’s office information. Those accessing the site can use in a zoom-in and zoom-out feature that allows them a closer look at where the crime took place. The user can also access an analysis of the crimes on the Web site to view crime trends, the number of crimes and particular crimes as a percentage of total crimes. Anyone accessing can also view crime statistics in neighboring counties that participate with the Web site.

Photo by Andrea Shiell

This year’s spectacular fireworks show was but one of the highlights of the 20th annual St. Mary’s County Freedom Fest.

Inside Op.-Ed .......... Obituaries..... Community... Police ............ Classifieds..... Thursday Cloudy 84°

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The County Times

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Murder Suspect Ordered To Continue Paying Child Support From Jail Wife Injured In Shooting Still Recovering By Guy Leonard Staff Writer A Lexington Park man accused of murdering his estranged wife’s boyfriend and attempting to kill her in the process must continue paying child support for their three children. A ruling by Circuit Court Master F. Michael Harris last week determined that Koummane Virasith must still make the child support payments to Melissa Virasith despite being detained in the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. The double shooting that took the life of Thomas John Saunders, 38, and seriously injured Melissa Virasith, 40, occurred April 10. Before the shooting occurred, Melissa Virasith had filed two domestic

violence complaints against her husband for alleged abusive behavior. The couple separated in 2006, court documents stated, with Koummane Virasith made to pay $400 a month in child support. Melissa Virasith wrote to the court in late June stating that child support was now vital to her keeping her family going while she was recovering from the shooting. “I have no income and will not have any income for some time to come,” Melissa Virasith wrote. “I feel that he is still responsible for the support of our three sons and I do not want to modify our support agreement.” Melissa Virasith stated in her letter that she was currently a paraplegic as a result of the shooting and was undergoing therapy at a hospital in Baltimore.

In a letter to the court written little more than a week after Koummane Virasith allegedly shot the two victims, he stated that he had always paid his child support on time every month while gainfully employed. His incarceration in the detention center now made that impossible, he wrote in the letter. Harris agreed to enforce the current order, court records ref lect, and even more Harris actually found that Virasith had had himself incarcerated so that he could avoid making the payments. Virasith was first ordered to start making the payments in October of 2007. Pauline Mandel, an attorney with the Maryland Crime Victim’s Resource Center who represents Melissa Virasith,

Thursday, July 10, 2008 said that her client declined to comment on recent proceedings. Virasith is set to be tried for Saunders’ murder and the shooting of his wife in September, according to court papers. State’s Attorney Richard Fritz told The County Times that he will seek life imprisonment for Koummane Virasith for the double shooting; Fritz said he was also considering filing motions that called for the defendant to imprisoned without the possibility of parole. Fritz said in a hearing before Circuit Court Judge C. Clarke Raley that he had been waiting for three to four weeks for an attorney from the Public Defender’s Office to enter an appearance as Koummane Virasith’s lawyer in the murder trial. The public defender’s office has taken the case. Fritz said progress in the case had stalled as he was waiting for another attorney to receive the discovery of all the evidence uncovered in the shooting investigation. “I’m happy because discovery can continue and we can move towards trial,” Fritz said. “We want to stay on course.”

Martirano Implements New Screening Process for School Volunteers Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Those wishing to volunteer for St. Mary’s County Public Schools will now have to go through a more extensive screening process to be approved. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, SMCPS will implement new procedures for screening volunteers to ensure an appropriate level of background checks for all community members who provide volunteer hours to its schools. Under the new procedures, two classifications of volunteers have been established. “Registered volunteers,” who serve on an occasional or routine basis may

Security F. Michael Wyant said that SMCPS is anticipating screening more than 2,000 volunteers in the next year, but have unsupervised contact rary volunteers will have to been subjected to the same potential volunteers will not with a student at or away from complete a volunteer applica- type of background check as have to wait long to find out the school site. This group in- tion to be screened against the other school system employ- if they are approved. “We’re cludes, but its not limited to, National Sex Offender Regis- ees or substitute teachers. expecting a turnaround of 24 Also in April, 54 year- to 48 hours but we’re expectchaperones for field trips and try, for which there will be no old David Emile Guillemette ing them to anticipate where overnight school trips, coach- corresponding costs. All of this comes in the was arrested and charged with they’re at as early as possies, tutors, mentors, school office and classroom aides, and wake of a rash of arrests that committing sexual abuse to- ble,” Wyant said, adding that student teachers. Registered happened in April involving ward a 15 year-old female who people who had volunteered volunteers will be required to suspected sexual offenses had visited his home, as well in previous years would be complete an application for a within the school system. as third-degree sex offense subject to the same screening formal background screening, One involved 24 year-old and second-degree assault. procedures as newcomers to the costs for which will be Scott Strandberg of Lexing- Guillemette had worked as a the system, and that those incovered by the school system. ton Park, a former drum line substitute teacher at various terested in participating in the The other classification is coach for Leonardtown High St. Mary’s County elementa- school system’s many volunfor “temporary volunteers,” School who was arrested for ry schools, and had been sub- teer opportunities would need who participate in single allegedly having sexual con- jected to a background check, to get their applications in as events and do not have un- tact with a 16 year-old female which showed no prior crimi- soon as possible. supervised contact with stu- student both at his home and nal record save for charges reThe background screendents, to include chaperones on a school bus between Sep- lated to traffic citations and a ing process for registered for field trips, school dances, tember and November of last peace order that had been filed volunteers includes a state and guest speakers. Under year. Under the old system, against him by complainants of Maryland criminal backthe new procedures, tempo- as a paid volunteer, he had not who failed to appear in court. ground check, social security School Superintendent verification, and residential Michael Martirano announced history. Those who have his intentions to initiate a lived in Maryland for seven tougher screening process for years or more may or may not volunteers after these arrests be subjected to an out-of-state were made, explaining that check, depending on their involunteers would be screened dividual records. against the National Sex OfMany other community fender Registry to start with. groups such as little league Supervisor of Safety and and the boy scouts are in

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the process of implementing similar measures, if none are currently in place. In many cases, these groups have been a step ahead of the school system when screening volunteers. Michelle Smith, manager of the Lusby center of Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland says that in her three-year tenure with the organization, background checks for all volunteers have been mandatory. “They have an application they have to fill out, and we do a background check with fingerprints,” she explained, adding that all applicants are checked against the state and federal sex offender registry. The Center for Children in Southern Maryland also has measures in place to screen volunteers, checking applicants against a national child abuse registry in addition to completing a criminal background check. “We’re going to be issuing photo identification cards throughout the year as well… we’re just looking to enhance our existing procedures and be more thorough with our screening,” said Wyant, who said that with any luck, future incidents may be avoided.

Union Rep: Federal Firefighter Cuts In District Could Happen In St. Mary’s By Guy Leonard Staff Writer

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The head of a regional group of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) says that decisions by the chief of Districtbased federal firefighters, Regional Fire Chief Edward G. Stillwell, to cut jobs in the District could be a warning signal that the same may happen at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and other federal workplaces closeby. Greg Russell, president of the National Capital Professional Federal Firefighters Local 121, which represents federal firefighters in Maryland, Virginia and the District, said Stillwell’s decision comes about three months after the local union took a vote of no confidence in their leader, in which Patuxent River NAS firefighters took part. If similar cuts in federal firefighting staff happen at the local U.S. Navy base, Russell said, the base may have to call upon county already strained county resources to complete their mission. “If they’re willing to make cuts in the nation’s capital then they won’t hesitate to cut members in rural locations like St. Mary’s County,” Russell said. There are about 60 to 70 federal firefighters assigned to the base, Russell said, but that number could actually be less because of supposed attrition problems. “Since Stillwell has been in charge attrition rates [in the union’s region] have been higher than in previous years,” Russell told The County Times. Russell said that the no-confidence vote came after Stillwell persisted in not heeding firefighters’ concerns about safety precautions

and proper training for his troops. Stillwell also did not provide adequate safety equipment to firefighters, Russell claimed, as well as radio that could be used on military frequencies. The recent cuts in the District, Russell said, meant that for every four-person crew assigned to an apparatus, there was one now taken away. For the 20 firefighters on duty in the District at federal sites on a given shift that reduced the number to 16 firefighters available, Russell said, or a reduction of about 20 percent. Stillwell has already cut the number of positions at the station at Patuxent River, Russell said, by about 6 positions a year-and-a-half ago. “They were essential,” Russell said of the positions cut at the base fire house. “They’re taking a calculated risk in making these cuts.” The recent cuts in the District, made July 2 according to Russell, had federal firefighters worried. “It’s just one more thing that indicates he doesn’t care for our safety,” Russell claimed. Phone calls to Stillwell were not returned as of press time. Russell said that if Stillwell did not act to either reinstate the positions or take action on the union’s safety concerns, they would take a censure resolution drafted from the no-confidence vote in May to the IAFF yearly convention. Russell said the local union would push the larger union to bring pressure to bear on Stillwell’s command to bring about the change they wanted. The local federal firefighters union represents about 200 firefighters in the capitol region.

The County Times

Thursday, July 10, 2008

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The County Times

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Editorial & Opinion A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO SOUTHERN MARYLAND!!! The Fight Back Express made its successful visit to Southern Maryland 06 June 08 in the Prince Frederick Walmart parking lot.  Southern Maryland was the premiere stop in our state and one of the most energized and touching stops to date.  Participants from the Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s County Relay For Life events were a part of the spirited crowd. At this stop, we were able to show the rest of the state that the tri-county area is truly a community that cares and is willing to do what it takes to end death and suffering from cancer.  Southern Maryland has a very strong contingency of volunteers and grass roots efforts to all joined in a fight to end death and suffering from cancer.  I want to thank the residents form Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties for this incredible event.  It was truly wonderful to see those who attended the event and those who dropped by as they were shopping and saw the bus.  Everyone who stopped by signed the bus leaving messages of hope that celebrate the lives of those who are fighting, will fight, and have fought the disease; remember those who we have lost; and pledge to continue to fight back against this disease.  We also collected petitions and personal stories to send to our state and federal lawmakers. The Fight Back Express is a bus representing the collective voice of volunteers from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) that is traveling across the nation until the November election.  It brings the faces of cancer to the forefront and reminds elected officials that cancer is not merely a number or a statistic, but a disease that causes death and suffering.  It will remind all that cancer is a disease that affects the community not just an individual.  It tells our leaders that cancer must be eradicated and kicked to the curb!!! The Maryland leg of the Fight Back Express was dedicated to a beautiful young girl named Talia Marie Pleasant who lost her battle to this disease 24 May 2008 at the age of 4.  Her story is chronicled by her mother at http://www.  During the battle for her life, her parents had to either pay out of pocket or change their insurance. The change in insurance delayed her radiation treatment by at least 10 days. Her parents had insurance, yet they still had to overcome access to care problems to receive the best possible treatment and improve Talia’s chances. I emceed the event and was able to share Talia’s story with those who were present along with

several additional speakers who shared their stories and reminded us that cancer touches everyone. I would like to thank our speakers; Mr. Mike Miller, Maryland State Senate President, who spoke about how he has personally been touched by cancer and was even convinced to join ACS CAN in a personal pledge to fight back; Donna Ferguson, represented Dr. Edith Patterson (Charles County Commissioner), who gave Dr. Patterson’s compelling story and pledge to fight back; and an ACS CAN Ambassador from Calvert County, Elaine Koogler.  Photos from the event can be seen at I would also like to thank the volunteer planning committee for the stop: Peggy Kidwell, Sue Moats, Wendy Callins, Natalie Thomas, Sue Lyddon-Hayes and Betsy Gallun for their dedication and commitment in this fight.  Thank you to Walmart for the use of the parking lot and donating water, Panera Bread for bagels and cream cheese, and Starbucks for coffee.  I cannot convey how wonderful the involvement of our community reflects upon all of us. You can learn more about ACS CAN, the Fight Back Express and why I fight at http://action.acscan. org/goto/georgette.b.gaskin or contact me at  Too many of us continue to lose loved ones who fought valiantly to win their personal wars against cancer.  It is time to fight back.  If one person can battle this disease, the voice a nation can defeat it.  Together with our elected officials we can fight back to kick cancer to the curb!!!  I again want to thank Mr. Miller and Dr. Patterson for making the pledge to fight back against this horrid disease.  I urge their constituents to thank them. I encourage each of you to contact your commissioners, state legislators, Congressman Hoyer, Senator Mikulski, and Senator Cardin to encourage them to join us in our fight!  They can either join us or be left behind by the momentum we have started in our great community!! Always remember…  It takes one vote, one voice, our voice to kick cancer to the curb!  I AM PROUD TO BE A PART OF A COMMUNITY LIKE SOUTHERN MARYLAND – OUR COLLECTIVE VOICE WILL KICK CANCER TO THE CURB!!! Sincerely, Georgette B. Gaskin http://action.acscan. org/goto/georgette.b.gaskin American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer Maryland State Lead Ambassador Contact Information, not for publication: 44790 Locust Ridge Court Unit 846 California, MD 20619 301-862-3561 Georgette Gaskin California, Md

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Greenwell Foundation Grateful for Support On May 16, the Greenwell Foundation held its fourth annual Greenwell Gala. This is our biggest fundraising event of the year and all of the proceeds directly support the inclusive programs offered at Greenwell State Park. This year the Gala celebrated the Foundation’s newest endeavor, Vacations for Vets™ - a program designed to give our nation’s recovering service members and their families a no-cost weekend vacation at Greenwell’s Knott Lodge. We were honored to have as our guest speaker Rear Admiral Steven R. Eastburg, Commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and Assistant Commander for Research and Engineering at the Naval Air Systems Command at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Greenwell is thankful for his presence at our event. Such an event is only possible with the gracious support of many sponsors and donors: CSC Range & Engineering Services, General Dynamics IT, ManTech Systems Engineering Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, W.M. Davis, Inc., Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Christine Wray & John Felicitas, Blazer Enterprises, Heritage Printing & Graphics, PNC Bank, TriCounty Abstract, Gary & Mary Blakely, Cherry Cove Land Management, County First Bank, Combs and Drury, DCS Corporation, David W.

Letter to the Editor I pray that last week’s correspondent to the editorial page doesn’t hold the majority opinion of our countrymen. Comparing “A terrorist might knock down buildings and maybe some extreme example they might blow up a city...” to our people’s monetary debt, represents extreme blindness to fact and threat.  Notice that there is no mention of nearly three thousand neighbors, relatives, friends and acquaintances who were murdered in the destruction of buildings.  Nor is the bombing of one of our Navy ships with consequent loss of sailors’ lives seemingly a big deal.  Embassies, train stations, airports are just material things.  Life to the killers is immaterial...and apparently so to some of our own countrymen who proclaim money outranks the gift of life and the threat to our promise of rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Senator Obama is still in political diapers.  He has to be changed after every public appearance where his words are not rolling on a TV screen.  Facts still should outrank “if it feels good, do it”, “young, handsome, non-confrontational, can’t we all just get along, kum bay yah” may have cut it at Woodstock, but leading the country should be much more a mature requirement.  Obama ain’t got it, friends. One of Reverend Billy Graham’s team has gathered some facts which must be remembered. Bill Brown, is a highly respected retired member of the Billy Graham team.  The ‘rock star’ image Obama has and growing concern at the celebrity status the media has foisted upon him necessitates a review of facts.  “We are witnessing a political phenomenon with Barack Obama of rare magnitude.  His speeches have inspired millions and yet most of his followers have no idea of what he stands for except platitudes of ‘Change’ or that he says he will be a ‘Uniter’.  The power of speech from a charismatic person truly can be a powerful thing. Certainly Billy Graham had charisma and both his manner of speech and particularly the content changed millions.  On the extreme other hand, the charisma of Adolph Hitler inspired millions and the results were catastrophic.  Barack Obama certainly is no Hitler or a Billy Graham, but for many Americans out there feeling just

Densford, Joseph Densford, P.C., The Dorsey Law Firm, The Patuxent Partnership, RED– INC., Slade and Slade, LLC, Eleanor F. Slater, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Cynthia Broyles, Burch Oil Company, Guy Distributing Company, Inc., Taylor Gas Company, Imagine One Technology & Management, Southern Solutions, LLC, and Mr. & Mrs. A.W. Zahniser III. The contributions of the following helped make the gala possible: J.T. Daugherty Center, Upstroke, and Alex Paige. Thank you to the more than 150 people who attended the gala and to the staff and volunteers at the Greenwell Foundation for their hard work and dedication. This year the gala raised $20,000.00. Your generosity will help us continue to offer our many inclusive programs, including therapeutic horseback riding and summer camp, and it will allow us to grow our Vacations for Vets™ program. Thank you, Mary Blakely Chair, Secretary, Greenwell Foundation Board of Trustees Chair, Greenwell Gala Committee Kendall Sorenson-Clark Executive Director Greenwell Foundation like a surfer who might be ecstatic and euphoric while riding a tidal wave, the real story is what happens when it hits shore. Just Some of What Defines Barack Obama: He voted against banning partial birth abortion. He voted no on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. Supports affirmative action in Colleges and Government. In 2001 he questioned harsh penalties for drug dealing. Says he will deal with street level drug dealing as minimum wage affair. Admitted marijuana and cocaine use in high school and in college. His religious convictions are very murky. He is willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jung Il with no prior conditions. Has said that one of his first goals after being elected would be to have a conference    with all Muslim nations. Opposed the Patriot Act. First bill he signed that was passed was campaign finance reform. Voted No on prohibiting law suits against gun manufacturers. Supports universal health-care. .Voted yes on providing habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. Supports granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Supports extending welfare to illegal immigrants. Voted yes on comprehensive immigration reform. Voted yes on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. Wants to make the minimum wage a ‘living wage’. Voted with Democratic Party 96 percent of 251 votes. Is a big believer in the separation of church and state. Opposed to any efforts to Privatize Social Security and instead supports increasing the amount of tax paid. He voted No on repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. He voted No on repealing the ‘Death’ Tax. He wants to raise the Capital Gains Tax. Has repeatedly said the surge in Iraq has not succeeded.... He is ranked as the most liberal Senator in the Senate today and that takes some doing.”  Mature?  Promotes the American perspective on the country’s needs?  Able to effectively sit across the table from nation’s or movement’s leaders--friendly or not (even terrorists)?  Wake up people! Larry Lutz Lexington Park, Md

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The County Times

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ramblings of a Country Girl

Nature’s Chorus Terri Bartz Bowles Have you noticed the cicadas are starting to sing? One more sound to add to nature’s chorus. The frogs start it in the spring, along with the

birds. The songbirds are raising babies and talking to each other and filling the day with music. The frogs are calling to each other and answering and filling the night with a myriad of sound. The cicadas

sing during the day and the crickets and katy-dids sing at night. There’s always something to hear if you just listen. You don’t need to live on a farm or have 10 acres of your own to hear nature’s cho-

Man Gets 10 Years In Prison For Cocaine Distribution Drug Possession, Dealing Also Earns Other Defendants Sentences By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Robert M. Scriber, 35, from Lexington Park was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison in the Maryland Department of Corrections for two convictions of possessing and dealing cocaine to a confidential police informant back in February. The distribution conviction netted Scriber six years in jail, while the distribution charge totaled up to four years of incarceration. Both terms were to be served consecutively, according to the orders of Circuit Court Judge C. Clarke Raley who handed down Scriber’s sentence. Scriber, who had other convictions for burglary and drug possession, admitted that much of his life and been wasted on drugs and his admitted addiction to them. His lawyer, Cynthia Panos, argued that he was not a hardcore drug dealer, rather he dealt drugs to support his own habit. If he were to break the cycle of addiction, she said, he would not be apt to sell narcotics. “I chose to be with the wrong people who had the same problem and not the solution,” Scriber said. Raley also sentenced an admitted longtime drug addict for his conviction on being caught with a large amount of narcotics he was intending to sell. John Colleary, 54, of Valley Lee received a sentence of four years in the Department of

Rape Charge Continued from page A- William E. Raddatz of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the victim alleged that she was raped and assaulted by Edison while at his residence when he pulled her into his room and forcibly removed her pants. Edison pushed the victim to the ground, charging documents allege, but she tried to

John K. Edison, Jr.

Corrections for his dealing of narcotics to help pay for rent on a property he had acquired on the St. Mary’s River. “I got in a financial bind a year ago and I made a bad choice,” Colleary told Raley during his sentencing. “I got caught; I’m guilty and I deserve to go to jail.” Raley, who was familiar with Colleary’s long past association with drug use, lamented the defendants addiction problems and what it had cost him. “He’s 54 years old and he’s going to prison,” Raley said. “It’s pretty sad when you think about it; I hope this is the last time.” Colleary was caught in July of last year with narcotics and $3,381 in cash, according to State’s Attorney Richard Fritz. “He’s been in the business,” Fritz said of Colleary’s past with narcotics. “He’s more than the boy driving down the street with a bag of marijuana and few ounces of cocaine in his pocket.” Agnes Dickerson, 44, of Clements was also sentenced to one year in the county detention center for simple possession of just 2.2 grams of cocaine. She received 138 days credit for time she had already served.

fight him off while trying to keep her pants on during the assault. During the alleged attack, the victim also scratched the victim on both arms leaving visible marks, but she was not able to force Edison back as he used force to hold her down. Edison was able to remove her pants, charging documents state, and was able to force vaginal intercourse with the victim, court papers allege. After forcibly penetrating the victim, court papers read, Edison sodomized her and then struck her with a belt after the alleged rape. Edison denied being with the victim at the time of the incident, charging documents state, until he was confronted with the cousin of the victim who witnessed both Edison and the victim together. Edison gave several versions of the events that took place July 5, court papers state. Edison told detectives he was unsure if his penis actually entered into the anus of the victim, but he did admit to inserting his finger inside her vagina, charging documents state. The 12-year-old victim did not want any sexual contact with the defendant, charging documents state. Edison admitted to detectives that he did strike the victim with a belt, charging documents state, but he said he did so in a playful manner. If tried as an adult and convicted, Edison faces 20 years in prison for the second-degree rape charge as well for the second-degree sex offense. The second-degree assault charge carries a 10-year prison sentence while the fourth-degree sex offense carries a one-year jail term. Edison is set to have a preliminary hearing into the charges against him in District Court August 5.

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rus. It’s every where, you just have to pay attention. Go for a walk and find a quiet place. There are still quiet places left in the county, it need only be a small spot, just a little bit of green and a little bit of quiet. It can be along a road or it can be your own backyard. The hardest part is making yourself slow down and listen. Just stop all the stuff you’re doing, all the busy things, all the chores – just stop. I know it’s hard, I struggle with it myself. But if you can make yourself do it, just once in a while, it will be a good thing. So, make some time and find your personal arena to listen to nature’s chorus. Next, give yourself a block of time to listen. Even if you’re out doing yard work, just stop and make note of the sounds around you. Listen to the different bird songs, the breeze rustling the leaves on the trees. If you don’t know the songs identified with different kinds of birds, you can get recordings so you can learn to identify them. You can also get books

to help you identify birds by sight; they have photos as well as descriptions of where each type of bird lives, the kind of nest it builds, what the eggs look like and descriptions of their song or call. In the evenings, you will be delighted by the sounds of crickets and other insects and frogs. Every variety of frog makes a different sound. Find a wet spot, a pond or something, and listen to the wonder of frogs. Heck, it can even be one of those drainage ponds they leave when they build a shopping center or something. Go in the evening, just before dark and settle in. Yes, you might encounter some bugs, but rub on a little bug stuff and you’ll be fine. Just be quiet and listen. They start slow and they don’t all call at once. You’ll hear one kind and then a few of his friends will chime in and then a different kind will start. There’s an amazing variety of frogs out there and the sounds they make are comical and musical and wonderful. They might all

get quiet for a bit and then the cacophony starts again. It’s great. It makes you laugh and fills you with wonder. And some of the littlest frogs make the biggest noises! If you’re really lucky, you’ll see a few bats swooping around getting their dinner. Please don’t be afraid of the bats! Bats don’t attack people, they don’t want to be around people, they just want to be left alone. They eat a BUNCH of insects every night. Bats are your friends, folks, they eat mosquitoes and all kinds of stuff. Just be quiet and let them do their thing. They’re amazing to watch, silently dancing around as they hone in on their dinner. So, please, find a place to listen to nature and then take a few minutes once a week or so to indulge. It should relax you and fill your soul with wonder – all a gift from Mother Nature. You can email the Country Girl at

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The County Times

Section A - 


Illegal Fireworks

Continued from page A-

Continued from page A- Maryland. “Basically, they went and bought fireworks from out of state and they were going to set them off, but they got caught,” said Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph G. Zurolo, explaining that Beckman was charged with both possession of fireworks without a permit and possession of fireworks with intent to discharge. Both charges are misdemeanors and carry fines of up to $250. Investigators served a District Court Criminal Summons to Beckwith July 4, but a trial date has not yet been scheduled. Maryland state regulations prohibit exploding devices. “Anything that shoots up into the sky and explodes in the air is illegal,” explained Zurolo, adding that Beckwith’s boat had been filled to the brim with such aerial devices. “Everything he had was illegal in the state of Maryland,” he said. Most counties like St. Mary’s have ordinances protecting the use of ground based sparkling devices, snap & pops, gold

sparklers, and other novelty items, but some counties have outlawed them entirely, including Howard, Hartford, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Baltimore City. Beckwith’s possession charge tops the list of five criminal citations issued this year for fireworks violations in Southern Maryland. Zurolo said the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office typically issues between ten and twelve citations each year at this time, but enforcing county ordinances on fireworks is difficult Despite the citations, this year’s Fourth of July weekend was quiet. The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office reported no fires, though Cindy Allen of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said there was a modest increase in calls from residents complaining of noise or disturbances from fireworks. “It was a little busy…we had some trespassing complaints, some fireworks complaints,” she said. “But it was a normal busy holiday weekend. Nothing major transpired.

and alcohol purveyors, and how to say “no” to that first sip or puff under peer pressure. “Folks, in everything we do, media inf luences us,” Muller told her nearly

Thursday, July 10, 2008 simple “no” was a good response, she said, and so was telling their friend what was actually in a cigarette. But when the pressure was getting heavy to give in, Muller gave them a technique that was just about guaranteed to work. “If you’re being pressured by a friend what can you say that they can’t argue with?” Muller asked. “You can

Photo by Guy Leonard

Deputy First Class Angela Muller looks over the shoulders of Danielle Hutchinson and Luke Martin as they analyze the message behind advertisements for alcohol and cigarettes.

Photo by Andrea Shiell

These were but a portion of the stash of illegal fireworks confiscated from a barge in Prince Frederick late last month. Their owner, Jack R. Beckwith, 58, of Mechanicsville, has been charged with illegal possession of fireworks with the intent to discharge. (Photo courtesy of MD State Fire Marshals)

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20 students. “Are advertisers trying to help you or get more money?” A quick quiz on advertising slogan’s and jingles helped show just how much advertising inf luenced people. “How about this: Just Do It,” Muller said. “Nike!” was the response. “Built Tough?” “Ford [trucks]!” the students answered. Students poured over copies of magazine advertisements that showed alcohol and tobacco consumers living the good life and having fun, but without the yellow teeth, smelly breath or associated health problems that come from the abuse of either substance. Students had learned the day before that chemicals like arsenic, used in rat poison, and formaldehyde, used to embalm the dead were commonly found in cigarettes. “If I try to sell you my product and I tell you it’s just like eating rat poison, are you going to buy it?” Muller asked. Students answered “no” almost in unison. But how do you say no to a friend who is intent on getting you to try a cigarette with them for the first time? Muller said saying no was tough, so she gave her students some practical pointers. Just working up the courage to say a

say: ‘Man if my mom [or dad] smells smoke on me she’ll whip my tail.” Students had a lot to say about the D.A.R.E. program, about how much they learned but also about their reasons for getting into it in their place. Sydney Armitage wanted to come because of the chance to spend some summer time with her friends. “And it looked fun, too.” Armitage said. For Danielle Hutchinson it was a matter of helping to change someone’s life. “I came here because my sister had done it before,” Hutchinson said. “And I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life who’s been a smoker [for a long time.]” Armitage said the program had peaked her interest about drug abuse. “I got me motivated to want to learn more about marijuana and smoking and how it can cause death,” Armitage said. Muller said that the D.A.R.E program was the best method that she knew of teaching young people to steer clear of alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics. “What better way to talk about drugs to kids than putting a cop in front of them?” Muller said.

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projects completed by the Mechanicsville Elementary student council this past year. “This year’s Mechanicsville student council had the The Maryland State Department of mission statement to become better people,” Education (MSDE) awarded both Mechanic- she wrote, adding that they had completed a sville Elementary School Student Council and number of community projects including an Benjamin Banneker Elementary School the eyeglass collection for the Lions Club, and Sherrie Unger Award, recognizing projects holiday cards and “comfort kits” for the Charthat exemplify service-learning by addressing lotte Hall Veterans Home. “They have lived a community need, developing student lead- up to their mission statement to work to beership, and establishing community partner- come better people,” Abell wrote. “I am very ships. Each school’s project will be featured proud of them.” on the MSDE service-learning webpage and Also this past year, Benjamin Banneker they will also receive $300 each for future Elementary School developed a partnerprojects. ship with the Habitat for Humanity to assist The Mechanicsville Elementary the non-profit organization with purchasing School Student Council project was called supplies. To accomplish this task, students “Operation Red Carpet,” where students implemented a can-recycling program, and recognized officers returning from overseas increased awareness of ways to improve the deployments during welcome home parties. environment. This one student initiative col“Our students made patriotic posters to dis- lected more than 622 pounds of aluminum play in the atrium of the Naval Air Systems cans. Command Headquarters,” wrote Principal The Sherrie Unger award, named for a Barbara Cooksey Abell in an email comment prominent service-learning professional from on her students’ recent honor. The students Maryland who passed away in 2002, is given worked with the Patuxent River Naval Base every other month to a Maryland public school to develop posters and patriotic gift bags to students who carry out projects linked to their recognize and welcome home local naval per- own curriculum, independent projects by stusonnel who completed their overseas tours in dents or student groups, or projects submitted Iraq, Afghanistan, or Cuba. by a community based organization and carOperation Red Carpet was one of several ried out by youth.

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The County Times

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Section A - 

Obituaries Carol Yvonne Asbury, 81 Carol Yvonne Asbury, 81, of Leonardtown died June 29 in Washington Hospital Center. Yvonne was born in Cincinnati, Ohio Dec. 17, 1926 and was the wife of Jack Frank Asbury who preceded her in death after 45 years of marriage on July 22, 1990. She is survived by her daughter Carol Lynn Asbury Pratt and son-in-law Larry Pratt of Leonardtown; three sons: Donald Lee Asbury of Clinton, Tenn., Martin Wayne Asbury of Lively, Va., and Dale Francis Asbury of Leesburg, Fla.; her cousin Clorinda Caproni of Ripley, Ohio; six grandchildren: Erika Carol Pratt Chua (and husband Mike) of Los Angeles, Calif., Kasie Marie Pratt Heeres of Fairfax, Va., Sarah Asbury of Murfreesboro, Tenn., David Asbury of Knoxville, Tenn., Christine Yvonne Asbury, and Trista Nichelle Asbury; and two great grandchildren Emma and Shawn Asbury. Memorial contributions may be made to: Maryland State Library for the Blind, 415 Park Avenue, Baltimore MD 21201-3603.

James McGuire “Jim” Beaver Jr., 34 James McGuire “Jim” Beaver Jr., 34 of Avenue died July 1 in his residence. B o r n Dec. 4, 1973 in Leonardtown, he was the son of Ruth Ann Beaver of Avenue and the late James McGuire Beaver Sr. He is also survived by his sister Deborah O’Donnell of Chicago, Ill. Jim was a lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, where he graduated from Chopticon High School “Class of 1992” and obtained an AA degree in elementary education from the College of Southern Maryland in 1995. He was employed as a disc jockey for Beaver’s DJ Service for seven years. The family received friends Monday July 7 from 9 – 10 a.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home where a memorial service was held at 10 a.m. with Fr. William Gurnee officiating. Interment followed in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Bushwood. A01 Edward T. O’Donnell served as Pallbearer. Contributions may be made to the 7th District Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 206, Avenue, MD 20309 and/or 7th District Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 7, Avenue, MD 20609. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Ruth Annie “Momma Guy” Guy, 94 R u t h A n n i e “Momma Guy” Guy, 94, of Callaway, and formerly of Drayden, Md. died July 2 in St. Mary’s Hospital. Born March 3, 1914 in Drayden, Md., she was the daughter of the late William Bernard and Agnes Lillian DeBitt Ridgell. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Turner Dyer and then by her second husband Malcom Guy, whom she married in Leonardtown in 1960, in 1961. She is survived by her Grandchildren: Anna Mae Dean and her husband Danny of Drayden, Md., Sharon Pilkerton and her companion Mark Thomas of Callaway, and Wayne Pilkerton and his companion Dale Abell of Great Mills; her Great-Grandchildren: Michele and Jamie

Jordan of Valley Lee, Danny and Mandy Dean, II of Dameron, and Heather Hewitt and Billy Hewitt, II both of Callaway; Great-Great Grandchildren: Jamie B. Jordan and Hannah Jordan both of Valley Lee, Danny B. Dean, III, Madison Dean and Lexy Longfield all of Dameron, nieces Shirley Purcell Long and Ann Ridgell Weiver and her caregiver Chuck Charles. She was also preceded in death by her children Robert Dyer and Claudia Bell as well as her siblings: Dorothy Denitto, Agnes Faunce, Bernard Ridgell, Woodley Ridgell and Robert Ridgell and her great grandson Christopher Hewitt. Mrs. Guy was a lifelong St. Mary’s County resident, where she attended Great Mills High School and worked at Dents Store on Cherryfield Road in Drayden, Md. before becoming the owner of Guy’s Self Service for 30 years until her retirement in 1990. She enjoyed her family and friends as well as playing cards and Bingo and feeding the birds and ducks. The family received friends Monday, July 7 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the MattingleyGardiner Funeral Home with prayers being said at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday, July 8 at 10:30 a.m. in St. George Catholic Church with Msgr. Karl Chimiak officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were Chuck Charles, Danny B. Dean, II, Jamie M. Jordan, Jamie B. Jordan, JR Knott and Mark Thomas. Honorary Pallbearers will be Danny B. Dean, III, Heather Hewitt, Billy Hewitt, II and Kristian Sheilds. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Second District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1, Valley Lee, MD 20692. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

John Graham Lancaster, 90 J o h n Graham La ncaster, 90, of California, died July 1 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown after a brief illness. Born Jan. 31, 1918 in Farmville, Va., he was the son of the late John Wesley Lancaster and Annie Moss Lancaster. John accepted Christ at an early age and was an active member of First Baptist Church, Farmville Va. serving as choir director. He received his early education in Prince Edward County. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Hampton University (formerly Hampton Institute), a master’s in Adult Education from George Washington University, and an Advanced Graduate Specialist degree from the University of Maryland in Agriculture and Extension Education. Throughout his life, John was a consistent voice for quality education and citizen participation in government. In 1940, after graduating from Hampton, John returned to his native Prince Edward County to succeed his father as the Negro county extension agent. His job was abolished in 1955, in retaliation for his involvement in the fight for equal education, after the Brown v. Board of Education decision was rendered by the Supreme Court. In 1957, after working for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company in Richmond, Va. for a year, John moved his family to St. Mary’s County to work as an extension agent. He worked as a 4-H agent in the county, and later as a program specialist at the University of Maryland in College Park.

After retiring in 1978, he devoted himself to volunteering – serving as chair of the Housing Authority, chair of the Youth Commission, and a director of the Cedar Lane Apartments. In addition, he was appointed to the St. Mary’s County Board of Education. In 1982, John ran unsuccessfully for County Commissioner of St. Mary’s County; however, he came back for a successful run in 1986, becoming the first Black elected to the post. He was re-elected for a second term in 1990. John was a member of many civic, religious, and community organizations. He was a deacon at First Missionary Baptist Church. He was also a member of the Democratic Club of St. Mary’s County; Lexington Park Lions Club; Minority Business Alliance; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Randolph Lodge Number 30 Free and Accepted Masons of Farmville, Va.; Tau Lambda Lambda Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Jolly Gents Sportsman’s Club; Salt and Pepper and the National Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Fraternity. He served as president of the National Association of 4-H Agents in 1972. As a result of John’s tireless efforts in his community, he received numerous awards, honors, and citations. Among them were St. Mary’s County Democrat of the Year (2001), National 4-H Hall of Fame (Inaugural Class), Who’s Who Among Black Americans (1988), Distinguished Personalities of the South and Outstanding Leaders of America (both in 1972). One of his most prized recognitions came in 2001 with the dedication of a 47-acre park named in his honor (The John G. Lancaster Park at Willows Road in Lexington Park). At the time of his death, John lived at the Cedar Lane Apartments in Leonardtown, where he enjoyed fellowship and camaraderie with the other residents. He was a board member emeritus of Lott Enterprises, a minority corporation. His connection to his birthplace was never far from his mind – and he was looking forward to celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the purchase of his family homeplace, affectionately known as Restful Acres. His dedication to its renovation and preservation will be celebrated in August at the annual Lancaster Family Reunion. John was predeceased by his first wife, Thelma Porter Lancaster, and his second wife, Albertine Thomas Lancaster. He is survived by the children of his first marriage; son, John G. Lancaster, Jr. of San Francisco, Calif., and daughter Shirley Elaine Gholston of Greenbelt, Md.; a grandson, Bruce J. Lancaster; granddaughter-in-law, LaShawn A. Lancaster; two great-grandsons Miles Christian and Cole Wesley Lancaster, all of Clinton, Md.; two sisters, Thelma L. Coleman of Philadelphia, Pa. and Mary Ann Wilson of Houston, Texas; two sisters-in-law, Mary Bullock of Morrisville, N.C. and Audrey Whitehead of Murfreesburo, N.C.; two brothers-in-law, William C. Keen of Roanoke, Va. and Raymond Whitehead of Murfreesboro, N.C.; a host of nieces, nephews and other extended family members. The family received friends for John’s Life Celebration Tuesday, July 8 from 6 – 9 p.m. at First Missionary Baptist Church, 47359 Lincoln Ave., Lexington Park, MD 20653. Acknowledgements were held at 7 p.m. Homecoming Service were celebrated Wednesday, July 9 at 11 a.m., with the viewing held one hour before services, at First Missionary Baptist Church. The final Homegoing Service will be celebrated on Thurs. July 10, at 1 p.m. in the First Baptist Church, Farmville, Va., followed by inter-

ment at Oddfellows Cemetery in Farmville, Va. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1663, Lexington Park, MD 20653. Condolences to the family may be made at Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Michael Victor Lucien, infant Michael Victor Lucien, infant, of Lexington Park died July 3 in St. Mary’s Hospital. Born July 3 he was the son of Lyndon A. and Anitres M. Lucien of Lexington Park. He is survived by his siblings: Lyndon A. Lucien, Jr., Anthony R. Lucien and Kevin I. Lucien all of Jacksonville, Fla., Tyrrell R. Lucien, Juwan C. Lucien and Xavier H. Lucien all of Lexington Park; maternal grandfather Leon Henderson McLeod of Jacksonville, Fla. and paternal grandparents Edmay and Victor Lucien of Trinidad, West Indies. A Graveside Service was held Tuesday, July 8 at 11 a.m. in Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown with Deacon Ed Flamboe officiating. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Lillie Kathern Tyree McFadden, 66 L i l lie Kathern Tyree McFadden, 66, of Leonardtown, passed away peacefully at home with her husband and two boys by her side Tuesday, July 1. She was born in Piney Flats, Tenn. Nov. 18, 1941 to the late Sally and Charles Tyree. Kathy grew up in a strong Presbyterian household and took great pride in the fact that her family founded the Presbyterian Church in Tennessee. Music was a part of Kathy’s life from a very early age. She was the church organist by the age of ten, and her musical interest carried over into college at Maryville College and later East Tennessee State University. Her concert at age fifteen at the college was a source of great pride for her. She met her husband John at age sixteen, and a wonderful lifelong love blossomed. She adored John and they married in their senior year, when Kathy was twenty. She spent the next several years following John as the wife of a Naval Aviator and had two wonderful sons, John and Greg. Shortly after that, John was hired by United. They quickly realized they truly loved Southern Maryland and moved back in 1971. Kathy taught in the St. Mary’s County public school system from 1964 until 1995. Kathy also taught music education part-time as an Associate Professor at St. Mary’s College from 1984 until 2006. She earned her master’s in Music Education from Trinity College. Kathy also served on the St. Mary’s Ryken High School Board, the St .Mary’s Arts Alliance and the St. Mary’s College Arts Alliance. She also took great joy in the many friends she made through her involvement in the St. Mary’s Riding Club, De La Brook Foxhounds, the Southern Maryland Sailing Association, the Corinthian Yacht Club and the Aero Squadron and Anchoring Society. She also truly cherished her time with her grandchildren, John and Megan who were a source of great pride for her. Kathy is survived by her husband John, sons, John and Greg, Sister Nicie Devault and grandchildren John and Megan.

Family received friends for Kathy’s Life Celebration Sunday, July 6 from 4 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD. A Funeral Service was held Monday July 7 at 10 a.m. in the Patuxent Presbyterian Church, 23421 Kingston Creek Road, California, MD. Reverend Michael Jones was the celebrant. Interment followed in Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice House of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650 or the Hope Lodge of Baltimore, 636 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Betty Jean “Miss Betty” Murphy, 49 Betty Jean “Miss Betty” Murphy, 49 of St. Inigoes died July 6 in Georgetown Universit y Hospital. Born Nov. 10, 1958 in Derry, N.H. she was the daughter of the late John Lear and Sally Hilton Pearson Watkins. She was the loving wife of James Wayne Murphy whom she married Oct. 26, 1991 in Mechanicsville. She is also survived by her son Christopher Wayne Murphy and her brother Donald Watkins of N.H. Betty moved to St. Mary’s County in 1990 from Millersville, Md. and was employed as a school bus driver. The family will receive friends Thursday July 10 from 9 – 10 a.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown, where a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. with Deacon George L’Heureaux officiating. Interment will be private. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Nancy Evelyn Norris, 60 Nancy Evelyn Norris, 60 of Leonardtown, and formerly of Valley Lee, died June 30 in St. Mary’s Hospital. Born Aug. 20, 1947 in Valley Lee she was the daughter of the late William Henry Carter and Melba Tabitha Carter of Valley Lee. She is survived by her children Tammy Shea and Jerry Simpson both of North Haven, Conn. and Thomas “Bo” Norris and his wife Noel of Chesapeake, Va., grandchildren Todd Jr. “TJ” and Emily Shea, Aurora and Jesse Simpson and Evan and Andrew Norris. She is also survived by her siblings, James Nelson Carter and his wife Mildred, Ronald Matthew Carter, Donald Francis Carter and his wife Donna, Lucy Ella Hammett and her husband David, Harvey Dale Carter and his wife Lynnette, William Roy Carter and his wife Rosie, Dwight David Carter, Samuel Ray Carter and his wife Betty, all of Valley Lee, Yvonne Gene Stiffler of California, Bobby Lee Carter and his wife Margie of Leonardtown and Doylus Henry Carter of Richwood, W.V. and brothers in law Bass Freeman and Gary Williams. She was preceded in death by her sisters Janice Freeman and Lola Inez Williams and sister in law Susan Carter. A lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, Nancy graduated from Great Mills High School and was a home healthcare provider. She belonged to the Lexington Park Rescue Squad and enjoyed Shuffleboard Bowling with the Fleet Reserve, FOP and Mikes. She also liked playing softball and bingo, shopping at G&H

Jewelers, going to Bennett’s Bar and attending yard sales. She loved to cook and was very organized and energetic. She helped with many family events and was very proud of all her grandkids. She also enjoyed watching NASCAR and was a huge Jeff Gordon fan. The family will receive friends Wednesday July 2 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown, where prayers were said at 7 p.m. A funeral Service was held at 10 a.m. in the Mattingly-Gardiner Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Harry Harper officiating. Interment followed in St. George Episcopal Cemetery, Valley Lee. Pallbearers were Bobby L. Carter, Dwight D. Carter, Samuel “Ray” Carter, James Nelson Carter, Ronald M. Carter and Harvey D. Carter. Donald F. Carter served as honorary pallbearer. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Mignon Adaline Magdalene Wallace, 74 Mignon Adaline Magdalene Wallace, 74, of Mechanicsville, formerly of Colorado Springs, Colo., died June 28 in St. Mary’s Hospital. Born July 12, 1933 in Simla, Colo., she was the daughter of the late John Whyte and Eldora (Allan) Whyte. She is survived by her son George John Wallace, and his wife Cassandra, and three grandchildren; George Joseph Richard Wallace, Jacob Donald Wallace, and Grace Hanna Wallace, all of Mechanicsville. She is also survived by her sister Ireana Campbell of Colorado Springs, Colo., seven nieces and two nephews. She worked as a telephone operator for the Yellow Cab Co. in Colorado Springs for 32 years and was loved by everyone who met her. She had a very caring and generous heart and a witty sense of humor. She is preceded in death by her brother, Jack Whyte, her sister Shirley Benton and her nephew Gary Wallace. All services will be private. Condolences to the family may be made at Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Melvin T. White, 58 Melvin T. White, 58 of Canton, Ohio passed away unexpectedly Saturday, June 21 in the comfort of his home. He was born in Scotland, Md., March 1, 1950 to the late Richard White, Jr. and Lottie Louise (Barnes) White. He had recently retired from Stark County Board MRDD after 28 years of service. He was an avid fisherman and he loved working on and racing cars. He was a kindhearted man who constantly extended himself to others. Melvin is survived by his wife Shirley, daughters, Milicent White and Angela Sommerville both of Maryland, sons, Brandon White and Michael Harley both of Canton, Ohio, brothers, Arnold (Donda) White of Virginia, and Richard (Joyce) White, III of Africa; grandchildren Lanaiya Sommerville, Logan Sheppard and Jasmine Mann, and a host of other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his only sister, Rose Marie White and niece, Marisha White. The family will receive friends Saturday, July 12 from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Friends may share memories of Melvin from 4 – 4:30 p.m. Condolences to the family may be made at Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

The County Times

Section A - 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

DriveCam Program to Pilot in St. Mary’s County Andrea Shiell Staff Writer

which are in-car camera systems that turn on any time the vehicle goes through a “g-force type of event,” including swerving, braking Newly licensed drivers in the Tri- suddenly, sudden acceleration, or collisions. County area are now being offered a chance to The idea, as Pederson puts it, is to let parparticipate in a new program aimed at target- ents know “if their child needs help in developing bad driving behavior, using cameras and ing skills, building confidence or determining parent notifications to curb some of the habits appropriate behaviors behind the wheel.” that cause accidents for inexperienced drivers. “It’s not there to teach driving skills,” “Our goal is to learn whether parental usage of explained Rebecca Martin from the Southern this technology can prevent future tragedies Maryland Community Traffic Safety Program, and build stronger, more experienced, con- who has been promoting the new devices in fident young drivers,” said Neil J. Pederson, Charles County. “There has to be something Administrator of the Maryland State Highway that triggers an event,” she said, adding that Administration. once an “event” happens, the car cameras A grant through the State Highway Admin- switch on to record 10 to 20 seconds of footage istration (SHA) will be providing 300 families in front of and inside the vehicle. DriveCam rewith monitoring devices called DriveCams, views footage of these events and notifications

July 4th Continued from page A- of the Sotterley Plantation Mansion in Hollywood. But Saturday’s Freedom Fest was one of the only celebrations not marred with the threat of storms this weekend, and attendees seemed happy to spread out in the grass, eat popcorn, listen to music, and relax. “We’ve tried to be very diverse in our entertainment,” said Community Services Manager Cynthia Brown, adding that in addition to $10,000 for fireworks, the Department of Community Services arranged for a diverse array of performances, including a reptile show, puppet shows, belly dancing, and musical performances. “We wanted it to be reflective of the people here,” she said. Not far from the usual offerings of fruit smoothies and funnel

cakes, a booth was set up offering DUI simulations as part of a campaign to educate residents on safe driving and drug and alcohol abuse. “Our primary focus is to provide a family friendly atmosphere that is drug and alcohol free,” said Community services liaison Viet Nguyen, describing the DUI simulations as part of a widespread public outreach campaign. “I have been enjoying the bands,” said Timothy Pilkerton as he sat on a blanket at the fairgrounds before the fireworks. “It’s been a lot of fun so far, and I’m hoping to see a spectacular show.”

are then sent to parents. “What we’re looking for is more parent involvement,” Martin said, adding that DriveCam would also help parents develop coaching techniques to address the behaviors that lead to their teenagers’ events, such as inattentiveness, or distracting behaviors such as talking on cell phones and text messaging. Typically, less than 1 percent of a teen’s driving is recorded by DriveCam. As the number of events decreases, their privacy increases. Drivers will know if they are being recorded by the system because a light will flash on their camera unit. Parents are also notified if their teens are seen without seatbelts during events. Martin said that these systems have been used successfully in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and that former participants would typically

Timothy was not disappointed, and after what one out-of-towner described as the best fireworks show she had ever seen, heat lightening continued to spark across the sky as residents headed home.

Photos by Andrea Shiell

In addition to fireworks, this year’s Freedom Fest included belly dancing performances and a reptile show.

The Farm Life Hi, my name is Buddy.

By Teddy Perez

This here is my new pet .

Ahh, one of my hens... Rumors are flying and people want to know.

have as many as ten events per week when first starting the program, but the number of events dwindled to three or four a month over time. The DriveCam program, which Martin says would typically cost about $900 for installation and $30 a month for paying customers, is being offered for free through the SHA for the next year, and a number of slots are still available. Camera installations are already underway, and free systems will remain in teens’ vehicles through the coming 2009-2010 school year. Public meetings will be held on July 10th at Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department at 7 pm, and on Friday, July 11th at the Leonardtown Campus of the College of Southern Maryland for those interested in signing up for the program.

He fell from the sky in a big rock.

He landed in my corn. I had to keep my new pet a secret cause the town went nuts. The news was all over it.

Hens like chicken feed. I reckin I got some in my pocket.

A meteor? In our little Town? I am reporting live from the Lumpkins’ Farm...

Where’d she go? Fast little bugger.







Thursday, July 10, 2008 • St. Mary’s County  

When our bats are on fire, we can compete with anybody.” – Belden Manager Sam Cooper County residents can now access a link on the St....

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