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Hornets Drop First To Patuxent Drug Bust Nets Almost 200 K

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PRSTD STD US Postage Paid Permit No. 145 Waldorf, MD

Thursday, October 16, 2008 • St. Mary’s County

Established 2006 • Volume 3 • Issue 40

Man Awaiting Retrial Takes Plea
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Stewart Gough, the man who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2003 but won his bid to have the conviction overturned last year on the grounds he was not allowed to admit evidence in his favor at trial, plead guilty Oct. 10 to conspiracy to commit second- degree murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison; but will have 25 years to serve since being incarcerated five years ago. Gough was originally convicted of being a part of a fatal shooting that took place at the Brass Rail bar in Great Mills, in which Keith Bonds lost his life. An associate of Gough’s, Vincent Gordon, Jr., was found guilty of the actual shooting, while Gough was believed by prosecutors to have driven the car in an escape from the scene. “He [Gough] was not alleged to be the shooter,” said Assistant State’s Attorney James Tanavage, the prosecutor assigned to the case. “He was the driver in the shooting. “We thought this was a fair disposition.” Gough’s conviction on first-degree murder charges was overturned in July of last year when the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled that Gough’s attorney should have been allowed to admit into evidence statements made by Gough that showed his surprise at the shots being fired by Gordon during the incident. See Trial page A-

Intensive Search and Rescue For Local Man Lost In Boating Accident
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) started canvassing the Patuxent River on Sunday to search for a missing boater near Solomons. NRP was notified of an overturned vessel on the Patuxent River in the area of Point Patience at 4:54 pm on Sunday. According to Sgt. Ken Turner, a 38-foot speedboat with four persons onboard, traveling at a high rate of speed, capsized, and all four individuals were ejected from the vessel. None of the individuals were wearing life jackets. The accident occurred just north of the Thomas Johnson Bridge, near the red #8 marker on the Patuxent. Three of the occupants floated to the surface soon after the accident and were rescued from the water by boaters and anglers in the area. The owner of the boat, 30 year-old Robert T. Baumgarten of Lexington Park, was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center. Kenneth N. Weisskopf, 3, and Joshua E. Reithmeyer, 25, both of Mechanicsville were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital. The fourth individual, Patrick G. Reiter, 39, of Mechanicsville is reported missing. Search efforts concluded at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, resuming at sunrise the next day. The incident is still under investigaSee Accident page A-

Campaign Signs Under Siege In St. Mary’s
Local Republicans, Democrats Decry Destruction And Theft Of Campaign Materials
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer It had to happen sooner or later: reports of the destruction or theft of presidential campaign materials are coming in from around St. Mary’s County, and the incidents have hit both campaigns GOP Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as well as the Democratic ticket of Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden. David Willenborg, chairman of the McCain/Palin campaign here, said he has had two signs stolen from his yard and has received reports of at least seven other signs that have been destroyed, vandalized or purloined. One Republican sign located at the intersection of Bull Road and Route 243 headed towards Compton had a sticker placed on it that prompted people to vote for a Democratic candidate if they were tired of GOP leadership. The sticker was later removed. “Stuff’s disappearing,” Willenborg said. “This is business as usual. “This seems to have all happened in the past few days, an acceleration of stuff being destroyed.” Cindy Slattery, president of the St. Mary’s County Democratic Club, was quick to condemn the destruction of a competing ticket’s campaign signs. “This is not what democracy is about,” Slattery told The County Times. “There’s zero tolerance [in the local Democratic Party] for any of that nonsense. “I just think that’s a bad way to play.” Slattery said Democratic volunteers have reported incidents of sign removal from people’s yards but that vandalism has not become a problem. Tom Haynie, chairman of the St. Mary’s County Republican Central Committee, said his party would, likewise, not tolerate any similar mischief aimed at the opposition. “We’re not out there bothering their signs,” Haynie See Signs page A-1

A-10 Husband, Wife Killed The Giving Season In Motorcycle Wreck Farm Life Festival Raises Money for Christmas in April
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer A recently married couple who lived in Lexington Park was killed Oct. 10 when the motorcycle they were riding collided with another vehicle while they were traveling on Willows Road. Phillip Brian Natalie, 26, who was driving the motorcycle died on the scene of the accident as a result of his injuries. His wife, Jessica Laurel Natalie, 26, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to incident reports from the Maryland State Police. Police reports state that the collision occurred when a Toyota Camry, operated by Lateesha Shonte Cooper, 25, of Lexington Park took a left hand turn from Crimson Drive onto eastbound Willows Road. Brian Natalie’s westbound Yamaha R-1 motorcycle collided with the Toyota while it was in the eastbound lane at the intersection of Willows Road and Crimson Drive, police reports stated. The Natalies lived in the Abberly Crest apartment community on Willows Road and managerial staff there confirmed that Jessica Natalie was employed there as an assitant manager in the community. Management staff also confirmed that the couple had just been married over the summer. Phillip Natalie worked for the defense contractor DynCorp at Patuxent River Naval Air Station at the Strike wing. The cause of the accident is unknown, according to state trooper reports. Cooper was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment and See Wreck page A-6

Visitors enjoyed a fun weekend at Parlett’s farm in Charlotte Hall during this years Farm Life Festival

Photo by Andrea Shiell

Op.-Ed ...........Page A - 4 Obituaries.......Page A - 8 Sports...............Page B - 1 Police ...............Page B - 7 Classifieds.......Page B - 9 Thursday T-Storms 82° Friday Rain 62°

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Section A - 

The County Times

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The County Times

Section A - 

Dual Drug Busts Nets Almost $200 K In Marijuana Plants
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Two search warrants executed by vice/ narcotics units last week netted more than 100 marijuana plants total, according to Unit Commander Lt. Daniel Alioto, which were valued at almost $200,000. The first raid took place in the Town Creek neighborhood, where narcotics detectives arrested Robert Oscar Newland, 22, of Lexington Park at a residence where they found more than 100 plants Newland was alleged to have been cultivating. “He had just finished one crop,” Alioto told The County Times, adding that the plants were in various states of growth. “He’d have a constant flow of marijuana.” Newland was initially charged with possession of marijuana, but other charges may be pending after prosecutors take over the case. Alioto said that deputies also recovered a Glock .40 caliber handgun from the scene of the search warrant. “This prevented a lot of pot hitting the streets,” Alioto said of the Lexington Park operation. Farther north in Mechanicsville, tactical team members and narcotics detectives raided plants, according to police reports, as well as numerous weapons and ammunition. Russell was also convicted in 2001 in a similar case that involved growing marijuana, and was charged with illegal ownership of a firearm as well as marijuana possession. According to police reports, detectives estimated the total value of the marijuana seized was about $40,000 in street sales. Detectives also confiscated a GMC pick up truck valued at about $5,000. The search warrant stemmed from several trespassing complaints, and detectives alleged that Russell had gone onto another person’s property to grow the marijuana plants. “They were exceedingly well taken care of,” Alioto said of the plants, adding that each plant translated into about two pounds of cultivated marijuana. “Some of them were as tall as seven or eight feet. “We’re happy with the way the investigation went. I’d take busts like these once a week.”

Russell Jackson

Robert Newland

another marijuana growing operation Oct. 9, the same day as the Lexington Park bust. Detectives arrested Jackson “Jack” Francis Russell, 55, after searching his home in

Helen and allegedly finding more than eight pounds of cultivated marijuana, according to police reports. Police also recovered 13 fully matured

Board of Education Voting Record Meeting Held Oct. 8
Consent Agenda:
10.0 Personnel Administrative and Supervisory In accordance with the Annotated Code of Maryland (Section 6-201), “the superintendent shall nominate for appointment by the county Board of Education all principals, teachers, and other certificated personnel.” The superintendent “shall assign them to their positions and transfer them as the needs of the system require.” Motion: the consent presented. To approve agenda as Voting Record: William M Mattingly Yes Cathy Allen Yes Gary K Kessler Yes Salvatore L Raspa Yes Mary M Washington Yes 11.02 Chiller Replacement at Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School Plan and specifications for Bid Number 2009-1 for the replacement of the water-cooled chiller at Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School were made available to bidders on August 25, 2008. Eleven contractors purchased plans and specifications. Five contractors submitted bids on September 19, 2008. The base bid encompassed the replacement of the existing 150-ton chiller and pumps. Alternate Number One called for the replacement of the existing water tower used for cooling the chiller. Alternate Number Two called for a refurbishment of the existing water tower. Base bids received ranged from $289,600 to $458,650. The lowest apparent bid is in excess of the budgeted funds for the project. Upon examination of the bids, staff believes that value-engineering opportunities are present that could reduce the costs for the chiller replacement. Staff will work with the engineer to modify the plans and specifications for the re-bidding of the project in November 2008. Motion: That the Board of Education reject all bids received for the Chiller Replacement at Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School, Bid Number 2009-1, on the basis that the bids exceed the budget for this project Motion By: Mary M Washington Second: Gary K Kessler Action: Unanimous Voting Record: William M Mattingly Yes Cathy Allen Yes Gary K Kessler Yes Salvatore L Raspa Yes Mary M Washington Yes

Motion By: Cathy Allen Second: Gary K Kessler Action: Unanimous Voting Record: William M Mattingly Yes Cathy Allen Yes Gary K Kessler Yes Salvatore L Raspa Yes Mary M Washington Yes Action Items: 11.01 Revised FY 2010 - FY 2015 State Capital Improvements Program The FY 2010 – FY 2015 state capital improvements program was initially approved by the Board of Education on September 10, 2008. In light of the current economic conditions, staff has reviewed the program and made adjustments to the capital program to be fiscally responsible while maintaining the project schedules to reflect the educational program requirements and capacity needs of the school system. (Funding Source: State and Local Capital Improvements Program) Motion: That the Board of Education approve the revised FY 2010 to FY 2015 state and local capital improvements program for submission to the Board of County Commissioners for St. Mary’s County and the Public School Construction Program. Motion By: Gary K Kessler Second: Cathy Allen Action: Unanimous

Section A - 

The County Times

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Editorial & Opinion
Free Speech Rights, Cornerstone Of Democracy
It is election time once again which means highways, streets and neighborhoods are becoming littered with political campaign signs. But this election season is only a quiet reminder of what the landscape will look like two years from now. Over the past few weeks, more and more political campaign signs have been popping up around St. Mary’s County, still the total number is not that great, and with only three weeks left until the election, those few signs won’t be there too much longer. This year there are only a few local offices up for grabs, no state offices, and only two federal offices. Two years from now however, almost all local and state offices will be up for grabs as well as several federal offices. Campaign signs will then start showing up in July in abundance, and will cover nearly every corner and intersection of our County for 4 months. To some people this all seems so annoying and unsightly. To those who cherish our democracy, much the same as a Navy jet flying loudly above our County is considered “the sound of freedom”, so are these unsightly signs considered “the sight of freedom”. Remembering that freedom is never without sacrifice, these signs are yet another sacrifice our Country must be willing to make to preserve freedom. Nothing is more germane to our democracy than free and fair elections, and the freedom of speech that allows each of us to voice our opinions is indeed basic to free and fair elections. Supporting the candidate of your choice by placing a sign on your property demonstrating that support is a basic free speech right that our Country must protect. Every campaign season, numerous campaign signs are reported vandalized or stolen. This season is no different, several McCain/ Palin campaign signs were recently officially reported vandalized or stolen and just before press time there was an unofficial report from the Democratic Central Committee Chair that possibly some Obama/Biden signs may have been stolen. With so many signs what does a few matter? The sheriff has been called to investigate, aren’t other crimes more important? For our freedom’s sake, it does matter, and the sheriff must make this a priority. At first it may seem minor in the overall scheme of this Presidential election, yet it is huge in preserving free and fair elections now and into the future. This criminal activity gone unchecked may not affect this election, but it does violate certain American’s Constitutional rights, and indeed could lead to greater criminal activity in two years that could affect a local or state election. The sheriff needs to send a clear message right now that this violation cannot stand in our county. In 2006, long time St. Mary’s County inspectors, friendly to one party decided to issue citations claiming certain political signs as unlawful. A local newspaper, who had endorsed the opposing candidate, ran front-page headlines just days before the election, claiming the cited candidate had broken the law. A Maryland judge later found that St. Mary’s County Government was guilty of “political utilization of the sign ordinance”. The sign ordinance had been wrongly used to affect the outcome of the election, the local media went along. Of course, once the election is over, a judge’s ruling doesn’t correct the injustice, it is up to community lawmakers to make certain it cannot happen again. The County Commissioners have refused to address the problem that happened in 2006, it could easily happen again. Now the sheriff is asked to address another campaign sign violation in 2008, he must. With 2010 elections just around the corner, your right to express your support for any one of the many candidates up for election is a right that must be preserved, unfortunately our County is trending the opposite way. If your rights cannot be protected in this 2008 election season, who will protect you in 2010 when much more is at stake?

that they will work to come to school, do their homework, and do what is necessary to pass. I have an idea which has been recommended by a task force in the state of Idaho and is similar to one Mr. Scott has suggested. The Idaho Task Force recommended credits in middle school to progress from one grade to another. Considering that in St. Mary’s County, high school students must get a cerI recently wrote a letter to the editor about tain number of credits to go from one grade to the twenty percent of St. Mary’s County ninth another, Scott Smith noted that that is a posgraders who don’t pass to the tenth grade. sibility for middle school in St. Mary’s County. They are, in a word, not prepared to enter the Students would have to complete a specified ninth grade. I also wrote about the Fairlead number of credits to go from sixth grade to Academy which has been created to partially seventh and so forth. I totally agree with Mr. address the problem. We also have a program Scott’s ideas and would like to suggest that we called Tech Connect where identified “at risk” also have summer middle school intervention ninth graders go to the James A. Forest Tech- programs as were recommended by the Idaho nology and Career Center, and while there Task Force. The hope is that by ninth grade the learn the connection between academics and students would be prepared for high school. In the end, fewer students would fail ninth grade Forest Center courses. Recently, Scott Smith, director of second- and ultimately fewer would drop out. We ary instruction, administration, and school im- would indeed be keeping children first! Last, provement, suggested that perhaps we should let’s be proactive instead of reactive once a retain more middle school students. Currently, problem exists. we retain very few. Presently, we do offer exMarilyn Crosby tra school help in middle school. The hope is Lexington Park, Md that if students see that they can be retained

No Letters From Candidates 3 Weeks Before Elections

United Way Thanks You

blessed by the support of the PCC family. Board President Lynn Kendrick joined us at noon to share the mission of PCC with SMH employee volunteers. Board Vice President Lynn Duff provided a luscious chocolate The Board of Directors, counselors, and cheesecake for our enjoyment. PCC Intern clients of the Pastoral Counseling Center of St. Veronica Gonzalez enthusiastically assisted Mary’s, Inc. (PCC) wish to express our grati- in cleaning and rearranging office furniture. tude for volunteer contributions to the 11th An- Established in 1983, the Pastoral Counseling nual Day of Caring Campaign for United Way Center is a non-profit organization supported of St Mary’s County. We are grateful for will- by local businesses, churches and the United ing PCC volunteers: Lou Kendrick, James Cop- Way of St. Mary’s County. At PCC, our mispersmith, Tim Gonzalez, Rev. Keith Schukraft, sion is to provide professional clinical counselTravis Windsor and Darrell Scott. These men ing from a Christian perspective at an affordcame early in the morning to remove furniture able rate to individuals, families and groups. and equipment from our offices. Late after- A client assistance plan aids those who are unnoon they returned to restore the furnishings able to pay full fee. PCC provides vital counafter the work projects were completed. We seling service that assists individuals and famwish to express our gratitude for St. Mary’s ilies to negotiate life’s difficult challenges in a Hospital’s (SMH) willingness to participate positive and healthy way. Within the relationby donating time and labor of two employees ship between counselor and client, we believe to complete work projects for PCC. The SMH healing compassion ... respectful listening ... employees who provided this assistance are professional skill … create possibility for unMcKinley Guess and Kevin M. Oliver. We are derstanding and change in all relationships of deeply grateful for these employees’ willing- life. Counseling is a process of exploring and ness to participate. Once again SMH employ- facilitating choices that ultimately impact the ees demonstrated resourcefulness as McKin- community in both the family and work enviley and Kevin requested advice from Kevin’s ronment. Counseling is about enhancing qualwife, who not only advised and refreshed their ity of living on a day to day basis. Individuknowledge about the tasks of carpet clean- als, couples and families from area churches ing, floor stripping and waxing, but came and and communities have enhanced their qualprovided assistance. Their enthusiastic, ener- ity of living through counseling at PCC. getic and competent efforts are appreciated. Again, thank you from all those who benefit. As Director, I am profoundly grateful for community support and assistance through Sincerely, Day of Caring. PCC also is honored and Betty Joanne Scott, Director

fault!” and “I will give 95% of the middleclass taxpayers a tax cut.” Well, thinking folks will attribute the first statement to just plain “Barbara Streisand!” Assuming that southern Marylanders have successfully passed Southern Maryland…What a place to the fourth grade, including the old arithmelive! …Mother county of the whole U. S. and tic, look at his second braggadocios promise. A. …Unique home to a hard working Amish If 100% of U. S. taxpaying-eligible folks paid community grown from a faith-based, respon- some taxes, perhaps his promise would have sibility oriented heritage. …Unique home to a chance. But…here is a skoshi problem…the premier technology-centered military research bottom 40% of taxpaying-eligible citizens and development centers focused on ensuring pay…zero, none, nada in Federal taxes. 40% continued defense of our country. …South- from 100% leaves 60% to be eligible for his tax ern Maryland—tough and confident survivor cuts…but…the bottom 50% of eligibles pay a of historical economic ups and downs…fish, total of 3% of the taxes. So, (now I’m getting crabs, oysters, tobacco. Yes, tough, resilient, into higher math—not a strength). If those and, one would think, a community intuitively folks get just a 3% tax cut of the total bill, that able to smell a rat when carpetbaggers and leaves 90% of the country not paying a penny hood-winkers come to town. Perhaps one of to support our country. Right now, though, the otherwise commendable traits of this peo- the top 1% of our taxpayer’s fork out 40% of ple is their seeming acceptance of just about the whole bill, and the top 10% pay for 70% of anybody who can tell them a story without the tax bill. Maybe this guy is using new math blinking, or crossing their fingers behind their from his Ivy League schooling! (Or, is he sellbacks. But, alas, this people has been flim- ing snake oil). We haven’t even folded in his flammed and hoodwinked for many political plan for other ways to save the nation…elimiyears. Can anyone name any benefit to have nating the cap on earnings to save Social Secubeen brought to “the people” by those in politi- rity, returning to tax rate levels under Bubba, cal office, namely, those photo-op reps, Dyson taxing some more on dividends (which, we all and Steny, union-babe Babs, the new Dem on know would be only a tax on the rich), and, the block, Benny, and the “oops, I forgot to tell oh, don’t forget his plan to “invest” $800 bilyou about my big tax plan” O’Malley? I sup- lion-to-$1 trillion in new programs…all for the pose folks were out trying to earn a living in a middle and lower classes of course. Figure it new product area when the election days came out southern Marylanders! around. Now, we are faced with another “election of the centuries”. One candidate has two Larry Lutz big all-encompassing statements, “It’s Bush’s Lexington Park, Md

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The County Times

Section A - 

Balancing The Board
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer

I Found Bullocks!
providing those things, we’ll need the funding to do that, so we have to be very collaborative with our unions, our county officials, and our state officials.” Kessler said he would also focus on closing the achievement gap and improving graduation rates in the county, particularly by emphasizing programs at the ninth grade level, such as the Fairlead Academy and the TechConnect program. “My biggest concern is expanding the capacity of those programs,” he said. Kessler said he would also like to strengthen partnerships between the school system and the Naval Air Station, adding that he had connections to people at Patuxent River that could facilitate more programs. “I know the base and who does what,” he said. “I can help connect the dots. “Budget and funding drive everything,” Kessler said when addressing teacher salaries in the county, which are somewhat lower than in neighboring counties. “We have been competitive with our neighboring counties,” he added, explaining that benefits packages were as good or better than in other counties across the state. “So we’ve closed that gap a bit…but we don’t pay our teachers enough,” he said, speaking of salaries across the country, “If we want to attract the very best teachers for our students, then we have to put our money where our mouth is.” Kessler laughed as he explained his dizzying schedule, defending his occasional absences from board meetings as a natural result of his work schedule. “When I’m not at a board

With budget shortfalls looming, Kessler looks to lend his expertise to St. Mary’s school board for a second term
Gary Kessler eased into a seat in the Lexington Park Public Library and smiled, nodding amicably at some of the people passing by. His demeanor was relaxed as he discussed his campaign for the Board of Education as he runs for his second term. In addition to being a board member, Kessler has also been a civil servant for 26 years, and is now the civilian equivalent of a two-star Navy admiral. Most recently, he has worked on developing unmanned aviation systems in the area, overseeing an annual budget of about $4 billion. He said he often works 60 hours a week, in addition to juggling his duties with both his company and the school system. “It’s a labor of love,” he said. “But I want to give back to the community. I care very strongly about public education.” Being the only member of the Board of Education who is not an educator, he said he is Gary Kessler making a case for himself as a member of the local business commuupcoming negotiations with nity who sends his children to teachers unions. The problem public schools in the county, is, “…we haven’t seen both and who cares deeply about from the county and the state the education they receive. level yet what our expected “I think I bring a different revenues are,” adding that perspective to the other four only time would tell how tight board members that is very money will become. complimentary,” he said, as Kessler said his primary he spoke about his career and focus would be on maintainhis first term in office. ing recent gains with perforKessler said the biggest mance, test scores, and serasset he brings to the board vices, which he hopes will is his experience handling not suffer due to the troubled budgets. economy. “My concern in this “I have the skills to be upcoming economy is mainvery thorough with a budget… taining that upward trend,” I think I lend a lot of input and he said. “In order to continue insight to that [process],” he said, adding that attention to detail would be important as the budget process for next fiscal year gets underway in the face of expected shortfalls. “We recognize right now that we’re going to have to tighten our belt,” Kessler said when discussing his expectations of the next few months. He said he expects to see budget lines increase with capacity, particularly in the wake of opening the county’s newest elementary school, and

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meeting I’m still reviewing the material, and I’m still very engaged,” he said, adding that he had pushed for the implementation of the new online BoardDocs system and Blackberries to help keep board members in touch. “I’m always connected, whether I’m there or not,” he said. Kessler said he hopes people will recognize the gains the current board had made when considering who to vote for. “I hope the community recognizes that I put my name forward, and I hope St.

Mary’s County will give me the opportunity to continue this journey from good to great,” he said, smiling as he spoke a bit of his own campaign rhetoric. “I want to be a part of that.”

Local Advocate Challenges Kessler for Seat on Board of Education
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Marilyn Crosby pulled out a note card with a long list of community events and destinations where she has campaigned so far, but she said she has a long way to go before the election. “I’ve been to Spring Fest, I’ve been to concerts, I’ve been to church dinners,” she said, adding that she is trying to get in as much face-time with local residents as possible. As the only challenger to any seat on the Board of Education this year, Crosby said she feels it is a fight she will win, and she pointed first to her involvement with the Board of Education over the years. “When I would see problems, I would start working on it for the children,” she said, “and I would go to the board meetings.” Crosby is a regular fixture at board meetings, and she says her attendance is evidence of her dedication to the educational system, for which Marilyn Crosby she has worked her entire life. She was a teacher cation on the budget. “I think for 24 years, serving first in Prince George’s County, another accomplishment is that and then moving to St. Mary’s I’m still advocating for chilCounty to teach at Chopticon dren by writing letters,” she High School in 1970. She also said, adding that she has writtaught at Leonard Hall, Green ten over 100 letters to various Holly, and Piney Point, and publications about educational served as a member of several issues. Crosby said that her incommittees serving the school system, including the School volvement with the Board of Improvement Committee, the Budget Advisory Committee, and the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for Special Education, among others. “I’ve been on so many committees I can’t even remember them all,” she said, laughing. She said that her accomplishments ranged from being nominated for the Agnes Meyer teaching award and sponsoring the Piney Point Computer Club, to lowering class sizes and advising the Board of EduEducation led her to want a few things changed. “From being at almost every meeting, I would like to see more critical review of important issues,” she said, explaining that she did not feel that board members devoted enough time to exhaustive discussion of policy. “If you’re going to have an important issue…there should be a lot of public discussion about it, and then it should be tabled for a couple of weeks,” she said, adding that extra time should be allotted so that board members could discuss all options before voting. Crosby said that her main goals if elected would be to implement universal pre-Kindergarten programs, and enhance after school programs. “Pre-K will be law in 2014, but I think we need to do it before then,” she said, adding that she would also like to see a clustered bus route to provide better transportation for after-school programs. Crosby said also that she would like to see the STEM program expanded. “There are a lot of smart kids in our school system that aren’t going into the STEM program,” she said, “you ought to have a pathway that will prepare all capable students for STEM at CSM.” As a candidate, Crosby said she had debated with herself before deciding to run against Kessler, who she conceded had done well in his position, but she also said she wanted to kick her advocacy up a notch nevertheless. “I’m me. I have a lot of integrity and a lot of humor within me, and I love the children, and that’s why I’m doing this,” she said. Those interested in learning more about Marilyn Crosby’s campaign can visit her website at

Section A - 

The County Times

Thursday, October 1, 2008

Wonderings of an Aimless Mind
By Shelby Oppermann Sounds like an episode of Lost doesn’t it, but it was just another mindless night of doing laundry. I was throwing in all the whites, my husband’s softball clothes, and my little tennis style socks. I stopped as I watched my minis swirling around and wondered what the NB stood for on the crew part. I looked at these socks hundreds of times over the last two years, but I finally was curious. The first thing that came to my mind was note bene or note well; something you had to use occasionally when writing school papers. I thought about it for awhile still wondering what NB must really stand for when suddenly it hit me, “you idiot, it’s New Balance.” A jock would just know those things. On the other hand should I care. I was the child who was afraid of the ball, but of course the ball always knew how to find me. Dodge ball terrified me. In elementary school I looked wistfully f r o m behind the backstop watching the other k i d s play ball – softb a l l ,

PNC Robbery Suspects All Rounded Up Jocks vs. “The Others”
baseball, I don’t know. One time, however the ball came flying towards home plate, was not caught, and instead flew right through the only hole in the fence behind which I stood. I was hit in the forehead and fell backwards, spread eagled in the dust: poof. About five years ago when my husband coached a young men’s softball league near St. Mary’s Landing Restaurant in Charlotte Hall, it started raining and I thought as scorekeeper I should keep the book dry and went into the dugout. Of course, one of the fastest throwers in the league threw to first, again the ball was missed, and yes I got hit in the head. This ball was traveling approximately 60 miles an hour according to all those present. For awhile everyone thought I was laughing, I actually couldn’t breathe. The ball player who hit me kept telling everyone that he was my husband. I wasn’t right for three months after that one, but I still put in a 10’ x 12’ raised bed vegetable garden the next day. It’s the Irish side of me I guess. But I did excel at some sports, well I think they are considered sports, maybe it’s recreational activities. But I was a champion at miniature golf and air hockey. This is what happens when you grow up across the street from a miniature golf that later gets torn down to make way for a bowling alley, and have little or no supervision. Parents please watch your children. When we would stay at one of the Virginia Beach campgrounds with our camper trailer I never wanted to go to the beach. I just wanted to play air hockey at the rec hall. My Mother came up to get me one day, and said she asked what the long line was for snaking around the building. It was people lined up to play me at air hockey. I guess these activities are cleaner sports to me; you don’t get all sweaty and dirty. Your socks stay relatively white, unlike the physical sports where orange ball field dirt stains socks around the ankles forever, or grass stains ball pants with neon slime. It’s not that I don’t like dirt, I just don’t like to perspire. All of these activities are great. It’s all fun is the point. I have come to enjoy softball, as long as I never have to play it. Maybe one time I’ll play miniature golf or air hockey in my socks so they get the feel of a real sport once in a while. N.B. To each new day’s adventure, Shelby Send your comments to By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The commander of the county’s top criminal investigative section says it appears the police have all the suspects who were involved in the PNC bank robbery case that occurred here Sept. 24. Detectives went down to interview two of the suspects, William Cordell Johnson, 28, and Joseph Franklin Brown, 25, who had fled to Raleigh, N.C. after the alleged robbery last month and both suspects were extradited back to St. Mary’s before the weekend. The next step for the detectives involved in the case, Lt. Rick Burris, commander of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, said, is to compile and review all the evidence to prepare for prosecution. Two other suspects Quinita Jesse Ennis, 30, and Edwin Jonathan Jones, 40, both of Lexington Park, are also incarcerated for their alleged role in the bank robbery as getaway driver and planner respectively. “It looks like we’ve got everyone involved,” Burris told The County Times Monday. “As far as additional suspects, everything is pointing towards no one else being involved.” Detectives have said from the beginning of the case that the branch manager and her two children who were kidnapped from their Lusby home as a means to retrieve money from the bank were not involved in the alleged conspiracy. Johnson and Brown, who detectives have alleged are the ones who actually kidnapped the bank manager and her children, an 18month-old and a 5-year-old, and committed

the bank robbery have been held without bond after their arraignment in District Court. Both have been charged with three counts of kidnapping, three counts of first-degree assault, two counts of armed robbery, theft and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The week the four suspects were arrested, detectives found four safes buried in Brown’s backyard, two of them filled with cash, law officers alleged. The suspects also attempted to destroy evidence linking them to the crime and apparently went on a shopping spree, according to detectives, that included buying clothes, computers, personal electronics and airplane tickets to Las Vegas. Of the $168,000 stolen, police have said, $58,000 was spent by the suspects in just about a week, some of it included gambling in Atlantic City, N.J. About $110,000 of the stolen money was recovered, police have said. According to police, Brown and Johnson had gone to North Carolina with the purpose of setting up a residence there with some of the money they allegedly stole. They were preparing to return to St. Mary’s to retrieve the rest of the money, police said, when they learned that police began an intensive warrant search operation looking for them. Both suspects stayed in Raleigh and were arrested by law officers there on fugitive warrants. Police working on the case have said much of the merchandise the suspects bought with the stolen money had been recovered. Brown and Johnson have been scheduled to appear in District Court Nov. 11.

Continued from page A- said. “And we’re not accusing them of this either.” The campaign signs promoting the McCain/Palin ticket were a popular draw at the St. Mary’s County Fair, Willenborg said, as were bumper stickers. About 600 signs were handed out and people picked up about 3,000 bumper stickers, he said. Slattery said Democratic campaign signs and paraphernalia were just as popular. Haynie said the signs represented a significant cost to the campaign with small signs running from $1.25 to $12. The larger signs placed near roadsides could run between $25 and $30, he said. “It’s a despicable infringement on a person’s right to put up a political campaign sign,” Haynie said. “We’re not doing it except at the request of the land owner. “Every sign that is up is on someone’s land who asked for it.” Slattery said that here, in St. Mary’s, only small Obama/Biden signs were available and she was not certain what might happen to the larger signs if they came on the scene. “Everybody [in the local Democratic party] is just frantic because we don’t have enough Obama signs,” she said. Michael Cain, head of the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, said the destruction of campaign

signs is a practice with an ignominious tradition that can flare up around this particular season. “There is a kind of trend of vandalism around Halloween,” Kaine said. “But when it’s one party it can be a real problem.” Kaine said the recent spate of vandalism and theft was likely not perpetrated by any organized group. “People feel strongly about the candidates down here,” Kaine said. “Perhaps what we’re seeing here comes from strength of passion, but I’d be surprised if it’s organized. “But I’d certainly put a stop to it.” Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron said the campaign sign mischief is more than just a nuisance; it is a crime. “It’s a serious issue,” Cameron said. “It’s a theft; and it’s our right [to express political ideas], it’s our voice. “We’ll treat it like any other crime.” There are strong Republican sentiments in St. Mary’s County, with many voting for the GOP in the presidential election; but that is often counterbalanced by votes for Democrats in Congress, the statehouse and in local offices. Either way, Slattery said, St. Mary’s was better of being known as a place where both sides of the political spectrum could work together in relative peace. The recent antics put a pall over that spirit of cooperation, she said. “We should be a model of democracy in St. Mary’s,” Slattery said. “Not the model of bad play.”

Continued from page A- released. The deaths of the Natalies brings the number of motor vehicle related fatalities in St. Mary’s County this year to 13 deaths in 10 accidents, according to records from both the sheriff’s office and state

troopers. That averages out to more than one fatality per month, with six of the fatalities occurring in just the past twoand-a-half months alone. Lt. Michael Thompson, commander of the Leonardtown barrack, said that any number of things caused fatal accidents but speed, alcohol and distracted driving were

often key factors. “Without question that’s an alarming figure,” Thompson said of the total of dead on county roads. “It’s not uncommon for troopers down here to issue citations for people going 88 or 90 miles an hour routinely.” Speed has not been determined to be a factor in the crash on Willows road.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The County Times
ing dropped at the lower points of the search area, where the water could go as deep as 50 to 120 feet with strong currents, and surface and shoreline searches were also being conducted with personal watercrafts throughout the area. On Sunday and Monday, NRP and USCG helicopters conducted aerial searches with no luck. Sunrise to sunset searches are still in effect, and Turner reported that NRP will continue the search until Reiter is found, though they expect that currents and tides would shift the search area’s parameters as the investigation progressed. “We will continue searching until this individual is found, or until we find a body,” said Turner, “we will not give up.”

Section A - 

Continued from page A- tion. Numerous fire departments from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted NRP with the incident. The Coast Guard scaled back its involvement with the investigation after Monday’s search efforts, and NRP took the lead in the search mission. Sgt. Turner reported that NPR still classifies the investigation as a search and rescue mission, but that they do not expect to find Reiter alive, though every effort is being made to locate him. “We’re utilizing our side-scan sonar unit,” said Turner, explaining that the units were be-

Deputies Attend Homeland Security Training
Deputies Clay Safford, Milton Pesante and Shawn Moses of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office recently completed Homeland Security training September 29, 2008 through October 4, 2008 at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), located in Anniston, Alabama. The Deputies attended the 40 hours Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Emergency Responder Hazardous Materials Technician Training which provides the responder with a combination of lectures, hands-on practical exercises, and training that meets OSHA requirements for technician level training. The participants are provided hands-on training through practical exercises and must pass written evaluations. The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation. The CDP provides federally-funded, interdisciplinary training for emergency responders from across the United States and U.S. Territories, for ten responder disciplines: Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Service, Fire Service, Governmental Administrative, Hazardous Materials, Healthcare, Law Enforcement, Public Health, Public Safety Communications, and Public Works. Healthcare and Public Health training is conducted at the CDP’s Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital facility dedicated to training hospital and healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response. Many training courses culminate at the CDP’s Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological Training Facility, the nation’s only facility featuring civilian training exercises in a true toxic environment, using chemical agents. The advanced hands-on training enables responders to effectively prevent, respond to, and recover from realworld incidents involving acts of terrorism and other hazardous materials. The Deputies were selected from the nation’s 11 million emergency responders. Training at the CDP ensures that responders gain critical skills and confidence to be better prepared to effectively respond to local incidents or potential WMD incidents. FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Habitat For Humanity Breaks Ground On Future Home Sites
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Officials with the local Patuxent Habitat for Humanity office say it’s been a long time in coming, but now with the ground breaking of some county-donated land in Lexington Park near Patuxent River Naval Air Station they can start building affordable homes for five deserving families. The new affordable housing project, called Fenwick Ridge, is the product of a partnership between St. Mary’s County government and Patuxent Habitat for Humanity that had its genesis in the last Board of County Commissioners. The five homes will be built on a small portion of some 13,000 acres of rural legacy land, with the vast remaining untouched by development. On the front section of the property, just of Route 235 and Forest Park Road, a small farmers market is slated for construction as well. “This is a blessed time… for doing something for the community,” said Gary Williams, president of Patuxent Habitat for Humanity. “There’s such a spirit of working together in this county. “It’s such a sweet place to get something done.” While these homes are sold to the deserving families picked out by the staff of the agency, complete with a nointerest loan, the homes are not giveaways, Williams said. Adults who will be moving into the homes will be required to put in 200 hours of “sweat equity” into building their own home, he said. The homes will represent a “green” housing project, Williams said complete with rain gardens to prevent runoff and rain barrels to save water for gardening. Future home owners, agency volunteers from the community and churches who support the project all gather together to build the homes; Williams said that the project could be completed in as little as three months. Two families who will take up residence once the homes are built helped break ground on the project Tuesday. “We’re thrilled,” said Catherine Dunn, a teacher at St. Mary’s Ryken High School. “It’s the best thing that could’ve happened to us.” Dunn and her son, Gus, have been living with friends in St. Inigoes and living conditions have gotten crowded there. Bill and Tiffany Shreve, with their daughters Autumn, 2 years old, and Lacey, one year old, were ready to take up residence soon, too. “We greatly appreciate this,” Tiffany Shreve said. “This is the best gift anyone could give us.”

Continued from page A- According to the Court of Special Appeals ruling Gough asked one of the co-defendants in the case “Why you do that s—?, I ain’t goin down for this s—.” The statement was overheard by Gough’s girlfriend when she made a cell phone call to Gough while he and other co-defendants were driving away from the Brass Rail after the shooting. Gordon was sentenced to life in prison for the murder, plus 35 years for other crimes including firing on an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who was trying to help Bonds. That deputy wounded Gordon in a firefight outside the bar that day. The shooting was precipitated by a fight that ensued as the bar closed, the COSA decision said, in which three co-defendants that went to the bar with Gough, Nathan Schindler, Terrance Snyder and Gordon began to beat the victim, Bonds. Gough was present during the beating, the opinion stated, but accounts differed as to his level of involvement in the fight. When off-duty Deputy Earl Young attempted to stop the assailants from beating Bonds further and get between them he heard a shot fired. Young returned fire when Gordon shot at him, wounding Gordon. The assailants fled shortly thereafter, but Gough quickly returned driving the vehicle with a wounded Gordon inside, asking police to help his friend. Gough was never said to have had a gun during the shootout, nor was he accused of firing any shots. Tanavage said that Gough also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree assault complete with a 15-year sentence, which was suspended. The recent plea deal meant that this could be the last time the state would have to deal with the case. “The good thing about a plea is you pretty much waive your rights to an appeal,” Tanavage said. “It’s done.”

Photo by Guy Leonard

Gus Dunn, left, and his mother Catherine Dunn break ground with the Tiffandy and Bill Shreve and their two daughters Autumn and Lacey at the Patuxent Habitat for Humanity affordable housing project at Fenwick Ridge in Lexington Park Tuesday.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008 Section A - 

The County Times

Section A -  Thursday, October 16, 200

John Ralph Abell, Jr., Alice Mildred Brown, 99 3
Christian Burial was 70 Luis Antonia Castillo, be offered Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. in Luis Antonia Castillo, 70, Our Lady’s Catholic Church, Medley’s Neck, of Leonardtown died Aug. 16 Leonardtown and the celein St. Mary’s Nursing Center, brant was Father John MatLeonardtown. Born Sept. 20, 1937 in tingly. Interment followed Puerto Rico, he was the son of in St Aloysius Catholic the late Luis Antonia and Elsa Cemetery, Leonardtown. Monserrate Morales Castillo. Pallbearers were John Luis is survived by three MacDonald, Ralph Anthosisters, M. Elaine Ohler of ny, James Anthony, Patrick Millsboro, Del., Evelyn CasAnthony, Steve Johnson tillo of Chestertown, Md. and and Lawrence Johnson. Elsie Collins of Las Vegas, Memorial contribuNev. He is alsomade to the tions may be survived by several nieces and nephews. Leonardtown Volunteer Family received friends Fire Department, Inc., Wednesday, Aug. 20 from 11 P.O. Box 50, Leonarda.m. – noon in the Brinsfield town, MD 20650 Funeral Home, Leonardtown, Condolences to the with prayers recited at noon. family may be L’Heureux Deacon George made at w w w.b r Graveside n e r a l. officiated.i n sf ield f u service com. followed at 2 p.m. at Cedar Hill Arrangements by Md. Cemetery, Suitland, the Brinsfield Funeral Home, Memorial Contributions P.A., Leonardtown. may be made to the St. Mary’s Nursing Center Foundation, Inc., David “Scott” Bennett, 21585 Peabody Street, 49 Leonardtown, MD 20650. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Frederick Gene BuschValorie Anne ing, 0 Henry, 48
Frederick Gene Busching, 80 of Colton Point passed away Oct. 8 in Washington Hospital Center. Born Sept. 18, 1928 in Fort Wayne, Ind., he was the son of the late William Frederick and Cecil Pauline Mettler Busching. Mr. Busching was a Welder for George F. Warner, Company, and retired after 35 years of service. Mr. Busching is survived by his children Bobbi-Gene Schmitz of Colton Point and Sharon Everett of Virginia; his sister; Joanne Settle of Fort Wayne, Ind.; and also survived by Valorie Anne Henry, 11 five grandchildren and 48, of Mechanicsville, formerly great-grandchildren. of Grandview, Mo., died Aug. In addition to his par17, in he was Park. ents, Lexingtonpreceded in Born Oct. 31, 1959 in death by his wife Margaret Lincoln, Busching was his Morgan Neb. she and the daughter of James Ray Dickson Kelly W. Busching. inson of services will be All Mouldrow, Okla. and Hortense Anne Campbell private. Crawford of of f lowers meIn lieu Grandview, Mo. She was the loving wife of morial contributions may Earl Allan Henry, whom she be made to Hospice House, married July of St. in Warc/o Hospice 16, 1986Mary’s, rensburg, Mo. P.O. Box 625, LeonardShe is survived town, MD 20650. by her son Earl Ian Henry. to the Condolences Mrs. Henry gradufamily may be made at ated w.b r i nGrandview eHigh from sf ield f u n r a l. ww School’s com. Class of 1977. She moved to St. Mary’s County Arrangements provided in the Brinsfield Funeral by October 1988 from Waldorf, Md. Home, P.A., Leonardtown. The family will receive friends Saturday, Aug. 23 John Douglas Clark, 1 from 10 – 11 a.m. in Patuxent John Assembly of God River Douglas Clark Church, from this life Sept. passed California, where a Funeral Service will after a 17 at the age of 81 be held at 11 a.m. with debilitating lengthy and Pastor Lanny Clark officiating. Interment illness. will John was born June 27, be held Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. in Maryland 1927 to the late Mary WadVeteran’s Cemetery, Cheltendell Clark and Dr. Fred ham, Md. Harlow Clark. Contributions may in He was preceded be made to Hospice if St. Mary’s, death by his brother Fred P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, Harlow Clark, Jr. and his MD 20650. parents. Arrangements provided John is survived by by brother Myrick Canhis the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A. field Clark and sister in law Mary Savage Clark, both of Raleigh, N.C.; He Karen A. is also survived by his only niece McEntyre, 51 Laura Clark Hamill and her husband Burley G. Hamill, III McEntyre, 51 of Karen A. of Wake Forest, N.C., Park, formerly of Lexington four nephews, Gregory Harlow Clark and Plano, Texas, died Aug. 13 in his wife Heather of Kent, Washington Hospital Center. Wash. and Myrick CanBorn Feb. 24, 1957 in field Clark, Jr. and his wife Sweetwater, Texas she was Lorraine of of Carold and the daughter Glen Burnie, Md., Aleese Benson Maury Mary Christopher of PlaClark and Douglas Stephen no, Texas. Clark both of Raleigh, She is also survived by N.C., great-nieces Heathher children Jeremy Porter er Snyder, Barber and her of Viens Texas, Jonathan husband Plano, Texas, Angie Porter of Shane of Garden City, S.C., Alyssa Clark of Porter, Sheila Horton and MaRaleigh, N.C. of Lexington rissa Horton, all and Victoria Hamill of Wake Forest, Park as well as her brother N.C.; great-nephews AdriVictor Benson of Plano, Texas enne Clark of Kent, Wash., and three grandchildren. Michael Clark of Raleigh, Karen was employed as a N.C. and nurse. C. Clark registered Myrick III of Glen Burnie, a greatAll services are private. great niece Natasha Clark Arrangements provided of Glen Burnie and a greatby the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

John Ralph Abell, Jr., 83, of Leonardtown died Oct. 11. He passed away on his trusty John Deere tractor while discing a cornfield on his beloved Ellenborough farm in Leonardtown. Born Aug. 3, 1925 in Alice Mildred Brown, 99 Hollywood, Md. he was the of Leonardtown died Aug. 16 son of the late John Ralph, in her home. Sr. and Pauline Hayden Born Nov. 9, 1908 in Abell. Baltimore, Md., she was the He was never married daughter of the late James and and spent his life farmLilly Mae Jackson Rebham. ing and giving his time to the She was a member of St. Leonardtown VolunGeorge’s Episcopal Church, teer Fire Department. He Valley Lee, from St. Mary’s graduated and Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter 107,was Academy in 1943 and Julia Halla, Hollywood. honored as a lifetime memof Brown is survived ber Mrs. the Leonardtown by two sons, Lloyd E. (Jerry) Volunteer Fire Department Lloyd Raymond Brown, Jr. of Leonardtown Jan. 8, 1994 after 50 years Harris, 97 and active service. He was of Willard Bruce Brown of Terra Alta, W. Va. She is also a fixture at the annual also survived by six grandfire department carnival children, Julie Brown-Rund, where he operated the OcDavid “Scott” Bennett, Jeff Brown, Nancy Deal, topus Ride for many years. 49, of Ridge, formerly of Wendy Jarda, Judy family’s Graybill He ran the and Pheobe Brown, Leonard- Valley Lee, died Oct. 7 in dairy farm in and eight Ridge. great-grandchildren Clay and town until it’s closing in Born July 8, 1959 in Will 1960’s Kristen and Josh the Rund, and then raised Olathe, Kan. he was the son Brown, Shawn and Bruce beef cattle along with corn, Deal, Audrey soybeans. He of Donald and Clara “Sanalfalfa and and Samantha dy” Bennett of WaynesJarda. enjoyed attending Balti- boro, Va. She was predeceased more Colts games at the He is survived by his by a daughter Betty Ruth Old Memorial Stadium and ex-wife Denise Lang BenBrown and a brother John B. making his popular stuffed nett, whom he married Fenwick. ham during the holidays. Relatives and friends at- in St. Michael’s Church, He is survived by three tended Mrs. Brown’s Life Ridge; his children Joshua sisters, Marietta Abell An- Bennett and Melissa BenCelebrationAnnandale, Va., thony of in the Brinsfield Funeral Home, Leonardtown nett, both of Valley Lee and Gladys Abell Johnson of Wednesday, Aug. 20 and Re- his sister Donna Wagner of Springfield, Va., from 5 – Lloyd Raymond Har8 p.m. with prayers recited at California, Md. becca Abell MacDonald of ris, 97, died peacefully from Scott graduated Aug. 7 p.m. A funeral service will Leonardtown. He was pre- 12 in the St. Mary’s Nursing Great Mills High School, be held Thursday, Aug. 21 at Center. deceased by another sis11 a.m. in St. George’s Epis- Class of 1977. He worked ter, Irene Abell Dixon, of as a draftsman and enjoyed Mr. Harris was a longtime copal Church, Valley Lee. resident of St. Mary’s County. Leonardtown. deer hunting. Reverend Greg Syler, pastor He was born in Gallatin, Mo. He is also survived by family received of the church, willnephews, JuneThe 1911 to the late How16 nieces and officiate. friends Oct. 10 from 5 13, IntermentR. Anthony, the ard May Harris and Frankie James will follow in Jr., – 8 p.m. in the Mattingleychurch cemetery. Mary P. Anthony Barbee, Lee Jackson. He married Memorial Contributions Gardiner Funeral Home, John P. Anthony, Ralph A. his beloved wife of 59 years, where Prayers were said at may be made to The Mis- Mary Catherine “Sis” Nelson Anthony, Elizabeth Antho- 7 p.m. A Funeral Service sions Rubenstein, Marietta at the Washington Cathedral ny Endowment Fund or was held Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. Cemetery and Grounds Fund, in Washington D.C. Sept. 2, Anthony Saunders, Rebec- in the Mattingley-Gardiner c/o Anthony Davis, Ralph 1939. She preceded him in ca St. George’s Episcopal Funeral Home Chapel with Church, P.O. Box 30, Valley death in 1998. He was also Andrew Johnson, Stephen Fr. Joseph Sileo officiatLee, MD 20692. Lawrence preceded in death in 1998 by Abell Johnson, ing and Pastor Elbert W. Condolences to the famMarshall Johnson, Marian his beloved sister Margaret Colston Harris. co-officiating. Inily may be made at www. Johnson Wasem, Robert S. terment followed in Charles Mr. Harris served in the Dixon, Lydia Dixon, David Memorial Gardens, LeonUnited States Army as an AsArrangements by the Allen Dixon, John Mac- ardtown. Pallbearers were Brinsfield Funeral Home, sistant Chaplain. Following Donald, Jr., and Ellen Mac- James Shaw, James Waghis army service he was emP.A., Leonardtown. Donald Allen. ner, in Washington, D.C. ployedDavid Sides, RichHe was predeceased by the Federal Government ard Lang, Jacob Lang and by another nephew, Lester for many Wiley. before retirWayne years Honorary Dean Johnson. Francis Joseph Pallbearers were in the ing. He then worked Steven Family received friends tax department for the State Brown, Sr., 66 Lang, Lucas Lang and Jay Oct. 13 from 5 – 8 p.m. of Maryland and retired in Amadio. in the Brinsfield Funeral 1971. During his retirement, Francis Joseph Brown, Arrangements providHome, passed away in his ed by his Mattingley-GarSr., 66, Leonardtown, with he and the wife enjoyed travprayers Indian at 7 p.m. diner Funeral Home, P.A. home in recited Trail, N.C. eling throughout the United with Father Thomas G. La- States. Aug. 12. Hood leading. A born July He enjoyed playing cards, Mr. Brown was Mass of 1, 1942 in Leonardtown, son dancing and buying new cars. of the late Mary Edna Brown Ray loved life and most of all he enjoyed helping others Norris. Timothy Brian Mr. Brown is survived while expecting nothing in T/AMer- return. MEMORIAL GARDENS, Inc. CHARLES He was devoted in the by his wife Jacqueline McGrath, 50 cer Brown; a son Francis J. care of his wife and sister unTimothy Brian McGrath, Brown, Jr.Pt. LookoutShelia til their death. 26325 and his wife Rd. The family received 50, of Leonardtown, MD Lexington Park died of Stanfield, N.C.; a daughter Jennifer Lynn Brown of Indi- friends in the Mattingley- Aug. 11 in St. Mary’s HospiGardiner Funeral Home, P.A., tal, Leonardtown. an Trail, N.C. and two grandLeonardtown, Friday, Aug. 15 Born June 14, 1958 in daughters Christianna Page from 9 – 10 a.m. with a funerFreeport, Ill., he was the son and Allyson Grace Brown. al service that followed at 10 The family received a.m. officiated by Rev. Keith of Patricia (Chambers) Mcfriends Sunday, Aug. 17 from Schukraft. Interment followed Grath of Mesa, Ariz. and the 2 – 5 p.m. in the Matting- at Charles Memorial Gardens late Charles McGrath. Timothy attended Laley-Gardiner Funeral Home, in Leonardtown. Pallbearers where Prayers were said at were Frank Nelson, Donnie salle-Peru High School in La3 p.m. A Mass of Christian Bowles, Fred Nelson, Harry salle, Ill. where he graduated Burial was celebrated Mon- Nelson, Jr., Michael Russell in 1976. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1976 until 1999. day, Aug. 18 at 9:30 a.m. in and Roy Copsey. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Contributions may be After his service in the Navy, Church with Fr. John Mat- made to American Heart Timothy was employed by a tingly officiating. Interment Association, 415 N. Charles Government Contractor and Baltimore, MD worked at the Patuxent River followed in Charles Memo- Street, 21201-4101. Naval Air Station. He was an rial Gardens. Arrangements provided Elks Lodge member and a Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner by the Mattingley-Gardiner past member of the LexingFuneral Home, P.A. ton Park Volunteer Rescue Funeral Home, P.A.

great-nephew Lucas Paul Squad. Barber of Garden City, In addition to his mother, S.C. Timothy is survived by his John, Kay (Houtz) Mcwife Debralike his brother Fred, lived from birth with Grath, his son, Sean Patrick Cerebral ofPalsy, through McGrath Lexington Park, which they touched many his sister, Karen McGrath of lives. John had hislifelong Mesa, Ariz. and a brother, love of McGrath of Ill. the Michael anything from old Awest; movies, picmemorial service will tures and songs. He 23 at be held Saturday, Aug. had a complete collection of 10 a.m. at the Bay District Roy Rogers & Department, Volunteer Fire Gene Autry movies which he would Lexington Park. watch over and to the with Condolences over famgusto and enthusiasm as ily may be made at www. if he were watching it for the Arrangements byloved first time and the even more to share watchBrinsfield Funeral Home, ing those movies with his P.A., Leonardtown. brothers and friends at Red Gate Home where he resided. He had a great love Patrick Connor Miller 2 of horses and it was always a special treat for John to ride to the country to see the horses galloping and grazing in the field. The staff at the Red Gate often arranged for up-close and personal visits from horses for John’s birthday parties where he could actually pet them. He also had his own collection of “guns & pistols” along with the holsters that he loved to wear on occasion and be a “show off.” John was a great people person with a warm and Patrick personality and funny Connor Miller 2, of in visitors and delighted Avenue died Aug. 12 in St. Mary’s Hospital, going out on visits himself, Leonardtown. and he always loved going Connor was born Oct. 11, on trips with the staff and 2005 Anne Arundel Mediother inresidents from the cal Center, Red Gate. Annapolis, Md., the The of Clark L.Family son James Miller and Krystal Kaldenbach of would like to express their Avenue. deepest gratitude to the He is survived by two sisARC of Southern Maryland ters, to the staff of the Red and Lillian and Kayla Miller, a brother Kyle Miller, his paGate Group Home on Point ternal grandparents James L. Lookout Road in Miller of and Darlene Oliver Leonardtown, where John residChaptico, maternal grandpared for 25 years. The high ents, Eugene Kaldenbach of standards, Tenn., and Debra Harrimon, care, compassion and love provided by Adams Kaldenbach of Winthe staff was unsurpassed chester, Ky.; great-grandparand should be highly coments Francis and Audrey Olimended. He came to know ver of Chaptico and the G r e a t- g family, o t h did staff as r a n d m as e r s his brother Fred of Waldorf, Mary Lou Adams who also resided at the Red Gate Md. and Shirley Miller of with him until his death in Newburg, Md. 2004. The family received friends Memorial Service A for Connor’s Life Celebration Sunday, Aug. 3 will be held Oct. 18 at 17 from – p.m. in the Brinsp.m. 3in 4Grace & Peace field Funeral Home, LeonardPresbyterian Church, Calitown, with a fornia, Md. funeral service at 4 p.m. Interment was private. Contributions may be Condolences to the fammade to The ARC of Southily may be P.O. Box www. ern MD, made at 338, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Arrangements providArrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, ed by Mattingley-Gardiner P.A., Leonardtown. Funeral Home, P.A.

Park, Mark Clements marRedmond, whom she and his wife Kristy of Lusby, ried March 4, 1945 at the ImMd., Ann Ratliff and her maculate Conception Catholic husband Mark of CaliforChurch in Mechanicville. She nia, Md. and Denise Cleis survived by her beloved children Gayle A. Hancock and ments of Richmond, Va. her husband William by 20 He is also survived of Fairfax, Va., and James greatgrandchildren, 20 “Frank” Redmond and his wife Wanda grandchildren and his sibof Fredericksburg, Va. She is lings; Walter Clements of also survived by Fabin of Virginia, Nora three grandchildren, Jeffery A. Hancock Washington, D.C., John and his wife Jennifer of and Clements of England Fairfax, Va., Mark D. Redmond Patricia Niles and Maude and his wife Tanya of FredClements, both of Texas. ericksburg, Va., Jason P. RedHe was preceded in mond Fredericksburg; and death ofby his daughter four great-grandchildren. Margaret Ann, his grandShe was preceded in death daughter Stacey Michelle by her sister Agnes Rice. Reintzell, his great-grandFamily received friends son Seth Joshua from 9:30 Wednesday, Aug. 20 Morgan and his siblings William, – 10:30 a.m. in the Brinsfield Joan, Paul, Scott and AlFuneral Home, P.A., Leonarbert Clements. of Christian dtown. A Mass A lifelong resident of Burial was celebrated 11 a.m., St. Mary’s County, Charlie Wednesday, Aug. 20 at St. was a supervisor of the DeAloysius Catholic Church, partment of Public Works Leonardtown, with Rev. John for U.S. Naval Air StaDakes officiating. Interment tion Patuxent River, retirfollowed in Charles Memorial ing May Leonardtown. was Gardens, 31, 1975. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Serving, as pallbearers from April 5, 1945 to May were Mark Redmond, Jason Redmond, 19, 1946. Jeffery Hancock, BillThe family received Hancock, Lawrence Pilkerton, and Arthur Pilkerton. friends Oct. 12 from 2 – 5 Honorary pallbearer was Earl p.m. in the Mattingley-GarDean. diner Funeral Home, LeonMemorial contribution ardtown, where prayers can said at to the Ridge were be made 4 p.m. A fuVolunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. neral service was held Oct. Box 456, a.m. MD 20680. 13 at 10 Ridge, in the MatCondolences to the famtingley-Gardiner Funeral ily may be Fr. Jack www. Home with made at nealy officiating. InterArrangements by the ment followed in St. AloyBrinsfield Funeral Home, sius Catholic Cemetery, P.A., Leonardtown. Leonardtown. Pallbearers were Jason Reintzell, Daniel Clements, Bill Jarboe, Louis Elliot, Andrew Shawn Marshall “Junior” Thompson, Jr., 84 Ratliff and Ralph Morgan. Honorary pallbearers were Charles Clements and Shay Tiger. Contributions may be made to Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 299, Leonardtown, MD 20650 and/or Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Eleanor P. “Elli” Cole, 70
Louis Marshall “Junior” Thompson, Jr., 84, of Avenue died Aug. 4 in his residence. He was born July 20, 1924 in Dynard to the late Louis Marshall and Catherine Eleanor Harris Thompson Sr. He was the loving husband of Rose Lee Thompson whom he married July 26, 1942 in Sacred Heart Church, Bushwood. He is also survived by his children, Margaret Taylor and“Elli” Cole, Eleanor P. her husband George of Hollywood, Buddy 70, of Mechanicsville died Thompson and his wife DebOct. 7 in Bayview Medical bie of Avenue, Benny ThompCenter, Baltimore, Md. son Born his wife Mary in and April 6, 1938 of Perryville, Md. she was the daughter of the late Melvin and Jane Patterson. She was the loving wife of Richard W. Cole, Jr. whom she married Dec. 26, 1963 in Perryville, Md. In addition to her husband, she is also survived by her children Shannon Holley and Rick Cole both of Mechanicsville, and her siblings Duffy Patterson and Peggy Phillips, both of Perryville, Md.; Mary Schweers of Port Deposit, Md. and Sue Morningstar of Ijamsville, Md. and two granddaughters Megan and Nicole. Mrs. Cole graduated from Wilmington High School in Delaware, Class of 1956, and Capitol City School of Nursing, Class of 1964 where she received her RN Degree. She moved to St. Mary’s County in 2002 from Waldorf, Md., and was employed at Civista Hospital in La Plata, Md. for 20 years before retiring in 2000. She belonged to St. Anne’s Church in Charlotte Hall and enjoyed visiting with her two granddaughters. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct.

Mary Aleathea Charles Henry “CharRedmond, 84 lie” Clements, 1

13 at 9 a.m. in St. Anne’s Morganza, Donnie Thompson Anglican Catholic Church, and his wife Debbie of MeCharlotte Hall, Rose Mary chanicsville and with Rt. Rev. William McClean ofGeorge and her husband John ficiating. 16 grandchildren, of Avenue; Interment fol44 great-grandchildren, two lowed in St. Mark’s Cemstep-grandchildren and etery, Perryville, Md. his sisters Mary Ozella Lacey of Arrangements providAbell, Gertrude Osborne of ed by the Mattingley-GarKing George, Va. and Susan diner Funeral Home, P.A. Vallandingham of Bushwood. He was preceded in death Margaret Ellen Hall, by one great-grandchild and 51 his sisters Catherine Hall and Louise Bryant. A lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, Junior was a self-employed waterman. While enlisted in the U.S. Army from Oct. 19, 1944 to Nov. 19, 1945, he served as a rifleman, a light machine gunner and a cook. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus and enjoyed playing cards and being with his family and his two special buddies Maynard and Ringo. Margaret Ellen Hall, The family received 51, of Lexington Park died friends in the Mattingley-GarOct. 5 in her residence. diner Funeral Home Thursday, Born Feb. 19, 1957, she Aug. 7 from 5 – 8 p.m. with was the daughter of Elnora prayers being said at 7 p.m. A (Roberts) Branson and the Mass of Christian Burial was late Irvin Friday, Aug. 8 at celebrated J. Branson, Sr. She worked as Angels Cath9:30 a.m. in Holy a paralegal for the U.S. Government olic Church, Avenue, with Fr. for twenty-nine years. William Gurnee officiating. Margaret is in Sacred Interment followed survived by her husband, James Heart Cemetery, Bushwood. Leroy Hall, Sr. whom she Pallbearers were Johnny married Jereme1, 1995; Tina George, Aug. George, her children Chandra D. HodgFay Ferguson, Dave Hall, Krista R. Hall, and Shanes, Matthew Thompson and tell L. Hall; step-children Donnie Thompson. Honorary pallbearers Sciber (Pat), Sheronda were his grandchildren, nieces and Sr., and James Leroy Hall, nephews. Contributions may be Kimberly M. Green (Mike) made to Holy Angels Sacred all of Lexington Park; sibHeart School, 21335 Colton’s lings John H. Branson, StaPoint Branson, and MD cey L. Road, Avenue, Ver20609, Seventh District Volnon T. Branson (Yvette) of unteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Abell, Joyce Smith (Odell) Box 7, Avenue, Va., Otho of Woodbridge, MD 20609 and/or Hospice Fort WashM. Branson of of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, ington, Md. and Irvin J. MD 20650. Branson, Jr. (Constance) Arrangements provided of Chaptico, Md. and ten by the Mattingley-Gardiner grandchildren. Funeral Home, P.A. Family received friends Oct. 11 from 9 – 11 a.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Evelyn Tillotson Home, Leonardtown. A fuWoods, 86 neral service was conducted at 11 a.m. by Thomas Evelyn Tillotson of the Bart Timothy Hall Woods, 86, of California died Aug. 14 Whole Heart Deliverance in St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Church located in Calvert Leonardtown. County, Md. Interment folBorn Dec. 18, 1921 in lowed in Charles Memorial LeMoyne, Pa., she was the Gardens, Leonardtown. daughter of the late George C. Condolences to the Tillotson and Eva (Dowhowfamily may Evelyn was at be made an er) Tillotson. w w w.b r i n sf ield f u n efan.l. avid Pittsburgh Steelers r a com. Evelyn is survived by by the her Arrangements Christine daughters, Brinsfield Funeral Home, W. Moore of Chesapeake P.A., Leonardtown. Deborah Beach, Md. and J. Standish of California, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. All services are private. Condolences to the famThe family of at www. ily may be made Travis “T” by the Arrangements Saltsman would Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

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Charles Henry “Charlie” Clements, 81, of California, Md. and formerly of Leonardtown, died Oct. 9 in his residence. Born Aleathea Redmond, Mary Jan. 9, 1927 in Leonardtown he died Aug. 84, of Leonardtown was the son St. Mary’s Hospital. 16 in of the late Charles Reginald and Lillian Mary Born April 18, 1924 in Russell Clements. He was Mechanicsville she was the the loving husband LeoAgdaughter of Clarence of Evnes Louise Angle Clements ans and Gertrude M. (Pilkerwhom he married April 19, ton) Evans. 1947 in Holy Angels CathAleathea graduated from olic Church, Avenue. School Margaret Brent High in 1941. She worked from In addition to his wife, 1961 to 1971 as secretary/reMr. Clements ais survived ceptionist for St. Mary’s Colby his children, Charlene lege. and her cooking, Elliot She enjoyed husband croqueting, playing cards, Norman of California, Md., gardening, and sewing; often Regina Lewis of Lexington making clothing for her and Park, Tony Clements and her wife Janet of Hollyhis daughter. She is preceded in death wood, Md., Earl Clements by husband James Franklin and his wife Rebecca of Fort Meyers, Fla., Michael Clements and his wife Kim of Waldorf, Md., Yvonne Reintzell of Lexington

To Place a Memorial Ad Please Call The County Times at 301-373-4125
Kindly, The Saltsman Family

like to thank everyone for their heartfelt condolences. We greatly appreciate the cards and gifts of flowers and food. Your kind words and helpful offerings helped make this a little more bearable for us all. We are thankful to have such a strong community to help us get through this hard time. Travis will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The County Times

Section A - 

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Ballet” Is Coming To Southern Maryland
COSMIC Symphony, under the direction of world renowned conductor, Maestro Vladimir Lande, proudly presents two performances of the Nutcracker Ballet. The production features extraordinary dance by Donetsk Ballet, National Ballet of Ukraine, local dance company Ballet Caliente, vocals by the local Huntingtown High School Chorus and live music performed by COSMIC Symphony, your local Southern Maryland community orchestra. The performances are on December 7, 2008 at 2 pm and 6 pm at Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, MD. Tickets are on sale now for $25.00 and will increase to $30.00 at the performance. Tickets are available online at, in St. Mary’s County at Allegro Music in Hickory Hills Shopping Center and Steven’s Studio, and in Calvert County at Educate and Celebrate in Prince Frederick. Both performances of the Nutcracker Ballet are usually sold out and seats are limited, so get your tickets early. For more information visit our website at, or contact us via e-mail at or by phone at (301) 373-5277.

Rainin’ Blues Band Coming Home to Southern Maryland
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Musically speaking, Rainin’ Blues Band defies categorization, and RJ Campbell would not have it any other way. “I’m not a mimic man,” he insisted, “I’ve worked my whole life to sound like nobody else.” Though they call themselves a blues band, their influences range from hard rock to jazz to southern rock to classic rock, encompassing many other genres along the way. Still, the soul of the music remains consistent. “We try to do music that I think falls lyrically and melodically in the blues genre,” said RJ, who sings lead vocals with Freddy Long on lead guitar, “J” Nichols on bass guitar and trombone, and Neil Tracy on drums. “When Freddy & I first began in ‘98 we worked as a duo, and eventually ‘J’ and Neil were located and found to be a great fit,” said RJ. “A few months later…we began ‘Open Jams Wednesday’ at a local Lexington Park Bar & Grill.” What followed were several years of live performances on the local music scene, as well as shows to benefit community programs like Christmas in April, and 4th of July concerts in St. Mary’s County. Even after RJ retired to Florida, he and the original band members still make an effort to perform at least once a year in St. Mary’s County, where all four of them first came together in 1991. This year’s reunion performance will be at the Green Door Bar in St. Mary’s County on October 25, and RJ said he is looking forward to getting together with their fifth band member, William “Howie” Nowlan, who will be playing harmonica and singing backup vocals. Nowlan will be just one of many guests expected at the show, which,

42nd Annual St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival
Don’t miss the 42nd annual St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival on October 18th & 19th, at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds, just south of Leonardtown, MD. Celebrate the opening of oyster season on the Chesapeake Bay with oysters any way you like them. There will be constant entertainment, kids activities, food for every taste and the National Oyster Shucking Championship. Gates open 10-6 on Saturday and 116 on Sunday and admission is $5.00. For more information go to

as is typical for this group, will run for about 5 hours. “We try to make the show non-stop, and I know some people might hate me for it,” said RJ, explaining that the band will typically play four sets of music, performing between 40 and 50 songs, often playing several songs together without breaks. “Sometimes we’ll have to do really long leads so people can take bathroom breaks,” RJ said, laughing. That kind of stamina only serves as a testament to the band’s work ethic. They have recorded songs for independent films, and they have recently finished a CD, “Oth’a Peeplz Muzik,” which includes audience favorites collected during their shows. RJ explained that during each performance they collected suggestions from audience members for which songs they would like the band to record. “We had somewhere between 500 and 1,000 suggestions,” said RJ, adding that the band chose the songs they would record randomly from a jar. All of this in addition to their marathon performances make for a unique experience for audience members, and RJ said he could not be happier to travel north for the next homecoming. “We started there, we have our roots there,” he said. “So we always love coming back.”

Matthew Smith & Indelible Grace Fall Tour
Folk-rock artist Matthew Smith will be playing with his band, Indelible Grace, at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church on Thursday, October 23 at 7 pm. The event is open to the public and a love offering will be taken at the concert. Cornerstone is located at 23075 Town Creek Drive in Lexington Park, Maryland. For more information please call the church at 301-862-5016 or visit the web at:

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Section A - 10

The County Times

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Farm Life Festival
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Mary Ann Chasen sighed as she sat down in the hot sun, far enough away from the antique auction to enjoy a moment of quiet as she fanned herself and smiled. Around her was 60,000 square feet of exhibits capturing the history of farming in the area, as well as a number of venders offering food, drinks, and all manner of products, from jewelry to quilts to homespun yarn. All were gathered that day for the 11th Annual Southern Maryland Farm Life Festival. “Can you believe this is somebody’s home?” exclaimed Chasen as she caught an eyeful of tents in the distance. “This is somebody’s farm, Kitty Parlett, and she lets us run ragged all over it,” she said, laughing. The Parlett family first lent the use of their farm to the cause of raising money for Christmas in April 11 years ago, beginning with a one-day festival that drew so many people that it eventually had to be fleshed out into a weekend event. “At that time, John Parlett Sr. was alive…it was his and his wife’s idea, and they wanted to do something to benefit Christmas in April,” said Chasen. “They knew we needed the help and money for materials, so they set up this festival.” This year’s festival, as usual, was held at the Parlett Family Farm in Charlotte Hall, and featured antiques, a craft market, an authentic tractor and gas engine show, a petting zoo, a parade of power tractors, auctions, demonstrations, and farm life exhibits featuring thousands of items collected by John Parlett Sr., who had started his collection years ago. “From what I understand, it was a hobby of Mr. Parlett’s,” said Chasen when talking about Parlett’s collection of farming equipment, “because he had been a farmer for many years.” Chasen said that Mr. Parlett’s collection of tractors, plows, and other farming tools had even inspired museum and archive representatives from all over the country to come to the festival to view the items. “One year there was a representative from the Smithsonian,” said Chasen, “and one year he said to Mr. Parlett he wished the Smithsonian could use all of it themselves.” Chasen said that the annual Farm Life Festival helps raise as much as 25 percent of the money needed for Christmas in April, which is the local chapter of Rebuilding Together, a volunteer community project that repairs and rebuilds houses for low-income families in the area. The last Saturday of April culminates in a blitz Photo by Andrea Shiell of home repairs for needy families Participants put on a yarn making demonstration for visitors at the Farm
Life Festival.

in the region, bringing out sponsors from local businesses and community organizations to repair as many homes as possible each year. “We have other fundraisers, but nothing comes close to this,” explained Chasen, adding that much of the total funding needed for each year’s repairs would go for materials, for which they barely have enough warehouse space. “Last year we raised a lot of money,” said Chasen, “I think we cleared something like $40,000, and that’s an amazing amount of money, and we’re hoping to do the same this year.” Chasen said several dignitaries that had already stopped by for the opening ceremonies, including Delegate John Wood and Rep Steny Hoyer, who could be seen in the distance talking to visitors. Volunteers were also handing out applications for families interested in receiving help from this year’s Christmas in April event. “We’re going to be starting our home visits soon,” said Chasen, who said that the deadline for applications would most likely be extended in order to include as many people as possible. “We don’t want to turn anyone away,” she said. “There’s such a need out there…I know when I get home the answering machine will be full again from people who need help.” Also in the distance were the vendors, all of which had made donations to Christmas in April as their rent for the space. “They came at their own expense,” said Chasen, smiling warmly. “They bring their own equipment, and they ask for nothing. They just want to be able to participate.” It was hard not to marvel at the sight of the day’s activities, with the vendors and the volunteers chipping in with a wide-eyed enthusiasm that almost echoed a child’s face on Christmas morning, extending the giving season yet again.

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