Thursday, February 21, 2008 • St. Mary’s County, Maryland


By Guy Leonard Staff Writer




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Leonardtown Hockey Has Bright Future
This is the start of something good for years to come.”
– Leonardtown Coach Rob Barthelmes

Family Wants Answers After Relative Slain In Accokeek Street Race
The family of a Mechanicsville man who was killed over the weekend when a car plowed into a crowd of spectators watching an illegal street race in Prince George’s County are in deep mourning over their loss but are angered by how suddenly their loved one was taken from them. “He was a good hearted person,” said Wayne Courtney of his brother Mark Courtney who was killed in what Prince George’s County police are calling an accident. “It was a shame how it happened.” Wayne Courtney said his brother was an avid racer himself and had two cars he would race on local, legal racetracks. His brother did not drive in illegal street races, Wayne Courtney said. “He was into drag racing and that’s what took him out of here,” Wayne Courtney said of his brother. “All we want is closure; something’s got to be done.” The incident that took Mark Courtney’s life, and the lives of seven others, occurred about 3 a.m. Feb. 16 on Indian Head Highway in Accokeek when spectators to the illegal street race were standing in the roadway near Pine Drive when they were struck by a north bound vehicle. According to information from the Prince George’s County Police Department at least 14 spectators were struck in the accident with seven dying at the scene. One who was severely injured was taken to a nearby hospital but later died. Cpl. Arvel Lewis, spokesman for the Prince George’s police, said the driver of the vehicle has not been charged in the accident. “The one who ran into the pedestrians stayed on the scene and talked to the officers,” Lewis told The County Times. “There are no charges at this time.” Wayne Courtney said his brother had been to many drag races as a spectator and knew how to spot danger; he said he believed, according to information he heard about the accident, the driver of the vehicle was speeding and that his headlights were turned off. “To kill so many people, that’s terrible,” Wayne Courtney said. “Somebody’s got to be held accountable.” Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, said the investigation is See Fatality page A- Mark Courtney

Mechanicsville VFD Gets Six-figure Grant
The volunteers at the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department will get $124,180 in federal grant money to buy new equipment and fund a mobile training facility to train new recruits, according to information from the office of U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md-5th). The grant funds were made available from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. “Awarding this grant to the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department will help us ensure a safe and easily accessible training facility for our new volunteers as well as continued training for our existing firefighters,” Mechanicsville chief Carol Craig said. “The [funds] will allow the department to replace all of our hoses at one time rather than a piece at a time. This will allow the firefighters operating on a scene to concentrate on more important tasks.”

School Board Approves Reduction In Graduation Requirements
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer The St. Mary’s County Board of Education unanimously approved changes to the high school program of studies, reducing the number of credits for graduation from 23 to 21 for seniors graduating next year at last Wednesday’s school board meeting. This change brings the requirements into alignment with those of the Maryland State Department of Education. Responding to concerns expressed at a previous meeting about dropout rates in the county, board members cited the change as a way of opening up more courses to students and allowing for remedial coursework that would not count towards graduation. Statistics presented at an earlier meeting by Charles Ridgell, Director of See Requirements page A-6

Commissioners Approve Lease Agreement For Shoreline Improvement
The Board of County Commissioners authorized a partnership with SMECO Tuesday that would allow the county to use the electric cooperative’s land near North Patuxent Beach Road under the bridge to Solomons Island for making repairs to an eroding shoreline. The county is leasing a portion of the SMECO property for just $10 to store its equipment for the restoration project. The project will consist of 1,150 feet of stone revetment along North Patuxent Beach Road to prevent further erosion along the timber bulkheads holding the shoreline in. The timber will be bolstered with heavy stones weighing about 1,600 pounds each, according to plans from the Department of Public Works and Transportation. Construction is estimated to begin this spring with the cost to the county only about $349,000 with the federal government providing just over $1 million for the project.

Falling Prices Making Some Board of Education Homes More Affordable Taskforce still advocates changes to Approves allow more workforce housing Budget
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Affordable workforce housing stock has increased somewhat in St. Mary’s County, according to real estate and development insiders, but that does not mean the county can relax in its efforts to make living here more affordable. “I’ve seen townhouses on the market lately in the $200,000 range,” said developer John K. Parlett. “That’s absolutely getting down into that workforce housing area [of affordability.]” Parlett, who is also co-chair of a task force examining the dearth of workforce housing in the county and how to turn the See Housing page A- Andrea Shiell Staff Writer The St. Mary’s County Board of Education approved its 20 th version of the 2009 operating budget at their most recent meeting, collectively heaving sighs of relief after a long and arduous balancing process. Their finished product met with unanimous approval and a fair amount of applause. The $16 million operating budget for fiscal year 2009 includes $6 million from the county, reflecting an increase of $4.2 million from last year’s recurring funds. The lifesaver came from the state though, which provided a heavier than expected $5.6 million increase in funds, closing the projected shortfall for which administrators were preparing to tighten their belts. A small amount of federal funding makes up the difference. “When we first started this See BOE Budget page A-

GMHS Getting New Gym Floor
The Board of Education has approved funds to replace the gymnasium floor at Great Mills High School. Work will start this April, when P.E. classes and athletic activities can be moved outdoors or to other parts of the building. Gary Kessler remarked with some surprise that the slowing housing market has lowered renovation prices. “A year and a half ago this was unaffordable,” he said. “Now it’s a good time for school remodeling.”

Op.-Ed .......... Obituaries..... Community... Police ............ Classifieds..... Thursday Partly Cloudy 34° Page A - 4 Page A - 9 Page B - 4 Page B - 7 Page B - 9 Friday Rain 36°

Condos set for construction at the Wildewood development are examples of some new lower cost housing stock coming into the community to attract a strong workforce but advocates say that lower home prices could still rise and more affordable housing is needed.

Photo by Guy Leonard

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The County Times

Thursday, February 1, 008
The total amount of restitution Larson was ordered to pay was about $1,160. While most of the mailboxes cost between $30 to $50, according to charging documents, one cost nearly $330. Along with mailboxes destroyed, one neighbor suffered damage to their flower bed as well as a pine tree that was valued at $100, according to charging documents. Charging documents state that Larson admitted, in a voluntary, written statement, that he drove the vehicle with two other friends while playing “mailbox tag at around 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.” Larson admitted, charging documents state, that he and one person known as Ryan Tippett and another known as “JR” each took turns bashing the mailboxes. Larson’s court case was originally set to be tried before Judge John D. Slade III but Slade said he had to recuse himself because several of the victims were his neighbors. “According to these charging documents he hit about every mailbox on Route 244,” Slade said in open court before he recused himself. After Riddle’s sentence, one victim still felt angered by the whole ordeal. She said other incidents of mailbox bashing have occurred in prior years on her street. “I’m glad he got what he got,” said Robin Murray. “He should have to come to my house and dig the hole for the mailbox, though.”

Man Pleads To Restitution In Mailbox Destruction Case
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer An 18-year-old Leonardtown man pleaded guilty to one count of malicious destruction of property last week in county District Court for his part in destroying 22 mailboxes in two separate neighborhoods in the Valley Lee and Leonardtown areas last summer. Nathan Christopher Larson was originally charged with 22 counts of malicious destruction of property, but pleaded to just one count in exchange for paying the victims for their losses, 100 hours of community service and a 60-day suspended jail sentence. Robert Riddle chided Larson for his disregard for community members’ property after Larson said he was “sorry for the inconvenience” he caused to his victims. “Whose inconvenience?” Judge Riddle asked from the bench. “It’s more than inconvenience. “If it sounds like I’m a little irritated it’s because I am. You did this [for no other reason] than to just destroy people’s property.” Riddle said if Larson did not comply with any part of his sentence he would serve the 60 days in jail and gave Larson the 100 hours of community service because the defendant “apparently [had] a lot of time on [his] hands.” “I hope you reflect on this during your 100 hours of work,” Riddle told Larson. “People work for a living… and what seems like fun and games is not fun and games to them.” According to charging documents filed against Larson by deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, the destruction of the 22 mailboxes occurred sometime on or before July 28 on Medley’s Neck Road in Leonardtown and Piney Point Road in Valley Lee. Charging documents state that the following day the defendant’s father noticed there was a baseball bat in his vehicle, a green Ford Explorer, that was marked with black paint and dented. The father also reported to sheriff’s deputies that there were dents in the passenger side door that appeared to be damage from something like a baseball bat striking the vehicles side as part of the recoiling action from hitting another object — like a mailbox.

College Officials: Campus Security At CSM Still A Concern
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The leadership of the College of Southern Maryland say that they have made some improvements to the security of the Leonardtown campus, but they say that more needs to be done in light of the most recent shooting on a Illinois college campus that left five people dead. Brad Gottfried, president of CSM, said that panic buttons have been installed at the Leonardtown campus that would alert either security personnel or nearby sheriff’s deputies if a student was in trouble as well as a text messaging system that students can subscribe to to receive emergency information. The college system has also hired a mental health professional to deal with students suffering from crises that could lead to violence or acting out if not headed, Gottfried said. But the college still needs a siren system that could alert students to stay in their classrooms in the event of an emergency or lockdown, Gottfried said, and the locks on the classroom doors still cannot be locked from the inside. This became a concern in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech campus shooting massacre last year, he said, when students and staff could not prevent a deranged student gunman from entering classrooms and opening fire. The siren system would cost about $40,000, Gottfried said, and the lock replacement would cost a little less than $10,000. “We’re hoping we can get your support on that,” Gottfried told the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday. James Raley, chairman of the board of trustees for CSM, and a former St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputy added that since several of the students attending the campus were under the protection of a domestic violence order an angry spouse or acquaintance could come on campus easily and cause a potentially violent scenario. “We need the ability to tell students to shelter in place and lock down the campus,” Raley told the commissioners. “But we don’t have that right now.” St. Mary’s College of Maryland was able to use just such a security warning system last year when campus safety officers locked down the institution in response to an armed robbery on campus. The Leonardtown campus had its own share of fright last spring when police responded to an apparent threat of an explosive device that turned out to be a false, but students lambasted the college’s response when they found out about the incident not through the college but by local media reports and through other students, in some cases days later.

It was this incident that led to renewed interest in the campus safety program at Leonardtown and the establishment of the text messaging system. Some students at that time even said the college should consider hiring armed security guards to protect the campus. “I don’t think we’ve reached that level of necessity yet,” Raley said. “Especially with the sheriff’s office so nearby.” The security issue at the Leonardtown campus may only grow as more and more students attend the facility. According to Gottfried 68 percent of the college bound high school students in St. Mary’s attend CSM the Leonardtown campus has the highest number of high school students concurrently enrolled in classes. Several days out of the week, Gottfried said, there are too many people attending the campus for the parking lot to accommodate. Fall enrollment for 2007 was dramatically higher than in 2006 and was the highest enrollment rate to date, he added. “It’s amazing,” Gottfried said of the proportion of high school students attending. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Teachers Respond to Dare…With Flair
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Christen Ganley’s fourth grade class blushed and laughed knowingly when she mentioned the “men in their pretty dresses” on Friday. Many of the other students at Mechanicsville Elementary reacted the same way when asked about the subject, with a mixture of pride and amusement on their faces. Male staff members at the school, in response to a dare proposed in the wake of the school’s annual “Jump Rope For Heart” event, wore dresses on Friday to reward their students for raising a certain amount of money. The teachers had made an agreement. If the students raised $3,500, the men would dress in drag. Many saw this as a huge motivating factor for the participating students, who jumped rope and shot baskets to raise a record $6,400 for the American Heart Association, surpassing their teachers’ daring request. Jim Ganley, the physical education teacher, said the students had raised $2,800 the previous year, and to get the students motivated to top that number, the staff agreed to dress up if they succeeded. Ganley said the students had been very excited upon getting to school that morning and seeing the male members of the staff there to greet them in women’s clothes. He commented on the near-perfect attendance for that day, saying, “we had kids sick who wanted to come in today.” 107 students, about one-third of the student population, participated in the event, jumping rope during P.E. and recess at the in-school event in honor of anyone they chose. Some jumped for family members or friends to raise awareness for heart disease, a subject they had been studying in their health classes. “Even the little ones know somebody who’s been affected by it,” said fourth grade teacher Nick Brenfleck, whose girlfriend Lindsey bought him his bright red dress as a Valentine’s Day gift. “She’s probably the only girl who bought her boyfriend a dress for Valentine’s Day,” he said, laughing. “They’re such good sports,” said staff member Judith Landis. “And Mr. Shaffer is absolutely stunning!” “Heart disease is the number one cause of death in this country,” said Principal Barbara Abell. “This is our way of bringing awareness to the disease in a positive way.” Ganley, sporting a floral print sundress over his gym shorts and t-shirt, laughed and Photo by Andrea Shiell shook his head as he sat down in the gym. “I’m embarrassed beyond belief,” he Nick Brenfleck wore a red dress for his 4th grade class after the “Jump Rope For Heart” event at Mechanicsville said. “But it’s worth it.” Elementary.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The County Times

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The County Times

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Editorial & Opinion
The College Of Southern Maryland Celebrates 50 Years Of Making A Difference In Our Community
Making ends meet in today’s economy becomes more and more challenging every year. For countless young people the difference between success and just scraping by is a chance to attend college. For many families a four year college away from home with the added expense of room and board is simply unattainable. For thousands of local youth and adults the answer is the College of Southern Maryland. The college celebrates 50 years of serving the community in 2008. Established in 1958 as the Charles County Community College, it expanded to St. Mary’s County in 1978 and Calvert County in 1980. In 2000 the institution became the College of Southern Maryland, a regional college serving Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. The important role of this institution can be seen throughout the Southern Maryland economy. CSM employs over 750 full and part time faculty and staff. Over 20,000 credit and continuing education students attend CSM annually. Over 80% of those students are employed while attending classes. As many as 90% of CSM students remain in the region initially after they leave college to continue to contribute to the local economy. After leaving the college the average student will spend 33 years in the workforce and studies show that the average annual earnings of someone with an associate’s degree are 36.5% higher than someone with a high school diploma and an astonishing 113% higher than someone without a high school diploma or GED. CSM not only encourages new businesses but also assists existing businesses. The college enhances workers skills and provides customized training to local business and industry. A perfect example of this community partnership is the creation of a nursing program in response to the need in the local medical industry. The college also partners with many four-year degree colleges and universities which allow students the flexibility of transfer programs. One of the gems of the College of Southern Maryland is the Leonardtown Campus. In the late 1990’s the St. Mary’s County Commissioners were looking for a permanent site for the St. Mary’s branch of the College of Southern Maryland. The Leonardtown Commissioners, led by the late Councilperson Ruth Proffitt, had the vision to see the importance of this asset in the heart of downtown Leonardtown. They purchased a vacant girls school site with $200,000 being put aside for a town hall and donated the site for the college. Today the Leonardtown campus is the fastest growing campus for the College. Students, young people and adults alike, can enjoy this beautiful campus in a convenient location to where they live and work. In 1997 the Leonardtown Campus was established with two buildings, buildings A and B, on 37.5 acres. In 2003 the campus was expanded with the addition of building C. Today funding seems likely for a state of the art wellness facility. This facility will benefit the entire St. Mary’s community. Many local residents currently enjoy the convenience of the campuses gym facilities on a daily basis. The campus also plays host to local youth sports leagues for practices, games and tournaments. The College of Southern Maryland through the leadership of Dr. Elaine Ryan from 1998-2006 and currently with President Bradley Gottfried, has embraced the value of integrating the college with the surrounding community. The CSM staff has partnered with the local community to offer family oriented activities both on campus and in the surrounding area. Many cultural events are planned annually on all three campuses. This summer CSM kicks off a free, outdoor performance series on all three campuses called the Twilight Performance Series at the College of Southern Maryland. The LaPlata Campus hosts a Jazz Festival in May and this weekend, February 22nd and 23rd, kicks off a Salsa Festival for all to enjoy. Join in this year’s celebration of 50 years of service to the Southern Maryland community of this wonderful institution by learning more about the benefits of the College of Southern Maryland. You can visit their website at to learn about additional upcoming events and activities or to find out how you can enroll to enrich your lifelong learning experience!

To The Editor:
Repeal Computer Services Tax by Cutting Spending
The expansion of the sales and use tax to include computer services is one of the most egregious examples of the get-it-done-quick attitude of the 2007 Special Session. It was pushed through in the dark of night with minimal public input. The haphazard process that surrounded the passage of the measure makes it difficult, if not impossible, to implement. The members of the House Republican Caucus pointed out all of these issues during the floor debate and worked to remove the expansion of the bill, however our efforts were soundly rejected. What is most troubling about this expansion of the sales and use tax is the devastating consequences it will have on Maryland’s knowledge-base economy. This is a sector of the economy that Maryland has tried to cultivate but is also a very mobile sector that could easily do business in another state. Therefore, our Caucus supports a repeal of the computer services sales tax. The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate would have you believe that the only way to reasonably repeal this tax is to pass new taxes to make up the revenue. This simply is not the case. Moreover, it illustrates how out of touch they are with Maryland’s taxpayers. The citizens of Maryland are already struggling with high utility and grocery bills combined with the large tax increases that have recently become effective. Enough is enough; Marylanders cannot afford any more new taxes. Maryland has a spending problem, not a revenue problem so additional taxes are not necessary. The computer service tax can be repealed without trading it for other taxes and without shifting the burden to local governments. The House Republican Caucus has identified $203 million in budget reductions that would cover the revenue lost from repealing he computer services tax. We have reached across the aisle and offered these

reductions to the House leadership in good faith. We are hopeful that our proposal is seriously considered so we can reach a bipartisan consensus to repeal the tax without adding additional burden to Maryland’s families

Sincerely, Anthony J. O’Donnell House Minority Leader Christopher B. Shank House Minority Whip

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The County Times
flats. Sometimes boots have a bit of a heel, but basically, we’re talking a boring shoe wardrobe of black and brown flat shoes. How painful that would be! Shoes are such a fun part of a girl’s life. The colors, the styles, the heel heights, open toe, closed toe, dress shoes, sandals. Women all know that men think we’re silly about shoes. Men do not understand why we need three pairs of navy blue shoes. We explain and you still don’t get it. And it’s not your fault, guys; you are condemned to such boring wardrobes, how could you possibly understand? It’s like explaining Einstein’s theory of relativity to a four-year old. It’s just beyond their comprehension. But women are nothing if not persistent, so let me try to explain. First, you must grasp the different modes of dress; skirts and dresses require a different type of shoe (in general, but not always) than slacks or jeans. Now, skirts and dresses can be casual, business-wear or dressy such as cocktail dresses. With a casual skirt or dress, you can wear a sandal or a cute flat. A dressy heel would look wrong. Think of it as wearing a tie with jeans and sneakers. Oh, wait, I’ve seen men do that. No wonder this is so hard to explain! Anyway, a businesswear skirt or dress calls for a low to moderate heel, nothing beaded or flashy, no spike heels. The cocktail dress calls for the beaded and/or flashy and/or spike heel. Are you starting to see? Of course you are. It’s starting to make sense now, isn’t it? Now, there are different types of heels – there are kitten heels, stacked heels, spikes, platforms – and different kinds of shoes – pointy, round-toe, ballet flats, open toes, mules, etc. Now, I might need three pairs of say, navy blue shoes, because I need one nice pair of heels to wear with a classic straight skirt or a suit. Then I need a pair to go with slacks, there should be a bit of a heel, but shoes to go with slacks don’t need to be as, hmm, how to describe it? Not quite as feminine or as dressy or as classic. Women just know these things intuitively, it’s hard to teach it to someone else! Then, I need a

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pair of flat or nearly flat navy blue shoes, to wear with jeans or more casual pants. Men complain about the number of shoes we have but the fact is, we wear them all. It’s no sillier than men having eight screwdrivers or 128 drill bits. It’s all about having the right tool for the job! And we haven’t even talked about purses! Again, different colors and different styles are needed to go with different outfits. You can’t use your black shoulder strap everyday bag with a green cocktail dress! So we need casual bags, dress bags and different sized bags, as well as different colors. As you can see, being a woman requires a broad knowledge base about fashion and style. No, gentlemen, it’s not easy; if it were, you could all do it. And you might laugh at us or mock us, but we ALL know that you don’t mind admiring a well-turned out lady. So, be quiet and enjoy the beauty that is the reward of our efforts. You can email the Country Girl at

Ramblings of a Country Girl

Clothes and Shoes and Purses, Oh My!
Terri Bartz Bowles Girls, don’t you feel sorry for men? You have to- their wardrobes are just so boring. Women can wear pants and men can wear – pants. Women can wear skirts and men can wear – pants. Women can wear dresses and men can wear – pants. Women can wear capris and men can wear – pants. The only thing that can occasionally bring a glimmer of style to their wardrobes is a really natty tie. They can get away with some exciting color choices in their tie, sometimes with a shirt, but the tie is usually the most exciting element in a man’s suit. Geez, how boring is that? And what about shoes? Men need brown and black dress shoes, some sort of casual shoe, tennis shoes and boots. That’s it. You just don’t see guys wearing navy blue or olive or red shoes. And men’s shoes are basically all

The History Of Valentine’s Day
Emily Finch Contributing Writer It’s finally come and gone: The once-a-year celebration when school children buy little cards for their classmates and loved ones spend thousands on jewelry, candy and flowers…all in the name of St. Valentine. But does anyone really know who this Saint is or why the holiday first started? St. Valentine, the Man Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. The most common (and relevant) legend says Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied the Emperor and continued to perform marriages for young couples in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that the priest be put to death. According to another legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is not definite, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in Eastern Europe. The Pagan Celebration While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘christianize’ celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Lupercalia, which began Feb. 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to brothers Romulus and Remus. To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. The priests then sliced the goat’s hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goat-hide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. Many of these couples were soon married. Around 498 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day. The Roman ‘lottery’ system for romantic pairing was deemed unChristian and outlawed. Popularity and Greetings Valentine’s greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentines didn’t begin to appear until after 1400). By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings. The first commercial Valentine’s Day greeting cards produced in the United States were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland, a native of Massachusetts. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap”. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year,

making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women between Feb. 7 and Feb. 13. In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated extensively in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. Did You Know? The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005 was 25.7 pounds. Candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years; in 1997, each American gobbled or savored more than 27 pounds of candy a year. The first instance of Spring Cleaning occurred in ancient Rome. During this time, houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. 2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to more than 6,000 a day. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.

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DATE Fri. Feb. 22 Sat. Feb. 23 Sun. Feb. 24 Mon. Feb. 25 Tue. Feb. 26 Wed. Feb. 27 Thu. Feb. 28 HIGH 2:26 a.m. 3:09 a.m. 3:50 a.m. 4:29 a.m. 5:08 a.m. 5:48 a.m. 6:32 a.m. LOCATION Breton Bay Bushwood Wharf Colton's Point Point Lookout Piney Point Wicomico Beach Solomons Island LOW 8:48 a.m. 9:33 a.m. 10:16 a.m. 10:58 p.m. 11:39 a.m. 12:21 p.m. 1:07 p.m. HIGH "+31 min." "+45 min." "+50 min." "-52 min." "+9 min." "+58 min." "-1 min." HIGH 2:51 p.m. 3:34 p.m. 4:17 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 5:44 p.m. 6:31 p.m. 7:23 p.m. LOW "+29 min." "+45 min." "+24 min." "-40 min." "-8 min." "+63 min." "+4 min." LOW 9:06 p.m. 9:42 p.m. 10:14 p.m. 10:45 p.m. 11:16 p.m. 11:54 p.m. 12:41 a.m.
St Mary’s Alliance 301-475-4200 X1849 Funds Provided By Maryland ADAA

Section A - 

The County Times

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CH-53K Initial Engine Parts Machined
“First chips” from newly machined parts of the Marine Corps’ new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter engine, the GE381B, were recently showcased at an informal ceremony here. “First chips collected from the initial machining operations to manufacture a GE381B power turbine disk for our first CH-53K development test engine represent a tremendous achievement,” said Capt. Rick Muldoon, H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters program manager. “Seeing actual metal from machined engine parts for the CH-53K is very exciting.” In December 2006, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation selected General Electric Aviation to provide the GE38-1B engine for the CH-53K. Since contract award, the GE38 Engine Team, including members from GE, Sikorsky and Naval Air Systems Command have been designing parts and preparing to manufacture five ground test engines and 20 flight test engines. With 60 percent fewer parts than the T64 engine, which is currently being used on legacy H-53 helicopters, the GE38-1B will provide the CH-53K with increased fuel efficiency. The GE38-1B engine architecture, while similar to the T700 engine, is based on the GE27 technology demonstrator engine, the CFE738 commercial turbofan engine, and the T407 turboprop engine. The GE38-1B has a five-stage axial compressor coupled with a single-stage centrifugal compressor, annular combustor, two-stage gas generator turbine, and threestage power turbine with dualchannel full authority digital electronic control system with

advanced health monitoring functions. Approximately 6,000 hours of engine ground testing will begin in 2009 on the CH53K’s GE38 engine. Engine ground testing is a critical element in the process to obtain flight clearance and approval for production The CH-53K is in Systems Development and Demonstration with a program of record calling for 156 aircraft.

Judge Upholds County’s Decision To Allow Transfer Station
By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The county’s plan to build a new trash transfer station off of St. Andrew’s Church Road may be one step closer to reality now that Circuit Court Judge C. Clarke Raley has ruled that the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals acted properly in allowing a variance for the construction of the site near the county landfill. The opponent to the Board of Zoning Appeals decision, made back in June 4 of 2007, is John B. Norris III, a well-known attorney in St. Mary’s whose law offices are close to the proposed transfer station site. In his petition Norris argued that their was enough on the county landfill to place a transfer station without approving a variance that would have reduced the amount of land between the transfer station and surrounding homes and other properties in the neighborhood, according to court documents. The transfer station’s current proposed site would increase traffic congestion and hurt property values, Norris argued in his petition according to court documents. Norris’ petition also states that the “decision of the Board of Appeals appealed adversely affects petitioners personal or property rights.” Norris has 30 days from the time of Raley’s decision to make his appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Raley handed down his decision Jan. 30. Norris could not be reached for comment on this article as of press time. County Attorney Christy Holt Chesser argued successfully in her rebuttal that the board of appeals decision was within the bounds of the law when the variance was granted. George Erichsen, director of the county Department of Public Works and Transportation said that the transfer station was a needed addition for the county. The county was waiting for a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment, absent any appeal of the most recent decision, to build

the facility. That permit could come “any day now,” Erichsen said. “We could build it today at our own risk,” Erichsen told The County Times. “We have the local financing and the local permits in place. “But you run the risk of tearing it down later” if an appeal were successful. Erichsen said the transfer station would help reduce congestion across the bridge to Calvert County as well as the Route 235 corridor by reducing the number of trash truck trips. “The key is to get the commercial sector [in St. Mary’s] that’s generating and picking up this trash not to rely on [facilities in] Calvert and Charles counties.” CommisCounty

sioner Lawrence Jarboe (R-Golden Beach) was encouraged by the lastest ruling on the transfer station issue. “We need it,” Jarboe said of the site. “Right now we’re on plan “C” trucking county waste to King George [Va.] and we can’t do that for very long. “It’s working, but it’s not the most efficient way to go.” The total estimated cost of the project is $4.8 million, according to information from the county’s Capital Improvement Plan budget for fiscal 2008.

Legislators Want To Tax Our Vices
By Laura Schwartzman Capital News Service State lawmakers are proposing to tax some of our bad habits in an attempt to repeal an unpopular computer services sales tax and possibly raise money for health care. But taxes on tanning salons, cosmetic surgery, tobacco paraphernalia andalcohol, among other things, would hurt businesses and even drive people out of the state, opponents argue. “Legislators may not want to believe it, but people are crossing over the border,” said Bruce Bereano, an Annapolis lobbyist representing several clients, including alcohol and tobacco distributors. Lawmakers contend that nonessential services are legitimately taxable. They also want to find a way to eliminate the 6 percent computer services sales tax, which was approved during November’s special session and becomes effective in July. The tax is expected to raise $200 million a year. Delegate Dan Morhaim, D-Baltimore County, a physician and lead sponsor of a bill to impose a sales tax on tanning salon services, said the additional fees will raise money for health care and may help discourage the practice. “Tanning salons are related to an increase in skin cancer, especially for young people who will tan early in life and develop cancer later in life,” he said. But Indoor Tanning Association Executive Director John Overstreet said the additional fees will strain small businesses. “As the economy slips, these businesses struggle more and more,” he said. “[Salons] are worried about the additional cost of doing business.” Consumers could also pay more for plastic surgery under a bill proposed by Delegate Saqib Ali, D-Montgomery, which would apply a sales tax to strictly cosmetic procedures. “Medically unnecessary plastic surgery is a luxury item,” he said. “People who get [cosmetic surgery] can afford to pay a 6 percent sales tax.” Ali said his goal is to find an alternative revenue source to take the place of the computer services tax, and not to discourage procedures. But taxing plastic surgery would not bring significant revenue for the state, said Dr. Michele Shermak, chief of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and spokeswoman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. She added that a similar tax in New Jersey has failed to raise substantial revenue. “It’s horrible for patients and it’s horrible for physicians,” she said, predicting that doctors would lose business to other states and have a harder time getting their services reimbursed by insurance companies. Marylanders could also be facing a $20 surcharge per item on smoking “paraphernalia,” which originally included cigarette rolling papers, pipes of several materials and “roach” clips intended to hold marijuana joints. But lead sponsor Sen. C. Anthony Muse, D-Prince George’s, said cigarette rolling papers and pipes made out of briar, clay and the white mineral meerschaum have been amended out of the bill to avoid punishing legal tobacco smokers. The exempted pipes, commonly found in tobacco shops, are not his target, Muse said. He wants to go after gas stations and convenience stories selling crack and marijuana pipes to youth. He said the surcharge would go to a health fund for children. Muse has also proposed that customers who purchase surcharged items sho identification and sign a logbook, similar to several laws regardin over-the-counter drugs containing pseudoephedrine. “It’s not meant to be a hardship on people who smoke cigarettes and tobacco,” he said. “I don’t mind signing when I need cold medicine.” Patrons of The Smoke Shop in Annapolis, a few steps from the state house, said the original bill unfairly targeted legal tobacco smokers instead of drug users. “Nobody smokes tobacco out of glass pipes,” said Dwight Wilcox, 50, who has been a customer for 25 years. Although pleased with the revisions, employee and manager Chris Simmons said the rule is “messy” and suggested it would make more sense to simply outlaw certain paraphernalia instead of punishing businesses. “It’s just some spineless politician,” said Scott Bierman, 53, a store customer for three years. “It’s very typical. They want to make a big splash and a statement.”

The legislature is also tackling a proposed hike on alcohol taxes, but Sen. Jennie Forehand, D-Montgomery, lead sponsor of one version of the bill, said it is mostly intended to help eliminate the computer services tax and will not punish drinkers. Forehand’s bill would adjust the tax from $1.50 to $4.50 per gallon for distilled spirits, 40 cents to $1.20 per gallon on wine and 9 cents to 54 cents per gallon of beer. “Alcohol should not be a sacred cow,” she said, adding that Maryland has some of the lowest alcohol taxes in the country. Health organizations testified at a Feb. 6 Senate hearing in support of the tax hikes to raise money for health initiatives and to mitigate alcohol-related medical costs. But Jay Hibbard, vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, said the bill threatens several alcohol-related businesses in Maryland and that 1,900 residents could lose jobs in hospitality. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee said the increased cost for consumers under Forehand’s bill would be minimal, about 59 cents more per bottle of spirits, 16 cents more per bottle of wine and 4 cents more per can of beer. According to the Department of Legislative Services, only about one third of bills introduced each session get passed - most die in committee. Opponents of these vice taxes, like Bereano, contend they would ultimately cause the state to lose money as residents take their business elsewhere. “There was enough tax damage done during the special session,” said Bereano, who lobbied against a dating services tax proposed in the last session. “I told them, ‘don’t tax love, you can’t tax love.’ And they didn’t.”

Continued from page A- Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, showed that 3.7 percent of students were not able to graduate in 2007 because they had not earned the credits required by the county, though they had completed the state requirements. Most went on to earn their diplomas by going to summer school, taking evening classes, or enrolling in a fifth year of instruction, but board members agreed that the extra credits were creating a problem. Currently, students are required to take four units of math and three units of social studies to graduate, compared with the Maryland state requirements for three units of math and two of social studies. The extra math credit was added a few years ago as a way to better prepare students for college level math courses, and the social studies requirement has been in place since the 1970s, originally added in the hopes of spurring more political awareness and participation. But schedule restraints imposed by the current policy may be keeping students from taking advanced placement courses, and may be further hampering progress by those who have to take remedial courses to pass the High School Assessment tests. Board members agreed that options for more diverse programs of study were important. “Not everyone’s the same,” said board member Cathy Allen. “When we just keep trying to herd kids in the same direction, it’s a wonder we don’t have more rebellion.”

Board members also commented that the changes would not affect the difficulty level of the classes, but would help struggling or at-risk students meet the requirements rather than struggle with them. “The math courses are still there. The science courses are still there…the opportunities are still there,” said board member Sal Raspa. “I think what we’re doing is the right thing,” said board member Gary Kessler, who agreed that the rigor of the coursework would not be affected by the changes. Changes in the course requirements for graduation have also been figured into the 2009 budget, allowing for the elimination of 12 teaching positions, and thereby freeing up $700,000 for use in other areas. “I think it is a good plan,” said board member Mary Washington. “We’re being good stewards of our resources.”

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The County Times
foreclosure crisis. “There’s a lot more to choose from right now but it’s the financing that’s killing us,” Barnes said. The task force that examined the plight of finding affordable housing came out with their report last May and it was well received by county leaders who were looking for solutions to the problem. That report showed that nearly twothirds of the county’s population was effectively priced out of the housing market. To remedy this, the Chamber of Commerce brokered report recommended text amendments to allow developers greater levels of density in building out their projects in exchange for a certain number of units being dedicated to workforce housing. Other recommendations include exempting certain workforce housing projects from paying for transfer of development rights and other impact fees. Affordable housing projects, like the Gateways condominiums and the Hunting Creek duplexes, represent some of the latest efforts by the county and groups like the Southern Maryland TriCounty Community Action Committee to help alleviate the housing problem.

Section A - 
Bob Schaller, director of the county Department of Economic & Community Development, who has been attending the most recent meetings of the taskforce, said the issue still needs to be in the spotlight. “The report was made, but time went on,” Schaller said. “The taskforce said we need to get this done.” Schaller said his department has put in a budget request for a full-time coordinator who would work for the county to help establish more workforce housing and advocate for zoning changes, but ultimately it was up to the development community to build the homes. “How do you get the private sector to devote and make a commitment to that income center?” Schaller said. “It’s a topic we’ve got to keep visible.” Parlett said that with a tight budget year looming, it would be difficult to get the paid position the taskforce had advocated and he had no illusions it would take a long time to turn around the county’s housing problem. “We weren’t going to let the report just collect dust,” Parlett said. “It’ll never be fast enough to suit us… but we have to continue to make it work.”

St. Mary’s County Housing Legal Notices
Continued from page A- NOTICE TO FATHER BY PUBLICATION LEGAL NOTICE In The Matter of the Paternity of S.E. to J.E and John Doe (real name unknown). You have been identified as the biological father or possible biological fatherof a Caucasian/Hispanic male child whom the biological mother currently intends to place for adoption. The placement occurred on July 26, 2006. S.E. was conceived on or about August 18, 2004 in Maryland and was born on May 18, 2005 in Frederick, MD. You have the right to: 1) deny paternity; 2) waive any parental rights you may have; 3) relinquish and consent to adoption; 4) file a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statue section 43-104.02 or; 5) object to the adoption in a proceeding before any Nebraska court which has adjudicated him to be the biological father of the child prior to his receipt of notice. In order to deny paternity, waive your parental rights, relinquish and consent to the adoption or receive additional information to determine whether you are the father of S.E., you must contact the undersigned agency. If you wish to object to the adoption and seek custody of the child you must seek legal counsel from your own attorney immediately. By: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Nancy Cole Protective Services Worker Adoption Unit 1313 Farnam – On – The- Mall Omaha, NE 68102 (402) 595-2823 (402) 595-2045 fax

situation around, said he has seen housing prices in some areas of the county reduce by as much as $20,000 to $50,000. Parlett said that with the national housing market in a slump, the lower housing prices were a boon, but the gains may only be temporary and certainly were not enough to solve the county’s workforce housing needs. “The workforce housing problem is only being eased by lower prices,” Parlett said. “It’s not eliminated.” Jan Barnes, a local realtor with Century 21, said estimates she and other market insiders have done recently showed about 700 homes in St. Mary’s up for sale up to $500,000. “The majority of those are still in the $300,000 range,” Barnes said, putting them closer to the workforce housing mark. But money on loan for those more affordable accommodations is harder to get these days, she said, with the federal government tightening restrictions on borrowing to combat the growing home

BOE Budget
Continued from page A- budget process, things looked very bleak,” said board member Mary Washington. “But this budget takes care of all these things that we just can’t live without.” Such things include expanded athletic and academic activities for middle school students, for which $75,000 was reallocated, and new teachers for the expansion of mathematics, engineering, science, and technology programs. The Board of Education was able to factor in some of their savings as well, having shaved $86,000 from their operating costs by closing down schools and offices over the winter break, and implementing other energysaving practices. Some cuts have been made, however. 15 high school teaching positions were eliminated when the board skimmed down the graduation requirements for the class of 2009, deleting the fourth year of math and the third year of social studies from the curriculum. The operating budget is going to the county with two supplemental requests, one calling for $40,000 to hire staff for Evergreen Elementary School in time for its opening next year. Another request calls for $2 million from the county’s unallocated reserve funds to pay down the $500,000 a year mortgage for the school board’s building on Moakley Street in Leonardtown. According to Chief Financial Officer Daniel Carney, this would cut four years off their payments

Odd News
Lookin’ Righteous
A cosmetics line in Singapore recently pulled a line of products called “Lookin’ Good for Jesus” after a number of complaints from Christian shoppers. WingTal Retail, the management company for the British retailer Topshop, pulled the products last month after receiving the complaints. The products themselves promise to “Redeem your reputation and more” with products like “virtuous vanilla” lip balm and “Get tight with Christ” hand and body lotion. The labels include drawings of Christ being ogled adoringly by young ladies wearing bright makeup.

Time to Clock Out
A driver carrying a bus with 40 prisoners in Corsicana, Texas, abandoned her passengers because her hours for the day were over. According to Texas police, the bus was chartered from Greyhound Bus Lines Inc. and carried prisoners who had been paroled or released from the state prison in Huntsville, some wearing ankle bracelet monitors. The bus was taking them to a terminal in Dallas, but stopped 60 miles short when the driver pulled over in front of a convenience store, announcing that her shift was over and that another driver would arrive shortly. A clerk at the convenience store called the police, and three hours later, with police waiting at the scene, another bus arrived carrying three drivers, including the one who had abandoned her passengers. Police say that there were no incidents involving the stranded prisoners. “Their behavior was exemplary,” officer Travis Wallace said.

and save $200,000, adding to funds that could be used for teacher raises and other costs. The Board of County Commissioners may have different plans for that money, however. Public Information Officer Karen Everett said that the commissioners “are committed to maintaining the unallocated reserve funds,” and they will have to hold public hearings to determine the most appropriate use of the reserve funds. “There are many community needs and only a finite amount of funds,” Everett said. Supplemental requests aside, board members remain optimistic. “What you see here is much better than what we’ve been seeing shore to shore,” said Carney, referring to budget problems being faced by other counties. Echoing this sentiment was Superintendent Michael Maritrano, who

said, “I do not delight in the misery of others…but there are some really terrible stories out there about how other counties are struggling.” The budget has been described as the product of close communication with the Board of County Commissioners over the last few months, as ideas and concerns were passed about in the process. “We need to thank the Board of County Commissioners for their willingness to work with the school system,” said board member Sal Raspa. “I think we should all be proud of this budget,” said board member Gary Kessler. “Even during these challenging economic times…I feel very pleased to bring this forward.”

Kids Continuing to Give Teachers Headaches
A preschool in Gallivare, Sweden is being criticized for banning students from wearing striped or spotted clothing because the patterns give one of their teachers migraine headaches. The preschool imposed the ban three years ago without incident, but has recently come under attack by parents, who claim the ban prevents children and their parents from wearing what they choose. Researchers claim that striped, spotted, or checkered patterns can cause migraines like those suffered by the teacher for whom the ban was enacted, because they affect the brain and visual impressions. The ban was imposed after a staff meeting three years ago, after which parents were encouraged to dress their children in one-colored clothing. A spokeswoman for the Swedish Work Environment Authority said that the ban does not violate Swedish law because it deals with peoples’ work environment, and is handled by individual workplaces.

Winner to Untie the Knot
While others celebrated Valentine’s Day with flowers, chocolates, and even weddings, a radio station in Charleston, West Virginia observed the holiday by giving away a free divorce. Through 4 p.m. on Thursday, the classic rock station WKLC accepted applications from unhappy spouses, who were cautioned not to apply unless they were absolutely serious. WKLC Program Director Jay Nutley said that the holiday has a darker side for many, “where maybe you despise your spouse and resent the entire day.”

People With Too Much Free Time
Hayward police and federal investigators tracked down and arrested a cell phone caller who allegedly called 911 more than 27,000 times, making bodily noises, muttering and grunting, and pressing beep tones. California Highway Patrol’s Communication Center in Vallejo first received the calls last May from a mysterious caller on a T-Mobile cell phone. Over a seven-month period, the caller placed 17,000 calls to the CHP before then focusing his dubious talents on the Hayward Dispatch Center. In one week, the center received 1,327 calls from the same phone, inflating their call volume by 30 percent. Detectives contacted the Federal Communications Commission to pinpoint the caller’s location, but not before he managed to call Hayward police another 10,000 times, and call the neighboring Solano County Sheriff’s Department 4,000 times. The culprit, 45 year-old John Tripplette, was arrested for allegedly abusing the 911 emergency line. He apologized for making the calls, and when asked why he did it, he said, “because it’s free.”

St Mary’s Alliance 301-475-4200 X1849 Funds Provided By Maryland ADAA

Section A - 

The County Times
to agency press releases. All eight people killed in the accident have been positively identified. Mark Courtney, 34, was set to have his birthday in March, his brother said. He leaves behind three children, a 17-year-old son and two young daughters, Wayne Courtney said. He remembered his brother would always come by on Sunday for dinner at their sister’s home. “We’ll miss that,” Wayne Courtney said of his brother. Mark Courtney was active in the life of his children, including spending time with his son who plays basketball at Chopticon High School, and was engaged to be married, his brother said. He also leaves behind his father, mother, five brothers and one sister. Mark Courtney’s funeral arrangements, scheduled for Friday, will be handled by Brinsfield Echols Funeral Home. Anyone with information regarding the accident is asked to call the Prince George’s police Collision Analysis Unit at 301-731-4422 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477 if he or she wishes to remain anonymous.

Thursday, February 21, 200

Continued from page A- continuing as to what exactly happened that morning. “This is a complex and complicated case,” Korionoff said. “We’re still piecing together the puzzle that is this investigation. Nothing has been ruled in or out by Mr. Ivey. “It’s a tragedy all around.” Police in Prince George’s are still looking for witnesses to give them more details about the accident, according

Grant Approved for Trail Expansion
Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the Board of Public Works has approved funds for improvements at 24 local park and recreation facilities in eight counties across Maryland. Local parks are often the heart of our communities,” said O’Malley. “Investing in a more sustainable Maryland by expanding and improving neighborhood recreation areas enables working families and children of all ages to participate in active recreation and live healthier lives.” St. Mary’s County received $639,315 for four local park and recreation area improvements, the first of which is the ongoing expansion of the Three Notch Trail in California, which will be partially financed by a $330,000 grant. The trail expansion will begin at WalMart on Three Notch Road and extend half a mile to connect with Chancellors Run Road. Phil Rollins, the Director of the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Community Services, described the project as a years-long endeavor, describing the private development of the trail by local businesses. Rollins estimated the price tag for the trail expansion project at $10.5 million, built in sections and spread out over 20 years. The state’s “Open Space” program has provided the grant money for this latest expansion, which will construct a two-mile section from the Senior Center in Charlotte Hall to the county line. “We think it’s going to contribute to an active lifestyle for the people,” said Jim Swift, from Friends of the Three Notch Trail, calling it a boom for tourism as well. He also described the project as environmentally sound, saying that “For every person that rides a bike to the base, that’ll be one less car on the road.” Other grants have been received for park and recreation area improvements. One $160,000 grant will finance entrance, roadway, and parking area improvements at the Seventh District Park in Bushwood, and a $100,000 grant will partially finance walkway and parking improvements at the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park. Also, two new tennis courts will be built at Cecil Park in Valley Lee, partially funded by a $49,315 grant. The Three Notch Trail expansion is receiving the largest of these grants, and is expected to offer more opportunities for walking, biking, and rollerblading. Once completed, the trail is expected to run from Charlotte Hall to Pax River, and to be visited by at least 25,000 people a year. “Once we’ve got a section from Wildwood to Pax River,” said Rollins, “25,000 will probably be a conservative number.”

State grants will be going to partially fund the continued expansion of Three Notch Trail, which is occurring in sections. The latest approval will expand the trail from Wal-Mart to Chancellors Run Road in California.

Photo by Andrea Shiell

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The County Times

Section A - 

Mark Darnell Courtney, 34
Sevick. Elaine was a native of Connecticut, but came to love St. Mary’s County when she made it her home in 1974. She worked at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station for more than thirty years, primarily as a technical illustrator. She was devoted to her family, her friends, and her church, where she served at various times as a Sunday school teacher, registrar, senior warden, and vacation Bible school organizer. She was a member of the National Council of the United Episcopal Church of North America. Her hobbies included photography, sailing, and many domestic arts such as baking, sewing, and flower arranging. She always found time to help friends in need, and is thought of as “my best friend” by many. She is survived by her husband, Richard Lee Dodson of California, a son, Robert Lee Dodson of Hagerstown, Md., siblings, Joan C. Bajorinas of Straford, Conn., David M. Sevick of Ansonia, Conn., and Douglas J. Sevick of Hagerstown, Md. Relatives and friends were received for Elaine’s Life Celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 5 – 8 p.m. Prayers were recited at 7 p.m. in the Brinsfield Life Celebration Chapel. A Funeral Service will be celebrated Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. in Dent Chapel, Charlotte Hall. Interment will be private. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown. ington Park, MD 20653. Services provided by Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A. Leonardtown.

Betty Jane “Betsy” Kolar, 85

Mark Darnell Courtney, 34, of Charlotte Hall died Feb. 16 in Indian Head, Md.. Born March 9, 1973 in Leonardtown, he was the son of Herbert Lee and Agnes Cecilia Courtney. Mark was a big teddy bear and very loving to his children. He was always there cheering his eldest son Marcus on at sports events, especially the Chopticon High School basketball games. He enjoyed good food, the latest fashions, working on old cars, and watching the car races. He enjoyed the companionship of his girlfriend Patricia Ann Reeves. He is survived by his parents, his children, Marcus Darnell Courtney, Markiah Daniel Courtney, and Savannah Elizabeth Rand, five brothers, Anthony Francis Holt of Leonardtown, Herbert Wayne Courtney of Hollywood, James Matthew Courtney (Bernice) of Mechanicsville, Joseph Alexander Courtney of Leonardtown, and John Columbus Courtney of Hollywood, one sister, Sherlene Marie Courtney of Hollywood, fourteen nieces and nephews, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, as well as his very close friends Robert Henry Short and Linda Short. Mark is predeceased by his grandparents, Carry Elizabeth and John Columbus Holt, and Elsie Frances and Joseph Edward Berry. The family will receive relatives and friends Friday, Feb. 22 from 9 – 11 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Morganza. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Reverend Keith Woods will be the celebrant. Interment will follow in Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown. Serving as pallbearers will be Rodney Estep, Francis Medley, Jasper Rosier, Marcell Shorter, Francis Holt, and Lamont Briscoe. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Frank J. Jurovaty, 86

Elaine Mary Dodson, 55

Elaine Mary Dodson, 55, of California, died Feb. 14 in Hagerstown, Md. Born Sept. 8, 1952 in Bridgeport, Conn., she was the daughter of the late Richard D. Sevick and Frances Colene Whitehead

Frank J. Jurovaty, 86, died Feb. 12 in his residence in St. Mary’s City. He was born April 28, 1921 in St. Inigoes. He was the son of the late John and Katherina Jurovaty. He is survived by his wife, Mildred B. Jurovaty, niece Ilah Russell, nephew Michael Lang, Jr. and special cousins Roma and Frank Muro of Great Mills. He was preceded in death by his sisters Jennie (Jean) De Pasquale, Cecilia Catron and Katherina (Kitty) Lang. Mr. Jurovaty worked at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in the Flight Test Department until his retirement. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II with honors. The family received friends Friday, Feb. 15 at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in St. Mary’s City from 5 – 7 p.m. with prayers at 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. in St. Cecelia Catholic Church with Reverend Damian Shadwell officiating. Interment was in St. James Cemetery. Pallbearers were his nephews, Jimmy Bean, Billy Bean, Donald Bean, Kevin Newbold, Roy Norris and Paul Norris. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 339, Lex-

Betsy Kolar, 85, died Feb. 13 in St. Mary’s Hospital. Born Dec. 23, 1922 in Chicago, Ill., she was the daughter of the late George Robert and Selene Moore of Cook County, Ill. She is survived by her three children, Marianne and her husband Larry Murray, of Big Pine Key, Fla.; Bob Austin and his wife Kathy, of Hollywood, Md., and John Austin and his wife Pam, of Springfield, Va., as well as six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Ms. Kolar was the widow of the late Steve S. Kolar of Smithfield, Pa., and the late Howard R. Austin of Rockville, Md. Although Ms. Kolar’s body has died, Ms. Kolar is alive and well and living in the kingdom of the Most High God. She has been granted her most heartfelt wish, to go there and live out eternity with Him. Her family and friends are very glad for her, and we share her relief and joy at being freed from the bonds of this earth and given everlasting peace. Ms. Kolar was a retired editor who was responsible for the growth and establishment of a lending library at the Cedar Lane home for the elderly in Leonardtown. She was also a key participant in the growth and improvement of the chapel at that facility. Until very recently, she was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary and the Resident’s Council. Ms. Kolar was a member of the congregation of the Lexington Park Baptist Church. There was a memorial service for Ms. Kolar at the Cedar Lane facilities at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The family requests that in lieu of flowers or other gifts, contributions be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

her formal education at the old Banneker Elementary School in Loveville. During her youth, she attended St. Francis Xavier Church in Compton, where she was also united in matrimony to her husband Jeremiah A. Mason, Sr. in 1938. Mary Florence relocated to Lexington Park and became a dedicated member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church until her health deteriorated. She was a domestic worker for many years employed at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. She enjoyed her children, cooking and preparing meals for family and friends (mainly stuffed ham, candied sweet potatoes and all the trimmings). Mary Florence enjoyed dancing, playing bingo, gardening and phone conversations with family, friends and especially Mrs. Theresa Young. Mary Florence is survived by six living children: Mary (Mark) Jones, John (Bevaline) Mason, Maria Nelson, James Mason, Douglas Mason and Michael (Phyllis) Mason, siblings; Agnes Hortense Barnes, Joseph (Mary) Hebb, Sr., Francis Hebb, Mary Ann Wilkens, Mary Rosetta Gough, Linda (Preston) Dyson and Ella Robinson; daughters-in-law, Mamie, Elizabeth, Mary and Paula, two sisters-in-law, Margaret Hebb and Theresa Taylor, 16 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by daughters-in-law Marie, Elaine, Michelle and Regina and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, six children, Jeremiah A. Mason, Jr., Joseph Mason, Carolyn Mason, Thomas Mason, George Mason and Leroy Mason, siblings Mary Viola Jones, James Hebb, Leroy Hebb, Delores Thomas and Horace Robinson, Jr, one daughter-inlaw, Gladys Mason and one son-in-law, Lorenzo Nelson The family received friends Thursday, Feb. 14 from 9:30 – 11 a.m. in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Lexington Park. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11 a.m. The Reverend Jack Kennealy was the celebrant. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD.

John Francis “Johnny P.” Pingleton, 72

Mary Florence Hebb Mason, 87

brother Wayne Austin Pingleton and his wife Carol Ann of Bushwood. Johnny was preceded in death by his brother George Arthur Pingleton. And granddaughter Ann Mary Pilkerton. He is survived by his children Glenda Marie Quade and her husband Wayne of La Plata, Md. Joseph Patrick Pingleton and his wife Natalie of Clements, and Kimberly Ann Pilkerton and her husband William “Billy” of California. In addition, he is survived by his sister-inlaws Barbara Ann Gardner and her husband Thomas “Bing” of California, Md., Mary Agnes Plunkett and her husband Russell of Clements, Nancy Lee Miller and her husband Tom of Fayetteville, Pa. and Rita Catherine Farr and her husband Joseph “Jay” of Leonardtown, brother-in-law Howard Vincent “Butch” Hammett, Jr. and his wife Judi of Amherst, Va. and his four grandchildren, Haley Christine Quade, Allison Renee Deese, Jessica Cecelia Pilkerton and Jacob Patrick Pingleton. Johnny attended Margaret Brent High School. His work experience included Bailey Express, Mattingly Trucking and Pilkerton’s Service Center. He worked for the International Pipe Trades Joint Training Committee in Washington, D.C. for 25 years. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother. Also, he was dedicated to the responsibilities of being a good shipping & receiving clerk. He was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Bushwood, for nearly 40 years. He was a very active and dedicated member of the Seventh District Optimist Club for 38 years. He loved NASCAR races, Dirt Track Racing and playing cards with his friends Tucker, Richard, Phil, Jimmy, Joe and Smitty. In addition, he looked forward to the annual family and extended family vacations in Ocean City, Md. Public viewing was held Thursday, Feb. 14 from 5 – 8 p.m. with prayers being said at 7 p.m. at the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown. The Seventh District Optimist Club prayers will be cited at 7:10 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bushwood, MD with Very Reverend Francis J. Early, officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were Austin Pingleton, Joe Farr, Vince Hammett, Chris Norris, Greg Plunkett and Francis Guy. Honorary Pallbearers were The Seventh District Optimist Club Members. Memorial contributions can be made to The Seventh District Optimist Club, P.O. Box 53, Bushwood, MD, 20618 and/or The Seventh District Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 7, Avenue, MD, 20609.

interests in Joseph’s life included being a Mason for over sixty years, a poet and published author, and crabbing in his later years. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Evelyn Talbot Poe, four daughters, Kathleen Veltman, Sharon Parker, Teresa Wright, and Laura Wilks, grandchildren, Steven Kestler, Kristi Kestler, Megan Veltman, Summer Veltman, Erik Wright, Mandy Pickens and Haley Wilks, great grandchildren, Samantha Marks, Carleigh Marks, Whittni Pickens, Lillie Wright, and Cole McCain, and one sister Joan May. The family will receive relatives and friends Thursday, February 21 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel. Masonic prayers will be recited at 7 p.m. A funeral service will be conducted Friday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel. Bishop William McClean will be the celebrant. Interment will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Suitland, Md. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Ruby Cathleen Sweeney, 78

Ruby Cathleen Sweeney, 78 of Mechanicsville, died Feb. 11 in St. Mary’s Hospital, Leonardtown. Ruby is survived by four children, David Sweeney of Mechanicsville, Robert Sweeney of Severna Park, Md., Carolyn Johnson of Highland, Utah, and Ronald Sweeney of Alexandria, Va. The family received friends Friday, Feb 15, from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. at the Brinsfield Funeral Home, Leonardtown. A Funeral Service will be conducted Saturday, Feb. 16 at 10 a.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home chapel. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

William Douglas Wathen, Sr., 83
William Douglas Wathen, Sr., 83, of Mechanicsville died Feb. 18 in St. Mary’s Hospital. Born Oct. 20, 1924 in Clements, he was the son of the late William Ford and Catherine Harding Wathen. He was the beloved husband of Joan Marie Wathen. The family received friends Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, with Prayers being said at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Thursday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Morganza, with Fr. Keith Woods officiating. Interment followed in the Church Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 15, Mechanicsville, MD 20659. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Joseph Warner Poe, 84
Joseph Warner Poe, 84, of Ridge, died Feb. 17 in St. Mary’s Hospital, Leonardtown. Born Oct. 5, 1923 on St. George Island, he was the son of the late Joseph Vaughn Poe and Lula G. Cookman Poe. Joseph lived a rich life. Employed by C&P Telephone Company for fortythree years, he spent his free time as a Sunday school teacher at Ryland United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., a Boy Scout troop leader, and a docent for the St. Mary’s City Historical Society from 1985 to 2007. Other important

Mary Florence Hebb Mason, 87, of Lexington Park died Feb 10 in the St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Leonardtown. Born Nov. 16, 1920 in Compton, she was the daughter of the late James Ignatius Hebb, Sr. and Mary Florine Hebb Robinson. Mary Florence received

John Francis “Johnny P.” Pingleton, 72, of Clements died Monday, Feb. 11 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown. Johnny was born June 15, 1935 in Leonardtown. He was the son of the late Joseph Austin Pingleton and Julia Helen Hill Pingleton. He was the husband of Sarah Jean Hammett Pingleton, whom he married Sept. 3, 1960 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Morganza. He is survived by his

Section A - 10

The County Times
sult in insomnia. In addition, poor sleeping habits, such as napping during the day, can make a person less tired when it comes time to go to bed, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Caffeine consumption and abnormal sleeping patterns are not the only lifestyle choices that can negatively impact a person’s ability to fall asleep. People who live sedentary lifestyles often experience some form of insomnia.

Thursday, February 21, 2008
In addition, overconsumption of alcohol can impact a person’s ability to fall asleep. When a person consumes too much alcohol, falling asleep without that alcohol in their system can be difficult. This can be a dangerous and slippery slope, as a person could conclude they need alcohol, or even prescription medications, to fall asleep. Another factor that could affect a person’s ability to fall asleep is a work schedule. Irregular schedules will almost always lead to some form of insomnia. If a person isn’t careful, a constantly changing work schedule, where a shift might regularly switch back and forth between nights and days, could very well lead to chronic insomnia. Such a schedule is almost impossible to adapt to, and the negative effects will surface via a lack of sleep.

Insomnia Is an All Too Common Foe
When it comes to sleep, most people would say they simply don’t get enough. For some, work and family responsibilities are simply too demanding and time-consuming for them to get their eight hours of rest each night. For others, the problem could be more complicated. Insomnia is something nearly everyone has experienced at one time or another. While the stress that stems from work and family can cause insomnia, those are not the lone reasons nearly 1 in 3 adults encounters sleep problems each year. • Short-term insomnia: This is typically caused by a stressful life event, one that preoccupies the mind so much that even falling asleep becomes difficult. In general, short-term insomnia will last less than a month, and often disappears around the time the source of heightened stress disappears. • Transient insomnia: Whenever a normal sleeping pattern is disturbed and a person cannot sleep, that person is said to have transient insomnia. The disturbance in sleep is often the result of travel or relocating, and does not last longer than a few nights. Nearly everyone, when relocating, experiences at least mild transient insomnia, as it often takes a night or two to adapt to a new sleeping situation. mune system. While a temporary loss of sleep won’t have a significant impact on the production of these cells, an extended loss of sleep, such as that experienced by those with chronic insomnia, can. This leaves people more susceptible to disease, as the decreased production of cells leaves their bodies less resistant.

What Causes Insomnia?
Insomnia can result from a number of things. As previously mentioned, stress can result in a loss of sleep. If the stress is temporary, shortterm insomnia can result. However, a lifestyle that is highly stressful can contribute to chronic insomnia. When many people initially experience insomnia, they begin to examine cer-

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What Is Insomnia?
While most people are aware that insomnia is an inability to sleep, few realize that sleep is actually part of a larger process known as the circadian rhythm. Humans, like the planet, operate on a daily cycle that repeats itself every 24 hours. During those 24 hours, it’s common for adults to sleep between 6 and 8 hours. While a night or two here and there of poor or interrupted sleep won’t be very harmful, when those poor or even sleepless nights occur over an extended period of time, this is known as insomnia.

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Are There Different Types of Insomnia?
Not all forms of insomnia are the same, hence the reason it is one of the most commonly reported health problems. Those who are experiencing insomnia could have any of the following types, which are distinguished from one another both by their severity and duration.
Unbeknownst to many, prolonged insomnia can have very negative impacts on a person’s health, decreasing the body’s ability to fight potentially harmful diseases.


• Chronic insomnia: Chronic insomnia is the most serious form, with the potential for very negative consequences. Sleep helps a body develop cells that are important for a person’s im-

tain behaviors. Among those are their consumption of caffeine and their own sleeping habits. An overconsumption of caffeine, particularly in the hours leading up to when a person goes to bed, can re-



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