La Plata weather sirens will activate for confirmed tornadoes
Summer brings severe weather, such as hurricanes, extreme heat, thunderstorms and tornadoes. The Charles County Department of Emergency Services and the Town of La Plata remind residents that the Town of La Plata tornado sirens will activate if there is a confirmed tornado on the ground, spotted in or heading toward La Plata. This is a three-minute cycling of the siren, in addition to a voice announcement at the end of the cycle.
La Plata sirens are “outdoor warning sirens” intended to warn residents who are outside of an imminent tornado threat. The sirens are not intended nor guaranteed to warn residents who are indoors. Residents indoors should rely on weather radios, television and radio messages, or phone notification systems for updates on tornado threats.
Residents are urged to register/review their profiles for the latest Citizen Notification System (CNS) updates and alerts from Charles County Government, and the National Weather Service. To register for CNS, manage your message settings, provide preferred contact information, and select categories, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CNS.
When you hear the siren going off, please do not delay in seeking shelter. Get indoors to an interior small room or basement, and get low. For tornado preparedness tips, visit the National Weather Ser vice’s website at www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html.
The sirens are installed at the following locations:
• On Charles Street in front of the Charles County Courthouse;
• On Curley Hall Road at the Town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (near Quailwood Subdivision);
• In Clarks Run Subdivision;
• In King’s Grant Subdivision;
• On Shining Willow Way next to the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department;
• College of Southern Maryland.
Severe weather notices are posted online at www. CharlesCountyMD.gov, on CCGTV cable television (Verizon channel 10 and Comcast channel 95), on Facebook and on Twitter. Sign up for the CNS at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/CNS to receive inclement weather, tornado watch, and tornado warning notifications by email or text message. For updated information on power outages, view the SMECO outage map at stormcenter. smeco.coop. Call 877-7476326 to report a power outage. Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
Department recruits young adults for conservation corps
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is recruiting 17-25 year olds for the Maryland Conservation Corps, an award-winning AmeriCorps program that engages young adults in extensive natural resource management and park conservation projects across the state.
The program seeks to hire 35 full-time crew members for an 11-month period, beginning in October.
In an average year, Maryland Conservation Corps members will:
• Conduct interpretive programs;
• Help preserve rich historical heritage sites;
• Improve park nature centers;
• Maintain hundreds of miles of trails;
• Plant thousands of trees;
• Provide environmental education programming for students;
• Restore wildlife habitat;
• Support the improvement of the Chesapeake and coastal bays;
• Work with schools to plant bay grasses.
To be considered, interested individuals must submit an online application along with a writing sample. Department staff will review each application and, if appropriate, invite the applicant to an interview, conduct reference checks and provide a matching opportunity at one of the service sites. Placement will be on a firstcome, first-served basis.
The Maryland Conservation Corps program is funded — in part — by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, the Corps Network and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Health department to offer daytime quit smoking program
A daytime smoking cessation program (eight weeks) will be offered 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays from Sept. 8-Nov. 1, at the Charles County Department of Health in White Plains. Participants must pre-register before Aug. 26 by calling Mary Beth at 301-609-6932.
Attorney general warns consumers about scam email
Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is alerting Marylanders about scammers’ latest efforts to hack into consumers’ personal computers to steal personal identifying information that can then be used for illicit purposes.
The scammers use an email address that looks like it might be from the Office of Attorney General, with a subject line: “The Office of Attorney General Complaint.” The email then contains a note that claims a complaint has been filed against the consumers’ business and they must click on a link that allegedly sends them to a PDF document in order for them to file a response, but actually sends them to a link with a zip file that installs malware. This practice is known as click-bait.
“This scam is particularly deceitful and hits too close to home as our office would never send complaints by email,” Frosh said in a press release. “It’s always a good rule of thumb never to open emails that claim to be from an official government agency, if the email address does not end in .gov or .us. Consumers should always be vigilant with personal information so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.”
Marylanders who receive an unsolicited email from any individual or business should exercise caution and should not click on links or provide any personal information unless the email sender is known and reputable. Consumers should delete emails received from unknown parties.
Consumers with questions about how to handle such inquiries or those who think they have been the victim of a scam should contact the Consumer Protection Division at 410528-8662 or toll free at 888742-0023. Consumers can file a complaint at https://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/complaint.htm or by mailing a hard copy of the complaint form found online, along with any supporting documents, to 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202.
For more information on email scams and hoaxes, consumers may find additional helpful information by visiting the following websites: Internet ScamBusters at www.scambusters.org, the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/cyberfraud.htm.
Veterans home opens new public art exhibit
In partnership with the Charles County Arts Alliance, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home announces a new public art exhibit showcasing 27 artists and 44 works of art on display from June 16 to Oct. 19.
The gallery is located at 29449 Charlotte Hall Road, Charlotte Hall. Follow the signs for the “D-Wing/ State Office” entrance around back. Hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
The show’s theme is “Artist’s Choice” and includes work from: Theresa Alo, Shirley Andrews (a resident), Anne Buffington,
Sue Cassidy, Bill Cassidy, Trish Clark, Fanny Cramer, Dorothy Crown, Cecelia Dunay, Greg Ford, Rita Fox, Penny Gold, Roxana Gonzales, Gordon Johnson, Alie Koroma, Ursula Lawrence, Addison Likins, Willie Lowry (a resident), Bill Meck (a resident), Kathy Noel, Jonathan Nordtrom, Nadira Nunez, Joshua Owen, Nancy Owens, Ashley Radano (CHVH Volunteer Director), Ernest Sinnes, George Skypeck, and Nancy Walcutt. Most artwork is available for purchase; the E-Wing Security desk has a copy of the price list and artists biographies.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Veterans Home will host a “Meet the Artists” Public Reception in the E-Wing Multipurpose Room, 2-4 p.m., to honor all the artists participating in this show. The public is invited to attend and meet the artists while viewing their work on display.
Photos of the gallery can be viewed on both the Veterans Home (www.charhall.org) and Arts Alliance (www.charlescountyarts.com) websites.
Volunteers needed to staff film festival
Volunteers are needed to staff the Southern Maryland Film Festival coming to Leonardtown July 15-16. There is one Friday evening shift from 5-10 p.m., and several shifts and positions throughout the day Saturday, from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Interested parties should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Volunteer orientation will be conducted online in preparation of the event. For more information, contact Theresa Wood at 240-298-0183 or email email@example.com.
Household hazardous waste collection scheduled
The Charles County Department of Public Works announced this week that the next household hazardous waste collection will be held on Saturday, July 2. The household hazardous waste collection site is located in the parking lot of the Department of Public Works building, located at 10430 Audie Lane, off of Radio Station Road in La Plata. Collection hours are 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Items accepted free of charge include: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercur y thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.
Unacceptable materials include bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition. Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites. Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified. This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener or sawdust to aid in drying it out.
Household hazardous waste collection will occur on the first Saturday of each month through December. Upcoming 2016 collection dates are: July 2, Aug. 6, Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, and Dec. 3.
For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800735-2258.