SMECO’s annual bike ride to be held June 3
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) employees will host their sixth annual bike ride on June 3. Profits from the bike ride will go to four different organizations that focus on the environment: the American Chestnut Land Trust in Calvert County, the Port Tobacco River Conservancy in Charles County, the Alice Ferguson Foundation in Prince George’s County, and the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association in St. Mary’s County.
Last year, SMECO donated more than $53,000, which was raised by the bike ride and the cooperative’s Annual Charity Golf Outing. The events are supported by a group of volunteers, vendors, and the SMECO executive team.
Three bike routes of 29, 47 and 75 miles will start at the Coop’s headquarters in Hughesville and go as far as Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County. Cyclists can register for the SMECO 75 Bike Ride on Active.com.
The date of the SMECO 75 Bike Ride, June 3, is also National Trails Day. A portion of the bike route uses the Three Notch Trail, a pedestrian and bicycle trail on the old St. Mary’s County railroad right-of-way. The trail in the northern area of the county begins at Deborah Drive in Charlotte Hall and runs south to John V. Baggett Park in Laurel Grove for a distance of about 11 miles. The trail in this area provides connections to the Northern Senior Center, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Charlotte Hall Library, St. Mary’s County Farmers’ Market, the St. Mary’s County Welcome Center, Mechanicsville Elementary School and Baggett Park.
SMILE livestock expo set for June
The annual Southern Maryland Invitational Livestock Expo (SMILE) will take place on June 23 through June 25 at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown. The three-day youth event includes fitting and showing and market and breeding competitions for domestic livestock species of beef and dairy cows, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs.
The SMILE Expo is open youth ages 8 to 21 years, resident in the five-county region of Southern Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s) and other Maryland counties by invitation. New this year, the show offers a special Novice Showmanship Class for children ages 6 to 7 years. Commencing May 5, the SMILE schedule and registration forms for all breeds and classes will be available to download from the SMILE Facebook page. The deadline for registration is May 25.
The annual SMILE Expo celebrates the showmanship talents of young people with an interest in raising livestock and is a unique mix of competition, learning and fun. Featured events include an exciting demonstration by Barrel Racing Champion Brandon Cullins and the Mar yland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) trailer will be on the grounds with educational exhibits and fun activities that highlight the importance of Maryland’s agriculture in our daily lives.
Admission is free to the general public to watch the livestock competitions and visit the animal barns, agricultural themed displays, demonstrations and vendors. For more information visit the SMILE website at: www.SMILE-INC.org, or contact Susan McQuilkin at 301-274-1922, ext. 1.
SMILE is organized by SMILE board members and the collaborative efforts of dedicated volunteers, and is sponsored by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) and others.
Be prepared for hurricane season
Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 7-13 this year. Prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season that begins June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30. Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Take the time today to ensure ever yone is ready for all hurricane and severe storm disasters.
Watch vs. warning: What’s the difference?
• Hurricane watch — A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans, keep informed, and be ready to act if a warning is issued;
• Hurricane warning — A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete storm preparations and leave the area if directed by authorities.
How to prepare for a hurricane:
• Prepare an emergency kit that contains: a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day); a three-day supply of non-perishable food; a battery-powered radio and batteries; flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; medications and medical items; toiletries and personal hygiene items; cell phone and chargers, family and emergency contact information; extra cash; and baby/pet supplies;
• Develop a family communication plan. Know how to contact one another and reconnect if separated;
• Trim trees and shrubs around the home so they are more wind resistant;
• Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and drain spouts;
• Consider installing a generator for emergencies;
What to do when a hurricane is approaching the area:
• Check emergency kit and replace or restock as needed;
• Bring in loose items that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, etc.);
• Close windows and doors;
• Turn off propane tank; • Fill car’s gas tank; • Listen to a NOAA weather radio for critical information from the National Weather Service;
• Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Visit the following websites for more information on hurricane and severe storm safety tips:
• Are You Ready?: www.Ready.gov
• Turn Around; Don’t Drown: www.weather. gov/os/water/tadd/
• Tornado facts and safety tips: www.spc.noaa. gov/faq/tornado/safety. html
• Severe Storm Facts and Safety Tips: www. weather.gov/om/severeweather/index.shtml
Residents are urged to register /review their profiles for the latest CNS updates and alerts from Charles County Government, Charles County Public Schools, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the National Weather Service. To register for CNS, manage message settings, provide preferred contact information, and select categories, got to www. CharlesCountyMD.gov/ CNS.
Get the latest Charles County severe weather updates:
Charles County Government website: www. CharlesCountyMD.gov
Twitter: www.Twitter. com/CharlesCoMD;
Charles County Government Television (CCGTV): Comcast channel 95 or Verizon channel 10;
SMECO Power Outage Map: stormcenter.smeco. coop (Call 877-747-6326 to report an outage).
Free rabies clinic available on June 4
The Charles County Animal Control and Charles County Department of Health are sponsoring a free rabies clinic on 1-3 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at the Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Department, 9765 Bel Alton Newtown Road. Protect the ones you love by ensuring your pets have the proper vaccinations. Maryland law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be vaccinated for rabies
Dog and cat licenses will be available for purchase at the clinic. The fee for a pet license is $5 if your animal is altered and $25 if your animal is not altered. All pets over 4 months old must be licensed to comply with the Charles County Ordinance. If your pet becomes lost, a license will improve the chances of identifying the animal and returning it to you. A license also lets others know your pet is up-todate with its vaccinations.
At the clinic, all dogs must be leashed, and all cats and ferrets must be contained in a carrier.
For more information about the clinic, contact the Charles County Department of Emergency Services’ Division of Animal Control at 301-609-3425 or email Debbie Yost at YostD@ CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
CSM announces summer scheule
In observance of Memorial Day, the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will be closed Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29. The college will resume normal operations on Tuesday, May 30.
In addition, starting May 26 and continuing every Friday in July except for July 7, all CSM campuses will observe early closing for the college’s Code Green Friday initiative. To decrease energy costs during summer months, CSM will close most buildings on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. However, the Children’s Learning Center and Kids’ and Teen College and Public Safety hours and services will not be affected, with these services and classes to be held according to their normal schedules.
During Code Green Fridays, the fitness centers and pools remain open until 5 p.m. at the La Plata and Leonardtown campuses. The Prince Frederick Campus operating hours stay the same over the summer. For Memorial Day weekend, all fitness facilities follow the college schedule and are closed.
Access to online services, including registration, is available at www.csmd.edu through myCSMD services. For a complete summer academic calendar for the college, visit www.csmd. edu/programs-courses/ credit/academic-calendar/.
St. Mary’s County government launches animal shelter survey
St. Mary’s County Government is seeking input from citizens in Charles and St. Mary’s counties to determine options regarding a proposed animal shelter.
Citizens and interested stakeholders can go to www.stmarysmd.com/ shelter to take part in a special online animal shelter survey. Responses will be used to develop plans and decide next steps in the process.
Participation in the survey is voluntary and no identifiable participant information (i.e. name, address, phone number, etc.) will be collected.