Technology helps deputies offer aid to those who need it
The successful hunt for and recovery of a missing 62-year-old Alzheimer’s patient last month in southern St. Mary’s underscored the benefits of a more advanced and less time-consuming method of tracking the whereabouts of people who probably shouldn’t be wandering off on their own.
Project Lifesaver, provided without charge by the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office, is a radio-transmission system designed to assist law officers in locating lost or missing people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, autism or other conditions that may impair their communication with others. Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small watch-size transmitter on their wrist or ankle that emits a tracking signal, and if a participant in the program goes missing, the transmitter provides law enforcement with the location of the missing person.
But the transmitter is only one method of providing an alert to get help to a person who’s generally being supervised or accompanied, according to a senior sheriff’s deputy, also noting the value of more traditional means of looking out for the wellbeing of others.
“The first ring of security is the family members and the caregivers,” Capt. Steven Hall said this week, along with neighbors and friends who also can approach and assist the person who has strayed from home, or contact authorities to promptly help resolve the issue.
“It’s very difficult for one person to do that,” Hall said of the role of watching over a person 24 hours a day, and other people may be equally familiar with that person’s habits, including “the particular places they like to go.”
As a “second ring of security,” the captain said, “Project Lifesaver is a perfect solution.”
The sheriff’s office encourages anyone who has a friend or family member diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, autism, or any condition rendering them unable to communicate or provide basic information on their address or identity, to contact Cpl. William Rishel by calling 301-475-4200, ext. *8097, or by sending email to William.Rishel@stmarysmd.com.
Go dance Saturday at church hall
Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance will hold its monthly contra dance this Saturday, May 12, at Christ Episcopal Church’s parish hall in Chaptico.
This month’s dance features callers Jason Little, Lois Stephenson and Elaine Szymkowiak, with live acoustic string band music by the Southern Maryland Open Band. The doors will open at 7 p.m., and dancing will begin at 7:30. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend a dance workshop at 7. There will be an ice cream social during the intermission.
Contra is a traditional American style of social dance, similar in some ways to square dancing, that one can attend without a partner. Enjoy an evening of laughing, meeting new folks, and listening and dancing to great live music. Come out to swing, promenade, and do-si-do to lively jigs, reels and waltzes on the dance floor. Band members will be admitted at no charge.
For more information, go online to www.smtmd.org.
Sotterley to provide free tours on May 19 to service members
Armed Forces Day, on May 19, will be recognized at Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood with free admission for service members and their families.
Sotterley residents experienced major conflict in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War, and present-day visitors to the historic landmark can hear a retelling of their stories.
Sotterley will salute active-duty military and dependents on May
19 by inviting them to enjoy the grounds with complimentary site and house tour admission. The honored guests will be asked to show their military identification at the visitor center.
Breakfast to be served May 20 at church hall
A spring breakfast with the Knights of Columbus will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, at St. Francis Xavier Church Hall, located at 21370 Newtowne Neck Road in Leonardtown. The menu will include plain and blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and sausage gravy with biscuits. A free-will donation will benefit the pastoral counseling center.
For more information, call Dale Rebarchick at 240-538-3562.
Waterfront owners’ dibs on blind licenses ends soon
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting offshore waterfowl blind and shoreline license applications for riparian, or waterfront, property owners.
The landowners, or anyone who has the owner’s permission, may license their shoreline to establish offshore stationary blinds or blind sites for hunting waterfowl. A license allows the shoreline owner to hunt waterfowl from their own blind in state waters, or to prevent other waterfowl hunters from licensing the shoreline at a later date.
Property owners may license their shoreline for one year for $20 or three years for $60, and if they choose to participate, they must submit all paperwork and respective fees to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service in person by May 31, or by mail with a postmark of no later than May 31 to the agency’s mailing and physical address at 580 Taylor Ave., E-1, Annapolis, MD 21401.
Landowners who miss the May 31 deadline may participate in the “open” licensing process that begins Aug. 7.
Applications and information on laws related to shoreline licensing for riparian property owners are available online, or by calling 410-260-8540 or 877-620-8367.
Paddle June 9 for a good cause
Leonardtown Rotary, the College of Southern Maryland and Warfighter Advance will hold a Paddle for Heroes kayak, paddleboard and canoe fundraising race on June 9 at Leonardtown wharf.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. for the races beginning at 10. Racers may have time deducted for every donation, so anyone might win. Proceeds will benefit local first responders and military post-combat reintegration programs.
For more information, go online to paddleforheroes.org. The rain date for the event is June 23.
Register to learn facts about pirates
Registration is underway for the Pirates: Fact vs. Fiction day camp to be offered on June 16 at Historic St. Mary’s City.
Children will learn the truth behind the myths and legends of piracy in the 1600s and 1700s, and the camp-workshop will be filled with hands-on activities that will explain pirate life, punishments and weaponry. The program, designed for children age 11 to 14, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Space is limited, and the period for required registration ends on June 9.
For more information or registration, call 240895-4980, or send email to info@HSMCdigshistory.org.