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2018 Recap—Calvert County


  
Lexington Park, MD - Here’s a quick, month-by-month review of the Calvert County stories that made news in 2018.

January - Mia Nashoba-Osi Dilley is Calvert’s first baby of 2018. Curtis A. Leymeister of Calvert is indicted on 106 counts of child rape and sex abuse. His next court appearance is a competency review in April. A Lusby man was charged with stabbing his father but has yet to be deemed competent to stand trial. Calvert resident Dennis Schroeder was killed in a crash on a Carolina highway. He was a popular “Santa Claus” in Calvert. David Diamond of Huntingtown died in an early-morning crash in Prince George’s County. Cove Point LNG Plant begins producing liquefied gas.

February - In the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school Calvert County parents, teachers and students demand increased security measures. After an historic vote by the county commissioners Calvert Government will have a paid paramedic on its payroll in the near future, ending the county’s strict, all-volunteer fire, rescue and emergency medical services system.

March - Federal authorization received by Dominion for the Cove Point liquefaction unit. A Lusby woman teams up with skater Scott Hamilton to fight cancer. Woman accused of drugging her grandson was sentenced in Calvert Circuit Court. She vowed to fight her drug dependence. A popular Solomons couple was killed in a crash on Route 2 in Sunderland. The first of many house fires in Lusby during 2018 caused burn injuries for two children. Days after a shooting incident at Great Mills High in St. Mary’s, several Calvert residents were up-in-arms when a majority of school board members declined to second a motion to allow safety advocates to carry firearms. An outdoor rally critical of the Board of Education is held outside the school system’s central office. The Calvert County Commissioners announced they will provide $2 million in funding for school safety enhancements. A Lusby man overdosed and died while incarcerated in an Anne Arundel County jail.

April - Jamar Jefferson of Chesapeake Beach was sentenced for a 2017 murder. The always much-anticipated opening of Solomons’ Tiki Bar did not happen in 2018 and remained shuttered throughout the summer. Calvert County Public Schools honored Melaney Sanchez as Teacher of the Year and Dean Jones as Educational Support Staff Person of the Year. Governor Larry Hogan snubbed incumbent state senator and Calvert resident Steve Waugh and endorsed political newcomer Jack Bailey in District 29’s Republican Primary. Three men were charged in a home invasion in Lusby.

May - A fiery, multi-vehicle collision on Route 2 in Sunderland seriously burned a motorist. The at-fault driver, Nicole Bland of Lusby, pleaded guilty to single county of driving while so far impaired cannot safely drive. Several other traffic charges were not prosecuted. Bland received probation before judgement. A controversial sign appearing to threaten liberals was removed from a Huntingtown billboard after attracting national attention. Politicians from both major parties condemned the sign. An injunction to stop the sale of the Solomons Tiki Bar by the widow of the business’ late owner was denied in Circuit Court. A Circuit Court judge dismissed the Calvert Coalition for Smart Growth’s case against the county commissioners regarding the Armory Square project. A possible explosion leveled a Prince Frederick house, injuring two occupants. While on duty, North Beach Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Captain Pat Osbourn died suddenly. The Town of Chesapeake Beach closed a portion of its bay front boardwalk after a portion of the cliff was damaged by heavy rain.

June - Calvert School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Curry’s graduation speech stirred controversy when he broached the subject of having babies. Due to possible structural damage, the Town of Chesapeake Beach temporarily closed its waterpark. Facing a Primary Election challenge, Calvert Sheriff Mike Evans denied reports he was being investigated by the FBI. A Huntingtown woman was attacked by her finance’s dog at her residence. Several hours later, Jenna Rae Sutphin, 28, was dead. In addition to Sheriff Evans, Calvert’s Primary Election winners included Republican commissioner candidates Steve Weems, Buddy Hance and Tim Hutchins and state’s attorney candidate Andrew Rappaport, and Democrat commissioner candidates Tricia Powell, Matt Bennett and Greg Brown. A 64-year-old Chesapeake Beach man was struck by a motor vehicle and killed. No charges were filed.

July - The body of a Connecticut man who jumped off a pontoon boat to go swimming in the Patuxent River was recovered near Myrtle Point. The remains of a dolphin were found washed ashore at Brownie’s Beach on the Chesapeake Bay. The Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department announced that due to work being done at the location of their annual carnival the summertime event would not be held in 2018. Calvert Commissioner Pat Nutter read an email on camera from an out-of-county resident critical of Calvert for tolerating a controversial billboard sign. Then, to show the writer what he thought of her opinion, Nutter wadded up the paper and tossed in a trashcan. Heavy rains bring flood damage to portions of Calvert, including Breezy Point Park. Portions of the Town of North Beach were also under water. A couple held up a liquor store in Huntingtown. Two suspects have since been indicted on armed robbery charges and await trial. Federal, state and local officials celebrate the activation of the Dominion Cove Point LNG Plant’s $4 billion liquefaction unit. Dignitaries in attendance include U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. A longtime Calvert tradition ends as the Buehler family sold their St. Leonard businesses. A tornado was sighted and reported in Lusby July 27. Significant damage was reported in Chesapeake Ranch Estates.

August - Due to storm debris in the bay, swimming advisories were posted at Breezy Point and North Beach. The Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department celebrates 20 years of being scratch-free. George Thorogood rocked the pavilion at Calvert Marine Museum. Harris Teeter opened a new store in Dunkirk. James Harley was sentenced to life in prison for the 2017 murder of his estranged wife at her Lusby home. Responders worked quickly and rescued a child from a well in Huntingtown.

September - Hurricane Flo caused concern for Southern Maryland residents already weary from the year’s heavy rains. The notorious motorcycle club Hell’s Angels dedicated proceeds from a community event to Calvert Hospice. A Lusby woman died in an Anne Arundel motor vehicle crash. Calvert’s next proposed operating budget is balanced but the numbers will leave the next board with decisions to make on possible tax decreases.

October - County officials presided over the dedication of the Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter in Prince Frederick. More heavy rains cause misery for Calvert Countians. Sears files for bankruptcy and company officials announced the Kmart in Prince Frederick would soon close its doors. Calvert Commissioners President Evan Slaughenhoupt criticized the group of citizens who purchased a full-page newspaper ad attacking the board. A 57-year-old Lusby man died when his motorcycle crashed in Chesapeake Ranch Estates. A Calvert County woman was murdered in Anne Arundel County. A suspect in Danielle V. Gunson’s murder was subsequently arrested.

November - A 70-year-old man died in a housefire on Erie Avenue in North Beach. Republicans again captured every seat on the Board of County Commissioners. As a result of the election, with the exception of the District 29 Senate seat, all of the county’s Annapolis Delegation remains intact. Mike Benton is elected North Beach mayor. A Calvert family filed a lawsuit against MGM for an electric accident at National Harbor that has left a young girl hospitalized. North Beach officials reported that 2018 has brought the bayside town record rainfall. Chick fil-A opened a much clamored-for restaurant in Prince Frederick.

December - Crews rescued one occupant of a house on Easy Street in Owings after an overnight dwelling fire. Snowfall in certain parts of Southern Maryland Dec. 10 resulted in school closings and delays. Calvert Library officials revealed plans to possibly eliminate late return fines with an aim to increase its customer base. Outgoing Commissioner Tom Hejl took a few parting shots at his critics during his last meeting as a member of the board. The new board of county commissioners was administered the following Tuesday. Just in time for Christmas, local deputies located missing packages that were reportedly removed from residences. Two suspects in the heists were arrested and charged.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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