News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post, July 11 to 17
Sunday | 11
Compromise on Toads, School
St. Mary's County officials reached a compromise with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that will allow construction of a school to move ahead. However, the construction schedule and process will have to accommodate the eastern narrow-mouthed toad, a species that is endangered in Maryland, although prevalent in many southern states. As part of the agreement to protect the green, snout-nosed toad, which bleats like a sheep and spends much of its time burrowed underground, the state agency will allow the new Indian Bridge Elementary School to be built on a 24-acre parcel that lies within St. Mary's River State Park, and the county will give the state two tracts totaling 39 acres.
Thursday & Friday | 15 & 16
Woman Killed as Suspects Flee
Two teenage burglary suspects from the District who were fleeing from a police officer in Charles County crashed their stolen van head-on into another vehicle Wednesday on a road west of La Plata, killing the driver of the other car and one of the suspects. Cynthia L. Chester, 50, of Indian Head died after the suspects' van swerved across the center line and struck her sport utility vehicle. Anthony Wade, 15, of Southeast Washington also died in the crash. The teenagers in the van and four others in another vehicle were fleeing from the scene of a botched home burglary, police said. Charles County authorities said they will charge Alton Lee Peele-Howard, 16, of the District, who was driving the van in the fatal crash, with first-degree murder. Other suspects in the case will also face murder charges, police said. Those arrested are Tavon Spencer, 16, and his brother, Ray Kenneth Spencer, 14, both of Northeast Washington. Two other youths were being sought.
Friday | 16
Democrats Take On DiBiagio
Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Isiah Leggett called for the resignation of U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio after a report that the prosecutor has asked his staff to produce three "front-page" indictments in public corruption or white-collar crime cases by early November. Leggett said DiBiagio, a Republican appointee, had "lost all credibility" and was using his office as "a political weapon." DiBiagio's supporters said his statements simply reflected his long-held passion for combating public corruption.