Automotive Courses

Automotive expert Pat Goss will present a series of evening classes at the College of Southern Maryland, La Plata campus, designed for a range of students, from the mechanically challenged to master mechanics. Classes start next Thursday.

Goss is "mechanic in residence" on the PBS television show "Motorweek" and host of the locally aired radio and television show, "Goss' Garage." He also will be a guest at the La Plata Campus Road Ready Road-E-O on Sept. 23.

The classes he will teach are:

* Maintenance Seminar for Car Owners and Mechanics, next Thursday-Sept. 30. This class provides an opportunity to learn what maintenance is required on today's vehicles, the correct products to use and the questions car owners should ask their mechanics to ensure they have the knowledge and equipment to properly service their vehicles. Participants will also receive information on how to service their vehicles. Cost is $42.

* Advanced Auto Maintenance Seminar, Oct. 7-28, is for those who know the basics of auto mechanics. Participants will receive advanced information on how to maintain today's vehicles, learn how to diagnose problems and learn about the economics of routine maintenance. Cost is $42.

* Automotive Service Customer Relations, Dec. 2-16, is for auto repair professionals. During this class, Goss will discuss communications between repair facility staff and customers, recommend listening techniques to interpret what a customer is seeking as a product or service, and give tips on how to constructively present information that customers may not want to hear. The cost is $115.

* Auto Care for Women will be offered Nov. 4-18. Participants will receive information on all levels of automotive care, maintenance and repair to become informed consumers. They will learn how not to be intimidated when discussing automotive problems, services and costs with mechanics. Cost is $46.

For registration information, visit www.csmd.edu or call 301-934-7525, 301-870-3008 or 884-8131, Ext. 7525.

Evening High School

The St. Mary's County public schools evening high school program will begin classes for the first semester of the 2004-05 school year Sept. 15.

Registration for the first semester is scheduled from 3:45 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and next Thursday in the evening high school office in Area F of Leonardtown High School. St. Mary's County students younger than 21 must pay a nonrefundable $35 registration fee plus $15 per course. The fee for St. Mary's County residents older than 21 is $50 plus $25 for each course, and for nonresidents of St. Mary's County, the fee is $75 plus $25 for each course.

Classes will meet 3:45-5:40 p.m. or 3:45-7:40 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays or onTuesdays and Thursdays at Leonardtown High School. Students may register for up to four classes per semester.

Students should meet with their high school guidance counselors before registration. Enrollment numbers for some courses will determine whether or not the course is offered.

Recycling Center Closing

The last day of operation for the 24-hour drop-off site for used motor oil, antifreeze and recyclables at Jude House on Route 301 in Bel Alton will be Sept. 11, Charles County officials said.

Residents may take their recyclable items to the recycling centers at Breeze Farm, off Route 254 in Cobb Island, or Gilbert Run Park, off Route 6 in Dentsville. Operating hours for these facilities are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Other recycling locations are the Charles County Sanitary Landfill, 12305 Billingsley Rd., Waldorf, and the Pisgah Recycling Center, Route 425, Pisgah. Operating hours for these facilities are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

For more information about recycling programs in Charles County, call the Department of Public Facilities at 301-932-3599.

Volunteers Needed

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program of Southern Maryland will hold volunteer training sessions this month and next for area residents interested in serving as advocates for children involved in abuse and neglect cases in the Charles County courts.

During the training, volunteers learn about the juvenile court process, its laws, social service, child development and the special needs of abused and neglected children. Volunteers who complete the 32-hour training course are eligible to be appointed advocates by a juvenile judge.

Each advocate assesses the needs of an individual child through interaction with the child's social workers, lawyers, teachers, doctors, foster parents and others. The advocate reports findings to the court and makes recommendations on the placement and services needed for the child. Advocates spend about 10 hours a month performing their duties.

Times and dates for the seven-part training session are: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 25 and Oct. 5 and 6-9 p.m. Sept. 27 and 30 and Oct. 7, 13 and 15. The deadline for applying is Sept. 17. For more information, contact Stefanie Myers at 301-609-9887 or e-mail smyers@center-for-children.org.

Hazardous Waste

The next household hazardous waste collection day for Charles County is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the landfill on Billingsley Road East in Waldorf between Piney Church Road and Route 5.

The materials should be kept in their original containers whenever possible.

For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Facilities at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778 or the landfill information service at 301-932-5656.