Frederick County Council Hears Testimony On Proposed Fiscal Year 2025  Budget

Frederick County Council Hears Testimony On Proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

Citizens ask that more than $50-million be restored to the FCPS funding request.

Frederick, Md (KM). About 25 people signed up to speak Tuesday night during a Frederick County Council hearing on the County Executive’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget.  . They were asking that the Council  put back the more than $50-million funding request from the School System which  the County Executive took out of her spending plan..

Dr. Cheryl Dyson, Superintendent of Schools, said there will be consequences if this funding is not restored. “Without additional funding, our Board will likely have to look at reductions in what we offer students, including program offerings and class size,” she said. “We will also not be able to fulfill our interest in securing competitive wages for our employees.”

The School System’s Superintendent of Fiscal Services, Heather Clabuugh, had similar comments. “When schools start  in August, we project welcoming nearly 1250 more students as our total enrollment approaches 49,000,” she said. :”Without additional funding, these students may experience a vastly different educational opportunity than the FCPS class of 2024.”

The budget proposed by County Executive Fitzwater for fiscal year 2025 totals $982 million which is 10.17 percent more than fiscal year 2024, says County Budget Officer Kelly Weaver. The County Executive’s proposed spending plan sets  aside $436.7 million for the Board of Education which is $17.7 million more than the School System’s allocation for fiscal year 2024. But it’s $52.8 million short of what was requested by Superintendent Doctor Dyson.

School Board President Karen Yoho said without that funding, it will be difficult to offer competitive salaries to attract and retain employees for the local school system. “If our budget is not fully funded, we risk becoming less competitive in a county where we have a nationwide teacher shortage. We must ensure that we continue to do all we can to attract the best and brightest employees to work in this great community.”

The Council heard not only from teachers and education officials, they also  from a support employee. Karen Soul works in the School System’s Transportation Department. “We ask that you please reconsider the proposed budget by our Superintendent, and increase funding for FCPS so our staff may receive a true cost of living increase so we can continue doing what we love, and that is shaping young minds in Frederick County,” she said.

Two of the speakers called on members of the Council to show not just by words, but by actions, their support for education. “When you campaigned for election, the majority of you cited making investments in our students and public education as a priority. Now it’s time you show us that you meant it,”: said Missy Dirks, the President of the Frederick County Teachers Association.

Rodney Wade has been teaching for 13 years in Frederick County Public Schools. “I know that education is a priority for you. Prove it by not just running on promises to fund our schools, but by actually funding them. Our children are worth it,” he said.

The County Council is expected to hold workshops on this budget on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 24th, 25th and the 27th.

Property tax rate.

Prior to the hearing, the Council announced it will hold a hearing on the proposed property tax rate for fiscal year 2025. Budget Director Kelly Weaver told the Board the current property tax rate is $1.06 per $100 of assessed value. But the County Executive has  proposed raising it to $1.11 per $100 of assessed value. “Because the proposed fiscal year 2025 real property rate are greater than the current property tax, the county must advertise and hold a public hearing,” she said.

That public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7ths at Winchester Hall beginning at 7:00 PM. Weaver said the Council could vote on the tax rate that night, or hold it at a later date.

County Executive Executive’s proposed fiscal year 2025  tax rate of $1.11 per $100 of assessed value is expected to bring in $21.5 million in additional revenue annually which will be placed in reserve for school construction projects.

By Kevin McManus

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Frederick County To Hold Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off

Frederick County To Hold Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off

It will take place on May 4th.

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County’s Spring Residential Household Hazardous Waste drop off is scheduled for Saturday, May 4th.. Residents can drop off items such as pesticides, herbicides, fluorescent bulbs (compact and tube), lithium- ion batteries, button batteries, solvents and other items at no cost.

The event will take place from 8:00 AM until 12:00 noon at the upper level parking lot at Nyemo Field at Harry Grove Stadium at 21 Stadium Drive in Frederick.

Anyone who’s coming should have an ID showing Frederick County residency, with an understanding of what items they wish to dispose of.

Lines can form during this event, and those who are coming with household hazardous waste should be prepared for potential wait times of longer than ten minutes. No walk-ups will be accepted.

The county says residents should   enter Stadium Drive from New Design Road as  left hand turns into the parking lot are prohibited, and could cause traffic accidents.

For more information on what is and is not accepted, go on line to

By Kevin McManus

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Two Deer At Harpers Ferry Test Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

Two Deer At Harpers Ferry Test Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

The Park Service says this is the first time for CWD at Harpers Ferry.

Harpers Ferrry, WV (Photo from the   National Park Service )

Harpers Ferry, WV (KM) The National Park Service says two deer recently found at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park tested positive for chronic wasting disease. These deer were located in the Jefferson County, West Virginia portion of the Park, and found during recent white-tailed deer reduction operations and disease sampling.

Park Service officials say these two deer are the first at Harpers Ferry to test positive for this disease. Some deer found recently at Antietam and Monocacy National National  Battlefields recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological illness occurring in members of the deer family, including white tail deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It was first discovered in 1967, and has spread rapidly, according to the US Geological Survey.

There is no evidence this disease can infect humans, but the Park Service says venison from these deer should not be eaten. The venison from the two deer which tested positive for chronic wasting disease at Harpers Ferry has been destroyed.

The National Park Service says if visitors to national parks see dead wildlife, avoid contact with the animal and notify a park ranger. Also, visitors should keep their distance from wildlife, and avoid touching or handling dead or sick animals. Some diseased-causing organism, such as rabies, can be passed between wild animals  and humans.

Employees with the Park Service are trained in wildlife health, and use specific safety measures in dealing with a wild animal that died from a disease.

By Kevin McManus

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No Injuries Reported Following House Fire In Frederick

No Injuries Reported Following House Fire In Frederick

(Photo courtesy of Frederick County Fire and Rescue Facebook page)

Frederick, Md. (BW)- A single-family home in Frederick caught fire Monday, Apr 22.

Upon the arrivial of Frederick County Fire and Rescue shortly after 6 a.m., smoke was showing from the garage and the eaves of the home in the 9000 block of Allington Manor Circle.

All occupants were out of the home and no injuries were reported. Red Cross was requested for one adult and five children.

The fire was loctaed in the garage. Smoke damage to the home was identified.

The Fire Marshal is investigating the blaze.

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Police Pursuit In Carroll County Turns Fatal

The individual killed was not involved in the police pursuit.

Eldersburg, Md. (BW)- One person was killed as the result of a police pursuit in Carroll County on Saturday, Apr 20.

At around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, a Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling the area of Liberty Road and Ridge Road, when they noticed a vehicle speeding. The deputy attempted to pull the driver over, but the driver failed to stop.

The driver, only identified as an adult male, fled on the westbound side of Liberty Road, crossed into the eastbound lanes, and struck an SUV head-on near Fallon Road. The driver of the SUV, only identified as an adult female, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger in the SUV and the driver of the speeding vehicle were taken to a local hospital for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

This incident is under investigation by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and Maryland State Police.

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Frederick County Holds Drug Take Back Day This Saturday

Frederick County Holds Drug Take Back Day This Saturday

Residents can safely dispose of unused, expired prescriptions, sharps.

Frederick, Md (KM) Residents have an opportunity this weekend to safely dispose of prescription drugs and sharps. The Frederick County Health Department says Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 27th at the Health Department’s offices at 350 Montevue Lane, and the Maryland State Police Barrack at 119 Airport Drive East in Frederick. It will be held from 10::00 AM until 2:00 PM at both locations.

Local residents can drop off prescription drugs in pill form, prescription patches and pet medicines in pill form only. It will be in a drive through format with Health Department and law enforcement personnel collecting the drugs.

If you’re getting rid of used and unused sharps such as syringes, needles, lancets and auto injectors, please have an appropriate count of how many to be disposed, the Health Department says. Harm Reduction Program staff will be on hand to collect the sharps.

This event is part of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.”

The Health Department says according to a 2021 survey on drug use and health, 14.3 million Americans reported misusing prescription drugs in the past year. This event is an opportunity for residents to prevent dug sharing and overdose deaths through the safe disposal; of these expired, unused and unwanted medications,  the Health Department says.

By Kevin McManus

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MDOT SHA Says Posting Signs On Highway Rights Of Way Is Prohibited

MDOT SHA Says Posting Signs On Highway Rights Of Way Is Prohibited

Officials say it all signs, not just campaign signs.

Baltimore, Md (KM) With the political campaign season well underway, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration reminds citizens it’s illegal under state and federal law to place signs along highway rights of way. That includes medians, shoulders, or existing traffic signs or structures.

Spokesman Charlie Gischlar says this is the time of year signs are popping up everywhere along the roads, particularly signs promoting specific candidates running for office. But it’s not just political signs. “On any given weekend on a state right of way, you can see all kinds for-sale signs, realtors’ signs, and all kinds of signs. We just ask that you don’t put ’em in our right of way which is generally between utility pole and utility pole. if you look at a typical section of road from right to left and across the road,”: he says.

Gischlar says these signs could be a distraction to drivers. ‘If you put a sign in a wrong place, you can actually obstruct someone else’s sight distance, and your create a major. ,major safety hazard,”: he says. “That’s why we reserve our property for regulated traffic control devices.”

Those signs can also interfere with traffic signal operations. “A traffic signal infrastructure which is largely underground. That’s part of an issue there. If you start poking signs in there, you could end up damaging some of our underground infrastructure,” says Gischlar.

The spring is also time of year the MDOT SHA does the mowing of grass in highway rights of ways, and any unauthorized signs  could interfere with grass-cutting operations..  “Before we do a mowing operation, we have to remove them because that become an issue all to itself,” says Gischlar. “We remove them and bring them  to the shop that’s in our area. If it’s in your area, it would be the Frederick shop.”

Those signs will be kept in storage until the owners come and retrieve them.

Gischlar says this law does not apply to private property that  abuts a state highway. He says landowners can put signs on their properties for the motoring public to see if they keep them out of the MDOT SHA rights of way.

By Kevin McManus

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Suspect Arrested Following Assault In Frederick

Suspect Arrested Following Assault In Frederick

Police say two individuals were seriously injured.

Abner Perez-Sandoval  (Photo from Frederick Police Department)

Frederick, Md (KM) Numerous charges have been filed against a man who allegedly assaulted two people last weekend.

Frederick Police say at around 9:00 AM on Sunday, officers responded to the 900 block of West Patrick Street for a domestic violence incident. They found two persons with serious injuries which indicated they had been assaulted. They also found Abner Perez-Sandoval, 19, who was heavily intoxicated.

Further investigation by police revealed that Perez-Sandoval allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, and one person who tried to intervene. Authorities say Perez-Sandoval continued to resist, and assaulted an officer.

He was taken to Frederick Health Hospital for a medical evaluation, and then to the Adult Detention Center where he’s being held without bond.

The charges against Perez-Sandoval are:


CR 3-203- ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE (Victim 1)

CR 3-204(a)(1)- RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT (Victim 1)

AB 6-320(a)(1)- INTOXICATED ENDANGER (Victim 1)


CR 3-203- ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE (Victim 2)

CR 3-204(a)(1)- RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT (Victim 2)

AB 6-320(a)(1)- INTOXICATED ENDANGER (Victim 2)

CR 3-203- ASSAULT-SEC DEGREE (Police Officer)




Frederick Police are urging anyone who is a victim of  domestic violence to go to the City of Frederick’s Victim Services website for help. It’s located at for resources and support.

By Kevin McManus

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Bond Hearing Held For Thurmont Town Commissioner Charged With Sex Abuse Of A Minor

Bond Hearing Held For Thurmont Town Commissioner Charged With Sex Abuse Of A Minor

He was released on personal recognizance.

Thurmont Town Commissioner Robert Lookingbill (Photo from Town of Thurmont Web Site)

Frederick, Md (KM) A bond hearing was held on Monday in Frederick County District Court for a Thurmont Town Commissioner who was arrested last week for the sex abuse of a minor. The State’s Attorney’s Office says Robert Lookingbill., 71, was released on personal recognizance. District Court Judge Earl Bartgis told Lookingbill to have no contact with the victim, and no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18 years of age.

The Sheriff’s Office says last Friday, April 19th, it arrested Lookingbill, who drives a bus for the Public School System, for sex abuse of a minor  for  inappropriately touching a student  on the bus he was operating.  Lookingbill is also charged with 3rd degree sex offense, 4th degree sex offense and 2nd degree assault.

Frederick County Public Schools says it placed Lookingbill  on administrative leave after hearing about this  incident.

By Kevin McManus

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Maryland State Police Investigate Fatal Crash On I-695

One individual was pronounced dead.

Pikesville, Md. (From Maryland State Police) – “Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal motor multi-vehicle crash that occurred this afternoon on the inner loop of Interstate 695 in Baltimore County.

Shortly before 4:30 p.m., troopers from the Maryland State Police Golden Ring Barrack responded to a two-vehicle crash on inner loop Interstate 695 prior to the Jones Falls Expressway. According to a preliminary investigation, a 2023 GMC Savana was traveling on the inner loop when the driver changed lanes and crashed into the rear of a 1989 Ford tow truck.

The driver of the GMC, identified as Anthony Gregory Ward, 36, of Rosedale, Maryland, was declared deceased at the scene by Baltimore County emergency medical services personnel.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.”

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Montgomery County Officials Provide More Details On Teen Charged With Mass Violence Threats

Montgomery County Officials Provide More Details On Teen Charged With Mass Violence Threats

The suspect remains incarcerated without bond.

Alex Ye (Photo from Montgomery County, Md Police)

Rockville, Md (KM) A Rockville teenager remains behind bars in Montgomery County following his arrest on Wednesday for making threats of mass violence at his high school.. Alex Ye, 18, had a bond hearing on Friday afternoon and a judge ruled  the defendant  continue to be held without bond.

Police arrested Ye on Wednesday. He had written a 129-page manifesto outlining how he was going to conduct a mass shooting at Wootton High where he was a student, and at his former elementary school.

During a news conference on Friday before the hearing, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones praised the officers of his department,  as well as the  FBI, the Rockville Police Department, and the County’s Health and Human Services Department for their  actions in this case. “Based on their swift action and cooperation, a potentially catastrophic event was prevented,:” he said.

The chief said the investigation into this case began on  March 3rd when the Rockville Police Department received word about the threat, and it made its way to the FBI and Montgomery County Police.

When investigations are launched by police following word of a threat to a school, particularly when it involves shootings or bombs,  Chief Jones says the investigation is always very thorough. “When we have identified that said student, our officers will make a visit to the family residence, speak with the parents as well as the student to make sure the student is not capable of carrying out said threat,” he says.

The chief said the department has investigated 140 threats against county schools so far this year.

Jones said Ye made inquires on line about shooting ranges in his area, and what, if any, age restrictions are in place for those using those ranges. He also looked for information on AR 15’s.

“It was a concerned witness who brought this matter to light by reporting the suspect’s  manifesto to authorities,” he continues. “This underscores the value of human engagement, and the see something, say something approach.”

That comment was echoed by Bill Debagno, the Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s Field Office in Baltimore. “We are grateful; we are very grateful to the brave witness who came forth with information, and provided it to law enforcement,” he said. “And we encourage the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately. Every potential threat is taken seriously, and when credible, it warrants intense focus.”

Also on hand for the news conference was Brian Hall, the Chief Operating Officer for Montgomery  County Public Schools., who had this message for students  and parents. “I want you  to know that we have supportive resources in our schools for students and school staff who may need to talk through and process this incident,” he said. “Professionals such as our psychologists, social workers and counselors are available for support.”

He also said while Ye was enrolled at Wootton High, he has not been in the school building since the fall of 2022, and has been attending classes remotely.

By Kevin McManus

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Eight Indictments Returned On Friday By Frederick County Grand Jury

Eight Indictments Returned On Friday By Frederick County Grand Jury

These cases now move to the Circuit Court.





Frederick, Md (KM) Eight indictments were returned by the Frederick County Grand Jury on Friday.

In one, Raymond Sterling, 45, of Brunswick, is charged with sex abuse of a minor; two counts of 4th-degree sex offense; and three counts of 3rd -degree assault for incidents which occurred between July 8th and the 23rd of 2023.

The panel also charged Devin Charles Curtis, 23, of Frederick with 2nd-degree assault; 2nd-degree rape; false imprisonment; malicious destruction of property over $1,000; malicious destruction of property of less than $1,000; 2nd-degree malicious burning and three counts of violating pre-trial conditions in a crime of violence for incidents which occurred between March 29th and April 9th, 2024..

Another indictment was handed down to Douglas Brian Chaffman, 44, of Frederick, who is charged with 1st-degree  assault, 2nd-degree assault and reckless endangerment for an incident which occurred on April 2nd of this year.

The Grand Jury also indicted William Cody Corcelius, 34, of Walkersville on charges of 2nd-degree child abuse by a custodian; and 2nd-degree assault for an incident which occurred on March 15th, 2024.

In addition, Anthony David Collins, 30, of Frederick was indicted for 1st-degree assault; 2nd-degree assault; and seven counts of violating pre-trial conditions in a crime of violence for incidents which occurred between March 30th and April 1st, 2024

There was also an indictment against Darrin Dwayne Thompson, 35, of Emmitsburg, who is charged with one count of 1st-degree assault and two counts of 2nd-degree assault for incidents which occurred between March 27th and March 29th, 2024.

The panel also indicted  Darnell Anthony Jackson, 52, of Frederick. He is charged with possession of a rifle with a felony conviction; possession of a firearm with a felony conviction; possession of drugs with a firearm; illegal possession of a regulated firearm; possession of a rifle with a disqualification and illegal possession of ammunition for an incident which occurred on March 37th, 2024.

And finally, an indictment  was  returned by the Grand Jury against Augusto Alejandro Hernandez-Apont, 29, of Frederick. He is charged  with armed robbery; conspiracy to commit armed robbery; 1st-degree assault; conspiracy to commit 1st-degree assault; and 2nd-degree assault for an incident which occurred on April 2nd, 2024.

These indictments move these cases to the Circuit Court where trial dates will be scheduled.

The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office says indictments are charging document alleging criminal conduct, and all defendants are innocent until proven guilty.


By Kevin McManus 

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Thurmont Town Commissioner Arrested For Sex Abuse Of A Minor

Thurmont Town Commissioner Arrested For Sex Abuse Of A Minor

He is currently being held without bond at the Adult Detention Center.

Thurmont Town Commissioner Robert Lookingbill (Photo from Town of Thurmont website)

Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Thurmont Town Commissioner with sex abuse of a minor. Robert Lookingbill, 71, was arrested on Friday. He’s also charged with 2nd-degree assault, and 3rd- and 4th-degree sex offenses.

He is currently being held without bail at the Adult Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office says it was contacted by Child Protective Services contacted on March 28th regarding a complaint about a sexual assault of a minor. It was alleged that Lookingbill inappropriately touched a student who was on a Frederick County School Bus that he was operating.

In a statement, the Sheriff’s Office says it takes the safety and well-being of children “extremely serious,”: and any allegations  such as these are swiftly investigated.

The Frederick County Public School System says it placed Lookingbill on administrative leave once it was made aware of this complaint. He has been driving a bus for the school system since 2015.

By Kevin McManus

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Number Of Animals Testing Positive For Rabies Last Year In Frederick County Is 32

Number Of Animals Testing Positive For Rabies Last Year In Frederick County Is 32

The Health Department says most were wild animals.

Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division says there were 32 animals which tested positive for rabies last year. They consisted of 13 raccoons, 13 skunks, three foxes, one bat, one otter and one horse.

Alicia Evangelista, Program Manager for the Environmental Health Office Community Services Development Review, says  that statistic is close to average in the county. “So we took a look at our last five years, and we average between 23 and 32. So we have totals like 29, 25..   32 was this year’s total. It’s higher than our 29., but it’s close to what we’ve been averaging.”

Evangelista says the locations for these rabid animals is spread throughout the county. “Looking at the map that we have, the rabies is actually spread out throughout the county. There’s no hot spots,” she says. “You have ’em everywhere from Sabillasville up by Mount Airy down to Brunswick and out to Myersville.”

She also says the county isn’t seeing higher numbers in new developments.

Rabies is a viral disease which mainly affects mammals. It’s spread through the saliva of an infected animal, mainly through a bite or a scratch. Evangelista says there are certain characteristics to look out for in wild animals to determine if they are rabid. “One thing you might want to be looking for that people don’t expect for say a raccoon being unusually friendly. They’re more familiar with them being aggressive,” she says.

Raccoons are also nocturnal, and seeing them during the daylight hours is another sign that the animal could be rabid.

Other signs that an animal may have rabies are excessive salivation and limping. If you notice any of these characteristics from animals in your yard, Evangelista says it’s best to get inside, and bring your pets with you. “Exposure is bite or scratch. Rabies is transferred via saliva. So you don’t want any interaction with them at any cost So you want to go in, and take your dog in,” she says.

The Health Department says Rabies is always nearly fatal in humans once symptoms develop. But it can be prevented with appropriate post exposure treatment. If you or anyone you know is bitten or scratched by an animal which may be rabid, you need to call your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible. “Monday through Friday we have nurses that specialize in rabies here at the Health Department and they are able to help guide you as well as your doctor. They will work with your doctor. And they will work with the hospital if needed,” says Evangelista.

The Health Department says make sure your pets are up to date on their rabies shots.

There are a number of places to call to find more about rabies. For testing wildlife for rabies, you can call Frederick County Animal Control at 301-600-1544. To speak with a rabies nurse, call the Frederick County Health Department’s Community Health Services at 391-600-3342. Anyone  who needs general rabies information can call 301-600-1717. And to get information on sick or injured wildlife that has not had exposure to people, pets or livestock, call the US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Office at 1-877-463-6497.

By Kevin McManus

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Former Coach, Carroll County Substitute Teacher Sentenced For Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

Former Coach, Carroll County Substitute Teacher Sentenced For Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

He was given 17 years incarceration in a federal prison.

Baltimore, Md (KM) A former volleyball coach and substitute teacher in the Carroll County Public School System is heading to prison. In US District Court in Baltimore on Tuesday, Thomas Harris Frock, 34, of Taneytown was sentenced to 17 years in a federal penitentiary for sexual exploitation of a child.

The US Attorney’s Office for Maryland says Frock posed as a teenager on social media sites to communicate with children, .and encouraged them to produce and   send  him videos of themselves engaging in sexually explicit activity. In his plea agreement, Frock admitted that between 2021 to May, 2022, he pretended to be a minor and used a variety of alias on social media platforms to communicate with other users, including minors between the ages of nine and 17. On one occasion, Frock distributed a sexually explicit video of a minor boy, and sent images of his own genitalia to minors to get them to do the same.

This case was brought by Operation Safe Childhood, a US Department of Justice initiative to combat the instances of child sexual exploitation and abuse. It was launched in May 2006, and is led by US Attorney’s Offices across the country, as well as the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children ,and to identify and rescue victims,  according to the US Attorney’s Office for Maryland.

By Kevin McManus

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Milken Educator Award Presented To Frederick High Math Teacher

Milken Educator Award Presented To Frederick High Math Teacher

She received the honor during a school assembly on Thursday.

Maggie Arnold (center) being presented with a $25,000 award (Photo from the Frederick County School System)

Frederick, Md (KM) A Frederick High math teacher was honored on Thursday. During an assembly at the school, Maggie Arnold was announced as the recipient of the 2023 Milken Educator Award. She was presented with a $25,000 unrestricted award.

During the assembly, Milken representative Greg Gallagher announced that  Arnold was the winner of this award.

“Teaching is what I was meant to do,” Arnold said, clearly touched band surprised by the announcement, according to a news release from Frederick County Public Schools. Arnold emigrated to the United States as a youth, who found her calling as a math teacher.

The Milken Education Awards were created by philanthropist Lowell Milken in 1987 to honor early and mid-career education professionals for their achievements, and support what they hope to accomplish in the future.

2,992 Milken Educator Awards have been presented over the years.

The first one in Frederick County was presented in 2015 to Yellow Springs Elementary School teacher Maggie Hawk, who was in the audience during Thursday’s announcement.

Arnold is in her fourth year as a math teacher at Frederick High School. . She also advises  the Asian-American Alliance. She is known for being both demanding and encouraging to students, telling them anything is possible if they’re willing to work for it, FCPS  says.

On hand for the presentation were Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools, Doctor Cheryl Dyson, Interim State Superintendent Doctor Carey Wright, and local elected officials.

By Kevin McManus

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Rockville Teenager Charged With Threats Of Mass Violence

Rockville Teenager Charged With Threats Of Mass Violence

These charges are connected with plans for a school shooting.

Alex Ye (photo from Montgomery County Police)

Gaithersburg, Md (KM) Montgomery County Police have charged a Rockville teenager  with threats of mass violence connected with plans for a  shooting at an area school. Andrea Ye , 18, of Rockville—whose preferred name is Alex Ye— was taken into custody on Wednesday, and is currently being held without bond.

Authorities say this arrest follows a joint investigation by Montgomery County Police and the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office. The federal agency notified police in Montgomery County about a 129-page “manifesto” written by Ye where he discusses committing a mass shooting, and strategizes how to carry it out.   Ye also writes about targeting an elementary school, and says he wants to be famous.

That led to a search warrant obtained by Montgomery County Police, followed by internet searches, drawings and documents related to threats of mass violence. .

Due to this investigation, Montgomery County Police worked with the School System to increase security at the schools, .especially Wootton High School where Ye was a student.

Montgomery County Police say a news conference is planned for Friday, April 19th. A date and time will be announced later in a media advisory.

By Kevin McManus

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Montgomery County Police Arrest Suspects In Sex Trafficking Scheme

Montgomery County Police Arrest Suspects In Sex Trafficking Scheme

Chang Liu (left), Yinlian Wu (right)

Kensington, Md. (BW)- Two women have been arrested on prostitution-related charges in a Montgomery County massage parlor

On Wednesday, Mar 6, Montgomery County Police executed a search and seizure warrant at Elegant Spa in the 10500 block of Metropolitan Avenue in Kensington. Officers arrested the owner, 34-year-old Chang Liu of Columbia, and 50-year-old Yinlian Wu of Philadelphia.

Liu was charged with multiple counts of prostitution and sex trafficking. Wu was charged with multiple counts of prostitution, as well as attempted bribery.

During an inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services, Wu tried to bribe an inspector to stop them from shutting down the business.

Police became aware of possible sex trafficking in October of 20-23, which led to the investigation into Elegeant Spa and other massage parlors owned by Liu in Anne Arundel County and the City of Laurel.

Both women were released after posting bond.

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Bill To Protect Election Workers Signed Into Law Last Week

Bill To Protect Election Workers Signed Into Law Last Week

It prohibits individuals from  threatening or harassing election workers.

Annapolis, Md (KM) Election directors, poll workers, election judges and members of local boards of elections in Maryland will have some extra protection during  this campaign season. Last week, Governor Wes Moore signed the Protect Election Workers Act of 2024 into law. it prohibits anyone from “knowingly and willfully” harassing or threatening  election workers or their immediate family members because of the workers’ role in administering elections in the state. The offense is a misdemeanor , and violators  could be facing   imprisonment up to three years, or  fines not to exceed $2,500, or both.

“It’s sad that it is necessary in this day and age,” says Jared DeMarinis, the State Administrator of the Maryland State Board of Elections. “The reaction has been very favorable among elections officials.”

This was an emergency bill which took affect after the Governor signed it into law.

DeMarinis says there have been incidents across the country where election workers have been harassed and threatened  with harm for doing their jobs. “Even in Maryland, we’ve had election judges being boxed, and local boards of elections receiving powdered substances. Luckily, it was never anything of a chemical nature.”

He says this law allows prosecutors to bring charges against those who threaten and harass election workers. “This gives us extra protections in it, and allows the state prosecutor’s office to proceed with criminal sanctions against that individual,” DeMarinis says.

Persons who disrupt activities at polling places can be dealt with by other laws, but DeMarinis says this new legislation covers those offenses which occur away from the polling places. “Harassment now has taken on new forms, and go on not during voting per se,” he says. “But just on the administration and preparation for the election. That’s when the harassment has started.”

On a related topic, DeMarinis says this harassment and threats against election workers had meant that it’s often difficult to find people who will take on these jobs. “You see it too with election judge recruitment where individuals that normally would want to help participate in our democracy and making sure the election goes off have second thoughts about it,” he says.

Maryland’s Primary Election Day is May 14th. Early voting will take place from May 2nd to May 9th.

By Kevin McManus

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Rosano Appointed Director Of Frederick County Emergency Management

Rosano Appointed Director Of Frederick County Emergency Management

He has been serving as acting director since January.

Anthony Rosano, Director of the Frederick County Division of Emergency Management.  (Photo from Frederick County Government)

Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Council on Tuesday approved the appointment of Anthony Rosano as the Director of the County’s Division of Emergency Management effective immediately. The Division includes the Departments of Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Communications.

Rosano has been Acting Director of Emergency Management since January, 2024, following the retirement of Jack Markey.

Rosano has been with county government since 2021, and served as Deputy Director of Emergency Management before being named acting director.

Prior to coming to Frederick County, Rosano worked for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments,  the Howard County Office of Emergency Management and as a  contractor for the US Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. . He has experience in emergency management, public safety and homeland security.  Rosano is a Certified Emergency Manager, according to a news release from Frederick County Government.

“I am pleased to be able to promote Tony to this critical position,” says County Executive Jessica Fitzwater, in a statement. “Tony is experienced in all areas of the division, and I am satisfied that he will be the right person to  lead Frederick County’s to Next Generation 911, and to keep our community safe.”

By Kevin McManus

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