Governor Hogan, County Executive Mohler react to Aberdeen shooting

Crime SceneGovernor Larry Hogan and Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler have weighed in on Thursday’s shooting in the Aberdeen area.

Four people were killed and seven people injured in the shooting, which occurred at a Rite Aid distribution center in the 1500-block of Perryman Road at just after 9 a.m.

According to her social media profile, the suspect, Snochia Moseley, 26, attended Overlea High School and may have lived in Parkville at one time.  Moseley died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

No motive has yet been determined.

Governor Larry Hogan has issued the following statement:

“The First Lady and I are grieving for the loss of life in today’s shooting in Harford County, and praying that those who were injured fully recover. I remain in close contact with Harford County officials and state and local law enforcement as they continue to investigate.

“We are wholeheartedly grateful to the first responders who were at the scene in five minutes, and all medical and law enforcement personnel who are helping in the aftermath of this tragic shooting.”

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County Executive Don Mohler has also issued a statement:

“Once again, a tragic act of gun violence has hit close to home as mass shootings have become the norm. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of such senseless violence, and to their families. But these words have begun to ring hollow as we have had 25 mass shootings in September and more than 150 this year. Enough is enough.

“If as leaders and communities, we don’t demand action, and demand it now, we should be embarrassed. This country is too great, its people too good, to remain in our bunkers stuck with talking points from the right or the left. There is not a “one size fits all” solution to the gun violence epidemic. It is about mental health. And although some may not like it, it is about easy access to guns. Complex issues rarely present binary choices. They are not “either/or.” They are difficult.

“‘Now is not the time’ is a weak excuse to do nothing. Doing nothing at a time when gun violence is terrorizing our communities is nonsense, plain and simple. Now, more than ever, is the time to act.

“We’ve never backed down from challenges in our nation, and we can’t back down now. If we pass this cancer onto the next generation, the blood will be on our hands.”

Twelve schools win Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge

baltimore-county-public-schools-bcpsBaltimore County is a little bit cleaner and greener thanks to the efforts of school children and community members who participated in this year’s Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge.

County Executive Don Mohler, Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White, and Debbie Phelps, Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, announced on Tuesday morning that twelve Baltimore County public schools were winners in this program, which resulted in thousands of volunteers participating in more than three hundred litter clean-ups around the county over the past year.

“We are just delighted with the enthusiastic response we’ve gotten to this program from our students, teachers and groups in the community who take pride in helping to clean up our neighborhoods and keep litter out of our waterways and the environment,” Mohler said.

“The Clean Green 15 Challenge is an effective, real-world way for our students to learn about the environment as they demonstrate pride in their schools and communities,” said BCPS Superintendent Verletta White.

“The Clean Green 15 challenge is a great, hands-on way for students and community members to get involved and make a difference by putting litter in its place,” said Baltimore County Council Chair Julian Jones.

Clean Green 15 Results:

Tons of Litter Collected, Thousands of Grant Dollars Distributed to Schools

The 2018 program resulted in 338 clean-ups conducted by 5,057 volunteers who picked up 3,471 bags of litter and debris. This is a 29% increase in volunteers over last year!

In addition to litter, Clean Green 15 volunteers collected many tons of bulk trash items from parks, stream banks, schoolyards and other locations around Baltimore County. Clean-ups included schoolchildren as well as community-based volunteer activity.

Through the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge, the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools awarded grants to the top winning schools to fund school-based instructional projects emphasizing the theme of environmental literacy.  Examples could include installing a reading garden or rain garden, planting trees, diverting downspouts, or environmental education projects. Six schools won Honorable Mention awards and received technology prizes.

Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge 

Winning Schools—2018

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AwardPrizeSchool
Grand Prize—Volunteers$3,000 grantReisterstown Elementary School
Grand Prize—Weight$3,000 grantGeneral John Stricker Middle School
Elementary Schools Prize$1,500 grantChesapeake Terrace Elementary School
Middle Schools Prize$1,500 grantParkville Middle School and Center for Technology
High Schools Prize$1,500 grantDulaney High School
Special Schools Prize$1,500 grantBattle Monument School
Honorable MentioniPadBear Creek Elementary School
Honorable MentioniPadEdgemere Elementary School
Honorable MentioniPadLansdowne High School
Honorable MentioniPadMilbrook Elementary School
Honorable MentioniPadPerry Hall Middle School
Honorable MentioniPadStoneleigh Elementary School

2018 Sponsors:

BGE, Comcast, Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability

Winners of Baltimore County’s Clean Green 15 anti-litter initiative to be announced at Parkville Middle

Parkville Middle SchoolBaltimore County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Verletta White and Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler will announce the 12 winning schools of the annual “Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge.”

The announcement will be made at Parkville Middle School on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

The top performing schools will be awarded grants to create environmental projects. This year, the litter challenge involved more than 5,000 volunteers who participated in 338 clean-ups throughout Baltimore County, resulting in the removal of tons of trash from school and community properties. The anti-litter initiative encouraged BCPS schools and community organizations to conduct litter clean-ups and anti-littering outreach this past year.

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Debbie Phelps, executive director of The Education Foundation of BCPS, will serve as the program emcee.

Through the initiative, participating groups registered their “Clean Green” events on the BCPS website and designated which BCPS school would receive credit for their efforts. Environmental literacy grants from The Education Foundation of BCPS are awarded to schools based on the clean-up activity credited to winning schools as well as other anti-litter education and outreach efforts.

Grants are to be used for school-based instruction that emphasizes the theme of environmental literacy. Sponsors include BGE, The Education Foundation of BCPS, the Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, and BCPS.

Parkville Middle School is located at 8711 Avondale Road in Parkville (21234).

 

Officials preparing for potential localized flooding from Hurricane Florence

Hurricane FlorenceAlthough the current projected track of Hurricane Florence would appear to take the storm south of the Baltimore area, County Executive Don Mohler and his top public safety and public health team gathered at Bowleys Quarters Volunteer Fire Rescue and Marine this morning to advise residents to stay alert to possible changes and prepare in case of localized coastal and inland flooding or power outages from downed trees.

The storm is expected to stall and produce heavy rains, which could lead to some inland and coastal flooding throughout the south and possibly in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“The Memorial Day weekend flooding in Catonsville, Ellicott City, Oella and Turner Station was an unwelcome reminder of our vulnerability, and that it doesn’t take a direct hit from a hurricane to ruin homes and businesses and cause prolonged power outages and possible loss of life,” Mohler said.

Mohler reminded residents to monitor Baltimore County’s social media channels for storm-related updates.

“Providing accurate, timely information to our citizens during an emergency is a top priority for us,” he said. “During storms and other emergencies, we push out frequent updates via Twitter and on our Baltimore County Fire Department Facebook page.”

Baltimore County emergency managers will continue to receive regular updates throughout this weather event and will provide updates on social media as needed.

“Living in eastern Baltimore County and along the waterfront myself, I am particularly grateful to all of our career and volunteer fire service, police officers and public works staff who stand ready to jump into action if necessary to protect people if this storm should cause problems,” said Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.

Fire and Public Works Crews are Prepared and Ready to Respond

The Baltimore County Fire Department and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will continue to monitor the storm and will be prepared to respond if needed.

The Baltimore County Department of Public Works (DPW) has placed special emphasis this week on checking their equipment and clearing storm drain inlets to help reduce flooding potential. DPW warns that the saturated ground from recent rainy weather means that trees can be vulnerable to toppling from lighter winds than usual. County tree crews and contractors are ready to clear trees that may fall into roadways and the public right of way.

DPW asks residents to help by reporting any problems that may occur including blocked inlets and downed trees to the Bureau of Highways using the BaltCoGo mobile app. The app is offered free of charge to Android and iPhone users and may be downloaded from their respective app stores. Residents may also call the Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560.

Emergency Management, MDOT prepare for Hurricane Florence

Hurricane FlorenceBaltimore County Emergency Management officials are preparing for Hurricane Florence to bring heavy rains and serious inland and/or coastal flooding to the Baltimore area.

The potential for flooding and for trees to topple and bring down power lines is greater because the ground is already saturated from months of above-average rainfall. Residents should prepare now to get along for seven days without power, said Baltimore County Fire Department Division Chief Jay Ringgold, who oversees the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“This is a serious, potentially catastrophic storm,” Ringgold said. “Don’t wait until the last minute to buy supplies and think about how you will get along if the worst happens and power goes out for an extended period. Take steps today to prepare.”

Latest from NWS

Local emergency management officials participated Tuesday morning in the National Weather Service’s telephone update on the Florence forecast.

Here is the latest from the NWS:

  • Forecasters are increasingly confident that Florence – now a Category 4 storm – will make landfall in the Carolinas, probably late Thursday. The storm is expected to be at least a Category 3 at landfall, with significant storm surge.
  • Forecasters are less certain where the storm will track and how fast it will move once it moves inland. As of Tuesday morning, forecasters expect the Baltimore area to feel the first effects from the storm late on Thursday. The NWS believes the storm will stall, dumping heavy rains. The storm’s wind speeds, once it moves inland, are difficult to predict.  The amount of wind depends on where and how quickly (or slowly) it moves.
  • Because the storm is expected to stall and produce heavy rains, inland and coastal flooding are major threats throughout the south and the Mid-Atlantic. In some areas, flooding could be historic and catastrophic.
  • The emergency situation from Hurricane Florence is exacerbated because the ground is already saturated. Trees are expected to fall, especially in areas that experience heavy wind, causing power outages and posing at threat to life and property.

Baltimore County emergency managers will continue to receive regular updates throughout this weather event.

How to Prepare

Officials say every household should prepare for this weather emergency as soon as possible.

“The exact track of a hurricane is difficult to predict the exact track of a hurricane, and we could very well find ourselves affected by dangerous flooding and strong winds later this week,” said County Executive Don Mohler. “It is imperative for each of us to think ahead and prepare to provide for the needs of our loved ones, especially the elderly, children and pets.”

Residents should consider how they will manage if the power goes out for an extended period.

Steps to take now:

  • Locate and purchase supplies. Residents need non-perishable food, a manual can opener, medications, supplies for infants and vulnerable adults, pet supplies, flashlights/batteries and a battery-powered radio.
  • Buy or store extra water – at least a gallon per person, per day, plus extra for pets.
  • Fully charge all of your electronic devices. If power goes out, use them sparingly to make them last as long as possible.
  • Get cash. ATMs will not work during a power outage, so visit one now.
  • Secure boats and outdoor furniture.
  • Plan where you will evacuate if you live in a flood-prone area and need to move to higher ground.
  • Assist vulnerable family, neighbors with storm preparations. This is critical; many vulnerable people, including older people cannot prepare by themselves.

The Baltimore County Fire Department and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management have been monitoring this storm for days and preparing for a “worst-case scenario” response. These preparations include:

  • Inspecting swift-water and high-water rescue equipment; pumps and other apparatus.
  • Reviewing staffing and operational plans.
  • Preparing  to open and staff the Emergency Operations Center, in case this becomes an emergency requiring a coordinated, multi-agency response.
  • Contacting our mutual aid partners in case we need additional resources.
  • Regular updates with National Weather Service regarding the forecast.

Maryland Department of Transportation

As Hurricane Florence moves closer to the east coast, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is deploying maintenance forces throughout the state to begin preparations for the storm and its impacts. MDOT SHA crews will inspect, clean and clear storm water ditches, drains and inlets to ensure adequate drainage.

Crews from MDOT SHA maintenance facilities are also evaluating all emergency response equipment such as high water signs, chain saws, chippers, loaders and grading trucks. Additionally, crews are ensuring that all generators are fully topped off and functional in case of power outages. Generators will keep maintenance shop operational, especially the fuel pumps, to keep crews in continual response mode.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor the weather conditions, and if possible, avoid driving in any hazardous conditions.

“This is a major storm system, and it will likely cause significant damage and disruption to the state highway system,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. “Maryland has received above-normal rainfall throughout summer and the ground is saturated so additional rain is likely to run-off rapidly.”

Motorists are reminded to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” A majority of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Two feet of rapidly moving water can float a bus and six inches is capable of knocking a person off their feet. Other advice includes:

• Avoid downed or damaged power and transmission lines as these could still be live;
• Be cognizant of fallen trees or tree limbs; and
• Remain alert for wild animals, such as deer, that may flee dangerous areas and cross roadways.

In additional to high-water, the approaching storm could result in scattered power outages. MDOT SHA reminds motorists that if you encounter an intersection where traffic signals are without power, treat all directions of the intersection as a four-way stop.

SHA also advises motorists to stay aware of the forecast and, should heavy rain and high wind begin to affect the area, curtail travel as much as possible.