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Juvenile drug courts in St. Mary’s and Charles counties got another tool this month in their efforts to put adolescent offenders back on the right path, through training in a Seven Challenges Program designed to treat behavioral problems.

The program funded through a U.S. Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grant encourages the teenagers to talk honestly about themselves and their use of alcohol and other drugs, look at what they like about drugs and why they are using them, look at the impact of drugs on their lives, look at their responsibility and the responsibility of others for their problems, think about where their lives are headed, make thoughtful decisions about their lives and the use of drugs and follow through on those decisions.

Pete Cucinotta, drug court coordinator for St. Mary’s Circuit Court, said after an overview presentation last week at Walden’s Anchor treatment center in Charlotte Hall that the Seven Challenges involved three days of training for the drug court members who will be applying that approach with the teenagers.

“It’s a behavioral modification program designed for adolescents,” Cucinotta said Friday. “It’s a different approach. It’s to meet the adolescents where they are, to get them to be at least honest about their decision making ... and why they continue those behaviors.”

The conversations include discussing what the teenagers are willing to do differently, he said, and how they can better pursue specific goals in their lives without using drugs.

“Hopefully,” Cucinotta said, “they’ll make decisions that will do them less harm.”

For more information, go online to

Local plays continue tonight in Leonardtown

The Performing Arts Club at the College of Southern Maryland’s Leonardtown campus will continue presenting Southern Maryland Originals 2012, a collection of one-act plays by six local authors with additional music and spoken-word performances, at 7:30 p.m. today, Friday, at the college’s Building A auditorium. Shows will continue at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. For more information, send email to

See ‘laughing’ plays this weekend

“Laughing at Life: A Performance of Kyôgen Plays” will conclude this weekend, with shows at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday, in Bruce Davis Theater at Montgomery Hall of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Holly A. Blumner, an Asian performance specialist and professor of theater, presents the series of new Japanese comedies in translation, in both traditional and contemporary stagings. Meaning “mad words” or “wild speech,” kyôgen is a form of traditional Japanese comic theater performed as a kind of intermission between the acts of more serious and somber dramas. To reserve tickets, call the theater box office at 240-895-4243, ext. 4243, or send email to

Craft show planned for Sunday

The ladies auxiliary of the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department and the Hollywood Volunteer Rescue Squad Auxiliary are sponsoring a craft show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 18, at the firehouse social hall. For more information, call 301-373-2221.

Crafters, vendors sought for Nov. 25 bazaar

The Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary is hosting its annual holiday craft bazaar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, offering a chance to start Christmas shopping with an array of crafters and vendors. Bring children to get their picture taken with Santa Claus, and there will be tickets for a chance to win a handmade Amish quilt. Crafters and vendors may reserve a table by calling 301-884-4519.

Play bingo Nov. 29 in Mechanicsville

A Christmas basket bingo to benefit the Mechanicsville Volunteer Squad will be held on Nov. 29 at the Mechanicsville firehouse, where the doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the games will begin 90 minutes later. For reservations, call Joyce Downs at 301-884-8829 or 301-481-0906.

Action committee seeks volunteers

Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee Inc. is recruiting members for its volunteer board of directors, with backgrounds in finance or banking, early childhood education, economic development and community advocacy. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to provide services for eligible citizens that alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty, promote upward mobility and enrich the quality of life. Private businesses, organizations or individuals interested in being considered for membership should submit a letter of interest and resume by Dec. 31 to Board Selection and Credential Committee, SMTCCAC, Inc., P.O. Box 280, Hughesville, MD 20637. For more information, call 301-274-4474, ext. 253.

Sotterley to host holiday events on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood will host a Holiday Candlelight program titled “From This Day Forward,” beginning with a member’s night performance on Thursday, Nov. 29, and open to the general public from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the 1703 Plantation House. Live musical performances will be presented by local high school choral groups, and complimentary cookies and punch will be available, in the historic barn prior to reserved performance times. Advance reservations are required, and tickets may be purchased online at

Farm better with Facebook

A digital toolbox workshop for Southern Maryland's farms and other agricultural producers, designed to help them direct market their products and services to consumers, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Calvert County Economic Development at 205 Main St. in Prince Frederick.

Topics will include an introduction to the basics of popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, tips on how to list a business on digital databases such as Google Maps, and information on how to capitalize on the hardware and digital tools available through the internet.

Register online by Nov. 30 for the program presented by University of Maryland Extension, in partnership with the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission. For more information about the workshop, send email to or

Buy Christmas crafts on Dec. 8

The Golden Beach-Patuxent Knolls Civic Association will hold its annual Christmas bazaar and craft show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Golden Beach firehouse located at 29848 Therese Circle off Golden Beach Road. Children can have their picture taken with Santa Claus, who will arrive at 11 a.m. There will be more than 25 vendors, door prizes, baked goods and food for sale. Bring a nonperishable food item or a new unwrapped gift to donate to needy families in the area. Vendors can preregister for a table by calling Kathy Owens at 301-884-8432.

Sotterley plans family Christmas event

Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood will host a Family Plantation Christmas event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, that will include Santa Claus taking gift wishes, Mrs. Claus selling treats from her kitchen and horses pulling carriages of visitors. Sing along with carolers, make holiday crafts and visit the Sotterley Museum Shop to find holiday gifts while the children are buying presents at Santa’s Secret Shop. Purchase seasonal greens and hand-crafted items from Sotterley’s Garden Guild. Patuxent Voices, a women’s a capella group, will perform Christmas favorites from many historical periods. For more information, call 301-373-2280 or 800-681-0850.

Make ends meet marketing meat

A free marketing workshop for Southern Maryland's farm-raised meats producers, for all species including poultry, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10, at the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s auditorium, at 15045 Burnt Store Road in Hughesville. Explore the key elements for successful meat marketing, including understanding and navigating regulations, marketing and packaging tips, and finding customers. The workshop is sponsored by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, in partnership with University of Maryland Extension. Register by Dec. 6 by sending email to, or call the commission at 301-274-1922, ext. 1.

Take ‘green card’ class on Dec. 11

The St. Mary’s Soil Conservation District will sponsor a Responsible Personnel Certification for Erosion and Sediment Control “Green Card” Class to be held at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the St. Mary’s Agricultural Service Center Conference Room, at Suite C 26737 Radio Station Way in Leonardtown.

State law requires that any responsible personnel involved in grading or other soil-disturbing activities be knowledgeable about erosion and sediment control principles, specifications and implementation, as well as have a certificate of attendance at a Maryland Department of the Environment-approved training program. The registration deadline is Thursday, Dec.6.

For more information or to register for the class, call Haley Carter at 301-475-8402, ext. 3, or send email to

Cedar Lane holding $10,000 raffle

An annual raffle to benefit the Cedar Lane Senior Living Community offers a chance to win $10,000, through one of no more than 500 tickets to be sold. The drawing will be held on Dec. 14, and proceeds from this year’s raffle will help renovate the resident dining room at the nonprofit residential facility in Leonardtown. To buy one or more of the $100 tickets, or to get more information, go online to