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96 vases stolen from Waldorf cemetery

WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) -- 96 bronze vases were stolen from a cemetery in Waldorf, according to the Charles County Sheriff's office.

The vases were stolen from the Trinity Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Mattawoman Beantown Road sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the sheriff's office.

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Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Fall is a time when millions of people around the country begin to make their travel plans. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the busiest travel times of the year are just around the corner, which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. There are some great reasons why packing light will help make your trip easier and more enjoyable. And the good news is that it’s not difficult to do, either.

“If you want to pack right when you travel then you really need to focus on packing light,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of Savvy Travelers. “There’s much less hassle and stress when you pack light and stick to the basics. You can put your focus on your travel, rather than having all of your attention go to dragging around way too much luggage.”

Here are some Savvy Travelers tips for packing light and right for fall and holiday air travel:

Three injured after school bus accident in Charles County

LA PLATA, Md. (WUSA9) -- At least three people were injured Monday after an accident involving a school bus in La Plata, Md.

According to the Charles County Sheriff's Office, a pickup truck was traveling on Hawthorne Road near Mitchell Road at around 3:50 p.m. The driver lost control and struck a vehicle, which struck a school bus, which then struck another vehicle.

Four students and two adults were on board the bus at the time of the accident. The students had no obvious signs of injuries but were transported to a hospital as a precaution. The two adults were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the pickup truck that started the accident was medevaced with a head injury, the sheriff's office said. His status is unknown.

Hawthrone Road was closed between Adams Road and Bibury Lane while police investigated the accident.    

FOUND: 78-year-old Charles County man

A 78-year-old Charles County man was found after he was reported missing Monday morning.

According to the Charles County Sheriff's Office, Ernest Courtland Freeman Jr. went missing from his home on Annabelle Drive in Swan Point, Md. at around 11:00 a.m.


The sheriff's office announced he was found safe at 9:30 p.m. at the Dahlgren Naval Base. The officer on duty at the front gate realized Freeman was lost and discovered he was missing.

Freeman is being reunited with his family. 

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Charles Co. Sheriff launches community policing training

WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) -- It's rare for police training to come out of the academy classroom or off the firing range.

But on Friday, Charles County command officers for the first time were put in a banquet hall with members of the public to be trained face to face with community members.

"We are trying to learn from national incidents," Sheriff Troy Berry, the first African-American elected sheriff in the county's 356-year history, said. 

The training included members of the local NAACP chapter who expressed fears about traffic stops and other routine interactions with officers spiraling out of control.

"People are afraid of getting shot," Benjamin Watkins, a local pastor, said.

Berry hopes to expand the training sessions to include all rank and file officers.

Md. K9 officer saves baby

WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) -- A baby girl just 17 days old is alive thanks to the quick action of a Charles County K9 officer, according to sheriff's office authorities.

On July 31, 10-day-old Baby Dana was not breathing at her home in Waldorf and her mom called 911 for help. Authorities say public safety dispatcher Kelly Wilson gave the mother first aid instructions, which the mother relayed to a relative trying to help Dana.

At that time, K9 officer PFC Darin Behm was driving in the area and saw the call on his in-car computer screen. He went to the home.  PFC Behm found a woman trying to help the baby breathe in an upstairs bedroom. He noticed the baby's face was red and she was in distress. 

Man charged with attempted murder of parents

WALDORF, Md. (WUSA9) -- A young man is charged with attempted murder stemming from an attack on his parents, say Charles County authorities.

Officers were called to Council Oak Drive in Waldorf Wednesday night for the report of an injured person. When officers arrived shortly after 7:20 p.m. they found a man and woman with serious injuries, say Charles County sheriff's office authorities.

Further investigation revealed that the couple's son, 19-year-old Brandon Arthur Swinson, assaulted them, and then fled. Authorities don't know what sparked the attack.

Swinson's parents were flown to an area hospital. They are expected to recover, say authorities.

Swinson was arrested the next morning. He is charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and violating a protective order.