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1,000 plus cited for distracted driving in Frederick Co

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- More than 1,000 traffic citations were issued between March 1 and April 30 in connection with the Distracted Driving Initiative throughout Frederick County, officials said.

The initiative focused on drivers who were using hand held cell phones to talk or text. First time offenses received an $83 fine, $140 for a second offense and $160 fine for any offenses after that, Frederick County Sheriff's Office said.

During the initiative educational efforts were made and law enforcement officers passed out distracted driving awareness pamphlets during traffic stops. Banners ad mobile message boards were displayed in the county, officials added.

A total of 1,271 traffic citations, 170 warnings and 4,123 brochures were issued.

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Suspects steal eye glasses from Md. Pearle Vision store

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- Two suspects who pretended to make an appointment at the Pearle Vision store in Frederick and then stole several pairs of eye glasses are being sought, Frederick County sheriff';s office said.

The theft happened at the Pearle Vision located on Buckeystown Pike in Frederick around noon on May 12.

The older suspect set up an appointment, while the younger suspect stole several pairs of eye glasses, officials said. Both of the suspects then left the store and the Francis Scott Key Mall. They were seen getting into a blue Mercedes-Benz van.

13-year-old arrested for vehicle theft in Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 13-year-old boy was arrested for stealing a ranch vehicle from a staff member Wednesday in Frederick, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., police say deputies were called to the Maryland Sheriff's Youth Ranch, which is located in the 7900 block of Fingerboard Road, for the report of a vehicle theft.

Police say a 13-year-old resident of the ranch stole a passenger vehicle from a staff member. Deputies located the vehicle traveling on Maryland Route 355 near Spectrum Drive. After deputies attempted to make a traffic stop, police say the vehicle continued onto Interstate 70.

The pursuit continued into Howard County where police say the vehicle was stopped after the deployment of Stop Sticks on Interstate 70.

Md. man accused of using 13-year-old son as designated driver

A Frederick County man was arrested Friday after he made his 13-year-old son drive him because he was too drunk to do so himself, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday, a corporal with the sheriff's office pulled over a car matching a description for an earlier report about a highly intoxicated man leaving a business with a juvenile male in the vehicle.

Michael McLaughlin, 44, of Monrovia, Md. was identified as the front seat passenger of the vehicle and appeared highly intoxicated. The driver of the vehicle was identified as McLaughlin's 13-year-old son.

An investigation found that McLaughlin made his son drive the vehicle because he was too drunk to drive himself.

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Ethical questions divide Frederick County

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- Sixty percent of the Frederick County ethics board resigned this week over the issue of whether elected officials should be able to bid on local government contracts.

WUSA9's Stephanie Ramirez reported that county executives will not allow it.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said it is an executive order that will ensure open and honest government.

"I am responsible for signing contracts and making sure we have a fair and impartial procurement process," said Gardner.

An executive order announced Tuesday will prohibit a county council member or county executive from bidding on contracts or entering into business with the county. Something an ethics committee recently determined was acceptable.


MISSING: 19-year-old man from Frederick

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 19-year-old man from Frederick who was last seen on April 2 is being sought, Frederick police said.

Police are searching for Geovanni Torres-Mejia, 19, who was last seen in the area of Elmwood Terrace. Police received the report of him being missing on April 7.

Torres-Mejia is described as a Hispanic man, with brown eyes and a black "crew cut" hair. He has gold capped teeth, a goatee and was last seen wearing the shirt in the picture.

The Frederick Police Department is requesting anyone with information into the whereabouts of Torres-Mejia to contact the Frederick Police Department at 301-600-2102. Anonymous information may be given by contacting the Frederick Police Department Crime Tip Line at 301-600-TIPS. (8477) The lead investigator for this case, Det. Renninger, can be reached at 301-600-1272.

Teen sets Frederick Co school bus on fire

MYERSVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 17-year-old was arrested for setting a Frederick County Public School bus on fire in Myersville, Md. on Saturday morning.

The male was arrested on charges of second degree arson, malicious destruction of property, and destruction of property, Frederick County Sheriff's Office said.

Crews responded to 301 Main St. Myersville around 5 a.m. for the report of a bus fire. The investigation shows that the bus was parked at the fire company and had been set on fire. A second bus was damaged from the heat exposure, officials said.

The teenager fled on foot but was then later found. He was arrested without any issues and taken to the Law Enforcement Center where he was released to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.