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Cops and civilians share information over coffee [South Laurel/Montpeilier]

On Thursday, March 1, representatives of PGPS District VI held their monthly Coffee and Cops for Seniors gathering at the Laurel/Beltsville Senior Center. Among the topics discussed were the important issues of domestic violence and human trafficking. The presenters suggested that a victim concerned about his/her situation can call the Information Resource Line in Maryland by dialing 211. Of course, if the individual is in immediate danger, the person calls 911. Domestic violence affects approximately one million individuals per year in the US. and 85 percent of the victims are women. Despite declarations of remorse and promises to stop the violent behavior, abusers rarely stop. In fact, the abuse almost always gets worse. Staff from the Department of Family Services Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking provides lists of resources and assistance. Their office can be reached at 301-265-8432 for general information and referrals.

Another topic discussed at the Coffee and Cops session this month was Homeowner and Community Code Enforcement. A representative of the Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) reviewed the department’s goal of enhancing the quality of life and aesthetic values. This involves ensuring that residents maintain their property and that those properties abandoned or in serious disrepair are dealt with properly. Residents are asked to report to DPIE any homes or buildings which exhibit such things as loose or rotting materials, broken windows or build up of weeds, trash, litter and/or debris. Items such as old appliances, mattresses, building materials or disassembled auto parts should not be stored in yards. We can all take a role in preserving the appearance of our neighborhoods by reporting questionable situations on the web at: countyclick.princegeorgescountymd.gov or by dialing 311. The reports may be anonymous, with specific information about the perceived issue.

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It is beginning to look like spring may finally be on the way. Get ready to celebrate the season by attending the Spring Fling Dance at the Laurel/Beltsville Senior Activity Center on Friday, March 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. The fee for the dance, which includes light refreshments, is $5 for residents, $7 for nonresidents. Register through ParksDirect code 26506-264A.

Also on March 23, Vansville Elementary School PTA is hosting a Bingo Night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the games begin at 7 p.m. Get your “lucky chips” ready and enjoy this fundraising fun time. A traditional welcome to the open air/outdoor seasons takes place at the 22nd Annual Montpelier Festival of Herbs, Tea and the Arts. Peruse the vendor offerings of herbs, flowers, arts and crafts and jewelry. Enjoy lectures and workshops on gardening and herbs. Sip delicious teas in the Mansion. The festival takes place on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mansion grounds. For further information, see pgparks.com.

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Savior Lutheran Church, 13611 Laurel-Bowie Road, will be hosting a community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31, from 10 to 11 a.m. for preschool through fifth grade children and their parents. A special story time will be followed by age-separated easter-egg hunts. All are welcome!

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