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Raskin Rally Against GOP Tax Plan


Raskin Rally Against GOP Tax Plan
American Gold Star Mothers shine light on Military Suicide
Maryland Democratic Chair discusses the party and strategies
Takoma Park voted in a new city council

Montgomery County in Pictures

Local News

Police investigating two reports of shot…

17-11-2017 Hits:553 Local Glynis Kazanjian - avatar Glynis Kazanjian

New Life Seventh day Adventist Church Photo by Glynis KazanjianPolice are investigating two reports of shots fired at a Gaithersburg church which occurred this week. A parishioner from the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church at 7401 Muncaster Mill Road notified police Wednesday evening about a bullet hole he found in a window frame at the building’s front entrance. Police responded to the scene and recovered a bullet fragment from the frame. Montgomery County Police officers from the Sixth District station responded to a second call at the same location on Thursday at 11:13 p.m. about multiple gunshots heard outside the church. Police said gunfire damage occurred again at the front and also along the sides of the church; several shell casings were recovered on Muncaster Mill Road. Police cannot yet confirm the total number of fired shots or from where the shots originated.

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Remembering veterans in a Rockville cere…

17-11-2017 Hits:202 Local Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton celebrates Veterans Day at the Rockville American Legion. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  American veterans “show and demonstrate there truly is good in our communities,” and to look at those who serve, said Marine Corps veteran Cpl. Enrique Mazon Jr. on Saturday during a Veterans’ Day ceremony at American Legion Post 86 in Rockville, and asked those gathered there to “look at the people who serve” rather than those in the news who demonstrate “divisiveness, a lack of civility and kindness.” Mazon and his three brothers – all natives of Las Vegas, Nev. – have all served or are currently serving in the military, and have been involved in a combined total of six combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Rockville resident and married father of two praised his parents for showing their children that, “It’s not about us. It’s not about being entitled. It’s about the love. It’s about the duty and the selflessness” of being an American. It’s important to realize that many who have served in this country’s military are now teachers, doctors, police officers and elected officials. They continue to serve “all with the same duty and dedication” they had while in the military, he...

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Rice says debt, school capacity problems…

17-11-2017 Hits:311 Local Kathleen Stubbs - avatar Kathleen Stubbs

GAITHERSBURG – County residents say they are concerned about capital budget projects, such as the aging Poolesville High School never being refreshed and the security of temporary classrooms near elementary schools. On Monday, County Council Education Committee chairperson Craig Rice (District 2) told residents that the Purple Line – the light-rail service to connect Montgomery and Prince George’s counties—as well as the Council’s new spending affordability guidelines and County debt are chipping away at the money County will permit to be spent on school building costs and capital projects for schools in the FY 2019-2024 Capital Improvements Plan.

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State News

Affordable healthcare enrollment up thro…

10-11-2017 Hits:2220 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

New enrollment in the state healthcare exchange is up 15 percent according to numbers from state officials. On Nov.1, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the state healthcare exchange that started after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and allows residents to buy a subsided health insurance plan, opened for enrollment. 5,122 new people enrolled in the state exchange from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, compared to last year’s number of 3,478 – a 15 percent increase. Total enrollment, which combines the number of new enrollees with those who manually renewed their plans, is up 100 percent with 10, 420 people enrolling or reenrolling Nov.1 to Nov. 6 compared to 5,212 last year at the same time. The number does not count the 120,000 people participating in the exchange who automatically had their plans renewed. “It’s been a very good first week of enrollment both at the state and nationally,” said Andrew Ratner, chief marketing officer for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

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Kushner Companies working with Maryland …

03-11-2017 Hits:400 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

A spokesperson for the real estate business of the Kushner family said the company is working with Maryland Attorney General’s Office. “We have been working with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office to provide information in response to its request,” said Eric Wachter, a spokesperson for the Kushner Companies said in a written statement. “We are in compliance with all state and local laws.”

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Going UP!

27-10-2017 Hits:456 State Vic Simon - avatar Vic Simon

Local healthcare prices skyrocket as Trump tries to kill ACA Marylanders getting “Silver” plans from the state’s online health insurance exchange face a second round of premium hikes for 2018 following President Donald Trump’s Oct. 12 order stopping federal payments to health insurers to fund discounts for moderate-income patients. For a few people, the new rates will be 76 percent more than 2017 levels. The Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) Wednesday approved emergency rate increases for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, the state’s only two carriers serving the online exchange market for individual coverage. The emergency stemmed from the narrowness of the time frame between Trump’s action and when the annual “open season” begins for buying coverage on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange on Nov. 1. Silver plans generally provide a middle level of coverage for mid-range monthly premiums. Despite the large rate hikes from 2017 to 2018, Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. explained in an Oct. 23 telephone press conference that few people will pay the increases from their own funds. Most people to be charged the higher premiums will have the increases offset – completely or in large part – by higher tax credits, he said.

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Columns

BE Thankful always

21-11-2017 Hits:191 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

“The Hypnotized never lie”– Pete Townsend “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It has none of the trappings of the LSD-induced imagery of Christmas or the Meth-induced imagery of Halloween – let alone the opioid-induced imagery of chickens laying chocolate eggs you get at Easter.It’s just a time home with friends, family and those who matter. If you can watch football without feeling guilty about the head injuries or angry someone is or isn’t taking a knee, then you’ve got the makings of a great extended weekend enjoying those you love.Losing a loved one at this time is bitter and remembering them becomes bittersweet.But I’ve always found Thanksgiving to be the most heartfelt time to remember those we’ve lost and to enjoy those still with us. It is a time to celebrate our shared experiences and to remember the things that divide us are not as consequential as those which bind us together.

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It is time for a Shield Law

16-11-2017 Hits:308 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

For the reporter in the street, help is at hand. According to Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Jim Jordan (OH-04) the help is in the form of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2017 (H.R.4382), a bipartisan federal shield law that would protect the public’s right to know by safeguarding a free and independent press. The legislation would establish a federal statutory privilege that would protect journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and ensure that they can do their jobs without fear of imprisonment or intimidation.The legislation was introduced after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee refused to commit to not jailing journalists for doing their jobs.Although many states have shield laws or some sort of reporter’s privilege, no such protection exists at the federal level. Dozens of journalists have served jail time, including former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who served more than 80 days in jail for refusing to reveal a confidential source in 2005 – and me.

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Enough with the prayers already

08-11-2017 Hits:1155 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

Somewhere in the United States right now, as you read this, the next victims of a mass murder are going about their business of life and have no idea what’s in store for them.They don’t know they’ll soon be victims – perhaps before the ink dries on our newspaper.They have no way of knowing how they’ll die, or when; whether they’ll die next to their loved ones or die running for safety.They will just be dead and the dead can’t do anything about it.

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Sports

Bethesda-Chevy Chase defeats Severna Par…

19-11-2017 Hits:274 Sports Nickolai Sukharev - avatar Nickolai Sukharev

BALTIMORE – The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons boys soccer team defeated the Severna Park Falcons Saturday evening at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex with the final score 1-0, as a last-minute goal by senior forward Liam Brocker gave the Barons their first Maryland 4A championship in ten years. The game-winning goal came three minutes after a heart-stopping moment for the Barons, when it had looked like Severna Park senior midfielder Keaton Bathras had scored, breaking the 0-0 stalemate that had prevailed for the previous 77 minutes.

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Quince Orchard Cougars defeat Northwest …

18-11-2017 Hits:211 Sports Carlos Alfaro - avatar Carlos Alfaro

The Quince Orchard Cougars celebrate their victory over the Northwest Jaguars to become the 4A West regional champs. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  GAITHERSBURG — In a battle of two rivals, the Quince Orchard Cougars nabbed the 4A West regional championship title after dispatching the Northwest Jaguars 31-20. The game heated up an otherwise frigid Friday night, and showed how each team prepared for this game. “Ultimately they capitalized on some mistakes we made. We made too many mistakes, got penalties that were huge penalties and they capitalized and we didn’t. We made a few too many mistakes in the end,” said Jaguars head coach Mike Neubeiser. The Cougars were coming off of a victory high after annihilating the Einstein Titans 62-0 last week, while the Jaguars arrived to this game through sheer willpower.

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Paint Branch comes up short against Howa…

18-11-2017 Hits:179 Sports Eva Paspalis - avatar Eva Paspalis

Paint Branch tight end Jordan Griffin gets across the goal line for a touchdown just as Howard defensive back Anthony Reid catches up to him. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  BURTONSVILLE — All the players from the Paint Branch varsity football team huddled in a circle Friday night after their 4A North regional finals loss. The Panthers had just put forth a valiant effort in an attempt to defeat the visiting Howard Lions, the same squad that had eliminated them from the playoffs in 2014. However, undefeated Howard would emerge victorious once again to claim its fourth regional finals victory in as many years by a score of 33-20. Even though many Paint Branch players were visibly upset, they still put their hands together over an uplifted Panthers helmet and shouted “family.” “When we say ‘family,’ we mean it,” said Paint Branch head coach Mike Nesmith. “In games like this, so many alumni come back and they’re always around the program. Everybody says ‘family’ but we feel like we live it.” Perhaps it was that familial bond between the players that helped propel the Panthers to a division title and their best record since 2013.

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Features

Award-winning author speaks at Gaithersb…

05-10-2017 Hits:1245 Entertainment Rachel Cain - avatar Rachel Cain

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26, as part of the One Maryland, One Book program. COURTESY PHOTO  GAITHERSBURG — Award-winning and world-renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke to an audience of about 1,000 people at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26 as part of the One Maryland One Book program. Adichie is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award and her work has been translated into over 30 languages.  She divides her time between nearby Columbia and Lagos, Nigeria. The Maryland Humanities Council established the One Maryland One Book program 10 years ago to encourage Marylanders to read and discuss a certain book every year. A committee with the council chooses a book that aligns with the year’s theme. This year’s book is “Purple Hibiscus” by Adichie and the theme is “Home & Belonging.” This year, there are 350 programs in the state focused on this book, including three events with the author, said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “Purple Hibiscus” is a coming-of-age novel that follows the account of 15-year-old Kambili as she navigates a fraught relationship with her abusive father during political upheaval in Nigeria. Kambili and her brother spend time together living in...

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Chekhov-inspired comedy opens Highwood T…

05-10-2017 Hits:907 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

The cast of Christopher Durang's comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” now playing at Highwood Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO  Richard Fiske admits to being an adrenaline junkie. He fulfilled that need in the past by serving as a U.S. Navy officer for 27 years, then as an engineer and diving and salvage engineer, also for the Navy. Now he gets that fix onstage. For over six years, he’s performed as an actor in the D.C. area. “I get to do fun stuff and be different people,” Fiske said. His current role is Vanya in Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” the production launching Highwood Theatre’s 2017-2018 season. The play also stars Margaret Condon as Sonia, Rachel Varley as Masha, Thomas Shuman as Spike, Kecia Campbell as Cassandra, and Amber James as Nina.

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Halloween attractions gear up for openin…

03-10-2017 Hits:699 Entertainment Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

In 1993, the venture that would eventually become Markoff's Haunted Forest began modestly as a haunted bus ride that visited area. Brothers Matt, Nick, and Alex Markoff conceived of the haunt as a means to raise money for their goal of starting an outdoor educational summer camp. In subsequent years, the haunt was relocated to the grounds of the Markoff family farm in Dickerson. "I didn't know if anyone would come," said Matt Markoff. "I hoped people would make the drive." Markoff's Haunted Forest, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is now a beloved annual tradition for thousands of area residents. The haunt, which employs hundreds of seasonal employees, includes two trails, a haunted western trail, and a waiting area with bonfires, games, rides, and food vendors. Proceeds from ticket sales fund the Markoff's nonprofit organization, Calleva, Inc, which provides educational activities for hundreds of students every year.

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