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Local News

Purple Line is now back on track

20-07-2017 Hits:0 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

Federal judges granted a stay on lower court’s ruling on the Purple Line, clearing the way for the light rail project to move forward. On Wednesday a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted the stay of District of Columbia District Court judge Richard Leon.

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Riders inhale pepper spray at Green Line…

18-07-2017 Hits:390 Local Kathleen Stubbs - avatar Kathleen Stubbs

GREENBELT-- Dozens of riders started coughing and covering their noses as they entered Greenbelt Station, purchased SmarTrip cards and rode the escalator  to the platform after inhaling  police  pepper spray Tuesday morning. Riders leaving the station started choking as they approached the fare gates.

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Aspen Hill Library reopens to the public

17-07-2017 Hits:412 Local Harry Lichtman - avatar Harry Lichtman

ASPEN HILL — The Aspen Hill Library held its grand reopening on Saturday morning after being closed since November. Many Montgomery County residents and politicians were in attendance. The size of the renovated library is 16,100 total feet square feet on two levels. The exterior of the building was painted, and the parking lot was reconstructed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Some of the design features are new information and checkout service desks, an enhanced children’s area, a teen space with seating and collection, collaboration spaces, an ADA upgrade of public restrooms on the lower level, and new furniture, including new tables in the children’s and adult areas.

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State News

Medical Marijuana on hold

13-07-2017 Hits:1507 State Vic Simon  - avatar Vic Simon

The first availability of Maryland-licensed medical marijuana appears likely to be in November, a couple months later than the state government’s earlier forecast of “late summer.” On July 6, Gov. Larry Hogan appointed nine new Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission members, and reappointed one member. Hogan’s appointees collectively comprise a majority of the 16-member Commission. As of July 11, only one grower and one dispensary had gotten final or “Stage II” license approval from MMCC. The MMCC website said from March through May that the Commission’s target date for first availability was “late summer.”

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Maryland lawmakers disagree with Trump o…

26-06-2017 Hits:369 State  Emily Blackner - avatar Emily Blackner

SEABROOK — Climate change may not be at the top of the president’s agenda, but local representatives are keeping up the fight against it in the wake of the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

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Trump's budget would force state, county…

26-05-2017 Hits:904 State Vic Simon - avatar Vic Simon

President Trump proposed a detailed budget May 23 that kept the themes of his March budget blueprint: steep cuts to science-based agencies, many headquartered in Montgomery County, and to programs to aid lower-income people, offset by sizable increases for defense and Homeland Security. Compared with the 80-page budget released in March, the new spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018) is a vast, eight-volume document with details on Trump’s proposals for every agency. Other subjects newly addressed include how the deficit would be affected, the major changes from previous budgets, revenue forecasts, and economic growth assumptions. Given the size of the new document, reactions to it this week are only preliminary, with the meanings of many provisions yet to be unearthed by congressional review over the coming months. If the proposed major cuts are enacted to Medicaid, food stamps (called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or “SNAP”), elderly and school nutrition, “It would be up to the County or state government or both to pick up the pieces,” said Joy Nurmi, special assistant to County Executive Ike Leggett. For instance, she predicted, if SNAP cutbacks are adopted, many people would go to food pantries such as Manna Food Center in...

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Columns

The president is right - and here's to y…

19-07-2017 Hits:2844 Editor's Notebook Brian Karem - avatar Brian Karem

The caller on the other end of the phone was adamant. “Have reporters lost their mojo?” She asked.Before I could respond she explained all the reasons why reporters are taken advantage of by the current presidential administration, how and why reporters need to react and how she was “tired of watching you all take it all the time.”She was also upset with reporters who “constantly tell me what to think,” and said the media are their own worst enemy.

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The president finally makes sense

13-07-2017 Hits:2051 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

I finally get it.All these months I could not understand why our president tried so hard to disrupt and destroy the investigation into Russian hacking of our elections. There are those who are convinced it is because the president was directly involved in collusion with the Russians.Still others think the president is just a buffoon, but I’ve never bought into that theory – he has some innate intelligence and survival instincts or he wouldn’t be able to thrive in the cutthroat world in which he’s cruised all these years.

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The real problems in the press

05-07-2017 Hits:1177 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

“Why didn’t someone in the press stand up for themselves before?”That question has been in thousands of emails, tweets and snail mail correspondence we’ve received at the newspaper this week following a viral moment I had with Sarah Sanders during an on-camera briefing at the White House last week.I don’t know. Well, I have an idea.The other question I’ve seen quite often is – “What is wrong with the press?”On that issue, I have a few more ideas.

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Sports

Bethesda Big Train walk off Alexandria A…

17-07-2017 Hits:218 Sports Matt Cohen - avatar Matt Cohen

BETHESDA -- In a 15-inning marathon, the Bethesda Big Train tied the Alexandria Aces at the top of the division as they walked off the Aces 6-5. Fans at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda knew that they were in for a great game as the top two teams in the Cal Ripken League, the Alexandria Aces and Bethesda Big Train, were set to face off. No one, however, could have predicted the classic game that would unfold.

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Crosby’s sac fly lifts Express to 4-2 wi…

14-07-2017 Hits:517 Sports Harry Lichtman - avatar Harry Lichtman

ROCKVILLE—Two last place teams faced off Tuesday night as the Rockville Express (12-21, fifth in North division) hosted the DC Grays (11-20, fifth in South) at Montgomery College. The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Express added two more runs en route to a 4-2 win. Rockville would strike first in the bottom of the first when outfielder Justin Smith hit an RBI single to drive in a run scored by outfielder Pearce Howard and give the Express an early 1-0 lead. However, in the top of the fourth, DC would respond when outfielder Darius Gillus doubled to drive in first baseman Miles Jones and tie the game at 1-1. Then two at-bats later, hit an RBI triple as catcher Andrew Webb was able to round the bases, making his way from first to home plate to give the Grays a 2-1 lead.

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Springbrook tops Good Counsel in hoops

14-07-2017 Hits:236 Sports Matt Cohen  - avatar Matt Cohen

Our Lady of Good Council Bez Mbeng (48) goes for a layup. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER      ROCKVILLE — In a game that was purely a tale of two halves at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the Springbrook Blue Devils used a second half comeback to top the Good Counsel Falcons 41-39. While the score stayed close early in the game, Good Counsel showed much more fight on the defensive end, creating turnovers and thus baskets in transition. Springbrook had jumped out to a 16-10 lead as Good Counsel wasn’t able to convert its opportunities on the offensive end, but with just under seven minutes to play in the first half, the high energy defense from Falcons began to pay its dividends. Good Counsel’s up-tempo play propelled them on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 18 with 1:52 to play in the first half, the two would go into the half tied at 20. The Falcons started strong in the second half as well, leading by five points with 10:43 to go in the half.

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Features

Plath and Dietrich take a new turn in th…

13-07-2017 Hits:373 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank  - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

Marlene Dietrich. COURTESY PHOTO  The two women couldn’t have been more different. Marlene Dietrich was an internationally known movie star who radiated sexual magnetism. She was also unapologetically androgynous and bisexual, at a time neither was openly accepted. A married woman whose list of lovers seemed endless, Dietrich was defeated only by aging, which made a dent in her prodigious selfconfidence. Sylvia Plath was a shy but influential poet and novelist. While she captured the public imagination of other artists and lovers of her art forms and won a Pulitzer Prize, she never became the household name Dietrich was. Plath is also known for her turbulent relationship with husband and fellow poet Ted Hughes. After several bouts of depression and suicide attempts (possibly due to bipolar disorder), Plath took her own life at the age of 30. Dietrich and Plath are now posthumously “sharing the same space,” in exhibitions dedicated to them at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

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One-act plays dominate community theater…

13-07-2017 Hits:208 Entertainment Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

Two Montgomery County community theaters will offer multi-week festivals of one-act plays this summer, featuring characters such as a lonely woman at a bar and a former U.S. president (in separate works). The Montgomery Playhouse, which describes itself as “Montgomery County’s Oldest Community Theater,” will present its festival consisting of seven plays at Commotion Fitness Studios in Germantown, a new venue for the company. The plays will take place on the last two weekends of July.

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A Renaissance man turns 83

10-07-2017 Hits:264 Entertainment Matt Hooke  - avatar Matt Hooke

As a child, Mike Ritter was drawn to the sound of classic big bands. Now at the age of 83, the Oscar-winning filmmaker leads The Not So Modern Jazz Quartet, a band dedicated to preserving the big-band music he first fell in love with. Ritter first achieved fame when he placed second in the 1957 National All-Army talent competition. Ritter’s act for the initial round was a one-band act to show off his command of different instruments. “What I did was, I played piano, then called a friend to take over on piano. Then I played bass and called a friend out to play bass, then played horn and asked a friend to play the horn,” Ritter said.

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