Local man recuperates from copperhead bite

CopperheadSnakeBiteRockville resident and volunteer firefighter Jimmy Hemmig, 22, displays the snake bite from a copperhead that sent him to the hospital. COURTESY PHOTOJimmy Hemmig was walking back from a fishing trip by the dam at Lake Needwood in Derwood when he felt a sharp pain and thought he had hooked himself with his own fishing rod.

Then, the Rockville volunteer firefighter looked around. He saw a snake “one or two feet away,” but not just any snake; Hemmig quickly identified it as a venomous copperhead.

“It hurt pretty good, but it wasn’t the worst [pain] I ever had,” he said of the snake bite he received on the evening of July 9.


BRT plans move forward

Rockville SealROCKVILLE — The next step in the County transit initiative – Bus Rapid Transit – is to move forward with a plan for a BRT on MD-355.

But before the County can proceed into the planning and design process, it first has to consult the two municipalities that sit along the route – Rockville and Gaithersburg. 

On Monday night, County transportation staff briefed Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and the City Council on County plans for a BRT on MD-355.


Immigration advocates push Gaithersburg to be Freedom City

Gaithersburg SealGAITHERSBURG — Members of the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream came to City Hall Monday night to urge Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council to designate Gaithersburg as a “Freedom City.” 

The group’s organizers cited as an example Austin, Texas, which recently declared itself a Freedom City in response to the state legislature passing Senate Bill 4, which permits police to ask the immigration status of anyone arrested or detained. Austin passed an ordinance requiring officers who ask immigrants their status to also state that these questions need not be answered.


Twinbrook residents have “coffee with a cop”

coffee with a copNeighbors and police got to know each other at Tuesday’s Coffee with a Cop program at a McDonald’s restaurant in Rockville. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKROCKVILLE — The kids came for the ice cream, but their parents and other adults who entered the McDonald’s restaurant in the Twinbrook neighborhood had a different agenda.

The Coffee with a Cop program, which gives police and residents a chance to get to know each other in a nonthreatening atmosphere, occurs monthly throughout the County’s six police districts. During these sessions, police let residents, and particularly young people, know that they are there for them and want to hear about their problems.


Lack of space noted in plans to meet preschool needs

MCPS logoROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent of schools and two department directors in MCPS said Tuesday they must provide preschool to more students who need it, but they don’t have enough classroom space. 

MCPS is increasing its total number of full-day preschool classes from seven to eight and will provide more children with summer preschool programs in Fiscal Year 2019, thanks to State Department of Education funding, federal grants to the state and additional County funding, Superintendent of Schools Jack Smith said.


Homeless memorial held in Rockville

Homeless memorial 1Rabbi David Shneyer urged the crowd never to be complacent during a memorial service for the 27 people who died during the past year. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKROCKVILLE — A marine, a chef, a hippie and an artist were four of the 27 homeless people who died in Montgomery County during the past 12 months. Wednesday morning, County officials and nonprofit employees who work with the homeless gathered to pay their respects in a memorial service at the Executive Office Building in Circuit Court Plaza.

The service marked the kickoff of the County’s campaign to end homelessness in 2020 for families with children.


Metro’s turn-backs at Grosvenor to end in about five months

metro logoMetro’s Board of Directors passed a motion Thursday to increase rush hour service at selected Red Line Metro stations, starting in December.

“For ten years, Montgomery County has made it a priority to eliminate the Grosvenor turn-backs,” Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said. “I am gratified that the Metrorail board has acted to provide continuous service on all trains for riders to White Flint, Twinbrook, Rockville and Shady Grove. We are grateful to WMATA board members Michael Goldman and Kathy Porter as well as Montgomery County Department of Transportation staff for their hard work in this regard.”


Group reaching out to homeless makes moves to better organize effort

Homelessness often is just one part of a downward spiral in which people lose not just their sense of worth but also benefits and opportunities that rightly should be theirs. 

Sleeping on a park bench can lead to an arrest, which creates a virtual red flag that stops employers from hiring you. Not having all the necessary paperwork or knowing where to submit it can mean the disqualification of veterans’ or medical benefits. Each indignation piles atop a previous slight.


County finds stormwater solution

countysealAbout a month ago, County Executive Ike Leggett issued a historic line-item veto, drawing a line in the sand between himself and some members of the Montgomery County Council on the future of stormwater-management contracts. Tuesday the Council came to a compromise.

On Tuesday, the County Council unanimously approved two bills as a compromise between the County Executive and some members of the County Council.


Blair Demands Recount

Second place finisher for Democratic nomination for County Executive lost by 79 votes

David Blair  FILE PHOTODavid Blair. FILE PHOTOOn Tuesday, Democratic Candidate for Montgomery County Executive and businessman David Blair said he plans to request a recount from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Blair, who lost the Democratic Primary to Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large), said in a letter to supporters that given how close the race was, it is worth requesting a recount. On Monday, the Montgomery County Board of Elections certified Elrich’s victory, as he defeated Blair by 79 votes.

“We share the desire to have a nominee chosen in a timely manner so the party can come together and prepare for the General Election,” Blair said. “On the other hand, we fully believe that participation in the electoral process is the hallmark of our democracy, and it is imperative that all ballots are accurately counted.”

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