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Police investigating two reports of shots fired at Gaithersburg church

New Life Seventh day Adventist Church front side view 1bNew 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 ceremony

Rockville Veterans Day Ceremony Mayor Bridget NewtonRockville 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 said.

However, he said, some of these men and women who served their country now need others to step up and help them.

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Rice says debt, school capacity problems and Purple Line influencing County CIP

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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Gaithersburg Mayor and Council sworn in

GAITHERSBURG – The winners of last Tuesday’s municipal election were sworn into office Monday night as Gaithersburg’s Mayor Jud Ashman and City Council members Michael Sesma and Laurie-Anne Sayles took their oaths of office during a special session held in the council chambers.

After a representative of the Montgomery County Board of Election Supervisors presented the officially-certified results from last week’s election, Ashman, the winner of last week’s mayoral election, took the oath administered by Montgomery County Circuit Court Clerk Barbara Mieklejohn.

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Council committee recommends circus animal ban bill

While the venerable Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus lowered the curtain its last show earlier this year following years of protests by animal rights groups, a proposed County bill could prevent any remaining traditional circus from operating in Montgomery County.

On Nov. 9, the Montgomery County Council Public Safety Committee recommended adoption of Bill 23-17, which would prohibit circuses and other traveling shows from using many species of animals as performers in Montgomery County.

Leventhal said the bill is meant to prohibit traveling circus animals and exempts animals that are used as livestock or for agricultural purposes.

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Small businesses see new minimum wage law as a "business killer" for them

MoCo LogoWhile local union members and activists cheered and waved their “Fight for $15” signs on Monday as Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed legislation Monday to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour, some small business owners fear that their livelihoods and those of the people they employ will be hurt by the mandated increases.

“It will force me out of business,” said Richard Gorinson, owner of J&S Shoes in Wheaton.

Gorinson said “[B]y the time it goes into effect, I’ll go out of business.”

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Push grows for changes to Maryland’s gang laws

Maryland legislators need to update the state’s racketeering and gang statutes in order to better address a recent rise in gang activity and give prosecutors the tools to crack down on gang members, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said.

“That’s something where we need to get some assistance from our legislators in Annapolis to give us better legal tools to attack the gangs,” McCarthy said.

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Suspect convicted in murder of Gaithersburg teen

A jury has convicted a suspect in connection with the assault and murder of a local teenage girl whom police found dead in February.

The jury convicted Wilmer Sanchez-Serrano, age 21, in connection with the assault and murder of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, confirmed Chief Deputy Clerk Gerarda Culipher of Fairfax County Court.

Reyes Rivas attended Watkins Mill High School before her mother reported her missing in December.

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Police investigate discovery of human remains in Brookeville

Salem United Methodist Church Cemetary Brookeville MD IIBrookeville residents say Montgomery County Police officers' discovery of human remains in a shallow grave took place in the woods behind the Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIANMontgomery County Police detectives are investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains found Sunday in Brookeville.

A passerby alerted police at 5:15 p.m. Sunday after noticing what he believed to be human bones while walking his dogs in a wooded area in the 19500 block of Georgia Avenue in Brookeville. Officers responded to the area and located a shallow grave that contained skeletal remains.

The discovery has left Brookeville local residents on edge.

“This is a scary sort of business in a town this small,” said former state senator and Brookeville resident Karen Montgomery. “Even if they are not from here, a person dumped a body here. It makes for a lot of tension.”

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“Fight for $15”

Leggett signs county's new minimum wage law

4K5A4484County Executive Ike Leggett signs the new minimum wage law, flanked by Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner, CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres and County Council member Marc Elrich with fellow County Council members and other supporters. PHOTO BY GLYNIS KAZANJIAN  The lengthy debate and amendment process leading to passage of Montgomery County’s new minimum wage ordinance should be an example for other Maryland jurisdictions looking to increase their own minimum wage rates, County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett said during a bill-signing ceremony on Monday.

“It establishes a foundation for the rest of Maryland and how we go forward,” he said during the ceremony, which was hosted by CASA de Maryland, an advocacy group that supports immigrants in job training and other services.

Leggett signed the bill while surrounded by supporters of the “Fight for $15” movement, representatives from labor unions, and various progressive groups as well as eight of the nine council members who passed the legislation.

Leggett’s spokesman, Patrick Lacefield, said that laborers and restaurant workers will benefit most from the new law because they lack collective bargaining representation.

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