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Student candidate for County Board of Education receives hate-based death threats

Nimah Nayel.  COURTESY PHOTONimah Nayel. COURTESY PHOTOWARNING: This story contains graphic language

ROCKVILLE — “slit ur wrists mohammed's whore” the email read.

Sixteen-year-old Nimah Nayel, an international Baccalaureate student at Richard Montgomery High School, said she was shocked and upset.

Nayel, a finalist for Student Member of the MCPS Board of Education, received offensive remarks on her race and the fact that she is Muslim May 9 two weeks after the election ended.

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Democrats assail Governor Hogan in Sentinel debate

From left to right, Elizabeth Embry, Krishanti Vignarajah, Ben Jealous, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross and Brandon Scott at the Sentinel Newspapers sponsored Democratic candidate debate Monday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHFrom left to right, Elizabeth Embry, Krishanti Vignarajah, Ben Jealous, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross and Brandon Scott at the Sentinel Newspapers sponsored Democratic candidate debate Monday.         PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — According to State Senator Richard Madaleno, Governor Larry Hogan’s popularity boils down to one thing; “He’s running on my record,” Madaleno said in a Democratic candidate debate sponsored by The Sentinel Newspapers Monday night.

Former NAACP CEO Ben Jealous, Madaleno (D-18), former U.S. State Department official Alec Ross and former Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama Krishanti Vignarajah all participated in the debate. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Baltimore businessman Jim Shea sent their running mates, prosecutor Elizabeth Embry and Baltimore City Council member Brandon Scott, respectively.

The debate, like most Democratic primary forums, began and ended with attempts at knocking Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) record on jobs, schools and lack of opposition to President Donald J. Trump.

“This thing you read about that ‘Maryland is open for business’ that is total and complete bullshit,” Ross said.

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Takoma Park Police mourn detective's sudden death

Takoma Park MD PoliceTAKOMA PARK — A Takoma Park police detective died suddenly while off duty, according to a police statement.

While the exact date and cause of death are still being investigated, police spokesperson Catherine Plevy said acting Detective Sergeant Matthew L. Barber was a 13-year veteran of the agency and is survived by his wife, a Metropolitan D.C. police officer, and two children.

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Raskin, Hoyer, warn of potential future election interference

ROCKVILLE — As the 2018 primary election approaches, foreign election interference could be at play, Congressman Jamie Raskin warned.

“It’s been nearly two years since Russia’s sweeping and unprecedented assault on the country’s elections in 2016,” Raskin said to an audience of about 70 people at Richard Montgomery High School on Tuesday evening. “Although there’s no evidence that vote counts were altered … actors were able to gain access to and could have deleted voter registration records or altered poll books.”

Raskin (MD-8), who was joined by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Election Assistance Commission Chairman Tom Hicks, Center for American Progress Voting Rights Manager Danielle Root, and Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program Liz Howard, warned that, much as in 2016, the 2018 midterm elections could be targeted by foreign adversaries such as Russia.

Hoyer explained that the issues have previously plagued elections in the United States, including in 2000, when butterfly ballots resulted in the "hanging chads," causing confusion about votes cast in Florida. He added that election machine manufacturers need to be held to “high standard of security.”

“I think we’re moving in a very positive direction resulting from a negative event,” Hoyer added.

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Trump cites Montgomery cases on MS-13 violence

White House LogoDays after President Trump used the word “animals” to describe people “coming into the country” in response to a question about gangs, he has refused to apologize and has cited cases in Montgomery County as evidence that some gang members are “animals.”

On Monday, the White House Press Secretary’s Office released a statement detailing violent attacks by members of the international gang Mara Salvatrucha-13, more commonly known as MS-13.

The statement specifically mentioned two cases involving alleged members of MS-13 in Montgomery County, doubling down on the “animal” comment the president made which drew widespread criticism as many people interpreted the comment as an attack against all undocumented immigrants, not only members of MS-13.

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Lightning strikes cause two fires in Takoma Park

7200 Holly AvenueCrews attending in the aftermath of a fire at the 7200 block of Holly Avenue PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVTAKOMA PARK — More than 100 firefighters responded to calls in the city Monday evening when lightning strikes set two separate homes ablaze during a storm that included numerous thunderstorm warnings.

At approximately 7:50 p.m., Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the 7200 block of Holly Avenue in response to a roof fire before responding to a second fire less than an hour later at the 900 block of Larch Avenue, Piringer tweeted.

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Bethesda festival draws artists from all over country

IMG 1686Jazz Artist by Kimmy Cantrell PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVBETHESDA — Hundreds of artists from around the country gathered over the weekend at the annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.

Organized by the Bethesda Urban Partnership and the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District, the festival featured painters, photographers, and sculptors from numerous states across the country, who presented selections from their work in the Woodmont Triangle area of downtown Bethesda. Many artists also took the opportunity to sell pieces they had on display.

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Registration deadlines loom for coming elections

The last chance of local residents to register to vote is June 5 if they wish to vote in the primary election.  The deadline to update voters’ home addresses or party affiliations or to request a more-accessible polling place is also June 5, less than three weeks away. 

To vote in the primaries, residents who are eligible to vote but not registered, including 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by Nov. 6, the date of the General Election, must register to vote by June 5.

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Rockville landmark named for Chestnut Lodge

Chestnut Lodge before the 2009 fire. COURTESY PHOTOChestnut Lodge before the 2009 fire. COURTESY PHOTO  The future park on the site of a former Rockville landmark finally has a name – Chestnut Lodge Park.

While the park on the site of the 19th-century mental institution, which burned down in a 2009 fire, has yet to be finished or officially approved, on Monday night the mayor and City Council unanimously approved the name of the park as “Chestnut Lodge Park,” which will be located on 500 West Montgomery Avenue.

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Proposed elementary school could mean the end for G-Burg’s Kelley Park

Gaithersburg logoGAITHERSBURG — A proposed elementary school on the grounds of Kelley Park is causing concern for thousands of residents here.

On March 22, The Montgomery County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s recommendation for the construction of a new elementary school in the Gaithersburg Cluster, where several elementary schools are operating well over capacity. The proposed site is on the grounds of Kelley Park in the Saybrooke neighborhood of Gaithersburg. The city-owned park features playgrounds, a stream, walking trails and baseball diamonds which host games for the Cal Ripken Collegiate League in the summer months. As the park is city property, the City Council has final approval over any construction plans.

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