Maryland woman presses the issue by filing suit against Facebook

In the wake of scandal where a data analytics company harvested the data of approximately 50 million Facebook users without their permission in order to accrue information that could have been used in the 2016 presidential election, a Maryland woman is suing Facebook.

Lauren Price filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, the British-based analytics firm that helped funnel Facebook’s user data to the Trump campaign. Price alleges that the social media company violated its promise to protect its users’ privacy.


Public schools find high levels of lead in drinking water

MCPS logoAt least 12 Montgomery County Public Schools elementary, middle and high schools have one or more drinking water units with higher lead content than the Environmental Protection Agency recommends, and one elementary school’s water fountain exceeded the recommended level by a factor of 12, according to recent reports from MCPS.

As of Monday, MCPS employees posted reports from 31 of the 205 schools. Most of the schools tested so far are in Silver Spring and Gaithersburg.

EPA officials recommend acting to limit lead in water if lead levels meet or exceed 20 parts per billion due to the safety risks.


Baking chocolate chip cookies for the President

Two Clarksburg cousins visit the White House for culinary fun

Twelve-year-old Natalie Elder Dalton (at right) and her nine-year-old cousin Celia Sheehan, (at left - both in peach) along with other members of their family in the White House briefiing room. PHOTO BY SENTINEL STAFFTwelve-year-old Natalie Elder Dalton (at right) and her nine-year-old cousin Celia Sheehan, (at left - both in peach) along with other members of their family in the White House briefiing room. PHOTO BY SENTINEL STAFF  Two cousins from Clarksburg earned bragging rights after spending Friday at the White House, baking in the kitchen and sharing time with the President and First Lady of the United States.

Twelve-year-old Natalie Elder Dalton and her nine-year-old cousin Celia Sheehan, combined their love of cooking with their hope of meeting the man who “was keeping them safe,” and penned a letter to President Donald Trump.

Dalton, who attends Hallie Wells Middle School, explained how much she and her cousin would love to cook for him, either at his home or hers.

Soon, they were baking cookies with the First Lady and several White House pastry chefs and sharing their delicious results with President Trump in the Oval Office.


Four local religious communities take part in interfaith rally prior to march

Three hundred people from three churches and one synagogue in Bethesda gathered Friday night for song, prayer, camaraderie and a Mexican dinner on the eve of Saturday’s March For Our Lives.

Members of Congregation Beth El, Bethesda United Methodist Church, Saint Mark Presbyterian Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church, who most recently joined together in an interfaith gathering following the suicides of two area high school students, reunited for Friday night’s interfaith event to talk about their feelings on gun control and school safety as well as make friends and find ways to get to the march demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Greg Harris of Congregation Beth El explained that participants came “to advocate together. This is the essence of what it means to be a resilient community.”


Hundreds visit the memories of an American Hero

Visitors line up early to visit John Glenn’s former home in Bethesda.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKVisitors line up early for the estate sale of the late John Glenn at his former home in Bethesda.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  POTOMAC — It was more than an estate sale – for those who visited the late John Glenn’s home last weekend, it was a chance to connect with an American hero and icon and pay their respects.

Several people who attended the estate sale in the home of military pilot-turned-astronaut-turned-U.S.senator John Glenn Friday said the sale was a special way to connect with American history.

A queue of people extended from the front doorstep past the end of the driveway and into the street. Estate sale workers allowed 20 prospective patrons in the house at a time.

Inside, a chandelier hung from the tall foyer ceiling and a staircase with a light-colored, wooden railing leading to the second floor. Natural light from windows on the front of the house and from glass doors between the kitchen and back deck also brightened the foyer. To the left of the foyer was a table and chairs, seeming to signify a dining room. In the kitchen, the counter was covered with a mixture of plates, dishes and bowls for sale.


Montgomery County residents participate in national March For Our Lives

Local students and teachers were among the thousands of people participating in the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C.  PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZMontgomery County students and teachers were among the thousands of people participating in the March For Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Parents, children, students, and teachers from all over Montgomery County rallied at the nation’s capital for the countrywide March For Our Lives demonstration in response to the increasing outbreaks of gun violence across the United States and calling for more attention to current gun control issues.

“I am marching today to proclaim that the culture of violence must be over and that assault weapons need to be banned. I want my daughter and their whole generation [to know] no matter what race you are, what class you are, our society deserves safety,” said Kolya Braun-Greiner, a 62-year-old Takoma Park resident, whose daughter currently attends The Siena School in Silver Spring. Braun-Greiner wants kids “to be able to walk the streets, to be able to go to school, to study with the freedom that they are not going to be shot down. All of this needs to stop, we have to put an end to the gun violence.”

While plenty of adults were present, young people attended the march in vast numbers. Students from various Montgomery County high schools participated in events including attendance of a pre-rally by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and speaking at the march.

“Montgomery County kids have definitely been a huge part of this,” said Elana Tobb, 17, a senior at Sherwood High School. “This is the first time that I think our county has really been involved in a [leadership] position with something like this.”


County Council candidates debate at Leisure World forum

SILVER SPRING — Fourteen of the 33 Democrats hoping to come through the June 26 primary with a shot at the four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council had yet another chance to break out from the pack Thursday during yet another candidate forum held at Leisure World, as candidates weighed on issues ranging from the County’s liquor control policy to affordable childcare using a rapid-fire format that kept them on their toes thanks to limited time for answers in order to accommodate all candidates running.

Sports talk radio producer and host Steve Solomon – who bills himself as a “tell-it-like-it-is” political outsider who can fix the “little things” – said he was offering honesty in lieu of government experience as his campaign pledge.


Rockville seniors testify against water and sewer rate increases

Seal of Rockville MdROCKVILLE — Rockville residents weighed in on City Manager Robert DiSpirito’s budget proposal at Monday’s Mayor and City Council session, using first of two public hearings before the City Council takes up their own budget to air grievances about suggested increases to the city’s water and sewer rates.

The matter of most concern to those residents who testified was against a proposed 9.7 percent increase to the City’s ready-to-serve charge, a significant increase meant to help funnel revenue back into the Rockville’s sinking sewer fund.


Council decides to delay Montrose Parkway East

countysealAfter heated debates and discussion, the County Council on Tuesday finally reached an agreement on what to do about the proposed Montrose Parkway East road project – delay it for at least year.

The compromise keeps the idea of the project alive while pushing the decision to build down the road. Although it has been on county planners’ minds for years, the project became more significance after Amazon listed Montgomery County – specifically a site close to the proposed road near the former White Flint mall – on a list of possible destinations for its proposed second headquarters.


County students present views of the past in National History Day contest

ROCKVILLE — Students from around the County gathered at Richard Montgomery High School Saturday to exhibit their illustrations depicting episodes of conflict throughout U.S. history.

The exhibition was part of a contest for National History Day in which high school and middle school students are encouraged to design projects based on a given historical theme, this year’s being “Conflict and Compromise in History.”