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Police investigating two reports of shots fired at Gaithersburg church

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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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Gaithersburg Mayor and Council sworn in

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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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Suspect convicted in murder of Gaithersburg teen

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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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Extremely light turnout in Gaithersburg as Monroe is unseated

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Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG — Shortly after 9:30 on Tuesday night, Gaithersburg’s Board of Supervisors of Elections announced the winners of the City’s election for Mayor and two members of the five-person City Council.

3,282 voters, or 9.29 percent of the city’s registered voters, cast ballots in the election, a slight decrease from the 2015 election, when voter turnout was 11.09 percent.

Mayor Jud Ashman and Council members Laurie-Anne Sayles and Michael A. Sesma will be sworn in at City Hall next Monday.

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Gaithersburg candidates make final push as voting begins

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GAITHERSBURG — Next Tuesday, Gaithersburg residents will cast ballots for mayor and two members of the City Council.  Early voting was held last Saturday and Sunday at City Hall.

Incumbent Mayor Jud Ashman was originally appointed to his position by his colleagues on the City Council in 2014, following the election of longtime Mayor Sidney Katz to the Third District of the County Council.  In 2015, he won a special election to serve the remaining two years of Katz's final term, defeating longtime Council Member Henry F. Marraffa, who passed away in October of 2016, and community activist Darline Bell-Zuccarelli.  As he seeks his first full four-year term as mayor, Ashman is unopposed on the ballot.  Bell-Zuccarelli had originally planned to seek the office again, but scrapped her plans due to health issues.  Despite this, Ashman said he is still actively campaigning.

"We have a great group of candidates and I'm hoping that we get a big turnout of voters," Ashman said.  "It's easy to take for granted, but so much of our daily lives is impacted by decisions at the local level, that it's really worth our time and attention on Election Day."

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Gaithersburg mulls variety of projects

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Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG – City advisory committee staff told Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council Monday night of concerns about public perception of Olde Towne, updates on art projects in the City and plans for the 2018 Book Festival.

At a work session that evening, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council heard reports and plans from the staff of several of the City’s advisory committees.

For many years, the economic revitalization of Olde Towne has been one of the most contentious issues in the City. Lenny Levy, chairperson of the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, said that the City had made progress on that front recently.

“Archstone, Hidden Creek and other Olde Towne apartment communities are over 90 percent leased,” Levy said. “16 South Summit is in design to be our new police headquarters and several new restaurants are open, including Rincon Peruano and Greene Growlers, which used to be Growlers.”

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Dexter Manley joins MoCo officials at Gburg drug awareness event

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dexter manleyDexter Manley joined County officials in speaking at the drug awareness event Save A Life Montgomery at Covenant Life Church. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  GAITHERSBURG — Dexter Manley did not come to Save A Life Montgomery to talk about all the quarterbacks he sacked or his two Super Bowl rings.

Instead, the former Washington Redskins defensive end once nicknamed “Secretary of Defense” spoke to parents and young people gathered at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg to speak about his personal story of drug abuse, 38 stays in rehab, and his shame at entering college “functionally illiterate.”

Speakers from the County’s police, schools and government, as well as the offices of the State’s Attorney’s and the governor were featured during a four-hour event highlighting the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, and how it can crush a person’s dreams.

“In Maryland, right now, we are losing an average of six lives a day,” Clay Stamp, Gov. Larry Hogan’s emergency management advisor, told the audience. “We have to raise the conversation. I meet with people every day who lost a loved one.”

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Gaithersburg committees present reports

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Olde Towne Gburg rep. has concerns, art projects to be built in the city

GAITHERSBURG – City advisory committee staff told Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council Monday night of concerns about public perception of Olde Towne, updates on art projects in the City and plans for the 2018 Book Festival.

At a work session that evening, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council heard reports and plans from the staff of several of the City’s advisory committees.

For many years, the economic revitalization of Olde Towne has been one of the most contentious issues in the City. Lenny Levy, chairperson of the Olde Towne Advisory Subcommittee, said that the City had made progress on that front recently.

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Gaithersburg Sets Legislative Agenda

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Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG — At Monday night’s meeting, Gaithersburg’s Legislative Affairs Manager Monica Marquina briefed Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council on the city’s priorities when the Maryland State Legislature convenes in January.

The first priority Marquina identified was advocating for increased school construction funding. Several of the schools which serve the city are enrolled over capacity. Marquina noted that Montgomery County Public Schools had seen record enrollment for the 2017-18 school year.

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Gaithersburg Candidate Slate Finalized

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GAITHERSBURG – Sept. 22 marked the deadline for candidates to file in this fall’s election in Gaithersburg. On Sept. 26, the Board of Supervisors of Elections certified the candidacies of those who filed to run for Mayor and City Council. The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Incumbent Mayor Jud Ashman is unopposed on the ballot. Ashman was originally appointed mayor following the election of longtime mayor Sidney Katz to District 3 of the Montgomery County Council; he won a special election to serve the remaining two years of Katz’ term in 2015. This fall, he is seeking his first full four-year term.

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