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Former Sentinel reporter makes history

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With election win, Danica Roem becomes first openly transgender legislator to serve anywhere in the U.S.

Danica Roem photoDanica Roem after winning three MDDC awards for the Sentinel.                                        FILE PHOTO  The experience and knowledge Virginia Delegate-Elect (and former Montgomery County Sentinel News Editor) Danica Roem (D) gained while covering local politics in Montgomery County proved invaluable to her winning effort in Tuesday’s election, Roem told the Sentinel during an interview the morning after her historic victory, which will make her the first openly transgender individual to serve in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

“When I was news editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel, I was part of a team that did a five-part series on water infrastructure, and I talked a lot about that series,” Roem said. “I talked about water infrastructure a lot on this campaign.”

Such issues might be boring – “the kind of stuff that makes reporters zone out” – but are extremely important, she said. “You’ve gotta take care of your infrastructure.”

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How far we’ve come . . .

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Sentinel celebrates 162 years of publication and service to the Montgomery community through a variety of cultural changes

MoCo Sentinel 1st IssueA reprint of the first issue of the Montgomery County Sentinel from Saturday, Aug. 11, 1855. FILE PHOTO  

For 162 years, The Montgomery County Sentinel has provided the residents of the County weekly news coverage from its newsroom in Rockville.

“We are proud to carry on the tradition of independence, and of being a community leader,” said publisher Lynn Kapiloff. “Our commitment to this community has never been stronger.”

The Sentinel remains the only community newspaper still publishing in Montgomery County and has been named the News Organization of the year by the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association three out of the last five years.

Under the leadership of current owner Lynn Kapiloff and her late husband Dr. Bernard Kapiloff, The Sentinel became a beacon for Civil Rights and independence. During the 60s The Sentinel’s reporting on “The Giles case” – often referred to as the “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ case of Montgomery County,” led to freeing African Americans charged and wrongly convicted of rape.

But the paper was founded in different times and once stood for far different interests.

Founded in 1855 by Matthew Fields, like many newspapers of the era, The Sentinel began as a partisan publication in a divisive political environment prior to the Civil War in 1861. Issues such as slavery, tariffs, and state's rights were fiercely debated across the nation.

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About enduring press freedom

Brian Karem at White House press briefingI walked slowly to my bunk and looked up at the television set. Twenty pairs of eyes were on the NBC Nightly News watching a story about me.
One man turned around and said, “Man, you famous.”
Since I was in jail at the time – for refusing to give up a confidential source – and wearing jail-issued underwear as well, this meant very little to me.
Fame is fleeting. Jail underwear sticks with you for a long time.
I thought about that yesterday when my smart phone started incessantly vibrating for several hours on end.

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Sentinel claims awards

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Sentinel Staff Photo 1bThe Sentinel Staff with owner Lynn Kapiloff, seated. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER   ANNAPOLIS - The Montgomery County Sentinel Newspapers was awarded the Maryland Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association “News Organization of the Year” award for the second time in as many years in a ceremony here Friday.

“It is an honor to be awarded this distinction for the second time in as many years and the third time in the last five years,” said Sentinel owner Lynn Kapiloff. “It is vital for independent publications to remain vibrant – especially at this time in our history.”

The Sentinel won 35 awards out of a possible 48 categories, picking up first and second place in categories such as Investigative Reporting, State Government Reporting, and Multimedia Storytelling (news).

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Hate crimes in the county

 

 

Hate Crime Forum 2Fred Davis, Hessie Harris, Daryl Davis, Brian Karem, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and Ron Halber at the forum on hate crimes. PHOTO BY MARK POETKERMonday night the Montgomery County Sentinel sponsored a community forum on the subject of hate crime.
We invited civic leaders, county council members, our local police chief and someone from the Help Save Maryland organization.
This prompted telephone calls, some our office manager deemed “harassing” and several emails – one of which said that in tolerant Montgomery County we could not tolerate an organization like Help Save Maryland.

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Sentinel Hosts Live Stream Roundtable on Hate Crimes

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ROCKVILLE -  The Montgomery County Sentinel will be hosting a live stream roundtable discussion on hate crimes in our community and solutions for dealing with them.

The roundtable discussion will be held on Monday, January 23rd, in the Council Hearing Room (3rd floor) in the County Council Building at 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. 

Brian J. Karem, the executive editor for The Sentinel Newspapers will moderate the event which is scheduled from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 

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MDDC names Sentinel as News Organization of the Year

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MoCo Sentinel Staff at MDDC AwardsThe staff of the Montgomery County Sentinel. First row, left to right, Lynn Kapiloff, CEO, Brian Karem, Executive Editor. Back row from left to right: Mark Robinson, Paul Schwartz, Nadia Palacios, Brandy Simms, Andrew Kostka, Mark Poetker, David Wolfe, Danica Roem, Neal Earley, Holden Wilen, Rebecca Guterman, Kathleen Stubbs, Wyatt Karem, Jacqui South. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK

BALTIMORE – For the second time in four years The Maryland Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association awarded the Montgomery County Sentinel Newspapers with its prestigious “News Organization of the Year” Award in ceremonies here last week.

“This is a tribute to our staff and to the goals set out by my husband Dr. Bernard Kapiloff,” said Sentinel CEO Lynn Kapiloff upon receiving the award. “Since we’ve owned the papers we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing the best community newspaper coverage possible.”

The Sentinel won 11 first place awards, eight second place awards and one “Best in Show Award” – beating out much larger publications including the Baltimore Sun for its video blog entry.

Andrew Kostka, a former high school intern for the newspaper was also named the 2016 Michael S. Powell Student Journalist of the Year.

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A big bright red hat leads the way

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heritage days Tom GogartyROCKVILLE – Eileen McGuckian’s bright red hat led the way above a small crowd of people touring Rockville’s historic past as a part of the county’s Heritage Days celebration on Saturday.

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