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Activists want answers after police shooting

  • Published in Local

policecar1 300x200 1More than three weeks after a Montgomery County Police officer shot and killed an unarmed African-American man, community members and activists are demanding more transparency from the police.

After prosecutors from Howard County, who are conducting the investigation into Anand Badgujar, the Montgomery County Police officer who shot and killed Robert Lawrence White on June 11 in Silver Spring, asked MCP to not release body-camera footage from the encounter, angering activists.

On June 27, two days after MCP officials met with Howard County prosecutors, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger met with activists to discuss the shooting and their demands.

“I wouldn’t say that we learned anything new,” said Laurel Hoa, an organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice Montgomery County.

According to police, White attacked Badgujar, and after a confrontation in which Badgujar attempted to pepper spray White, Badgujar shot White multiple times after White assaulted him again.

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Olney Theatre shows life is worth living with “Every Brilliant Thing”

Alexander Strait (left) takes direction from Jason Loewith in Olney Theatre rehearsal of “Every Brilliant Thing.” COURTESY PHOTO BY TIMOTHY HUTHAlexander Strait (left) takes direction from Jason Loewith in Olney Theatre rehearsal of “Every Brilliant Thing.”   COURTESY PHOTO BY TIMOTHY HUTH  There are bucket lists everywhere, even in the popular song “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music.”

Then there’s “Every Brilliant Thing,” an ever-changing list of objects and experiences that make life worth living. In a play of the same name, a young boy compiles such a list, in an effort to persuade his mother, who had attempted suicide, not to do it again.

“Every Brilliant Thing” is the next production at Olney Theatre Center, opening Feb. 28. It marks the premiere of the one-person play, which Duncan Macmillan wrote with the cooperation of Jonny Donahoe, the original performer.

Jason Loewith, Olney’s artistic director, is staging the production.

It was serendipitous that “Every Brilliant Thing” came to Olney. Loewith happened to see the script in a London bookstore, bought it, and read it on the plane ride back.

“I burst into tears on the second page, and then into laughter,” he said. “The play is poignant and wonderful.”

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Council gives funds for mental health court

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Council voted Tuesday to set aside $193,561 to help fund a new court that would serve as an alternative court for those suffering from mental illnesses.

The council is providing $163,609 to hire two therapists for the Department Health and Human Services (HHS) and $29,952 to cover operating expenses at the circuit court.

The Office of Problem Solving Courts will provide $97,000 to help cover costs at the district court in the County.

Former County Council member Phil Andrews (D) said he expects the mental health court to open by November.

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Hoggle trial delayed again

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Judge Eugene Wolfe ruled Catherine Hoggle, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic and the suspect in the case of her two missing children, is still incompetent to stand trial at a status hearing on Tuesday morning at the county district courthouse.

For the family of Troy Turner, the father of the kids, this came as no surprise since this was not the first time the Wolfe deemed her incompetent.

Police arrested Hoggle and charged her with two counts of child neglect and one count of obstruction and hindering the investigation of her missing children, then 2-year old Jacob and 3-year-old Sarah Hoggle, after they disappeared in September 2014.

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BOE discusses mental health

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – The Montgomery County Board of Education focused on mental health May 10 as part of an effort to reorganize, coordinate and improve the County’s offices tasked with identifying cases of mental illness among local students.

Touching on the various aspects and complexity of mental health facing the county's student population, Dr. Chrisandra Richardson, associate superintendent for Special Education and Student Services, said the County must examine the role of public education in behavioral health.

“We use or focus to continually update and revise programs of specific services,” said Richardson.

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The mentally ill hypocrisy

I walked into District court Tuesday to testify in a burglary case. Back in October someone broke into my car and took cash and some private items – but thankfully left behind my credit card and driver’s license.

A Rockville police officer found my personal property and some of the cash when he was investigating another burglary. The plain clothes officer and his partner rousted a homeless man found asleep under an overpass on Gude drive near Rockville Pike and during the course of questioning the young man they got consent to search and found my property.

According to the defense attorney assigned to the case and according to police officers, the young man has an arrest record and has mental health problems.

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Local writer conquers hardship through use of film

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filmI have always been drawn to the camera, and amid the myriad of poses I have struck, the notion of stage fright has never entered the picture. When I was in film school, I was an actor. The shooting of my first movie involved crying in a room full of people, this as the camera whirred along, capturing the tableau: tear-streaked pretense it was—just pretense, though. My breathing had remained temperate, my mind focused.

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Hospital not liable for not admitting

gavel2Maryland’s law on involuntarily admitting mentally disturbed persons to inpatient care was explored last week by the Court of Appeals, finally resolving the appeals in a case called Gineene Williams v. Peninsula Regional Medical Center. The Court upheld the decision of the intermediate appellate court, that the hospital was not liable for the tragic events that followed a decision not to admit a patient.

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