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Gaithersburg H.S. staffer expresses safety concerns

A Gaithersburg High School staff member informed local media about concerns for the safety of students and staff members after several fights occurred on school property recently.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Derek Turner said he could not confirm reports from NBC 4 of an Instagram account requesting students share videos of school fights.

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Takoma Park approves junction traffic study

TAKOMA PARK — The Takoma Park City Council on Wednesday approved a traffic study which will further advance the Takoma Junction redevelopment process.

“The city’s study is to identify options to address safety concerns and mitigate traffic congestion at Takoma Junction and evaluate the extent of cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods,” City Manager Suzanne Ludlow said during the Council’s Wednesday evening meeting. “The findings will be used to advocate for roadway and intersection improvements.”

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Raskin’s 25th Amendment bill picks up co-sponsors

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Representative Jamie Raskin’s 25th Amendment bill is picking up momentum in Congress. As of today, 50 cosponsors have signed on to the ‘Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act’ (H.R. 1987), which will establish the Constitutionally-provided and Congressionally-appointed “body” we need to determine presidential capacity with the Vice President.

Under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet or the Vice President and a majority of “such other body as Congress may by law provide” can determine in the event of a crisis that the President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” due to physical or mental incapacity.

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Council hopes to spur growth south of Rockville

ROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Council passed the White Flint II Sector Plan 8-1 during their Council meeting Tuesday in an effort to encourage development in southern, unincorporated Rockville.

The plan, which deals with land east of the CSX Railroad and west of Old Georgetown Road near the White Flint section of southern Rockville, is meant to fill a gap in County zoning and encourage more mixed-use development around the White Flint Metro Station.

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County pushes development

ROCKVILLE — The County Council unanimously approved the Grosvenor-Strathmore Area Minor Master Plan Tuesday in the latest of a series of steps to encourage development around Metro stations.

The plan will allow for more commercial and residential development around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station on MD-355 in North Bethesda to focus the County’s demand for more housing around mass transit.

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Council approves plans for Fox 5 move

ROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a zoning text amendment that will allow larger satellite dishes on broadcast studios, clearing the way for Fox Broadcasting Company to move its two television stations to Bethesda.

“This basically permits a large satellite dish on the top of buildings,” said Council member Nancy Floreen (D-at large).

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In The Hole

County scrambles to find a solution to unforeseen budget shortfall

MoCo LogoROCKVILLE — Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett directed County departments to make two percent cuts after the discovery of a $120 million budget shortfall.

The cuts are meant to make up for $95 million in projected income tax receipts that won’t be collected for the current fiscal year, combined with last year’s budget shortfall of $20 million, the total comes to roughly $120 million missing from the County’s budget, which Leggett noted is an unusual occurrence considering that the decrease in tax revenue comes as Montgomery County’s unemployment rate has simultaneously decreased.

“The traditional wisdom is when you have higher employment and a larger tax base you don’t normally see those kinds of shifts,” Leggett said. “What we’re doing is analyzing why you have a shortfall in the income tax.”

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Remains found in Brookeville identified

Montgomery County Police have determined that human remains found nearly two weeks ago in a wooded area behind a Brookeville cemetery belong to a missing California man who was recently residing in Silver Spring.

The remains have been positively identified as Harry Ryan Detwiler, 19, of the 10700 block of Margate Road in Silver Spring. His family reported him missing in September.

"The remains located recently in Brookeville have been positively identified as a young man who had been reported missing in California in September 2017, but who lived in Silver Spring," MCP Captain M.R. Yamada stated. "The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore conducted an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of the young man’s death.  The results of that autopsy are still pending."

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State and local officials stress importance to “fight for Marylanders” at JCRC breakfast

JCRC logoA number of state and local representatives stressed the importance of speaking out against Congress’s proposed cuts to programs aimed at helping the state’s most vulnerable as well as standing up for the values Marylanders hold dear, during a Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington legislative breakfast Nov. 30.

“We need all hands on deck” to work against the Trump administration’s budget, said U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)

“We are going to need engagement by everyone of you. We are going to need enormous amounts of selflessness,” said Chuck Short, special assistant to County Executive Ike Leggett.

A who’s who of Maryland legislators and candidates were among the 200 attendees at the second annual Schmooze and Nosh Maryland Legislative Breakfast at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac. The event was sponsored by JCRC, which represents more than 100 synagogues and organizations in the D.C. area.

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Montgomery BOE approves new boundaries

MoCo BOEROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Board of Education voted Monday night to approve new boundaries for the Richard Montgomery High School cluster to address enrollment at the fifth elementary school in the cluster, which is slated to open next year. 

The Board considered five proposed options to redraw the zoning boundaries. Option B, which was ultimately approved by the Board, calls for the reassigning students in zones currently served by Beall Elementary, College Gardens Elementary, and Ritchie Park Elementary – all of which are operating at over 120 percent capacity – to the as-yet-unnamed school currently designated as “Richard Montgomery Elementary School Number Five.”  Enrollment and zoning will be unchanged at Twinbrook Elementary, which is also over capacity, but to a smaller degree than the other three schools.

“Obviously, this school has been much needed and much desired by the community, and we're all very thankful to have the school,” said MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith at the beginning of the meeting.

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