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Democrat Senators Call for Al Franken to Resign


Democrat Senators Call for Al Franken to Resign
Montgomery Co. to begin FY-18 budget cuts
White House Press Briefing 11-30-17; Topics include Tillerson & Taxes
County officials discuss details of Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Minor Master Plan

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Local News

Rockville bans polystyrene

15-12-2017 Hits:130 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

ROCKVILLE — The Rockville Mayor and City Council on Monday unanimously approved a bill banning the use of polystyrene carry-out food containers that restaurants often use for take-out and delivery The bill’s passage means Rockville joins the rest of Montgomery County in banning polystyrene, more commonly known by the trademarked name Styrofoam. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based thermoplastic material that is often used to make temporary containers for food or packaging peanuts, for which it is well-suited because of its strength and light weight. However, polystyrene is not biodegradable and often finds its ways into streams and rivers as it one of the main sources of litter in the County. 

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Local politicians arrested as county bac…

14-12-2017 Hits:224 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

ROCKVILLE — U.S. Capitol Police arrested two local politicians last week in act of civil disobedience as the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday approved a resolution expressing support for the continuation of two federal immigration policies – Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. "We don't often do this, but I think under the Trump administration we wind up doing it more than customary," said Council member Marc Elrich (D-At-large). Last Wednesday, Council President Hans Riemer (D-at large) and Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-18) participated in the act of civil disobedience outside the U.S. Capitol. Capitol police arrested Riemer and Gutierrez after a staged act of civil disobedience to raise awareness for DACA and TPS. "These are civil disobedience actions that are planned very carefully," said Sol Gutierrez, who said she'd been arrested four or five times in civil disobedience protests.

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Berliner says “NO” to cuts in education …

14-12-2017 Hits:152 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

ROCKVILLE — No program is safe from cuts as the County seeks to mitigate the effects of a projected budget shortfall next fiscal year, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said. Last week Leggett announced that the County officials were anticipating a large unexpected budget shortfall, and asked that each County agency consider cutting two percent of their budget. The sudden shortfall caught County finance analysts and council members by surprise as they based their $5.4 billion budget for the fiscal year 2018 off of much greater revenue projections. "For me, everything is on the table, and you try to work through the particular details," Leggett said of the coming budget cuts.

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State News

Lt. governor candidate says 2018 will be…

08-12-2017 Hits:357 State Suzanne Pollak - avatar Suzanne Pollak

Susie Turnbull - Courtesy PhotoAs the number of candidates for governor of Maryland keeps growing, so far, only one person has declared for the lieutenant governor position, and that is Susie Turnbull of Bethesda, who will be running with gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, a former national president and CEO of the NAACP. “My campaign is about building a movement of working families to get Maryland back to doing big things again, and I can't think of a more dedicated and proven partner in this effort than Susie Turnbull,” Jealous said. “She has devoted her life to elevating the voices of working families and fighting for progressive policies and candidates with the courage to move our state and country forward.” Turnbull has been active in the Democratic Party on the County, state and national level for 40 years.

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Affordable healthcare enrollment up thro…

10-11-2017 Hits:5036 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

New enrollment in the state healthcare exchange is up 15 percent according to numbers from state officials. On Nov.1, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the state healthcare exchange that started after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and allows residents to buy a subsided health insurance plan, opened for enrollment. 5,122 new people enrolled in the state exchange from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6, compared to last year’s number of 3,478 – a 15 percent increase. Total enrollment, which combines the number of new enrollees with those who manually renewed their plans, is up 100 percent with 10, 420 people enrolling or reenrolling Nov.1 to Nov. 6 compared to 5,212 last year at the same time. The number does not count the 120,000 people participating in the exchange who automatically had their plans renewed. “It’s been a very good first week of enrollment both at the state and nationally,” said Andrew Ratner, chief marketing officer for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

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Kushner Companies working with Maryland …

03-11-2017 Hits:574 State Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

A spokesperson for the real estate business of the Kushner family said the company is working with Maryland Attorney General’s Office. “We have been working with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office to provide information in response to its request,” said Eric Wachter, a spokesperson for the Kushner Companies said in a written statement. “We are in compliance with all state and local laws.”

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Columns

True - Hope Springs Eternal

14-12-2017 Hits:170 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

I woke up to hope for the first time in a while this morning – a different America than I’ve experienced in the last year and it wasn’t just because the people of Alabama decided not to elect a racist who despises blacks, gays, and Muslims – oh and is accused of being a serial pedophile.Sure that was part of it, but in the last few days I admit I’ve been waking up more hopeful because of several actions. Looking beyond the daily Twitter litter, I believe President Trump is part of this hope, as is Joe Biden, the Democrats and the Republicans.For those who are looking for the curve ball, that’s not what this is about – well keep your eye on the ball just the same.

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About that White House Press Christmas p…

02-12-2017 Hits:8646 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

The annual White House Christmas party for reporters is always worthy of a few jokes.During the course of the year a popular joke among the press corps is “Man you pissed them off. You won’t get an invitation to the Christmas party.”Apparently April Ryan, the African-American reporter from American Urban Radio Networks, did just that. She angered the Trump administration so much she didn’t get invited to this year’s Christmas party.“I’m okay,” she said later. “Everybody’s more upset than I am.”

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Trump and two empty chairs

29-11-2017 Hits:882 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

The White House continued several of its insipid, divisive and ultimately boring games this week. Boring because they are not as Nazi-like as the Far Left would have us all believe - unless you’re specifically talking about the Nazis in “Hogan’s Heroes.”And I’ve seen all of those episodes.

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Sports

All-Sentinel Boys Varsity Soccer Team na…

13-12-2017 Hits:1802 Sports Nickolai Sukharev and Matt Cohen - avatar Nickolai Sukharev and Matt Cohen

All-Sentinel honors include B-CC head coach Guillermo Melendez as Coach of the Year and Churchill senior forward Darius Siahpoosh as Player of the Year.   PHOTOS BY DAVID WOLFE AND NICKOLAI SUKHAREV  As the third Montgomery County team in five years to win the boys state soccer title, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons defeated the Severna Park Falcons in a tense 1-0 victory at Loyola University in Baltimore. Despite finishing third in their division, the Barons defeated Kennedy, Whitman, Churchill, Gaithersburg, and Sherwood en route to Loyola to earn their first title in a decade. B-CC’s victory follows 2016 champions Walter Johnson, 2014 champions Walt Whitman, and 2012 champions Wootton. Unlike in 2016, where the Walter Johnson solely represented the county in the final four, the Sherwood advanced to the semifinals before falling 1-0 to the Barons at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro. In 2017, the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association organized the county into four divisions, unlike the three used in 2016. The 4A schools were organized into three of the four divisions while the 3A and 2A schools composed the remaining group.

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Northwest girls basketball team keeps Ma…

13-12-2017 Hits:174 Sports Eva Paspalis - avatar Eva Paspalis

ROCKVILLE — Basketball season may have just begun, but don’t tell that to the Magruder and Northwest girls varsity teams. The two squads clashed Tuesday in a hard-fought seesaw game that saw the visiting Northwest Jaguars pull away at the last minute and hand the Magruder Colonels their third loss, 53-49. Both teams appeared evenly matched from the very first whistle and neither the Colonels nor the Jaguars trailed by more than four points during the course of the game. Magruder’s Laila Grant and Northwest’s Khienya Benjamin, both senior guards, traded highlight reel plays and finished as the highest scoring player on their respective teams. Grant registered 27 points and Benjamin wasn’t far behind with 20 points of her own. Even though Northwest missed several big buckets that could have helped them pull away from Magruder, the Jaguars made up for their errors by stealing turnovers and grabbing rebounds. Benjamin, however, wasn’t worried about the Colonels coming away with the victory. “I have confidence in myself and I have confidence in my team and I know that we want to win,” she said. “I heard about [Grant] and she is a great player but we matched their intensity.”

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Churchill boys basketball team beats Wat…

13-12-2017 Hits:204 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

Churchill senior Martin Geenan (44) takes it to the basket after a fast break as Watkins Mill senior Markel Grant (1) tries to defend. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  MONTGOMERY VILLAGE — Former Good Counsel assistant David Blumenthal picked up his first victory as head coach of the Churchill Bulldogs varsity boys basketball team Monday in the Bulldogs’ 56-26 road win over the Watkins Mill Wolverines. “Anytime you can get a road win it’s huge,” said Blumenthal. Churchill senior Jake Ruben scored a game-high 13 points as the Bulldogs improved to 1-1. “Ruben is definitely a guy that we look to off the bench as a huge spark,” said Blumenthal. “He comes in, he’s full of energy, he’s all over the court and the kid can shoot so he comes in and he gets space and he hits that three, it seems to get everybody up. They start to steamroll once he hits one or two so he stepped up big.”

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Features

Award-winning author speaks at Gaithersb…

05-10-2017 Hits:1483 Entertainment Rachel Cain - avatar Rachel Cain

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26, as part of the One Maryland, One Book program. COURTESY PHOTO  GAITHERSBURG — Award-winning and world-renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke to an audience of about 1,000 people at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 26 as part of the One Maryland One Book program. Adichie is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award and her work has been translated into over 30 languages.  She divides her time between nearby Columbia and Lagos, Nigeria. The Maryland Humanities Council established the One Maryland One Book program 10 years ago to encourage Marylanders to read and discuss a certain book every year. A committee with the council chooses a book that aligns with the year’s theme. This year’s book is “Purple Hibiscus” by Adichie and the theme is “Home & Belonging.” This year, there are 350 programs in the state focused on this book, including three events with the author, said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “Purple Hibiscus” is a coming-of-age novel that follows the account of 15-year-old Kambili as she navigates a fraught relationship with her abusive father during political upheaval in Nigeria. Kambili and her brother spend time together living in...

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Chekhov-inspired comedy opens Highwood T…

05-10-2017 Hits:1085 Entertainment Barbara Trainin Blank - avatar Barbara Trainin Blank

The cast of Christopher Durang's comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” now playing at Highwood Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO  Richard Fiske admits to being an adrenaline junkie. He fulfilled that need in the past by serving as a U.S. Navy officer for 27 years, then as an engineer and diving and salvage engineer, also for the Navy. Now he gets that fix onstage. For over six years, he’s performed as an actor in the D.C. area. “I get to do fun stuff and be different people,” Fiske said. His current role is Vanya in Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” the production launching Highwood Theatre’s 2017-2018 season. The play also stars Margaret Condon as Sonia, Rachel Varley as Masha, Thomas Shuman as Spike, Kecia Campbell as Cassandra, and Amber James as Nina.

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Halloween attractions gear up for openin…

03-10-2017 Hits:878 Entertainment Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

In 1993, the venture that would eventually become Markoff's Haunted Forest began modestly as a haunted bus ride that visited area. Brothers Matt, Nick, and Alex Markoff conceived of the haunt as a means to raise money for their goal of starting an outdoor educational summer camp. In subsequent years, the haunt was relocated to the grounds of the Markoff family farm in Dickerson. "I didn't know if anyone would come," said Matt Markoff. "I hoped people would make the drive." Markoff's Haunted Forest, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is now a beloved annual tradition for thousands of area residents. The haunt, which employs hundreds of seasonal employees, includes two trails, a haunted western trail, and a waiting area with bonfires, games, rides, and food vendors. Proceeds from ticket sales fund the Markoff's nonprofit organization, Calleva, Inc, which provides educational activities for hundreds of students every year.

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