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Local News

County holds public hearing on pool law

23-06-2017 Hits:101 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

ROCKVILLE – On Tuesday the Montgomery County Council held a public hearing on a bill that would allow for hotel pools to remain open without a lifeguard. If passed, Expedited Bill 16-17 would require hotel pools to have an emergency alert system next to the pool. The bill, introduced by Council member Sidney Katz (D-3) and cosponsored by Council members Nancy Floreen (D-at large), Marc Elrich (d-at large) and Roger Berliner (D- 1), would repeal what hotel mangers call a costly bill. Montgomery County is one of only two jurisdictions in the state – along with Baltimore County– to require hotels to have a lifeguard on duty while the pool is open.

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County discusses diversity in policing

22-06-2017 Hits:53 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

Last year Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger met with County residents after police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana were caught on camera shooting African-American men. The videos promoted protest and outrage across the Country, including in Montgomery County, from people who thought police departments did not represent the communities they sworn to protect. At one of the community forums, Manger promised to continue to try to diversify the County’s police department, but it was hard to keep up with the County’s quickly changing demographics.

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"It's Time..."

22-06-2017 Hits:206 Local Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

Rockville votes to take a stand against President Trump and federal immigration policy ROCKVILLE – Rockville City Council members called the debate over the proposed ordinance to prohibit city officials from enforcing immigration law, one of the most contentious issues they have dealt with. On Monday, the Rockville City Council and Mayor voted to pass the Fostering Community Trust Ordinance 3-2, which will ban City officials from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Council members Virginia D. Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr and Mark Pierzchala voted in favor of the ordinance while Council member Beryl L. Feinberg and Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton voted against it. “When it comes to this jurisdiction, I think it’s time for the City of Rockville to take a stand,” Pierzchala said.

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State News

Trump's budget would force state, county…

26-05-2017 Hits:608 State Vic Simon - avatar Vic Simon

President Trump proposed a detailed budget May 23 that kept the themes of his March budget blueprint: steep cuts to science-based agencies, many headquartered in Montgomery County, and to programs to aid lower-income people, offset by sizable increases for defense and Homeland Security. Compared with the 80-page budget released in March, the new spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018) is a vast, eight-volume document with details on Trump’s proposals for every agency. Other subjects newly addressed include how the deficit would be affected, the major changes from previous budgets, revenue forecasts, and economic growth assumptions. Given the size of the new document, reactions to it this week are only preliminary, with the meanings of many provisions yet to be unearthed by congressional review over the coming months. If the proposed major cuts are enacted to Medicaid, food stamps (called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or “SNAP”), elderly and school nutrition, “It would be up to the County or state government or both to pick up the pieces,” said Joy Nurmi, special assistant to County Executive Ike Leggett. For instance, she predicted, if SNAP cutbacks are adopted, many people would go to food pantries such as Manna Food Center in...

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CareFirst files for massive health premi…

18-05-2017 Hits:860 State Vic Simon - avatar Vic Simon

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield proposed monthly premiums averaging more than 50 percent higher for 2018 than for 2017, in filings to the Maryland Insurance Department for the online health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The three other companies offering coverage in Maryland’s online/individual market, CIGNA, Kaiser Mid-Atlantic, and Evergreen Health, applied for substantial but smaller 2018 rates that average 37.4 percent, 18.1 percent, and 27.8 percent, respectively. CareFirst has the largest market share by far over the company’s Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia market area, said the company’s CEO, Chet Burrell. It covers two out of every three people in that area with coverage purchased through the ACA online exchanges. The public may comment online about the proposed rate increases through June 20. The Maryland Insurance Department will hold a public hearing on the proposals on June 21 at its offices in Baltimore. Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr., said the agency would make a decision by late summer. The ACA requires the agency to approve rates that are adequate to meet the costs of the coverage.

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Franchot looks to reform alcohol laws

25-04-2017 Hits:707 State Kathleen Stubbs - avatar Kathleen Stubbs

The state comptroller said Tuesday he is starting an alcohol task force to review state laws because the state is more “restrictive” on craft breweries than every other state in the country. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said he wants to see reform in Maryland alcohol laws. He said the task force, called Reform on Tap, will meet at breweries across the state and discuss concerns about existing laws as well as ideas for new legislation to propose to the General Assembly. Stakeholders such as breweries would make up the task force.

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Columns

Go To Your Room - and Grow up!

21-06-2017 Hits:178 Editor's Notebook Brian Karem - avatar Brian Karem

The simplest requests can often lead to the most obtuse results.When my children were extremely young my wife and I tried to persuade them to “use their words,” when they were angry.

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The best speech Trump has made yet

20-06-2017 Hits:306 Editor's Notebook Brian Karem - avatar Brian Karem

In the stifling heat of the muggiest day in recent D.C. memory, last Monday President Donald Trump made his most enduring and remarkable speech since he took office. With hundreds of spectators gathered on the South Lawn of the White House, president Trump spoke of sacrifice and challenges. He spoke of inspiration and hard work. He spoke of selfless leadership and victory over insurmountable odds. He spoke of teamwork and appealed to the spirit of cooperation and becoming a part of something larger than ourselves.

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Learning lessons the hard way

15-06-2017 Hits:323 Editor's Notebook Brian J. Karem - avatar Brian J. Karem

Wednesday morning, shortly after I got up to go to work, I received a tweet that would change my day and should change our world.While practicing for a charity baseball game, a GOP congressman (Steve Scalise) apparently got shot by a 66-year-old man from Belleville, Illinois.Witnesses say there were as many as 100 shots fired, five people injured and the Capitol police along with the congressman’s security (he’s the majority whip and as a member of the leadership had security with him) “attacked” and took down the shooter.The immediate, chilling affect soon gave way to accusations and finger pointing.Again, we ask, “How can this happen?”

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Sports

Late rally leads to Express win over Dod…

20-06-2017 Hits:213 Sports Brandy L. Simms - avatar Brandy L. Simms

Billy Lennox pounds out a hit for the Rockville Express. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  ROCKVILLE – Tyler Galazin helped propel the Rockville Express to a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Dodgers Saturday at Montgomery College. The Express came to life thanks to Galazin’s bat that drove in the game-winning runs. “Team play all the way around,” said Galazin, a junior infielder from Pennsylvania who attends Liberty University. “Guys were getting on [base], guys were bunting. We came up with a couple clutch hits.” Rockville rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the fourth inning to capture the win over Baltimore.

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Aces hold off late Giants comeback for 7…

20-06-2017 Hits:146 Sports Carlos Alfaro - avatar Carlos Alfaro

GAITHERSBURG — A late three-inning streak by the Gaithersburg Giants was not enough to topple the Alexandria Aces, in a surprising finish that saw the Giants nearly nab a win but instead lost 7-6. The comeback was an improbable one that came from a team that had trailed since the second inning and could not find its footing until late in the game. “I was proud of the effort, going down 6-1 in the second inning isn’t the easiest thing to do, and we haven’t played particularly well over the past couple nights. It was tough to fall down like that,” said Giants manager Jeff Rabberman.

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Northwest takes state title in boys, run…

19-06-2017 Hits:342 Sports Kathleen Stubbs - avatar Kathleen Stubbs

BALTIMORE –The Northwest High School boys track and field team became state champions and the girls team took second place in the state championship at Morgan State University May 26 and May 27. The Northwest Jaguars boys team won three state titles for outdoor track in the last four years under the leadership of head coach Robert Youngblood. The team won the 4A state championship in 2014, 2016 and 2017. “The boys, it was a plan that we were going to score between 30 and 40 points the first day, and then we knew that our strength was coming up in the finals,” Youngblood said.

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Features

Hometown Holidays carries on in the rain

02-06-2017 Hits:481 Entertainment Neal Earley - avatar Neal Earley

A local Rockville family lines up to watch “Rolling Thunder” coming up I-270 for Memorial Day. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTHROCKVILLE – Neither rain, nor rain or more rain could keep local residents from enjoying the local party. Rockville celebrated its 29th annual Hometown Holidays this Memorial Day weekend with live music, a parade and food from a variety of Rockville restaurants. Weekend rain kept the crowds smaller than previous years, but thousands still showed up to celebrate. “I thought it was another opportunity that kind of really showed how warm and welcoming we are as a community,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton.

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Local disc jockey reflects on years in t…

01-06-2017 Hits:297 Entertainment Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

(Donald) Cerphe Colwell’s 45 years in the D.C. area’s music scene began in 1971, when Colwell, then a “struggling art major” at American University, was invited by Steve Walker, a DJ at Bethesda-based station WHFS, to visit the station. Colwell was hired to work the 7 p.m.-to-midnight shift on Saturdays. “I saw the world with fresh eyes,” Colwell said of the experience. He said he’d been fascinated by radio since his childhood in Boston, when he listened to a transistor radio in bed at night. Colwell would go on to work for several years at WHFS – the first station in the area to broadcast in FM stereo. “There was a real feeling of creativity and community,” Colwell said. “I could go from the Beatles to John Coltrane. I went around and talked to bands who were being ignored by the larger stations and invited them to come on my show. Bands loved to come to our studio because we didn’t put time limits on them. Frank Zappa would come on and talk about all kinds of things. We were one of the first five radio stations in the country to play Bruce Springsteen’s music. Bruce played five or six sets on on...

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Local students appear on public televisi…

01-06-2017 Hits:325 Entertainment Peter Rouleau - avatar Peter Rouleau

One hundred and fifty members of a Bethesda-based youth arts program appeared on a televised tribute to an acclaimed composer June 1. Founded in 2011 by brother Rolando and Kristofer Sanz, Young Artists of America at Strathmore provides instruction and mentorship to middle and high school students throughout the D.C. metro area in various aspects of musical theater. The one-hour television special, “Young Artists of America: The Songs of Tim Rice,” is hosted by Rice himself, a frequent collaborator with Andrew Lloyd Webber and others on several acclaimed Broadway musicals. It was recently filmed at Maryland Public Television’s studio in Owings Mills. The program features performances of songs from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Evita” and others. It also featured segments where Rice speaks about his career, as well as featuring footage of the performers’ backstage preparations.

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