With a thick skin and a big heart one of the county’s best prosecutors is honored

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Kathy KnightMaryland Senior State's Attorney for Montgomery County Kathy Knight.          PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

Sure, it is great to be identified as one of the elite in your profession, but as far as Maryland Senior State’s Attorney for Montgomery County Kathy Knight is concerned, there’s much work to be done.

After 21-plus years as a state’s attorney, where she has investigated and prosecuted pretty much any kind of crime you can think of, Knight looks at her induction as a fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers mostly as a great resource. As a member of this prestigious organization, where only the top 1 percent of the total lawyer population in each state can belong, Knight is humbled and very excited to have legal friends all over the country.

Her boss, John McCarthy, state’s attorney for Montgomery County, called it “a great honor for one of our best and most senior prosecutors. Kathy Knight is a terrific attorney who mentors” assistant state’s attorneys “and handles tough assignments regularly.”


County Businesses Export $5 Billion per Year, Supporting 35,000 Jobs

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Montgomery County exporters brought in more than $5 billion in 2015, supporting 35,000 jobs and comprising 6.5 percent of the county’s overall economy, according to data jointly produced by the Brookings Institution and the Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University in Virginia.

Much of the county’s – and Maryland’s – economy is “knowledge-based,” said Signe Pringle, director of the state Commerce Department’s Office of International Investment and Trade, which assists businesses with exports and helps to attract foreign companies to invest in Maryland. That’s reflected in high-tech exports in fields such as life sciences (mainly drugs and medical equipment), information technology and defense equipment, Pringle noted.

Jeannette Chapman, deputy director of the Fuller Institute, a top source of information on the regional economy, said, “Because our [metropolitan Washington] region specializes in services, we export relatively few shippable items.” The Brookings/Fuller data in Tables 1 and 2 are “the best available estimates” for service exports, which “are somewhat harder to track” than shipments, Chapman explained. Table 2 shows the importance of service products in Montgomery’s exports, she noted.


Berliner supports local Muslim communities

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SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-1) came to the Muslim Community Center as part of MCC’s Community Education Series to address members’ concerns regarding hate crimes in the area after the MCC received a threatening letter in late February.           

“This is a time and a conversation that I never thought I’d have in my lifetime,” Berliner said.  “For those of us who believe in government and the goodness of our people, this has been a particularly challenging time … if you don’t feel welcome in Montgomery County, then we’ve failed you.”


Manger talks about building trust at Montgomery College

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ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger said County police have about 500,000 contacts with the public every year, and each one has the potential to go awry.

“What I tell my cops is that every single one of those contacts can either contribute and build trust, or it can damage trust,” Manger said.

Last week Manger and Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard sat down for a discussion at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus to discuss relations between police and the community. Manger talked about the struggles to build trust with the community and the potential for unrest in the County.

“Ferguson can happen anywhere, you have to pay attention to the relationship that the police department has with the community,” Manger said.


First snowstorm of the year comes up short of hype

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Snowman building after snowstorm StellaPauil Folder and Alex Fulda from Florida make a snowman in the first snowfall they’ve ever seen - following snowstorm Stella this week. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

ROCKVILLE – It took until the last week of winter, but the area finally got some measurable snow.

A nor’easter hit the County, along with much of the Northeast Monday and Tuesday giving the Washington metropolitan area its largest snowfall of the winter. The Up-County received the brunt of the storm, with Damascus getting 4.5 inches, Derwood receiving 3.5 inches while Takoma Park got 2 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

On Monday night, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency, and Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery County government closed on Tuesday.

After local and state governments took precautions for a large snowstorm, once most of the storm had passed, County residents did not seem too concerned about it.

“People are freaking out for nothing. This is not that bad – we’ve seen worse,” said Rockville resident Rameez Khatri of how County residents often make a big deal out of few inches of snow.


Franchot suspends nine county tax preparers

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot’s office has suspended nine Montgomery County tax preparers as part of a broader effort suspending 78 preparers in statewide.

Suspended preparers cannot file online or paper income tax returns for clients this tax filing season or other Maryland state returns, said the comptroller’s office in a March 2 news release.

The grounds for suspension were “a high volume of questionable returns received” from the preparers, which the comptroller’s Questionable Return Detection Team flagged.


Two more residents file to run as they seek county office

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Two more people filed to run for County office last week after the filing period begun Feb. 28.

North Potomac consultant and former teacher Ed Amatetti filed last week, and is running as a Republican for the County Council District 2 seat, while Rockville accountant Richard Gottfried filed for one of the open County Council at-large seats and is running as a Democrat.


County to hold hearing on providing security to Jewish centers

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Interfaith clergy assembly at JCCSpeakers from a variety of faiths were present at the Jewish Community Center's hate crime solidarity event earlier this week. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

The Montgomery County Council agreed Tuesday to hold a public hearing on April 4 to allocate $225,000 to three Jewish institutions so that they could beef up their security in light of the 130 bomb threats received across the United States since the beginning of this year.

The most recent threat occurred Monday night at the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville. A threatening email was received at 11:32 p.m., said Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

Halber declined to say who the email was sent to, noting, “I am not interested in giving anyone ideas.”

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