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Morningside column for July 18

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Mary McHale

Published on: Wednesday, July 24, 2013

By Mary McHale

Allentown and Suitland roads designs

Over the next six to 10 years, 40,000 to 60,000 jobs are expected to come to Maryland due to Base Realignment and Closure. Some of these jobs will be at Joint Base Andrews, necessitating improvements at two local intersections: Allentown Road at the Beltway exit-ramp and Suitland Road at Andrews’ main entrance.

A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25, in the Skyline Elementary School cafeteria. You can view project designs and talk to project reps.

Plans include adding a third through-lane to northbound Allentown Road by widening to the outside and widening the exit-ramp, widening Suitland Road to accommodate a new lane, adding a retaining wall at the motel corner, removing the Allentown median to accommodate left-turn traffic, and widening Allentown Road for a new right-turn lane. Gate design at the base will be coordinated with the Air Force.

Construction is due to begin next spring with completion in spring 2016. Sarah Gentner is the State Highway Transportation Project Manager. You can contact her at 410-545-8877 or

Allentown pool, tennis courts reopen

After two long years of renovation, the Allentown Splash, Tennis and Fitness Park has reopened at 7210 Allentown Road. It sports a new weight-training room, multi-purpose room, lounge/game room, locker room, lifeguard/first aid station and outdoor ticket booth. Six outdoor tennis courts were renovated. For hours, classes and fees, call 301-449-5566.

Baby Zachary

Lorraine Wright, of Camp Springs, has a new grandson, Zachary Thomas, born June 27 to Robert and Rhianna Wright, of Woodbridge. Zachary weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces. Zachary has a 12-year-old sister, Grace.


I have just learned of the death of longtime Morningsider Jane Cowan. Can any of you tell me more about this lovely woman?

Former Morningside Mayor Karen Rooker was elected Ladies Auxiliary Guard for the Deptartment of Maryland during the annual VFW convention June 3 through June 6 in Ocean City.     

Maria DeGraba has graduated from Good Counsel High, in Olney, and will attend the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. She is the daughter of Thomas and Carol (Kline) DeGraba, former Morningside councilwoman. Maria is the granddaughter of former Morningsider Martha Kline, who now makes her home with the DeGrabas in Rockville.

Andrew Turner, social justice teacher at Gonzaga High School and formerly at his alma mater, Bishop McNamara High School, has been named a Golden Apple Teacher by the Archdiocese of Washington.

Oops: Father Damian Shadwell, former pastor of Holy Family Parish, is now chaplain for the Center for Deaf Ministry in Landover Hills and Gallaudet University in Washington.

In a recent Washington Post competition, two Southern Maryland doughnuts were ranked: Miller Farms’ sour cream placed eighth and Walls Bakery’s sugared cake was 10th. And what was the Top Doughnut? Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken’s crème brulee. The shop is at 1308 G NW, if you want to check out the crème brulee doughnut for yourself.

May they rest in peace

James W. Sheriff, Sr., 82, lifetime member of the Oxon Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Korean War veteran, died July 3. He was the husband of the late Betty Lou Sheriff; father of James W. “Billy” Sheriff Jr. and Raymond M. Sheriff, and grandfather of Jessica and Kyle.

Clyde F. Kehler, 96, of District Heights, who saw action with the Army during WWII and then served with the Air Force at Bolling and Andrews as a civilian for 30 years, died June 19. He served on the Forest Memorial United Methodist Church Board of Trustees for more than 50 years. His wife Mary Savilla Hand predeceased him. Survivors include his son James and daughter Mary L. Grant, a granddaughter and three great-grandchildren.

Robert Franklin “Bob” Rudy, 64, who grew up in North Forestville and Clinton and graduated from Suitland High School, died May 30. He attended the College of Southern Maryland and worked for Bell Atlantic. Survivors include his parents, Jack and Marjory Rudy, and three siblings.


Happy birthday to Russell Butler, July 18; Mike Fowler Sr. and Eddie Hall, July 19; Donna Buchin, Dorothy Gessner and Tina Nichols, July 20; Mary Hay and Jeff Frederick, July 21; Ryan Simms and David Cook, July 22; Virginia Price, July 23; Bill Curcio and Dr. Thomas DeGraba, July 25; and a special greeting to Florence Cray who turns 90 on July 26.

Happy anniversary to my daughter Sheila and John Mudd, their 23rd on July 20; to Percy and Barbara Crawford, their 41st on July 22; and to Steve and Tessie Johnson, their 13th on July 22.

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