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This Week in Potomac

Potomac River Watershed Cleanup

Volunteers are needed for the 16th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup on Saturday, April 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., at more than 140 sites in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. This year, D.C. United Major League Soccer Team has joined the effort and will provide "Buy One Get One Free" ticket vouchers good for games on April 24 and May 8 to all volunteers who participate.

"Take Pride in the Potomac: It's Time to Take Out the Trash!" is this year's theme. The health of the Potomac is negatively affected by litter and pollutants that run off streets, enter storm drains, and then flow to area waterways, and eventually end up in the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay.

Volunteers can contact Wende Pearson, the Cleanup coordinator, with the Alice Ferguson Foundation at 301-292-6665 or visit the Web site at www.PotomacCleanup.org for site locations in need of help.

Man Commits Suicide

A Potomac man died of suicide on March 28, say Montgomery County Police.

At 11:46 a.m., police responded to a call that a man had fallen from the third floor of a parking garage on the 12000 block of the Rockville Pike. The man was identified as a 31-year-old white male from Potomac. Police do not release the identities of individuals who commit suicide.

He was transported to Suburban Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:59 a.m.

Security video from the parking garage confirmed the cause of death, say police. A deputy medical examiner responded to the hospital and ruled the death a suicide.

Crash on the River

Two men crashed their personal watercraft (Jet-Skis) on the Potomac River, near Riley’s Lock, on March 27, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

“The initial call came from Loudoun County, Va.,” said Piringer.

At about 4:45 p.m., the call came in that two boats had crashed. “Once we got to Riley’s Lock, we discovered it was personal watercraft,” Piringer said.

The two men were friends, Piringer said, and when the county’s Swiftwater Rescue Team arrived, they found both men on the Virginia shoreline.

One of the two was taken to a hospital in Virginia with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, Piringer said.

While the team was out in the area, they also towed a stranded boater to shore. Piringer points out that now that the weather is getting nicer, many people will be out on the water on equipment that is new or has not been used for several months. “We try to remind everybody to take time to familiarize themselves with their equipment,” Piringer said.

“That’s a somewhat dangerous area, because not too far down is the Seneca Break,” Piringer said. The break is an area of swift water before Great Falls at Blockhouse Point.

Hiker Falls

An adult female hiker fell about 25 feet onto the rocks on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, across from the Billy Goat Trail, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department.

The county’s swift water rescue team assisted the Fairfax County, Va. rescue team in bringing the woman to safety. She was then taken to a hospital in Virginia for treatment, Piringer said.

Change Clocks, Batteries

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, April 4 at 2 a.m. The Montgomery County Fire Department reminds residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks.

Residential Burglaries

* Bent Cross Drive, 9800 block: Between 9 p.m. on March 14 and 8 a.m. on March 15 suspects entered the garage and took keys.

* River Road, 11000 block: Between 11 p.m. on March 14 and 4 a.m. on March 15 suspects attempted to enter by prying the door.

* South Glen Road, 11400 block: Between 11 p.m. on March 16 and 6:45 a.m. on March 17. suspects entered the home, it is unknown what was taken.

* Lost Trail Way, 9500 block: Between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on March 16, Suspects entered the home and took jewelry and money.

Community Center Flea Market

The Potomac Community Center will hold its annual indoor flea market in Saturday, May 22 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Vendor spaces cost $25 and those vendors who wish to rent a table can do so for an additional $5. Vendor set-up starts at 7:30 a.m. All proceeds go to benefit the activities at the center.

Individuals interested in becoming vendors can either stop by the center for an application or call the center at 301-983-4471 and ask for one to be mailed to them.

Fire and Rescue Receives Grant

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services will receive $524,125 to implement a "Creating a Culture of Preparedness and Safety" fire prevention program from the Department of Homeland Security through its Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The "Creating a Culture of Preparedness and Safety" program will expand existing community emergency response teams, develop a wireless communications system for program volunteers and create two injury prevention programs, Senior Safety Outreach and Youth Risk Watch Outreach. It will also create Safety Zone, an interactive fire prevention and safety education program, in Silver Spring.

This is the third award for a Montgomery County fire department, totaling $861,268 in federal assistance through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program over the last year.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is a competitive grant program open to fire departments nationwide. Fire departments can apply for money for training, firefighting equipment, protective gear, fire prevention programs and firefighting vehicles. More than 19,950 fire departments applied for funding this year, totaling $2.5 billion in requests.

Clara Barton Seeks Volunteers

The Clara Barton National Historical Site is running an intake program for volunteers to assist during the 2004-2005 seasons. The intake includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the site and an in-depth tour of the house. This program targets those considering volunteering at the museum but who need more information. The intake program is for up to 12 participants by reservation only.

Positions include giving tours of weekends and assisting with museum projects. Volunteers can also staff special events and open house programs. Training is provided.

For more information, call Park Ranger Bob Carns at 301-492-6245. Clara Barton National Historical Site is located at 5801 Oxford Road, Glen Echo, and is adjacent to Glen Echo Park. Visit www.nps.gov/clba.

Goldwater Named in Top 100 Women

Delegate Marilyn Goldwater (D-Montgomery County 16th) was named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women. She was similarly honored in 2002. The Top 100 Women are chosen based on their professional accomplishments, participation in volunteer programs and mentoring.

Goldwater, a registered nurse, is a member of the Health and Government Operations Committee and chairs the Long Term Care Subcommittee. Among Goldwater's bills, now law, are measures to provide mandatory post-delivery hospital stays of 48 hours for new mothers; require insurers to cover the cost for osteoporosis, prostate cancer and chlamydia screening; require continued health insurance coverage for incapacitated children who are dependent on parents; provide day care centers for medically handicapped unemployable adults; and require insurance carriers to provide women direct access to certified nurse midwives for primary and preventive OB/GYN services.

As president of the Women's Legislative Caucus, she established an internship to enable college students to understand the legislative process as well as the work of the Caucus in addressing those issues that affect women and their families.

Goldwater is an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and recipient of the WAND/WILL Achievement in Women's Health for Women's Health policy. In 1996, she was named Legislator of the Year by the Montgomery County Medical Society.

New Hours for Vehicle Emissions Stations

In an effort to accommodate Vehicle Emission Inspection program (VEIP) customer demands better, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has altered the weekly hours of its VEIP stations. The new VEIP station hours of operation are Monday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. The Saturday hours of 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.

To find the neares VEIP station, log on to the MVA's Web site at www.marylandmva.com or call the MVA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-950-IMVA (1682).