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This Week In Potomac 9-22-04

NO ONE INJURED IN WEEKEND RIVER INCIDENTS

High waters from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan prompted several river rescues over the weekend. On Sunday, at around 11 p.m., a man and a woman called 911 from a cell phone and reported that they had gotten stranded on an island during a hike and didn't know where they were. Rescuers determined that they were on Purple Horse Beach, near Old Anglers Inn, and dispatched both helicopters and Cabin John Fire Department's swift water rescue team. The man and woman were rescued, uninjured, by the boats and were cited by the U.S. Park Police for being in the park after dark.

Earlier on Sept. 19, the swift water rescue team, a National Park Service helicopter, and a MedStar helicopter that happened to be in the area assisted Fairfax county rescuers in searching for an adult male and a female child last seen in the vicinity of Algonkian Park. The missing people were found safely on shore, but the rescue effort continued when one of the rescue boats came across an unoccupied boat that contained clothing and oars. "We continued to search to make sure that there wasn't someone else missing," said Pete Piringer, spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

"At Riley's Lock it was up over the banks to the service road," Piringer said of the high waters. "Of course when the conditions are like that ... sometimes it looks less swift than normal but it's actually worse undeneath."

ONE SUSPECT STILL MISSING IN FALSS CHAPEL WAY RAPE

A fourth man was arrested Sept. 17 in connection with the Sept. 6 rape and robbery of a 19-year old woman in her home in Potomac, while a fifth suspect remains at large. Daniel Smith, 18, of the 9700 block of Pleasant Gate Lane in Potomac, is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and accessory after the fact to first degree burglary. According to police, Smith helped obtain a key to the victim's house for the purpose of later breaking in with the other suspects. However, he did not enter the home, police say.

The final suspect in the rape and robbery has been identified as Gujann Asimlee Lee, 18, of Washington D.C. Anyone with information about these crimes or about Lee's location is asked to call the major crimes division of Montgomery County Police at 240-773-5070. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-800-673-2777.

POLICE MAKE ARREST IN POTOMAC EMBEZZLEMENT

Police arrested a Gaithersburg woman Sept. 14 who allegedly embezzled $130,000 from a Potomac businessman. Tinita Crystal Jordan, age 40, was released Sept. 15 on $100,000 bond. Police say she opened an unauthorized credit card account and diverted funds deposited to the victim's property management and real estate business. Bank records showed that the suspect forged signatures and wrote unauthorized checks, including one used to by a car. Some bank records have yet to be reviewed. Jordan is charged with four counts of theft over $500 and one count of theft scheme over $500.

WHITMAN HONORS JEROME M. MARCO

After 29 years as principal at Walt Whitman High School, Dr. Jerome M. Marco retired last June. All alumni, students, parents and friends are invited to the dedication of Dr. Jerome M. Marco Stadium at Whitman’s Homecoming Football Game on Friday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m., as well as a reception in the auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m.

WOOTTON AWAITS CELL TOWER PLANS

Michael Doran, principal of Wootton High School, expects the school will receive detailed plans from Cingular Wireless about a proposed cell phone tower on school property within the next three weeks. Several other county schools have cell phone towers on school grounds, including Tilden Middle School and Sherwood High School.

Cingular asked Montgomery County Public Schools about building a tower at Wootton last spring. If the tower were built, Wootton would receive $8,000, Wootton cluster schools would receive $8,000, and MCPS would receive $8,000 from Cingular. Doran and Wootton’s PTSA did not oppose the tower, but they did object to specific proposals for a tower by Wootton’s sports stadium, after meeting with Cingular representatives last April.

“We initially looked at [proposals for] a couple of different locations,” Doran said. “There were some drawbacks to some of those locations. … Really we kind of stopped the progress.”

“It would have been unattractive and would have deprived our community of full use of the sidelines,” wrote Pat Brennan, Wootton’s PTSA vice president, in a newsletter.

Doran expects to receive plans for alternative tower locations from Cingular and said any new proposals will also be reviewed by the PTSA and community members before making a recommendation to MCPS Superintendent Jerry Weast. “The idea is to do it thoughtfully,” Doran said.

BURGLARY

*Whitaker Brothers Business Machine Inc., 12410 Washington Ave., Rockville, between 4 p.m. on Sept. 11 and 10 a.m. on Sept. 13. Broke through door, pried lock, U.S. currency taken.

*12000 block of Charles Road, Rockville, on Sept. 10. Reached through basement window, nothing taken.

*Word Wizards, 7900 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, between 7 p.m. on Sept. 10 and 5:46 p.m. on Sept. 12. Punched a hole in drywall and unlocked door; took electronic equipment.

*Kamerow, Weintraub & Swain, 11400 Rockville Pike, Rockville, on Sept. 12, between 1 and 1:05 p.m. Forced side door, took athletic shoes, baseball cap and white cotton gloves with blue palms.

*Federal Training Center, 4615 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda, between 2 p.m. on Aug. 16 and 7:45 a.m. on Sept. 8. Unknown point of entry, took Powerpoint projector.

*Papadopulos & Associates, 7944 Wisconsin Ave., between 7 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 7 p.m. on Sept. 3. Broke door knob off; attempt only.