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This Week in Potomac 6-29-05

POLICE NAB ROBBERY SUSPECT

Montgomery County Police have arrested a suspect in the April 21 home invasion and robbery in the 12800 block of Esworthy Road.

Police arrested and charged David Christopher Alexander, 20, of the 2200 block of Wetherburne Way in Frederick with first-degree assault, armed robbery, first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. He was released after posting $60,000 bond.

At 4:21 p.m. on April 21, 1st District officers responded to the report of a burglary in progress. The investigation revealed that a lone suspect knocked on the front door. A female inside refused to open the door, but the suspect forced his way in, displayed a handgun, and forced the woman into an upstairs bedroom where there were two young children. Police say the suspect took property from the house and exited going westbound on Esworthy Road. The victims were not injured.

In late May, police released a computer-created composite image of the suspect, which appeared in several newspapers and resulted in a tip that led to the suspect.

A second suspect that was seen outside the residence during the robbery has not been identified and remains at large.

FREE CAB RIDES JULY 3-4

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will operate its SoberRide program July 3 and 4, from 4 p.m.-4 a.m. each day, to help keep impaired drivers off the roads. The program offers free taxi service to people celebrating the holiday with alcohol. The service is offered to area residents 21 and older who might otherwise have driven home after drinking.

Residents in Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Washington, D.C., and four Northern Virginia counties may call 1-800-200-TAXI and receive a free cab ride (up to a $50 fare) to get home safely. Cingular Wireless customers may also call #-TAXI for the same service.

Independence Day is the second-deadliest annual holiday for drivers, with more alcohol-related fatalities than New Year's, St. Patrick's Day, and Super Bowl Sunday combined.

Washington Regional Alcohol Program is a non-profit, public-private partnership that addresses drunk driving and underage drinking. More than 10 local taxi companies donate the SoberRide service with the support of corporate sponsors.

CURE AUTISM NOW RUN

The fifth annual 5K run and family fun walk in Potomac takes place Monday, July 4, beginning next to the Potomac Library. The race benefits Cure Autism Now. The 5K road race starts 8 a.m.; 1-mile walk starts 8:05 a.m.

When the first CAN 5K took place in Potomac five years ago, one in 500 children was diagnosed with autism. Now there are one in 150 children diagnosed with autism. Improved diagnostic methods account for part of this increase, but not all of it. “This is a national epidemic,” said race organizer Susan Pereles.

To register or donate or for more information visit www.canrun.org.

CORRECTION

A story last week about the proposed bicycle path on the east side of Falls Road between Potomac Village and Dunster Road contained inaccurate information.

It would pass in front of 123 homes and businesses. Among those, county planners anticipate having to negotiate 81 “revertible easements” with homeowners. In such cases, the county uses part of the owner's property during construction, and the land reverts to the owner’s control when work is finished. The resulting path lies entirely within county or state right of way, not on the owner’s land.

DEMOCRATIC LEADER AT COMMUNITY CENTER

Terry Lierman, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, will hold a meeting at the Potomac Community Center on Tuesday, July 12 from 7:30-9 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, contact Kenneth Giunta at 202-285-6735 or at kjg212@aol.com or Bilal Ayyub at 301-299-9375 or at ba@umd.edu.

SCHOOLS SEEK USED SUPPLIES

Montgomery County Public Schools and Learn Shop Inc. are collecting used school supplies in good condition for children in need as part of their annual Drive for Supplies.

The groups seeking pencils, rulers, paper, glue, notebooks, crayons, scissors, folders, markers and dictionaries, etc. No clothing will be accepted.

Businesses and individuals may drop off donations in the cafeteria of Julius West Middle School, 651 Great Falls Road in Rockville from July 5-8.

Students wishing to earn service learning hours may help sort and pack the supplies. For more information, contact the MCPS Student Affairs Office at 301-279-4957.

PADDLE FOR CONSERVATION

Registration is open for the fourth annual Potomac Sojourn, a week-long canoeing and kayaking expedition with visits to important sites along the river, shoreline camping, ecological restoration projects, festive meals, meetings with elected officials and more.

The Sojourn is co-sponsored by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to boost awareness of the Potomac River’s importance to the region and encourage residents to play an active role in its restoration. Novice and experienced paddlers are welcome to join, and may sign up for all or part of the trip.

The trip begins July 9 in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and ends in Great Falls, Va., with planned stops at White’s Ferry and Pennyfield Lock in Montgomery County.

For more information and registration, visit www.acb-online.org/project.cfm?vid=241.