SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM GETS FUNDING
Montgomery County's Urban Search and Rescue team would receive increased federal funding under the 2006 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill, U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) said in a statement last week.
The bill has passed both houses of Congress and been sent to the president for his signature.
The bill provides $20 million in funding for local teams like the one in Montgomery County, a $13 million increase from the President's budget.
The Task Force is a member of a framework designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for structuring local emergency personnel into integrated disaster response task forces. This team responded to the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
MEDICARE FORUM PLANNED
U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-8th) will host a public forum to discuss the Medicare program, including the prescription drug benefit that will take effect Nov. 15.
The forum will be Tuesday, Nov. 1, 9:30-11 a.m. at the Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Drive. Experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will discuss new benefit and respond to questions from the audience.
LIFE AND DEATH ON THE C&O CANAL
Costumed park rangers and volunteers will reenact 13 historical tragedies during lantern-lit walking tours on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center at C&O Canal National Historical Park.
Scenes such as the 1890s murder of a Canal lockkeeper and the retreat from the Battle of Balls Bluff during the Civil War will be part of the ninth annual program "Life and Death on the C&O Canal."
Tours begin every 15 minutes from 6:30-9 p.m. and will last about one hour. Reservations are required.
Visitors are encouraged to wear good walking shoes and bring a flashlight. Fees are $6 for adults and $4 for seniors, ages 62 and older, and children, ages 4 to 14. Children under 4 are free, but parents are advised that some scenes may be too intense for young children.
To make reservations, call 301-767-3714.
HAUNTED TRAIL RETURNS
The Johnson family haunted trail, an annual Halloween tradition in Potomac, will be open Saturday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 29, 6-9 p.m.
The walking trail features ghosts, ghouls, treats and scary surprises. Refreshments will be served.
As always, there is no charge for admission, but donations will be collected for charity. This year, funds will go to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief.
Note that for the first time the trail will not be open Halloween night.
The location of the haunted forest is 11930 Cragwood Way, off of Glen Road just north of Piney Meetinghouse Road. Call 301-299-9164.
DEER HUNTS IN BLOCKHOUSE, MUDDY BRANCH
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced plans Monday to expand its managed deer hunt program.
New hunt locations include the Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park and Muddy Branch Stream Valley Park in Potomac as well as the Dry Seneca Stream Valley Park in Poolesville, portions of the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park and North Germantown Greenway Park in Goshen.
This decision follows recommendations from an inter-agency work group commissioned to help reduce deer-related traffic accidents and other negative impacts.
Hunts in Potomac will take place at the Serpentine Barrens and Muddy Branch Parks, and Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (an existing hunt location) Tuesdays Nov. 8 and 22 and Dec. 13.
The parks will be closed from sunrise until sunset those days, and closure notices will be posted.
For more information, visit www.mc-mncppc.org/environment/deer/index.shtm or call the Commission’s deer information hotline at 301-495-3585.