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This Week in Potomac Aug. 23, 2006

Sales Tax Holiday August 23-27

The state of Maryland is holding a Sales Tax Holiday August 23-27 in consideration of back-to-school shopping for clothes. Most clothing and footwear — including sweaters, shirts, slacks, jeans, dresses, robes, underwear, belts, shoes and boots — priced at $100 or less will be exempt from the state's 5 percent sales tax. Accessory items like jewelry, watches, headbands and handbags are not exempt. The total cost of multiple exempt items can exceed $100. However, the first $100 of a more expensive item is not exempt.

Delegate Jean Cryor (R-15) sponsored the legislation.

"It's written for Maryland families," she said. "I call it a 'mom's bill.'"

For more information about Maryland's Sales Tax Holiday, visit www.marylandtaxes.com or call 1-800-MD TAXES.

Melanson Released from Hospital

Kevin Melanson was released from the hospital after more than a week of being hospitalized in critical condition, said Lucille Baur, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Police Department. For privacy reasons, Bauer could not confirm the date of release.

Melanson, a 22-year-old Potomac resident, was the driver of a 1997 Nissan 240 SX that struck two trees on Horseshoe Lane on the morning of July 29. Michael Joseph Peterson, 23, the passenger in the vehicle, died from injuries sustained in the collision.

The accident remains under investigation, and the process, which is followed by a review by the state’s attorney, typically takes several months.

Police Seek Information on Cabin John Commercial Burglary

Officers from the Montgomery County Police 2nd District discovered a commercial burglary in progress and made an arrest.

On August 18, at approximately 1:30 a.m., officers from the 2nd District were patrolling the area of Cabin John when they observed subjects leaving the Captain’s Market located at 7607 MacArthur Boulevard. When the subjects saw police they dropped the items they were carrying. Officers found a cash register drawer with cash, cigarettes, and scratch off lottery tickets on the ground.

The officers gave chase and were able to apprehend one juvenile suspect. One male and one female suspect escaped.

A 16 year-old female from Gaithersburg was arrested and charged with second degree burglary, theft over $500, and malicious destruction of property over $500. The juvenile was released to her mother.

Anyone who may have information about this burglary is asked to call the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment in these cases.

Fatal Crash in Glen Echo

At about 2:20 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, Francis Richard Vecchitto III of Randallstown drove his car into a tree on the 5900 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Glen Echo. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The police department's Collision Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating the incident.

Judge Rules Against Verizon

A federal judge ruled against Verizon earlier this month, denying its request to strike down portions of Montgomery County's cable television law. The judge assigned a mediator to work with the two sides to try to resolve the matter. The judge also instructed Verizon to file an application with the county to provide cable television services, which Verizon had resisted doing. Verizon has portrayed itself in the dispute as an advocate of cable competition. County officials contend that they are fighting to keep consumer protection measures in place for local residents.

Police Make Burglary and Auto Theft Arrest in Bethesda

The Montgomery County Police 2nd District Special Assignment Team (SAT) has arrested and charged a Chevy Chase man with burglary and auto theft.

According to a police press release, August 15, at approximately 2:15 a.m., 2nd District SAT officers spotted a stolen vehicle that had been taken during a burglary that occurred between the hours of 1:15 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., on Aug. 13, in the 3800 block of Woodbine Street, in Chevy Chase.

According to police, the officers lost sight of the vehicle but found it abandoned in the 7700 block of Oldchester Road in Bethesda, then set up surveillance on the vehicle, and after a period of time the driver returned to the vehicle. According to the press release, the officers attempted to stop the suspect driver before he could enter the vehicle, and he resisted the officers attempt to capture him. After a short struggle, the subject was arrested without injury to the suspect or the officers, the press release said.

Arrested was Sean David Bailey, a 26-year-old male, of the 4200 block of East West Highway, in Chevy Chase. According to police, Bailey had a bag of property in his possession at the time of his arrest, and investigation determined the property had just been stolen in a burglary in the 7700 block of Oldchester Road in Bethesda. Bailey was charged with burglary in the first degree, and theft over $500. Bailey is currently being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center on $25,000 bond. Additional charges are pending.

Police Seek Help in Car Vandalism

The Montgomery County Police 2nd District seeks the public's help in a rash of vandalisms that occurred over the weekend.

On August 21, at approximately 6:30 a.m., The Montgomery County Police Telephone Report Unit (TRU) began receiving phone calls regarding vandalisms to automobiles, according to a police press release. TRU eventually filed 25 reports for vandalism. The following events were reported:

* Aug. 20-Aug. 21 between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., 12 events in the 11300 to 11500 block of Rokeby Ave. in Garrett Park.

* Aug. 20-Aug. 21 between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., six events in the 11100 to 11300 block of Kenilworth Ave. in Garrett Park.

* Aug. 20-Aug. 21 between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., three events in the 11200 block of Orleans Way in Garrett Park.

* Aug. 20-Aug. 21 between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., three events in the 5000 block of Euclid Drive in Garrett Park.

* Aug. 20-Aug. 21 between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., one event in the 5000 block of Flanders Avenue in Garrett Park.

Preliminary investigation indicates that during the night subjects roaming the neighborhood randomly picked out cars, smashed out windows and slashed tires, according to the press release.

Anyone who has information about this incident and/or the suspects is asked to call the 2nd District Investigative Section at 301-657-0112.† Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment of the suspect(s) in this crime.

Volunteers Sought for New Canal Boat

Before the end of August, a new canal boat, the Charles F. Mercer, is scheduled to be delivered to the C&O Canal near Great Falls Tavern. The National Park Service is looking for volunteers to help operate the boat, which will be drawn by mules and take visitors through the canal between Great Falls Tavern and Swains Lock. Volunteers must be able to lift, push or pull 100 pounds, and must be available for a minimum of one day every two weeks. To volunteer or for more information, call Bill Justice at 301-714-2214, or Warren Kasper at 301-767-3714.

Triathletes Make Wishes Come True

The Make-A-Wish Triathlon at Sea Colony is a swim-bike-run competition for up to 1,000 athletes at Sea Colony Resort, Bethany Beach, Del. on Sunday, Sept. 24. This USA Triathlon-sanctioned event features an ocean swim, scenic bike ride and exciting along the beach. The event concludes with a family-style picnic and awards ceremony at the waterfront in Bethany Beach.

For more information, please visit midatlantic.wish.org or call Stephanie Holland at 301-962-9474.