This Week in Potomac 08-30-06

This Week in Potomac 08-30-06

<b>Club Friday Membership Open

</b>The Potomac Community Center will begin its 15th year of Club Friday on Oct. 6. Applications for memberships will be accepted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10 and can be mailed in or dropped off at the front desk at the community center. Each application must be accompanied with the $40 registration fee and a self addressed, stamped envelope. Soon after, 550 applications will be randomly selected to receive memberships.

Club Friday is for children in grades 3-6 and activities include basketball, billiards, bingo, dances, games, ping pong, gym hockey, soccer, crafts, movies and special theme nights.

Application forms may be picked up at the community center between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10. If you have any questions about the program or registration procedures, call the center at 240-777-6960. Potomac Community Center is located at 11315 Falls Road.

<b>Local High Schools Lead County in SAT Scores

</b>Walt Whitman, Winston Churchill and Thomas Wootton high schools had the highest mean SAT scores among county high schools, according to a press release from Montgomery County Public Schools.

County-wide, the first MCPS graduating class to take the new SAT scored significantly higher on the revised and lengthened exam than other graduates in Maryland and across the nation, according to College Board data released Tuesday. The county Class of 2006’s combined SAT score of 1634 topped the average Maryland score by 123 points and the average national score by 116 points.

Whitman had the highest average combine scores, with a mean of 1884, followed by Churchill (1827) and Wootton (1796). Other county schools where students averaged 1700 or higher were Bethesda-Chevy Chase (1784), Richard Montgomery (1760) and Walter Johnson (1754). At 18 county high schools, average scores were higher than 1500, an MCPS analysis of the test data showed.

The College Board began administering a completely revamped SAT in March 2005 that includes a new writing component, which increased the top achievable score to 2400. In addition, the math and verbal subtests were significantly revised. The old verbal subtest was replaced with a new critical reading test that added shorter reading passages and eliminated the analogies items. The math portion of the exam eliminated quantitative comparisons and added Algebra 2 material.

<b>Court Says Perez Ineligible for Attorney General

</b>On August 25, Maryland's highest court ended the bid of County Councilmember Tom Perez (D-5) for state attorney general by ruling that he did not meet a constitutional requirement that candidates practice law in Maryland for 10 years.

The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Montgomery County school board member Stephen N. Abrams of district 2, which covers Potomac and Rockville. A Circuit Court judge dismissed Abrams' suit in July. Abrams appealed the decision and personally argued the case before the Court of Appeals.

There is not time to remove Tom Perez's name from the Democratic ballot in time for the Sept. 12 primary, but the State Board of Elections will post notices at polling locations warning that Perez is no longer in the election and any votes for him will not be counted.

Baltimore attorney Stuart Simms and Montgomery County state's attorney Doug Gansler remain in the primary race. Perez announced on Tuesday that he is endorsing Simms.

<b>School Board Committee To Reconsider Flier Policy

</b>The Board of Education met on Thursday, August 24, and recommended that the Board Policy Committee consider Superintendent Weast's proposed revisions to the district's flier distribution policy. The previous policy was found to be unconstitutional in certain respects by a federal appeals court on August 10. The superintendent's plan retains the past distribution practices giving individual school PTAs and the Montgomery County Council of PTAs full access to distribute fliers and materials via backpacks. It also establishes a process to allow nongovernmental community organizations and businesses to distribute informational material directly to students at least four times a year on a schedule to be decided. The Policy Committee will meet on August 30 and the Board is tentatively scheduled to act on the committee's recommendation later that same day.

<b>Fatal Collision in Bethesda

</b>Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Collision Reconstruction Unit are investigating a fatal collision that occurred on Thursday, Aug. 24 in Bethesda.

Preliminary investigation indicates that at about 10:55 p.m., a Mazda 626, driven by 57-year-old Arit Archibond Inyang of Cheverly, Md., was traveling northbound on Old Georgetown Road at Kingswood Road. Witnesses stated that they observed the vehicle begin to suddenly weave from lane to lane. The driver then lost control of the vehicle and traveled over the right curb and sidewalk, and struck a large tree. The Mazda struck the tree on its driver’s side door and mid post.

Inyang and her passengers, 53-year-old Mary Atuh Fomunyoh of the 6100 block of 7th St. in Washington, D.C., and 38-year-old Beatrice Ngolepie of the 10700 block of Venetia Mill Circle in Silver Spring, were transported to area hospitals for treatment. Inyang was pronounced dead at the hospital, of injuries she sustained in the accident. Her passengers are expected to survive their injuries.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435.

<b>Judge Rules Against Verizon

</b>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.

<b>Cabin John Hosts Annual Crab and Chicken Feast

</b>The Cabin John Community Association hosts its annual crab and chicken feast at the Clara Barton Community Center, 7425 MacArthur Boulevard, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2-6 p.m. to raise money for the community. Tickets are $11 at the door, or $10 in advance (e-mail cjcrabfeast The event begins with a bike parade — participating bikers should meet at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and 79th Street at 2 p.m.

<b>Police Seek Help in Car Vandalism

</b>The Montgomery County Police 2nd District seeks the public's help in a rash of vandalism that occurred over the weekend.

On Aug. 21, at approximately 6:30 a.m., The Montgomery County Police Telephone Report Unit (TRU) began receiving phone calls regarding vandalism 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.

<b>Volunteers Sought for New Canal Boat

</b>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.

<b>Triathletes Make Wishes Come True

</b>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 or call Stephanie Holland at 301-962-9474.

<b>Important Back-to-School Safety Reminders

</b>Montgomery County Public Schools are back in session, and Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, along with the officers of the Montgomery County Police Department, want to encourage all community members to continue to make the safety of our children a top priority.

All drivers should be on the lookout for young pedestrians who will be walking to and from school. Parents should set aside time to remind their children of the following: cross streets at marked crosswalks, look both ways before crossing the street, and don't cross the street between parked cars. If there isn't a sidewalk and it is necessary to walk in the street, walk on the left side facing traffic. Children and adults should follow the directions of our Crossing Guards who are there to assist and protect students.

Some students will be riding bicycles to school. Please remind them that they must follow all traffic rules and signs, i.e. stop signs and traffic lights. By law, all children under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet when riding or being carried on a bicycle, while riding on a public street, right-of-way, or on a bicycle path.

Many students will be riding buses to school and all drivers are strongly reminded that they are required to stop at least 20 feet from school busses that are stopped with flashing red lights. It is also recommended that adults accompany young children to bus stops, and remain with them until the bus arrives.

The start of the school season is also a good time to remind children of basic safe practices. Children should not speak to strangers, and once they are home, they should not open or answer a knock at the door if an adult is not present without first determining who is there. Every child should have a list of parents', neighbors', and/or relatives' phone numbers that they can call for assistance. Children should also know when it is appropriate to call 9-1-1.

County police remind motorists that the violations of these Maryland Transportation Articles may result in the following penalties: speeding in a school zone incurs a fine of up to $1,000 and 5 points on your license, and passing a school bus with flashing red lights incurs a fine of $550 and 3 points against your license.

Parents who bring their children to school or pick them up after school, are reminded to obey the "No Parking, No Stopping, and No Standing" signs in a School Zone. A violation of this sign incurs a fine of $50.

<b>Armed Robbery of a Citizen in Poolesville

</b>Detectives from the 5th District Investigative Section are investigating the armed robbery of a man that occurred in Poolesville early in the morning of August 23.

On August 23 at about 2:15 a.m., a 16-year-old male from the 19900 block of Spurrier Ave. in Poolesville was walking in the area of the 19800 block of Spurrier Ave. when he noticed that two cars were driving by him repeatedly. One car was a white BMW, and the other, a red Dodge Neon. Both cars were newer models. The white BMW stopped, and Suspect One got out of the vehicle and approached the victim, demanded money, threatened to physically hurt the victim, and implied that he had a weapon, though no weapon was ever displayed. The victim threw his wallet to the ground. A second suspect got out of the red Dodge Neon and retrieved the wallet, and also obtained additional property from the victim. Both suspects then began to beat the victim about the body with their fists. The victim fell to the ground. Several other male suspects suddenly appeared, and also began to punch and kick the victim. All of the suspects then entered the two waiting cars, and fled the crime scene in an unknown direction. The victim suffered a minor injury, but declined medical attention.

Suspect One is described as a black male with black hair and brown eyes, 17-20 years of age, 5'7" tall, weighing 140 pounds, and with a medium build. He was wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and a black baseball cap. He indicated to the victim that he had a weapon, possibly a handgun.

Suspect Two is described as a black male with black hair and brown eyes, 17-20 years of age, 5'10" tall, weighing 180-200 pounds. He wore his hair in braids. He was wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans.

The victim was only able to give a detailed description of Suspects One and Two. The other suspects are described only as 8-10 additional black males, probably in their late teens.

Anyone who may have information about this robbery and/or the suspect(s) responsible is asked to call the 5th District Investigative Section at 301-840-2347. 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 for these felony crimes.

<b>Swimming Pool Safety

</b>Summer is coming to an end, but local community swimming pools will remain open for a few more weeks. Typically, this is a dangerous time of year for swimming pool accidents to occur. The men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service are hoping that everyone has a safe end of summer vacation and upcoming Labor Day Weekend. So far this year in Montgomery County several people have drowned and there have been several near drownings. In fact, Fire and Rescue personnel have responded to several dozens of incidents involving injuries from falls, trouble breathing, drowning and other medical emergencies at community and residential swimming pools this summer season.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for people age 5-24, according to the National Safety Council. Nationally, about 5,000 people drown each year. For every drowning, it is estimated that there are four near-drowning that result in hospitalization. There have been several drowning incidents in the metro area this year.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24, units from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service were dispatched for a reported drowning at the Milestone Community Pool located in the 12700 block of Royal Carriage Drive in Germantown. First arriving firefighters and emergency medical workers encountered CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) in progress.

A few moments earlier lifeguards had found an 8 year-old boy in about 5 feet of water at the bottom of the pool. He was pulled from the water and first aid was immediately rendered by several lifeguards and bystanders as other called 911. He was treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to a nearby hospital. A short time later he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

Around 4:45 p.m. on that same date, fire and rescue units were dispatched to the Quince Orchard Swim Center located in the 16600 block of Roundabout Drive in Gaithersburg for a reported drowning. Lifeguards had located a 7-year-old girl in the water. Initially she was not breathing, but a lifeguard was able to assist her with rescue breathing. First arriving firefighters and emergency medical workers found her to be breathing on her own. She was treated on the scene and transported to a nearby hospital. She is reportedly stable, but in serious condition.

Childhood drowning can happen in a matter of seconds and typically occurs when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision.

We recommend the following helpful tips to make your swimming pool experience safe:

* Take swimming lessons

* There is no substitute for supervision

* Learn CPR.

* Play it safe around water. Stay out if there is no grown-up or lifeguard around.

* Follow posted rules. Example—Danger. No Swimming. No Diving. No Running.

* Swim only when rested.

* Never eat candy or chew gum when you are swimming—you could choke.

* Don't mess around. Running, pushing, or shoving people can cause serious injuries to you or your friends.

* Get out of water if you hear thunder or see lightening.

* Stop, look and test before entering pool.

* When at a new swimming place always check the surroundings and check with a lifeguard or grown-up.

* Always raise your hands over your head when diving. Never let your friends dare you into diving dangerously.