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This Week in Potomac 2-15-06

COLLISION VICTIM CRITICAL

A Potomac 11-year-old is in critical condition at a local hospital after he was struck by a car while skateboarding on Dunster Lane Feb. 10.

At around 6 p.m., the boy, identified as Matthew Morgan of the 2100 block of Canterbury Way was riding his skateboard in the street on Canterbury Way, according to Montgomery County Police. Upon traveling through the intersection of Dunster Lane, he was struck by a 2002 BMW operated by a Vera Gorokhov, age 52, of the 1200 Bartonshire Way in Potomac, the police said in a press release.

The boy received a serious head injury and was treated at the scene by Fire Rescue Personnel. He was flown transported to the hospital by helicopter. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured and remained at the scene, the release stated.

Anyone that who witnessed the collision is asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 301-840-2435.

TALK ON NEW ORLEANS AT MONTGOMERY COLLEGE

In honor of African American History Month, Montgomery College invites the community to “The Culture of New Orleans: What Does it Mean for America?” a free presentation on Friday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m.

Charles Siler, a cultural programmer and artist at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge, will speak about New Orleans' role in America’s national culture.

Siler will examine the African presence in New Orleans and discuss how Hurricane Katrina affected historic and cultural preservation and what it will take to restore and reconstruct the city. Siler’s own artwork, created in the aftermath of the hurricane, will be on display during his talk.

The presentation will take place in room 136 of the Technical Center at Montgomery College's Rockville campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville. For more information, contact Ola Cole from Montgomery College-Rockville’s Department of History and Political Science at 301-279-5178.

POLICE FOCUS ON CHILD CAR SAFETY

The week of Feb. 12-18 is National Child Passenger Safety Week and the Montgomery County Police Department wants to remind drivers that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children of every age, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Police provided the following information:

* As children grow, how they sit safely in a vehicle changes.

* Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds.

* Use forward-facing toddler seats in back seat from age 1 and 20 pounds to about age 4 and 40 pounds.

* Use booster seats in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8 — unless the child is 4-foot-9 or taller.

* Use safety belts in the back seat at age 8 or older or taller than 4-foot-9.

* The safest place for all children to ride is in the back seat.

* Set a good example by always wearing your seat belt. Help your children form good habits of buckling up.

Free child safety seat inspections are held the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Fitzgerald's Auto Mall, 5501 Nicholson Lane, Rockville.

CONSERVANCY SEEKS EVENT LEADERS

As the Potomac Conservancy prepares the new Lockhouse 8 River Center for its first full season of operation, it is seeking volunteers to lead recreational activities and outreach events.

Volunteers are encouraged to share their knowledge and talents: lead a naturalist walk, teach a wood-carving class, or give a banjo lesson.

The River Center at Lockhouse 8 offers visitors a new understanding of the Potomac River, its connection to the Chesapeake Bay, and what they can do to protect these special resources. It will reopen in May.

Contact Heather Montgomery, conservation program assistant at montgomery@potomac.org.

CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION

High school students invited t participate in the 25th Annual Congressional Art Competition. All students who live or attend school in Maryland's eighth congressional district are eligible to participate in the contest sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

The entries will be exhibited at Strathmore Arts Center April 1-28 and the winning entry will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol with the winners from each of the nation's 435 districts.

Runners-up will be displayed in Van Hollen's congressional offices.

Entry forms must be signed by the entrant, a teacher, and a parent and faxed by March 15 301-424-5992

Forms and more detailed information are available at www.house.gov/vanhollen. Questions may be directed to Congressional Art Competition Coordinator Linda Pepper at 301-657-8650 or at pepper461@aol.com.

TOWPATH STILL CLOSED AT WIDEWATER

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park has extended the temporary closure of the towpath in the Widewater section of the canal, between mile 13 and 13.6, because unseasonal weather conditions have prevented placement of the final towpath surface. “We were hoping to finish this up by the end of the calendar year,” said Dan Cody, a civil engineer with the Park Service.

A detour is provided around this construction area via Berma Road. Visitors are advised to follow posted detour signs. The detour will be in effect until further notice. “It’s all weather-dependent at this point,” Cody said.