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This Week in Potomac 9-6-06

Local Teen Charged with Killing Psychiatrist

According to police, Vitali A. Davydov, a 19-year-old from North Potomac, admitted to killing prestigious psychiatrist Wayne Stuart Fenton, 53, of Rockville.

Fenton was one of the nation’s foremost authorities on schizophrenia. He served as associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health, where his research focused on helping schizophrenics cope with day-to-day life.

Davydov, who lives on Stonecutter Place in the Dufief Mill Estates development, was being treated for schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.

Police were called to Fenton’s office at 11510 Old Georgetown R. in Bethesda at 4:52 p.m. on Monday when Davydov’s father saw his son emerge from the building with blood on his pants, hands and shirt. Davydov’s father had driven him to the 4 p.m. appointment, which was arranged that day after a referral from the suspect’s regular doctor.

Davydov arranged the appointment to discuss his medications. Davydov’s father told police that a conversation earlier that day about his son’s medication need to continue taking medicine "caused an angry reaction."

According to the charging documents, Fenton told Davydov’s father prior to the appointment that he would like Davydov to accept an injection of the medication rather than take it orally. During the meeting, Davydov "became agitated and beat Dr. Fenton with his fists," according to the charging documents.

Police found Fenton on the ground bleeding from his face. Fire and rescue workers responded to the scene and declared him dead.

Davydov fled the scene but was apprehended near Luxmanor Elementary School in Rockville. He is being charged with first-degree murder.

Davydov’s attorney is Barry H. Helfand, who represented Davydov in a 2005 arrest for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The case was dropped in June after a psychiatrist found Davydov incapable of appearing in court.

Helfand also represents Thomas W. Ashley III, one of five Whitman High students who were indicted last spring for armed robbery of a Smoothie King in Bethesda.

— Mary Vause

Eamon Patrick Shannon Dies at 29

Former Potomac resident Eamon Patrick Shannon died on Aug. 26 of complications related to Down Syndrome. He was 29.

Shannon, along with parents Patrick and Anne, had lived in Potomac until 1986.

Most recently, Eamon Shannon was a resident of Western Springs, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, where he lived with his parents.

In 1996, he became the first person in Illinois with Down Syndrome to graduate from his neighborhood high school in four years.

He was an employee at a Blockbuster Video store.

"Eamon accomplished more in 29 years than many do in a much longer lifetime," said Steve Shannon, Eamon's brother who lives in the Vienna, Va. area. "My family is thankful for all the calls and letters of support from the community."

Eamon Shannon is survived by his parents, brothers Patrick and Stephen and sister Heather.

Condolences may be sent to Patrick and Anne Shannon, 4546 Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558.

Potomac Day Takes Shape

Members of the Potomac Chamber of Commerce met on Wednesday, Aug. 30, to discuss plans for Potomac Day. The annual celebration includes a 5K race, parade, and numerous local vendors and entertainers setting up outdoor booths. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28. Andy Ross, president of the Potomac Chamber of Commerce, said that the race will kick off at 8:30 a.m., and parts of River Road and Falls Road will close for the parade at 10 a.m.

"We’ll be looking for volunteers to help out with the parade and would love to get some community members involved," said Ross.

Last year, hundreds turned out for Potomac Day, which featured the Wootton High School marching band, Boy Scout troops, volunteer firefighters and local police.

If interested in participating in Potomac Day, contact Ross at 301-299-2170.

Potomac Pizza Pioneers New Technology

New technology at Potomac Pizza allows diners to pay for their meals via debit or credit card without leaving the table. The technology, which was created by Micros Systems, Inc., and VeriFone Inc., is debuting at Potomac Pizza’s Gaithersburg location at 625 Center Point Way in the Kentlands Market Square.

The devices allow quicker service and decrease the chance of a lost or stolen credit card. Potomac Pizza regularly tests products for Micros Systems, Inc., which is based in Columbia.

Owner Adam Greenberg said that while Potomac Pizza has not experienced credit card fraud, it is widespread in the restaurant industry. Restaurants are the last businesses where "you hand your credit card to a stranger and they disappear with it," he said.

Greenberg said that most customers "have loved it."

"It’s still very new, so we have to spend a little extra time with each customer to describe what the process is," he said. "When they came up with credit card [machines] in grocery stores, it took a little while for people to catch on. It will be the same type of learning curve at the restaurant."

Va. Governor Appoints Potomac Resident

On Aug. 30, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced appointments to the Health Information Technology (IT) Council, which was created by Executive Order last month. Potomac’s Bob Johnson, who serves as senior vice-president of Consumer Sales at Sprint Nextel, was the only Maryland appointment to the seven-person council. The Health IT Council is charged with recommending the most innovative and effective investments for the $1.5 million appropriated by the General Assembly to encourage the adoption of electronic health records throughout the Commonwealth.

Club Friday Membership Open

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.

Deadline for Absentee Ballot

Voters who miss the Sept. 5 deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail for the Primary Election on Sept. 12 may still apply in person for a late absentee ballot through Sept. 12. Voters who are unable to vote in person on Election Day, may come to the Elections Office in Rockville for a late absentee ballot prior to Election Day. The office will be open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Voters who cannot come in person to the office may designate another Montgomery County registered voter as their agent to obtain the application. The agent must be at least 18 years old and not a candidate for office on the ballot. The agent must deliver the application to the voter and return the completed application to the Elections Office to receive an absentee ballot. The agent then must deliver the ballot to the voter for voting, and return the voted ballot to the Elections Office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters may choose to download an application from the website www.777vote.org or www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections. In addition, any registered voter who is handicapped, or age 65 or older whose polling place is inaccessible, may also vote by late absentee ballot. The office will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

The Elections Office is located at 751 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, in the former Broome Middle School, which is about one-half mile north of Veirs Mill Road. For more information, call 240-777-8550 on weekdays, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., or visit the Web site at www.777vote.org or www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections and click on the link to "Absentee Voting," or e-mail absentee@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Cabin John Hosts Annual Crab and Chicken Feast

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 @aol.com). The event begins with a bike parade — participating bikers should meet at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and 79th Street at 2 p.m.

Important Back-to-School Safety Reminders

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.

Emergency Vehicle Guidelines

The metropolitan area is often crowded and congested with traffic conditions caused by collisions, work zones, holiday travelers and sometimes just "normal" traffic. Extra care should be taken during this time of year – schools are opening, vacations are over and traffic patterns are changing. Emergency vehicles are impacted by these conditions, as well. When somebody calls 911 for help – the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service respond. How can everyday drivers help us to help you? – Normally, drivers will hear vehicles first, next they will see the vehicles, and then drivers need to clear for them.

*C – L – E – A – R for emergency vehicles.

* C – Calmly pull to and as close to the edge of the roadway as possible and stop.

* L – Leave room. Keep intersections clear and never try to follow emergency vehicles.

* E – Enter into traffic with caution after the emergency vehicle has passed. Remember to use signals.

* A – Aware (be). Be aware of your surroundings. Keep radio volume low and check rear view mirrors frequently.

* R – Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle ha passed. Be mindful that there may be additional emergency vehicles approaching.

Hear emergency vehicles.

When approached by an emergency vehicle – the law says to pull over to the closest parallel edge of the roadway and yield the right of way to the emergency vehicle. An emergency vehicle is one with an audible siren and/or siren and emergency flashing lights. When driving and approaching an emergency scene – slow down and move over. In other words - "Give us a brake!"

Reduce the risk of an accident near an emergency scene and around emergency equipment.

* Stay alert – expect anything to occur when approaching emergency vehicles.

* Pay close attention – watch for police or fire direction.

* Turn on your headlights – let on scene workers and other motorists see you.

* Don’t tailgate – unexpected stops frequently occur near scenes.

* Don’t speed – slow down.

* Keep up with the traffic flow – dedicate you full attention to the roadway and those traveling around you.

* Minimize distractions – avoid changing radio stations and using mobile cell phones while approaching these areas. Expect the unexpected – keep an eye out for emergency workers and their equipment.

*Be patient – remember, firefighters and EMT’s have been called to the scene and are working to help someone.

In Montgomery County pedestrian and traffic safety issues are front and center. If you travel by car or are a pedestrian, please place extra emphasis on safety. Simply looking both ways before crossing a street, crossing in a crosswalk, spending a few extra seconds to cinch the belt on your child's safety seat, or delaying departure to ensure you get enough rest before a long trip can make all the difference. Preventative safety, while measured in seconds or minutes, can save you from months or years of anguish, grief, and "what if". Be smart. Be safe.

Marathon Anecdotal History Walking Tour

Join the marathon series of Anecdotal History Walks from Capitol Hill to the White House on Sunday, October 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with all proceeds benefiting the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater Washington.

Award-winning author and historian Anthony S. Pitch, featured on C-Span TV, the History Channel and National Public Radio, merges four of his favorite walking tours into one marathon walk to tempt well-wishers, history buffs, fitness freaks, health enthusiasts, couples, singles, and everyone else wanting to benefit this worthy cause. Pets also welcome.

The marathon four hour stroll starts with the British capture of Washington during the War of 1812, based upon Pitch's latest book, "The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814." This kick-off walk begins in front of the Supreme Court as Pitch describes how the British burned the Capitol on the night of 24th August 1814, destroying works of art and thousands of books in the Library of Congress.

The second half of the marathon walk will start outside the E St. entrance to the Welcome Center gift shop at about noon.

Pitch takes up his third walk, filmed by C-Span TV, when he narrates the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and his death the following morning in the log-cabin-sized bedroom at the back of a boarding house opposite the theatre. This leg of the marathon walk has more stories of the burning of Washington in 1814 en route to a stroll around Lafayette Park.

More stories of the assassination conclude in Lafayette Square, facing the front of the White House, where Pitch will tell true and gripping stories from his fourth walk, "The Curse of Lafayette Square."

Rain or shine, meet at the base of the steps leading up to the front of the Supreme Court, 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 8. For those joining at the halfway mark, meet about noon at the E St. NW entrance to the Old Town Trolley's Welcome Center, corner 10th St. Estimated time of the entire marathon walk is 4 hours. $40 for the entire marathon or $25 for those joining at the E St. entrance. You must have reservations to be included in the walk. Contact the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater Washington to purchase tickets at www.tsagw.org or call Voice at 301-681-4133, toll free at 877-295-2148 or fax 302-945-8980

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.