Police investigating death of Walt Whitman student

Navid SepehriNavid Sepehri. COURTESY PHOTO  Montgomery County Police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old Walt Whitman High School student who was reported missing after he did not return home Saturday night, according to Montgomery County Police.

On Sunday, a search team found Navid Nicholas Sepehri of Radnor Road deceased in a wooded area behind Bannockburn Swim Club in the 6500 block of Laverock Lane of Bethesda.  

“The cause of death remains under investigation,” Montgomery County Police Spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti said. “There is much we are not able to confirm at this time.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, located in Baltimore, will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.


Deputy chief fire marshal and FBI agent struck and killed by vehicle on I-270

Deputy Chief Sander CohenDeputy Chief Sander Cohen, 33, of the State Fire Marshall's Office (shown above) and FBI Agent Carlos Wolff, were struck and killed by a vehicle after Cohen stopped to assist Wolfe on I-270. COURTESY PHOTO  A deputy chief from the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal and an FBI agent were both struck and killed by a vehicle on Friday after the deputy chief stopped to assist the agent after he became involved in an accident on Interstate Highway 270, Maryland State Police said.

Deputy Chief Sander Cohen, 33, and Supervisory Special Agent Carlos Wolff, 36, were struck by a Honda Accord traveling southbound on I-270, after Cohen stopped to assist Wolff after discovering the latter’s involvement in a single-car accident late Friday night.

When Cohen – who was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle – came upon Wolff’s car, he requested assistance, blocked the car with his own, and activated his emergency lights. Cohen then exited his vehicle and joined Wolff on the left shoulder of the highway, before both were struck by the Accord and propelled over the center barrier into the northbound lanes of I-270.

Emergency responders pronounced Cohen dead at the accident scene, then they transported Wolff to Suburban Hospital, where doctors subsequently pronounced him dead as well.


County defers on Leisure World plan

The County Planning Board voted 3-1 to defer a decision on plans for a new $7.2 million administration building for Leisure World after some two dozen residents testified in opposition to the proposal and nearly 2,000 residents from the 5,659 residential units signed a petition opposing the new building,

The Board urged Leisure World executives to try and work things out with residents and return in a few weeks with improvements to the plan for a two-story, 20,555 square foot administration building where there currently is a parking lot.


Rockville undecided on new Pike plan

ROCKVILLE – The Rockville City Council continued its discussion on a zoning text amendment that would alter the City’s Rockville Pike Neighborhood Plan to increase maximum heights along Rockville Pike.

In 2016, the Mayor and Council passed the Rockville Pike Neighborhood plan that allowed for increased development and density along Rockville Pike. The plan is part of a region-wide effort to center increased development near mass transit such as Metro.


Gaithersburg H.S. staffer expresses safety concerns

A Gaithersburg High School staff member informed local media about concerns for the safety of students and staff members after several fights occurred on school property recently.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesperson Derek Turner said he could not confirm reports from NBC 4 of an Instagram account requesting students share videos of school fights.


Takoma Park approves junction traffic study

TAKOMA PARK — The Takoma Park City Council on Wednesday approved a traffic study which will further advance the Takoma Junction redevelopment process.

“The city’s study is to identify options to address safety concerns and mitigate traffic congestion at Takoma Junction and evaluate the extent of cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods,” City Manager Suzanne Ludlow said during the Council’s Wednesday evening meeting. “The findings will be used to advocate for roadway and intersection improvements.”


Council hopes to spur growth south of Rockville

ROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Council passed the White Flint II Sector Plan 8-1 during their Council meeting Tuesday in an effort to encourage development in southern, unincorporated Rockville.

The plan, which deals with land east of the CSX Railroad and west of Old Georgetown Road near the White Flint section of southern Rockville, is meant to fill a gap in County zoning and encourage more mixed-use development around the White Flint Metro Station.


County pushes development

ROCKVILLE — The County Council unanimously approved the Grosvenor-Strathmore Area Minor Master Plan Tuesday in the latest of a series of steps to encourage development around Metro stations.

The plan will allow for more commercial and residential development around the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station on MD-355 in North Bethesda to focus the County’s demand for more housing around mass transit.


Council approves plans for Fox 5 move

ROCKVILLE — The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a zoning text amendment that will allow larger satellite dishes on broadcast studios, clearing the way for Fox Broadcasting Company to move its two television stations to Bethesda.

“This basically permits a large satellite dish on the top of buildings,” said Council member Nancy Floreen (D-at large).


In The Hole

County scrambles to find a solution to unforeseen budget shortfall

MoCo LogoROCKVILLE — Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett directed County departments to make two percent cuts after the discovery of a $120 million budget shortfall.

The cuts are meant to make up for $95 million in projected income tax receipts that won’t be collected for the current fiscal year, combined with last year’s budget shortfall of $20 million, the total comes to roughly $120 million missing from the County’s budget, which Leggett noted is an unusual occurrence considering that the decrease in tax revenue comes as Montgomery County’s unemployment rate has simultaneously decreased.

“The traditional wisdom is when you have higher employment and a larger tax base you don’t normally see those kinds of shifts,” Leggett said. “What we’re doing is analyzing why you have a shortfall in the income tax.”