Tractor-trailer crash kills Potomac woman

CALVERTON – Montgomery County Police are investigating a tractor-trailer accident that left one person dead and another person severely injured Monday morning.


Potomac resident Yesewlek Endihnew Tizale, 24, the driver of the Infinity, died at a local hospital this morning, said Officer Rick Goodale, spokesperson for the department. The male passenger, 28, is in serious condition, he said.

14axAn overturned tractor-trailer crashed into a SUV, killing one person and severely injuring another. COURTESY PHOTO

Third district police and County Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the incident near the intersection of Cherry Hill Road and Broadbirch Drive, shortly before 3 a.m.

A preliminary investigation revealed a 2006 Mack tractor-trailer, carrying mail for the United States Postal Service, traveled east on Cherry Hill Road, when a 2012 Infinity EX35 turned right from Broadbirch Drive onto Cherry Hill Road, police said.

Goodale said the relationship between Tizale and the passenger is unknown at this time.

Police identified Daniel Charles Free, 48, of the 2600 block of Newton Street in Wheaton, as the driver of the tractor-trailer. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

The intersection was reopened earlier this afternoon, Goodale said.

Anyone with information about the collision can call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at (240) 773-6620.




Long-lost Kensington dog rescued from Bethesda storm drain

BETHESDA – A Montgomery County Animal Services officer rescued a dog from a storm drain Friday afternoon.


dog1 1Officers enter a Bethesda storm drain to rescue a dog trapped below. COURTESY PHOTO

Around 1 p.m., some residents living along the 7800 block of Lonesome Pine Lane, just off of Seven Locks Road, kept hearing a dog barking.

After several residents and Animal Services employees searched the area, they located a medium size dog which fell into a storm drain and was trapped under the street.

“Once I located the dog I made several attempts to get the dog to come to me" said Officer Lavonia Byrd. "I used food (and) kept calling him but after an hour it was obvious that he was not coming out.”

Just after 2 p.m., units from the County’s Fire Department arrived to assist with the rescue.

"When rescue units arrived on the scene they had to use a special saw to cut off the steel grates from the storm drain," said County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer. “Once we were able to get down into the storm drain, we made several attempts to reach the dog but the dog kept moving away."

After two hours of trying to reach the dog, firefighters decided to wrap blankets around a hose line and use it like a plunger to push the dog out, said Byrd.

It took four hours to free the dog but Byrd finally managed to pull out the Wheaten terrier named Cookie, which wore a collar with a phone number printed on a tag.

Byrd called the number and the dog’s owner informed the officer Cookie went missing in October 2014 from her home in Kensington

Byrd said the owner was shocked to hear Cookie survived and later retrieved the dog.

"This happens often," Byrd said. "A dog is lost for a long period of time and then found many miles away.”

dog3Cookie, the Wheaten terrier. COURTESY PHOTO


COLUMN: Scotland Storm: The heroes who walk among us

There are, indeed, heroes who walk among us. These heroes include such names as Sarah, Kaila, Faris, Gabriel and Ocean, to name just a few. These are the names of students who understand the value of education and avail themselves of the assistance and guidance provided by the after school program right here in Montgomery County known as Scotland Storm. These students strive to achieve a meaningful education because they recognize the importance of education to a meaningful and productive life. They, indeed, are heroes among us.

Heroes also include such names as Fred, Renee, Robyn, Jabari and Matthew, a high school junior himself, among others, who have made the commitment to assist these students with their homework, tutor them as needed and share their life lessons and experiences so that these students are better prepared to move on with their own lives as productive members of society. It includes the name Carly for coordinating the high school volunteers who participate as tutors. These individuals, too, are heroes.

Our heroes also include the names Chris and Lauren Meade who recognized the need for such an afterschool program and invested their time, their energy and their money to establish this program and give back to the community. They understood the need for creating a path for success for these students that might not have otherwise been available. They, most assuredly, are heroes.

In a society in which all too often some of its members point to the teachings of Ayn Rand and her focus on self above all else as a prescription for society, how refreshing to have witnessed first-hand a program that epitomizes a commitment to community and the understanding that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Scotland Storm is just such a program.

I spoke with the founders of the Scotland Storm Program, Chris and Lauren Meade, to find out some specifics and a little history about the program. Specifically, Scotland Storm Community Development, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides free after-school and summer academic and sports programs for children from the historic Scotland Community in Potomac.

Why Scotland? That decision was based on need. In a community primarily comprised of lower income families, the ability to focus on educational needs of the children sometimes has to compete with the need to work several jobs and put food on the table. In the competition for time, sometimes homework assistance has to take a back seat. The Scotland Storm Program recognizes the need to fill this void.

The program was launched in the fall of 2013 and started with 27 Bells Mill Elementary School students who received one-on-one academic tutoring with homework assistance. In the summer of 2014, the program was expanded to include students from Cabin John Middle School and included a six-week academic and sports camp. The entire program continued with both the elementary and middle school students for the 2014 and 2015 school years through its academic and sports programs Mondays through Thursdays. Scotland Storm even provides a bus to return students to the Scotland community.

It is a goal of Scotland Storm to expand the program and to offer after-school and summer programs which support students as they progress through high school and seek admission to college. It is hoped that the program can eventually be expanded to include Churchill High School students.

I spoke to academic director Fred TenEyck and assistant director Renee TenEyck who explained that it is their goal to provide an educational environment and resources to help students complete homework and stay on top of their school assignments. The program emphasizes math calculation skills through the Kumon Math curriculum and students complete timed Kumon worksheets under the direct supervision of the volunteers. The scores are tabulated and then submitted to a local Kumon Center director who generously monitors the students’ progress. This is, indeed, a community effort.

For enrichment in reading, the program collaborates with teachers at Bells Mill Elementary and Cabin John Middle Schools who supply the materials to ensure that the afterschool support is consistent with current classroom instruction. It can't be emphasized enough that this program does not compete with the school system but is designed to supplement and support the work of the two local schools.

Moreover, it is the school that supplies the facilities used by the program and the school administration and its teachers fully support the program.

I also spoke to Coach Jabari Graham who indicated that all students participate in the athletic portion of the program. "In good weather, they are outdoors playing basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis and general fitness; in bad weather, they move indoors to the Cabin John gym. We also organize baseball, soccer and basketball teams for our students to compete in local leagues".

The work done in this program and its value to the community is not being missed. The Montgomery County Council recently approved a grant for the program and this is money well spent. Apparently the Montgomery County Council as well as the founders of Scotland Storm agree with the lyrics of a Whitney Houston hit, "The children are our future".

It is apparent that the program relies heavily on the commitment of volunteers. After becoming aware of the program and the altruism of its volunteers, I wanted, in my own small way, to help get the word out.

I hope that this column serves that purpose and makes others aware of the work being done by Scotland Storm.

I hope that the dedication to community exhibited through this program serves to inspire others to volunteer their time and energy to this cause.

I hope that the example of Scotland storm serves to inspire others to establish similar programs in their own communities.

For more information about this program and its work and how to volunteer, the Scotland Storm website can be found at



Man charged with indecent exposure

GAITHERSBURG – Gaithersburg police charged Travis Johnathan Addison, 24, of the 7600 block of Laytonia Drive, with one count of indecent exposure stemming from an Oct. 9 incident.

Travis Johnathan AddisonTravis Johnathan Addison COURTESY PHOTO

Police spokesperson Officer Rick Goodale said Addison did not know his victim.

On Oct. 9, police responded to a call from a person at the 7200 block of Whispering Oaks Way. The victim told police Addison appeared outside of his sliding glass door.

Addison asked the victim for his phone number, made sexual gestures and exposed himself, police said.

On Nov. 17, police received tips after the department released photos of Addison.


Man arrested for theft, possession of handgun

SILVER SPRING – Montgomery County police from the third district charged a local man for the possession of a stolen handgun Nov. 25.

Dominique Bernard SaundersDominique Bernard Saunders COURTESY PHOTO

Police charged Dominique Bernard Saunders, 23, of the 5500 block of Karen Elain Drive in New Carrollton, with handgun offenses and theft under $1,000.

On Nov. 22, an employee of The Fillmore Silver Spring approached off-duty police officer working with security staff at the venue after he overheard Saunders say he was planning to shoot someone, police said.

According to police, the employee saw Saunders remove a handgun from a vehicle stopped outside of the building.

Responding officers found a male matching Saunders’ description walking in an alley behind the building and ordered him to stop, police said.

According to police, Saunders refused to stop, opened the lid of a dumpster and threw a silver object inside and then followed officers’ orders.

Officers found a loaded handgun in the dumpster. County police spokesperson Officer Rick Goodale said a police department in Suffolk, Va., reported the handgun as stolen.

Goodale said police determined the handgun was stolen after checking its serial number. Goodale said Saunders was asked to leave the venue earlier that night.

According to police, a previous felony conviction forbade Saunders from lawfully possessing a gun.
As of Wednesday, Saunders was at the Central Processing Unit on a $15,000 bond.



Council members unite to oppose privatized liquor sales


ROCKVILLE - Nearly every Montgomery County Council member signed a letter restating the county’s stance on privatizing alcohol sales and the council sent it to the Montgomery County’s state delegation Nov. 12.


Rockville postpones tonight's Confederate Statue hearing

**UPDATED -- Nov. 19, 2015**

ROCKVILLE – The controversial Confederate Cavalry Statue in Rockville lives to fight another day.


Confederate statue 7-31-15The Confederate Cavalry Statue stands inside of a wooden box after someone spray-painted graffiti on it this summer. FILE PHOTO

The city government announced via a tweet Thursday the Historic District Commission postponed its discussion about the Confederate Cavalry Statue due to a lack of quorum.

However, the rest of the meeting is still taking place, scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

The move surprised the mayor and one of the city’s leading history advocates.

“I had no idea,” said Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton at 5:39 p.m., less than 90 minutes before the scheduled start of the Historic District Commission.

Her comment came 10 minutes after the City of Rockville’s website displayed a Tweet stating, “Tonight's discussion on the Confederate monument is moved to Dec. 17 due to the lack of a quorum for that item.”

While the Tweet itself came with a timestamp of 2:07 p.m., it appeared as a new item on the city’s @Rockville411 Twitter feed at 5:29 p.m.

By that point, apparently no one had informed the mayor.

City spokesperson Marylou Berg, who oversees the city's Twitter feed, said she heard from Susan Swift, the city's Department of Community Planning and Development Services director, about the postponement. They then decided to send the message out through the city's website, Twitter and Facebook pages.

According to Berg, the tweet "was sent right around 5 (p.m.)."

Sheila Bashiri, the HDC's staff liaison, said the decision came after the 2:07 p.m. Twitter time stamp.

"It was very late in the afternoon when we found out. I let my supervisor know, Susan Swift, so she let Marylou Berg know," said Bashiri.

At issue is a request from Greg Ossont, the Montgomery County Department of General Services deputy director, for a certificate of approval to install the Confederate Cavalry Statue monument at the Beall Dawson Historic Park.

Eileen McGuckian, a local historian who supports keeping the monument, said she received no notice about the postponement prior to a phone call from The Sentinel.

“I’m surprised,” she said around 5:35 p.m.

According to Bashiri, commissioner Emily Correll testified about the statue before the City Council appointed her to the HDC, so she recused herself from voting on the issue. Commissioner Jessica Reynolds is in Germany and Craig Moloney was stuck at an airport.

“So it’s moved to Dec. 17 and that’s when we’ll all be there to respond to this,” said McGuckian.

The Beall Dawson property is located a quarter-mile west from the Red Brick Courthouse lawn, where the statue currently stands encased in a wooden box, blocking most of the structure.

Although the statue’s stood at its current location since 1971, the massacre of nine African Americans in Charleston, S.C. earlier this year spurred a nationwide debate about whether Confederate symbols should be displayed on public property, outside of museums.

County Executive Ike Leggett supports moving the statue to Beall Dawson and the Historic District Commission in September voted 4-0 to allow the county government to relocate the statue.
In October, the Historic District Commission reaffirmed its September ruling by declining to overturn it.

Newton said she considered attending the Nov. 19 Historic District Commission meeting for the scheduled 9:15 p.m. discussion about the statue.

Instead, she chose to attend the Maryland Municipal League Montgomery Chapter meeting in Chevy Chase, which runs from 6:30-8 p.m.



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