Rally supports families of recent shooting


Six area rotary clubs joined together to contribute a total of $6,000 to families of the victims of a shooting spree earlier this month that began in Prince Georges County and ended in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County.

Six families are to receive $1,000 each. Half the money will go to the three families whose  loved ones were killed in the May 5 and 6 shooting. They include Malcom "Mike" Winffel of Boyds, Claudina Molina of Silver Spring and the suspect's estranged wife, Gladys Tordil. 


Gaithersburg unveils statue tribute to Edward Bohrer

photo2Gaithersburg city officials and residents attended an unveiling of a statue of the late Mayor W. Edward Bohrer. PHOTO BY PETER ROULEAU

GAITHERSBURG – City officials and residents attended the dedication Monday night of a tribute to a man who played a key role in the development of Gaithersburg.

A new statue of Mayor W. Edward Bohrer stands at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park along Frederick Road.

Bohrer was born and raised in Gaithersburg and served as the city’s mayor from 1986 until his death in 1998.


MDDC names Sentinel as News Organization of the Year

MoCo Sentinel Staff at MDDC AwardsThe staff of the Montgomery County Sentinel. First row, left to right, Lynn Kapiloff, CEO, Brian Karem, Executive Editor. Back row from left to right: Mark Robinson, Paul Schwartz, Nadia Palacios, Brandy Simms, Andrew Kostka, Mark Poetker, David Wolfe, Danica Roem, Neal Earley, Holden Wilen, Rebecca Guterman, Kathleen Stubbs, Wyatt Karem, Jacqui South. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK

BALTIMORE – For the second time in four years The Maryland Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association awarded the Montgomery County Sentinel Newspapers with its prestigious “News Organization of the Year” Award in ceremonies here last week.

“This is a tribute to our staff and to the goals set out by my husband Dr. Bernard Kapiloff,” said Sentinel CEO Lynn Kapiloff upon receiving the award. “Since we’ve owned the papers we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing the best community newspaper coverage possible.”

The Sentinel won 11 first place awards, eight second place awards and one “Best in Show Award” – beating out much larger publications including the Baltimore Sun for its video blog entry.

Andrew Kostka, a former high school intern for the newspaper was also named the 2016 Michael S. Powell Student Journalist of the Year.


Rockville nixes Fleet Street expansion plan

ROCKVILLE -- A controversial recommendation to extend Fleet Street will not be a part of the final version of the Rockville's Pike Neighborhood Plan.

The mayor and City Council voted 4-1 against including a recommendation by the Planning Commission to extend the road from Mt. Vernon Place to Ritchie Parkway.


County makes recordation tax official

Last week, the Montgomery County Council approved an increase on the County’s recordation tax in order to support funding to decrease school overcrowding.

The council voted unanimously May 18 to increase the recordation tax, which levied when a home is bought, sold or refinanced. Now the recordation tax on a $400,000 home will increased from $2,415 to $2670 and for a $500,000 home the recordation tax will be increased from $3,105 to $3,560.

The council voted to increase the recordation tax by $1 per $500 of assessed value for housing transactions and 75 cents per $500 on the recordation tax premium for homes accessed at $500,000 and over.

Council members expect the tax to generate $200 million over six years. The revenue is set to pay for school construction for Montgomery County Public Schools as well as infrastructure improvements.


Plastic bags may not be DOA in Takoma Park

TAKOMA PARK – City Council members discussed a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags May 18 but did not vote on an ordinance because of some uncertainty.

Council members questioned whether the ordinance proposed by Council member Jarrett Smith (Ward 5) would also apply to plastic bags that are not subject to Montgomery County’s 5 cent tax. That would include bags used to wrap vegetables picked up in the produce section of a grocery store.


As property taxes rise in Poolesville so do expectations and legal concerns

POOLESVILLE – Sitting in the shade on the stoop of his townhouse, Darren Stombaugh lamented how difficult it’s becoming for longtime residents to stay in Montgomery County.

A carpenter who moved to the County 25 years ago, Stombaugh described himself as a “country boy at heart” who loves the local area.

He moved to the rural town of Poolesville, west of the growing community of Germantown, to escape ever-expanding development in the County suburbs.

But even out in the farm town where City Hall has a lush, long front lawn and customers shop at the Dollar General across the street, it’s hard to escape the cost of increasing property taxes.

“I don’t like it. It’s as simple as that,” said Stombaugh. “In Montgomery County to begin with, their taxes are incredible. They tax everything.”


Friends and family remember victim of Aspen Hill shooting

Family and friends of Claudina Molina gathered last week on a rainy Tuesday afternoon at the Shrine of St. Jude Catholic Church to pay their last respects and say their last goodbyes to her, the final victim of the shooting that occurred at Aspen Hill and Westfield Mall.

Melissa Altamarino, Moilna’s daughter, said she is still processing that fact that mother died, and the harder part will be accepting how she died.


County readies for tax hike to close budget shortfall

ROCKVILLE – Echoing a need to reduce class sizes, close the school achievement gap and provide more services to residents, the Montgomery County Council voted T in favor of a proposed property tax rate hike.

The 8.7 percent increase would raise the rate from 98.7 cents per $100 of assessed value to $1.02 per $100 in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. The council is set to formally approve of the increase Thursday.

It would be the largest property tax hike in the County in seven years and exceeded the County charter limit. It required a unanimous vote from all nine member of the council in order to pass.


Three towns face higher taxes

Montgomery County homeowners living in three towns are in for a double property tax increase in Fiscal Year 2017.

Both the County government and the town governments recently approved real estate tax increases, with the County Council raising property taxes from 98.7 cents per $100 of assessed value to $1.02 per $100, an 8.7 percent increase.

Town governments in Chevy Chase, Poolesville and Somerset also all approved property tax increases this month.

Meanwhile in Kensington, personal property taxes for businesses and utilities are due to rise while the town's real estate tax rate remains flat.

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