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Single-tracking on Metro Red Line this weekend to test for electrical problems

metro logoMetro will begin single-tracking Red Line trains and reducing service this weekend, starting at 8 p.m. Friday, so its contractor can test for electrical problems on its rails, Metro spokesperson Ron Holzer said.

"I have said consistently that when we identify problems, we are going to address them head-on," said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. "We now have a pattern of electrical issues all in the same area, and we are going to act to resolve the issue and improve service for our customers."

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Solving the mystery of the John Brown bridge

Drivers in Rockville are struggling to find out more about Margaret S. Fletcher, her death at age 25, and why her gravestone is at the corner of Rockville Pike and Edmonston Drive.

The tombstone, until recently, was part of the John C. Brown Bridge. This bridge in Rockville is dedicated to the memory of the first Maryland man killed in the Korean War.

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Court date set in Gaithersburg annexation lawsuit

Gaithersburg Govt logoGAITHERSBURG – A lawsuit concerning a controversial annexation will have its day in court. On December 19 last year, Mayor Jud Ashman and the City Council took up two resolutions concerning the annexation of the Johnson Property, an area near the intersection of Darnestown Road and Quince Orchard Boulevard and authorizing City manager Tony Tomasello to execute an agreement to develop the property for mixed-zone commercial and residential use.

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Rockville considers relocating KID Museum

ROCKVILLE – The Rockville City Council held a budget work session during its meeting Monday night, focusing mostly on proposed funds directed toward the KID Museum.

On Monday, the Rockville City Council discussed dedicating funds in the FY18 budget to possibly relocate the KID Museum, an interactive children’s museum currently located at the Davis Library in Bethesda.

The proposed plan would move the KID Museum to 255 Rockville Pike, near Rockville Town Square, where the County has several offices.

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Electric cars grabbing larger share of market

Electric cars are coming and coming quickly.

A conference on electric cars and charging stations took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockville April 13.

There are three basic kinds of electrically-powered vehicles. First, there are standard hybrids such as the Prius and its many competitors, which take gasoline and have no plug-in apparatus.

Second are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (“PHEVs”). They take gasoline and also have plug-in capability. There already are 20 PHEV brand/models in the marketplace.

Third are all-electric EVs. They have plug-in capability only. Both the Bolt and the Leaf, the best-selling model nationally in this category, are EVs, as are Teslas. There are about 15 brand/models of EVs.

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Learning to drive all over again in an all-electric automobile

Driving was never like this.

During the test drive of the 2017 all-electric Chevy Bolt, I discovered you don’t have to use the brakes!

Yes, the Bolt has a brake pedal. In the normal Drive “mode,” you use the accelerator and brake pedals just as you would in a gas-powered car. In the Low mode, however, whenever you take your foot off the accelerator, braking action starts automatically, gently at first, only gradually stopping the car, so you’d have to plan ahead to avoid using the brake.

Still, Frank Marinucci, sales consultant with Sport Chevrolet in Silver Spring, who explained the car as I took my test drive, said he drove the entire 25-mile trek from the dealership to the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockville without touching the brake pedal.

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Blair High School students reach final round in national math competition

A team of five Montgomery Blair high school students is headed to New York City next week to compete in the final round of the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, a national competition where juniors and seniors apply math and creative-thinking skills to solve complex, real-world challenges.

In the previous round, the Blair team — made up of Eshan Tewari, James Vinson, Andrew Komo, Siddharth Taneja and Annie Zhao — spent 14 hours one weekend developing a mathematical model for the National Park Service to address sustainability and growth challenges at five national parks. Out of 1,100 teams that competed, the Blair team was chosen as one of six finalists.

The six teams will present their final papers to a judging panel of Ph.D.-level mathematicians in New York on April 24, where judges will decide which teams place in the competition and will award $150,000 worth of scholarships.

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Blinded Me With Science!

Thousands take to the streets in the District to show support for scientific research

Science March 4Protesters in the District show up to show their support for scientific research.                  PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREV

WASHINGTON – Thousands took part in the March for Science in Washington, D.C. Saturday, demanding President Donald J. Trump and his administration recognize climate change and the need to fund scientific research.

“We march today to affirm to all the world that science is relevant, useful, exciting, and beautiful,” said former New Jersey Congressman and one-time Bethesda resident Rush Holt, who currently serves as the executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“Evidence should not be optional. Good policies start with an understanding of how things actually are,” he added, speaking to a crowd on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

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Hundreds show up for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Refugees from Liberia and the Holocaust urged those gathered at Sunday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration to listen and learn from their stories and to always remember.

“I am sure in a few years, there will be a Syrian child telling the same story as ours. We haven’t learned,” said Crannough Jones, whose family fled the brutal warlord Charles Taylor in 1989.

Two survivors of the Holocaust joined Jones at Washington Hebrew Congregation in Potomac in an afternoon of remembrance that included young people meeting with Holocaust survivors and a reading of the names of some of the those murdered by their surviving relatives.

“Displaced Persons: Struggles to Find a Home” was the theme of the commemoration, which was presented by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

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Hogan says I-270 funding remains on track

In July of last year, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) held a news conference next to I-270 in Potomac to promise he would rebuild the “most congested, plagued corridor in all of Maryland.”

On April 19, Hogan came back to the County to announce the $100 million project that Hogan said would reduce commutes up to 30 minutes.

“We are committed to finding the best ideas that offer real solutions, and I am excited to see innovation in action when it comes to solving the problems of congestion here on I-270,” Hogan said.”Moving forward on critical priority infrastructure is important to Montgomery County, to all of our local jurisdictions, and to economic development statewide, and we are very pleased to be able to announce that all of these important projects are being started.”

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