Dabney set to retire from Bethesda Urban Partnership post

Dave Dabney profile pic 8-17-16Retiring BUP Executive Director Dave Dabney.

When Dave Dabney steps down as executive director of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, it’s the long-time relationships he’ll miss the most.

First assuming the position in 1999, the 69-year-old BUP head will retire in November, leaving behind 35 full-time employees and beginning his retirement with his wife Janet in Bethany Beach, Del.

“I’m going to miss the people,” Dabney said. “I enjoy every single day going to work. I’m a people-pleaser at heart, and it’s just been a joy and an honor to have been given this opportunity that I grew up in.”


Rockville Acting Police Chief jumps into the fray on increasing size of force


IMG 08771Rockville Acting Police Chief Bob Rappoport.  FILE PHOTO 

ROCKVILLE –Acting City Police Chief Bob Rappoport says the municipal police department needs more money to retain staff and add police officers to help with schools, traffic enforcement, criminal investigations and preventing street crimes.

“Well, the first thing we have to do is maintain our staff. With retirements and resignations, it’s always an ongoing battle to maintain our staff,” said Rappoport, noting department officials can “look ahead to the future” but need to “fill what’s open” before expanding staff.


Metro Transit Police investigating East Falls Church derailment


Metro Transit Police

Metro Transit Police are investigating the July 29 derailment on the Silver Line after Metro’s general manager expressed concerns about findings from the internal inquiry. 

Metro Board of Directors Chairman and DC Council member Jack Evans said conflicting interviews led Metro General Manger Paul Wiedefeld to have Metro Transit Police begin their own investigation of two Silver Line train cars derailing while switching tracks last month.

“I talked with Paul (Thursday) and essentially what he told me... he’s getting inconsistent and contradictory information from this investigation to the point he found it was necessary to bring in criminal investigators,” Evans said.


Metro problems continue despite complaints

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The Federal Transit Administration directed Metro officials Monday to enforce red signal safety protocols by increasing random inspections and improve the rail system’s radio sound quality so employees can clearly communicate with each other.

A week earlier, the FTA directed Metro officials to train railcars operators about the layout of the Metro system with visuals and not just words so they would become more familiar with the system.

The reports followed FTA's investigation of the 2015 derailment near the Smithsonian station in downtown Washington, D.C.


Soil sampling begins along Purple Line route

Metro map

Work crews started testing soil in southern Montgomery County along the proposed path of the Purple Line Tuesday, a process expected to continue for several months.

The work began shortly after District of Columbia District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled construction-related work must be stopped until the state of Maryland re-evaluates and updates Metro ridership following recent safety problems. 


Rockville considers adding new circulator bus


Rockville Seal

ROCKVILLE – Years after the city stopped sponsoring a Ride On bus due to cost, the City Council is determining whether to try out another circulator bus system for the city.

On Aug. 1, Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton joined Council members Virginia Onley and Beryl Feinberg in the 3-2 majority that voted in favor of authorizing $60,000 to study the potential need for setting up such a bus system.

Who would pay to operate and maintain the system, however, is an open question.


FTA says Metro track inspectors need more training

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Staffers from a university rail inspection program are scheduled to retrain Metro track inspectors after they failed to identify and address track defects that led to a derailment last month in Virginia.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said Aug. 10 he hired trainers from the University of Tennessee’s Center for Transportation Research to train inspectors during a two-week program.

“Safety trumps service now more than ever at Metro,” said Wiedefeld.


Apartment Fire Kills Seven

More than 100 displaced and 34 injured following an explosion in Silver Spring

Silver Spring fire 8-11-16Firemen battle a blaze in Silver Spring following an explosion that claimed seven lives and injured 34 others. PHOTO BY JIM DAVIS  

SILVER SPRING -- Seven people are dead after a fire burned down part of an apartment complex just before midnight Aug. 10, injuring 34 people and displacing about 100 people.

Police said seven of the Flower Branch Apartments’ residents were still missing as of Aug. 16: Saeda Ibrahim, 41; Augusto Jimenez Sr., 62; Maria Auxiliadorai Castellon-Martinez, 53; Aseged Mekonen, 34; Deibi “David” Samir Lainez Morales, 8; Fernando Josue Hernandez Orellana, 3; and Saul Paniagua, 65.

Police found one of the people they originally thought was missing: Oscar Armando Ochoa, 55, who no longer lived there.

“If you know this community, you know this is a community that has a lot of challenges on a good day,” said Montgomery County Council member Tom Hucker (D-5). “(There are) people that don't have a whole lot materially for all the hard work that they put into our county.


House fire in Rockville

MP1 1579Firemen lay hoses to attack a house fire on Bradley Lane in Rockville. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responded to a house fire at 1508 Bradley Lane (Just off Broadwood Road) in Rockville.
According to first responders, the fire started in the rear of the house, but was successfully extinguished. Broadwood Road was closed between Veirs Mill Road and Fletcher Place.
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