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Local businessman leads efforts to stem opioid epidemic

H. David Meyers plays the oboe with 67 other musicians to raise funds in the fight against the opiod epidemic. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKNORTH BETHESDA — H. David Meyers, a Rockville-based businessman turned on the local news one day and saw his secretary Carin Miller.

Miller, founder of the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, was on television raising awareness for a cause that is personal to her – the opioid epidemic. While Meyers knew his secretary was an advocate, it was not until he saw her on television that he came up with an idea – to host a benefit concert for her organization.

On Tuesday, Meyer who is a classically-trained oboist along with 67 other musicians played a benefit concert at Strathmore Music Center to raise awareness for opioid and heroin addiction – something state, local and federal officials have called an epidemic. All proceeds from the concert will go to MHAA, which helps those addicted to opioids and heroin to seek treatment and promote awareness for the issue to combat the stigma of drug abuse.

“We have several fundraisers throughout the year, this is a grand event that I never would have thought would happen, but Mr. H. David Meyers was kind enough to host this beautiful concert for us,” Miller said.

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“Aggressively”

County counters federal moves against immigrants with a plan to help them out

MoCo LogoImmigrants who find themselves in federal immigration court often cannot afford legal counsel and have to represent themselves, which means that many federally-ordered deportations go unchallenged.

Now the County is looking to step in the federal immigration issue, by declaring it will fund legal representation for immigrants who find themselves in front of an immigration judge.

Council President Hans Riemer (D-at large) said the effort to fund legal services for immigrants who live in the County is in reaction to President Trump’s stricter policy on immigration and his promise to deport more undocumented immigrants.

“Given that the federal government is continuing with its targeting of our communities, you know, we just felt that had to match that as aggressively as we could,” Riemer said.

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Potomac residents look to county for cutting noise levels from Reagan airport

Potomac area residents say they have cause to hope they can rid their neighborhoods of aircraft noise with an upgrade in flight GPS technology.

The frequent noise from commercial flights led residents to organize and ask the County to do something about the noise from planes landing at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington County.

While the County has previously considered a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration, in this year’s budget it may consider a different approach – choosing to hire an outside aviation expert to help convince the FAA to change its flight patterns.

“It’s analogous to putting an eight-lane freeway through an existing neighborhood – it’s really the same thing,” said Council President Hans Riemer (D-at large).

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BOE to spend more for safety

MoCo BOEROCKVILLE — In light of recent shootings at schools in Parkland, Florida and St. Mary’s County, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith said he plans to ask for more funding to increase security at schools.

While officials from the Montgomery County Board of Education said they were already in the process of updating security at schools recent school shootings have made administrators reevaluate school’s security needs.

As County school officials were in the process of reviewing schools’ safety infrastructure, training for staff and violence prevention programs, they said the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County gave them pause.

“One thing we feel that we have to do is, in light of the tragedies Florida and St. Mary’s, go back out to our schools again and do another assessment – a facility assessment – both school facilities as well as non-school facilities,” said Andrew Zuckerman, chief operating officer for Montgomery County Public Schools.

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Concert set to help raise opioid awareness

The Music Center of Strathmore will host a benefit concert for Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates on April 17.  COURTESY PHOTOThe Music Center of Strathmore will host a benefit concert for Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates on April 17. COURTESY PHOTO  The opioid epidemic first hit home for Carin Miller after both her husband and son became addicted to painkillers.

The struggles of her family to deal with addiction led Miller, a resident of Mt. Airy, to start her own nonprofit foundation to help raise awareness for the issue and to help those addicted to opioids seek treatment.

“My children are good people with a bad disease and I would just like everybody to know that my children did not choose to become addicted,” Miller said.

On April 17, the Music Center at Strathmore will host a benefit concert for Miller’s organization, Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates. H. David Meyers, professional oboe player and Miller’s boss at AgriSmart, a Rockville-based agricultural company, helped organized the concert arranging for his musician friends to perform in order to raise awareness for opioids.

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Chen to plead guilty to carrying a gun in school

Alwin Chen.  FILE PHOTO  Alwin Chen. FILE PHOTO  ROCKVILLE — Alwin Chen, the Clarksburg High School student who brought a loaded Glock 19 handgun to school, is expected to plead guilty on a charge that could send him to jail for three years.

Chen, 18, entered into a plea agreement April 5 to carrying a handgun on school property and will learn of his fate in a hearing before Circuit Court Judge John Maloney on April 24. He can be sentenced to 90 days to three years.

In exchange for his expected guilty plea, two other charges were dropped, including possession of weapon by a minor and bringing the handgun to school on other days.

Chen has been in jail since his Feb. 15 arrest, when the gun was found in his backpack.

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County Council holds forum on workplace sexual harassment

MoCo LogoROCKVILLE — For months the “Me Too” movement was among the biggest stories in the nation.

Reporters, politicians, movie producers and stars were all accused of sexual harassment – something all industries learned that they were not immune from – including the Montgomery County government. On Tuesday, representatives from the County’s departments gathered to talk about workplace harassment more than a month after custodial staff accused Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel of making sexist and racist comments toward them.

“So I think kind of given the climate of the, you know, the nation and what’s going on right now, I do think we need to take a closer look,” said Shawn Stokes, director of the Office of Human Resources for Montgomery County.

Other County department heads and human resources managers joined Stokes on the panel in order to summarize their department’s policies on harassment and mandatory workplace training required for all department employees. While the particulars of each County department differ, all County employees are required to go through some sort of workplace harassment training.

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Metro consultants confirm resident fears regarding noise and vibrations

metro logoA consulting firm hired by Metro has confirmed local residents’ concerns about Metro’s new 7000 series trains – they are louder than the old ones and may have a tendency to vibrate more, shaking nearby homes.

Consultants from Wilson Ihrig, the firm Metro hired for the study, said in the report posted online March 24 that in all but one residential site tested, vibration from the trains was higher for the 7000 series, than the older ones. The study concluded this by measuring ground-borne vibration in houses a few hundred feet from the track centerline when a train passed by.

The report’s authors said some Metro trains violated the organization’s design criteria by go over the recommend vibrations for nearby homes.

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Three suspects in custody in Silver Spring rape case

Montgomery County Police have charged suspects (left to right) Martin “Fat Mo” Chery, 21, Jordan Cobbs, 20, and Tombong Saidy, 18, in connection with the rape and assault of a 19-year-old woman in Silver Spring. COURTESY PHOTOS Montgomery County Police have charged suspects (left to right) Martin “Fat Mo” Chery, 21, Jordan Cobbs, 20, and Tombong Saidy, 18, in connection with the rape and assault of a 19-year-old woman in Silver Spring. COURTESY PHOTOS  ROCKVILLE — District Court Judge John Moffett denied bond Monday for two men charged with the rape and first-degree assault of a 19-year-old woman who alleged that five men raped her at an apartment in Silver Spring.

"The nature of this crime is a heinous one, with the details being almost really too gory to be heard on television or in the news media,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson Ramon Korionoff.

The survivor of the rape and assault was a 19-year-old woman whose name has been withheld, according to charging documents. She told police five men had raped and assaulted her in an apartment located on the 11400 block of Lockwood Drive in Silver Spring.

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MoCo residents celebrate Easter in Silver Spring

Children prepare to take part in a sack race as part of the Easter celebration in Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday.  PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZChildren prepare to take part in a sack race as part of the Easter celebration in Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ  SILVER SPRING — Although Peter Cottontail did not make an appearance, Easter in Montgomery County was still full of surprises this weekend as residents enjoyed a variety of events in Silver Spring.

Children of all ages got a chance to enjoy an Easter egg hunt, sack race, egg spoon race, and scavenger hunt at the Civic Building in Downtown Silver Spring Saturday morning. The event hosted by Jesus House DC, a church also located in Silver Spring, was made to bring the community together and celebrate the holiday with one another.

“We are really do this to give hope to the community, to encourage people [to come to the event] especially since Easter is tomorrow we just wanted to reach out,” said Joel Olujide, 17, a volunteer during the Easter celebration.

Olujide’s mother Chinyere Olujide, an associate pastor at Jesus House who organized the Easter event, said over 700 people registered online to participate. Olujide also said the prizes given at the event included gift cards donated by Chick-fil-A, Dave & Busters, Cooper Canyon Grill, 50 free quarter legs from Nando’s Perri Perri, and tickets to the nearby ice skating ring.

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