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by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm 1,221 0

Montgomery County Police are searching for a possibly armed suspect who stole a car near White Flint Mall on Wednesday afternoon before leading police on a pursuit into Silver Spring.

At about 2:15 p.m., a call came in for an armed carjacking of a black Lincoln SUV near the intersection of Rockville Pike and Edson Lane. The suspect stole the car and the victim’s wallet and had a black pistol, according to the call.

The suspect, a black male in a black hooded sweatshirt with a black canvass bag, then traveled south on Rockville Pike and got on to the Beltway. Police pursued the suspect, who bailed out of the vehicle near the Silver Spring Library on Colesville Road.

Police called a K9 unit to the scene and are still searching for the suspect.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm 583 0

The popular Thanksgiving morning Turkey Chase is in its 30th year after more than 9,000 runners participated in Montgomery County’s largest race in 2011.

Runners can register here and find more information here. Until race day on Nov. 22, registration is $45 for the 10K, $20 for the two-mile and $15 for the always dramatic 50-meter Kid’s Run.

The signature charity event of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club and the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase, the Turkey Run has raised more than $1.5 million for YMCA and Rotary charities since 1992.

Packet pick-up is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 20 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at City Sports (7121 Arlington Rd.). The race starts at the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase (9401 Old Georgetown Rd.)

by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm 742 0

Days after Hurricane Sandy swept through the region, the Montgomery County government is turning its attention to what forecasters predict will be a more snowy than usual winter.

On Thursday morning, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will speak at the county’s “snow summit”, where officials from agencies with snow removal responsibilities will discuss their readiness for winter storms and some new tactics.

The summit is taking place at the county’s Department of Transportation Bethesda Depot, home to a fleet of snow plows and trucks responsible for maintaining some of the county’s nearly 5,000 lane miles of roads.

After getting little significant snow last winter, forecasting company AccuWeather is predicting above average snowfall in 2012-2013 for Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern cities including Washington D.C.

The biggest storms are expected to hit in January and February. The D.C. region gets an average of 14.6 inches of snowfall each winter season.

Flickr photo by Craig Thoburn

by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 11:40 am 1,532 12 Comments

(UPDATE: 9:35 p.m.) Commenter and petition starter Lisanne Petracca points out the Japenese fishing boat included in the backstory is also based on real events. More on the fishing boat here.

Chris Hoover wanted a new type of haunted house with an urban feel and a slick backstory when he opened “The Warehouse: Project 4.1″ last month in North Bethesda.

According to a story in The Gazette, it appears the Kensington native got a lot more.

A group of people identifying themselves with the Marshall Islands is outraged about the fictional story of the haunted house, which alludes to the actual story of Project 4.1. In 1954, the U.S. studied the effects of a nuclear test on people in the Marshall Islands.

In the haunted house’s story, a fictional pharmaceutical company in the warehouse’s North Bethesda location gets access to a apparently fictional Japanese fishing boat that was infected by the nuclear blast. The 37,000-square-foot haunted house in the former space of Filene’s Basement features mock labs, contamination pods, a morgue and about 70 zombies.

Those zombies are supposed to depict employees of the fictional pharmaceutical company and not victims of the actual Marshall Islands nuclear testing, according to a statement on the haunted house’s website.

That hasn’t stopped Lisanne Petracca, of Long Island City, N.Y., from starting an online petition to get the haunted house to rebrand and change its story. The petition had more than 470 supporters this morning.

This premise is quite obviously grossly insensitive to an entire nation of people that continues to struggle with the effects of nuclear radiation. And yet this company has chosen to profit at the Marshall Islanders’ expense.

There is a wide network of Marshallese people (and their allies) that is positively outraged over this company’s idea of “entertainment.” Our Facebook group, “United Against Hallow Inc’s Haunted House,” now has over 3,000 members from all over the world. Group members’ posts on Hallow Inc’.s website sharing information about the nuclear testing and photos of the real-life victims of nuclear fallout were taken down within minutes. What are the Marshallese to do, sit back and watch as Hallow Inc. continues to make profits from their tragic past?

Our many, many emails to Hallow Inc. have gone unanswered (save for a form response that everyone received). And the company’s “Disclaimer,” which was produced within 24 hours of the start of our protest, merely parroted back educational material we had provided to them and contained no original thought. The Marshallese people and their allies are still awaiting  (1) an apology and (2) a massive overhaul of this supposedly “fictional” backstory. This calls for a rebranding of the “Project 4.1″ theme and all material related to the nuclear testing that occurred in the Marshall Islands.

The people of the Marshall Islands have suffered enough. Let’s do what we can to change the premise of this ill-conceived Halloween attraction.

This is the last weekend the haunted house (at 11840 Rockville Pike) was scheduled to be open. In September, Hoover said he hoped to bring it back next year, perhaps with a different story and in a more permanent location.

The Mid-Pike Plaza where the haunted house is now will be redeveloped in the mixed-use Pike & Rose project in the next two years.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 10:30 am 459 0

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) credited Pepco for the small number of outages in Montgomery County during Sandy’s impact on Monday and Tuesday.

The much criticized power company had said to prepare for tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of power outages, some that could last for a week after the storm.

Instead, all but a handful had power by Wednesday morning and the relatively low number of 7,000 customers were without power in the Bethesda area at the storm’s peak late Monday night.

Pepco’s performance has elicited high praise from residents and politicians alike. Others say that praise is only coming because Pepco has set a low reliability standard in the past.

How would you assess Pepco’s performance during Sandy?

Morning Poll: Pepco’s Performance During Sandy

by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 9:13 am 822 0

 

(UPDATE: 10:05 a.m.) A couch fire caused minimal damage in a Battery Lane apartment this morning and it appears nobody will be displaced, a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokeswoman said.

MCFRS was called to 4911 Battery Lane at 8:41 a.m. for a report of smoke in the building, spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt said. Upon arriving, first responders evacuated the building and requested additional resources. They determined a couch fire in one of the apartments caused the smoke.

Nesselt said firefighters put out the fire at 8:50 a.m. and there were no injuries.

Investigators are on the scene now, but Nesselt said it doesn’t look like anybody will be displaced. She said officials were trying to locate the resident of the apartment where the fire took place.

A resident of 4911 said the man who lives in the apartment typically walks to work in the mornings. His car remained in the parking lot.

The 4911 building is a three-story garden style apartment near the intersection of Battery Lane and Woodmont Avenue. The fire happened in a third-floor apartment. Firefighters busted out two back windows and inserted high-pressure water hoses into the apartment through the front door.

by BethesdaNow.com — October 31, 2012 at 9:00 am 458 0

MCPS, County Government, Federal Government All Open Wednesday — The D.C. region gets back to normal after two days of Hurricane Sandy cancellations. Metro reopened Tuesday afternoon with a Sunday schedule, and will be back to a normal weekday schedule today. [Washington Post]

Group Says North Bethesda Haunted House Disrespectful — A group of people identifying themselves with the Marshall Islands says The Warehouse: Project 4.1 should rebrand after basing part of its haunted house story on nuclear testing gone wrong in the Marshall Islands. The group even started a petition that says the company behind the haunted house “has chosen to capitalize on the tragic past of a small island nation for profit and entertainment.” [The Gazette] [Change.org]

Early Voting Reopens, Extended — After Sandy led to two cancelled days of early voting, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has extended hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at all polling places and ordered they open through Friday. [Montgomery County BOE]

Flickr photo by Signalbot

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