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& SET IN MOTION Clarice Smith to host 31st annual Choreographers’ Showcase. B-1 Gazette-Star SERVING SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, January 23, 2014 Bowie plan for housing draws ire n 25 cents Plans change for speed camera bill Walking in a winter wonderland Melford’s 2,500 residential units are the largest requested in any city project n Davis alters course; devices would not operate on holidays, summer break BY JAMIE BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER After rescinding a bill to expand speed camera hours, Del. Dereck Davis (D-Dist. 25) of Mitchellville is proposing legislation to stop use of the devices in school zones during school holidays and summer breaks. Under current law, speed cameras may operate in a school zone only from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday — even on weekdays when school isn’t in session. Speed cameras may also operate in designated work zones. Davis’ proposal would only allow speed cameras lo- Bowie residents say they’re concerned a development project bringing in a large number of housing units will lead to increased traffic at already congested intersections. The Melford project, being developed by Baltimore-based St. John Properties, is a 466-acre mixed-use development that will include a 122-acre area called Melford Village, according to the site’s conceptual site plan. The village will include 260,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail space, up to 2,500 units of residential housing and hotel space, according to the conceptual site plan. Some residents say 2,500 new units of housing is too much. Rich Dodson, who lives near the Belair and Crain Highway Intersection, said that was too large for an area that already has traffic congestion. “That is a chief concern of those people who live in the area,” Dodson said. At the stakeholder’s meeting, Melford developers told residents some of the village’s employment traffic would travel inside Melford’s office and retail space, lessening impact on roads outside of the village. Martha Ainsworth, who lives adjacent to the Melford property at Sherwood Manor in Bowie, said the residential housing will still impact traffic outside of the village and the dense development could harm the nearby Patuxent Wetlands. “My suspicion is that many more people will be living there than there are jobs,” Ainsworth said. “They will join the crowd of people who drive to Washington and Montgomery County.” See HOUSING, Page A-6 See BILL, Page A-6 Parents fight to keep sixth grade Officials suggest moving level to middle schools to ease crowding at Obama ES n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Police say sample provides best opportunity to identify woman’s killer n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER Sgt. Maj. Gregory Walters has worked so long for the Prince George’s County Police Department, he could have retired twice. And he doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon. “This is my passion,” said Walters, who has been on the force for 45 years. “Every day is gravy. I’ll leave when I can no longer do the functions of the job.” Walters, 66, of Bowie is the longest-serving police officer in county police history, according to officials. His colleagues admire his work and dedication, but also joke that he is a little crazy for continuing a job he could retire from with 85 percent NEWS SERVING THE COMMUNITY Volunteers helped senior citizens clean their apartments as part of their contributions for Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service. A-3 See PARENTS, Page A-6 DNA may be last chance for cold case Longest-serving county officer cites passion for work See POLICEMAN, Page A-6 Barack Obama Elementary may no longer have a sixth-grade class starting next school year — an effort school officials help will ease crowding — but parents are worried about the timing of the change. “It is only a few months to get my 10-year-old ready for 13- to 14-year-old students,” said Deveda Spencer of Upper Marlboro. Spencer said her daughter, Laila, has looked forward to being a sixth-grade leader at Obama Elementary in Upper Marlboro, but now she doesn’t know if she will move to a new school. Laila said her main concern about changing schools was “being the youngest” and possibly Rabon Smith of Kettering walks home through the snow on Watkins Park Drive in Upper Marlboro after stocking up on groceries Tuesday afternoon. ‘Every day is gravy’ n ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Sgt. Maj. Gregory Walters has served with Prince George’s County police for 45 years. As millions prepared to tune in to the Super Bowl on Jan. 22, 1989, Cynthia Renae Rodgers’ family was unknowingly speaking to her for the last time. Twenty-five years later, Prince George’s County police officials say they likely have only one shot at identifying her killer. Rodgers, a research biologist and aspiring pediatrician, went for a walk near her Forestville apartment, where police believe SPORTS GIVING CURLING A WHIRL Curling center in Laurel sees an increase in visitors just before every Winter Olympics. A-8 she was beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted, according to the police report. Rodgers’ body was discovered on a wooded trail near her home Jan. 27, 1989, according to the police report. “It was a violent murder,” said Sgt. Bernard Nelson, a county cold case detective. “It had the whole county scared.” Police are prepared to use the last piece of DNA collected from Rodgers’ crime scene, and it is likely the last, best opportunity they have to solve the case as the sample will be destroyed in the testing process, Nelson said. It could lead to a match in the state and national databases, or it could lead to “noth- See CASE, Page A-6 Automotive B9 Calendar A-2 Classified B-7 Community News A-3 Entertainment B-1 Opinion A-7 Sports A-8 Please RECYCLE PHOTO FROM RODGERS FAMILY Cynthia Renae Rodgers’ killing 25 years ago remains unsolved. Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906232

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