Issuu on Google+

MOVINGPICTURES & Documentary reveals kindness, optimism of children in a time of war. B-1 Gazette-Star SERVING SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, November 21, 2013 25 cents Officials: Md. 450 needs help Area braces for outlets’ opening 20,000 people estimated to visit National Harbor retailer on Friday n Traffic on Annapolis Road in Bowie expected to more than double by 2030 n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER With an estimated 20,000 people set to descend on Prince George’s County’s newest retail attraction — Tanger Outlets at National Harbor — for its grand opening Friday, residents should expect delays despite efforts to mitigate traffic. Tanger Outlets will open at 9 a.m. Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Mall representatives are anticipating a large turnout of guests and customers, which will likely fill up the center’s 4,000plus available parking spaces and ancillary parking areas, said Christi Wallace, the center’s general manager. The mall is opening with about 99 percent of its high-end retail stores such as Calvin Klein and Coach leased, Wallace said. “We generate a lot of excitement, so we know that is going to bring a lot of traffic,” Wallace said. Wallace said Tanger has been working with Gameday Parking Management and Prince George’s County Police Department to prepare for Friday’s parking and traffic situation. County police will be directing cars while county Department of Public Works and Transportation members will be monitoring traffic signals and will post signs advising through traffic to avoid Oxon Hill Road, said DPWT spokeswoman Carol Terry. Joyce Thorpe of Fort Washington said Tanger’s location on Oxon Hill Road will create disastrous traffic even with management efforts. Oxon Hill Road goes from three lanes in both direction to two lanes, one in each direction, and that’s going to cause problems, she said. “Traffic is going to be horrendous,” Thorpe said. “It is not a good location to attract that many people.” County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said that while traffic has been a concern for the county, he is pleased to know that people from Virginia, D.C. and other parts of Maryland will be coming to Prince George’s County for high-end retail, something the county has desired for some time. “We are going to have thousands of See OUTLETS, Page A-7 BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER based Raptor Technologies, the system requires visitors to slide their photo identification through a digital reader, which will flag individuals listed on state sex offender registry lists and also keeps a log of all visitors. “We are already looking into it, and I expect we will have something very similar to it, and get it installed soon,” Maxwell said during a Nov. 14 meeting with The Gazette’s editorial board. Rex Barrett, acting security director for PGCPS, said the system is currently reviewing ID management systems and is hoping to have one implemented throughout the school system by January. Bob Yatsuk, Anne Arundel supervisor of school security, said the Raptor security system placed in all 125 Anne Arundel County public schools has A stretch of Annapolis Road in Bowie is constantly jammed with traffic — and as officials again urge the State Highway Administration to fund an expansion, the long wait has them frustrated. “We will argue for our share and our priorities,” said Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson. For at least a decade, Bowie officials have sought funding from the state to expand the state road, also known as Md. 450, from Stonybrook Drive to Crain Highway from a two-lane road into a four-lane road, with two lanes traveling in each direction. The request has sat on Prince George’s County’s project priority list but has not received the state funding needed for construction, Robinson said. Since the road is owned by the state, the state is responsible for handling expansion. The roadway’s traffic is expected to double by 2030 from the current 26,700 vehicles daily to 58,850 vehicles daily, said Joseph Meinert, Bowie’s Department of Planning director. The SHA, which would handle the project if funded, receives county project priorities for state highways each year, and there are a lot of factors when the state selects different projects from different counties, said David Buck, SHA spokesman. The Annapolis Road project would cost up to $70 million for funding through construction, Buck said. “Obviously the need is going to outweigh the funding available,” Buck said. “It is going to depend on what the elected [officials] send to us. But then again, there is no guarantee.” Other projects ahead of Bowie have been on the priority list for several years and they recently received funding from the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, said Aubrey Thagard, the county executive’s assistant deputy chief administrative officer. However, deliberations on the project list for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 have not begun yet, and county priorities will be determined based on need, cost and economic development among other things, Thagard said. See SECURITY, Page A-8 See HELP, Page A-7 TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools, said he is pursuing a new security system for county facilities that would check names against sex offender registries and other lists. County schools’ CEO says new security features coming in future n System looking at ID swipe to flag visitors on sex offender list BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER Hoping to further bolster school safety and safeguard against potential tragedies such as the Newtown, Conn., shooting, Prince George’s County school officials are adding security enhancements such as ID scanner systems and high fencing. Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell said a system that scanned visitors’ licenses and checked names against sex offender registries and other lists was in use when he was superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Produced by Houston- Bowie Advisory Board calls for denial of Wal-Mart relocation, expansion People have made it clear they don’t want the Supercenter, member says n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER The Bowie Advisory Board sided with residents against Wal-Mart, recommending the City Council deny the store’s application to build a new Supercenter at Mill Branch Crossing. “People were concerned about the NEWS CLINTON PASTOR IN SPOTLIGHT Mizeur touts charisma, passion of Coates, her gubernatorial running mate. A-4 health of the community,” said Terry Rogers Jr., planning board member. On Tuesday, Wal-Mart presented its case to move from its current location in Bowie, 3300 Crain Highway, and build a new about 186,000 square-foot Supercenter location across the street at Mill Branch Crossing. The new WalMart would be state of the art, have a unique design and bring in about 80 more jobs than the current store already has, which employs about 300 associates, according to Wal-Mart’s presentation. Residents attended the meeting and gave their concerns before the board voted. Resident Robin Williams said the store would chase out other retail outlets and make the city unattractive for more high-end retail stores like Nordstrom. “We deserve more as Bowie residents than a Wal-Mart Supercenter,” Williams said during her comments to the board. Supporters said a new Wal-Mart would bring in more retail for the city and meet one-stop shopping needs. SPORTS A FRESH INFUSION Transfer student helped lead Forestville to one of its best football seasons. A-10 Resident Chris Lawson said the store would be a positive influence on the city and its business space. WalMart draws customers and that draws more retail, he said. Lawson also recommended the old Wal-Mart at Crain Highway be used as a Bowie recreation center because he said the city has outgrown the current location. “It is a positive,” Lawson said. “It gives [Bowie] an opportunity to attract high level of retail.” Rogers made a motion to deny the application, and a second was received, Automotive followed by the board voting 6 yes votes to 1 abstention against the application. Wal-Mart isn’t out of the race yet as the Bowie City Council meets Monday and will make a decision on whether Wal-Mart should be denied by the Prince George’s County government. The city plays an advisory role in this process, with Wal-Mart’s request for the store ultimately decided by the county, said Joseph Meinert, Bowie Department of Planning director. But that ap- See WAL-MART, Page A-7 B-11 Calendar A-2 Classified B-10 Community News A-4 Entertainment B-1 Opinion A-9 Sports B-1 Please RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906193

Bowiegaz 112113

Related publications