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Area talent brings the Bard’s work to Bowie Playhouse stage. B-1

SERVING SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

25 cents

‘I’d like to have us get our road back’

Delegates considering bag fee again Bill mirrors 5-cent fee charged in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County n

BY JAMIE

ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER

Paper or Plastic? Either way, Prince George’s County shoppers may join their neighbors in Montgomery County and Washington D.C. in paying for their disposable bags if a bill under consideration passes. The bill has failed to pass the past three years in a row, but supporters think the fourth time may be the charm. “We’ve built on support every year,” said County Councilwoman Mary Lehman (Dist. 1) of Laurel, who has been an outspoken supporter of the bill. “There’s an awareness that didn’t exist four or five years ago. So I’m hopeful, and we’re going to keep at it.” The bill, PG402-14, would allow the Prince George’s County Council to impose a fee of up to five cents on retail disposable bags, paper or plastic, as part of retail sales. Similar fees are already in place in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., which both charge a five cent per bag fee. “When it comes to addressing litter, we’re really being left behind, with Montgomery County and D.C. taking such strong action to clean up their communities,” said Lehman, who testified Monday in support of the bill during a public hearing. “I don’t believe it reflects well on our county.” The bill was one of 32 introduced Monday during a public hearing by the county delegation at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. The bills will be taken up by the General Assembly in its next session, which begins Jan. 8. County residents were invited to give testimony on the bills and the four that spoke on the disposable bag fee bill supported the measure. Martha Ainsworth of Bowie, chairwoman of the Prince George’s County chapter of the Sierra Club, a grassroots environmental group, cited a Prince George’s County Office of Community Relations publication that said the average shopper pays $15 to $37 per year in higher retail costs to cover the business’ bag purchases while the county annually spends approximately $2.5 million on cleaning up plastic bag trash. “Under this bill, disposable bags are paid by the people who choose to use them, not

See FEE, Page A-7

Shopping traffic detours spark complaints regarding access to Oxon Hill homes n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

countries’ stamps and other themes as he fills his albums with distinctive items showcasing historical moments or fancy cars. Ahmed’s collections are stored in large tome-like albums with thick, heavy pages to support the stamps placed inside. Some larger albums could hold hundreds of stamps, depending on their size and shape, which vary from traditional rectangles and square to circles and diamonds. After his father introduced him to stamp collecting while living in India, he would buy stamps from a dealer who peddled his wares daily near Ahmed’s school, he said. From there, he was hooked. Ahmed said he wanted to com-

Donna Apperson sat in traffic Nov. 30, about five minutes from her home, when she said she noticed that Oxon Hill Road, the road where her home is located, was blocked by police. The parking lot at the new Tanger Outlets mall in Oxon Hill was full, so traffic on the road leading to the mall — the same road on which Apperson lives — was being redirected to secondary parking. Apperson said she asked an officer to bypass the detour since she was going home, but her request was denied and she was forced to make a u-turn and take a different route, adding about 30 minutes to her trip. “Traffic is a nightmare,” Apperson said. The mall brought in an estimated 30,000 vehicles on its opening day, Nov. 22, and Prince George’s County officials said they should be able to end the detours once the holiday shopping season ends. Police have intermittently closed the block of Oxon Hill Road between National and Harborview avenues when the mall’s parking lot is full, forcing residents living along parts of Oxon Hill Road to travel down down nearby Indian Head Highway or loop through National Harbor, an Oxon Hill development featuring hotels and entertainment venues, to reach a road that connects to their homes. Residents say the alternatives are inconvenient and increase their commute time. Officers are supposed to allow residents through the closed section, said Lt. William Alexander, a county police spokesman. The closings have happened four times for about 15 minutes each since the stores opened, he said. “If residents are trying to get to their homes as this is happening, we ask that they let us know they’re a resident,” Alexander said. “The officers are instructed to accommodate their request and allow them to pass

See STAMP, Page A-8

See ROAD, Page A-7

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Shukoor Ahmed of Bowie poses Dec. 5 with part of his stamp collection, which includes foreign-issued stamps depicting President John F. Kennedy (right). Shukoor began collecting stamps 40 years ago in his native India.

STAMPof

Through postage, Bowie resident keeps pieces of history n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

approval

Sending letters leads to serious deliberation for Bowie resident Shukoor Ahmed. After all, his stamp selection could mean the difference between someone casually looking at a butterfly nestled on the top right corner of an envelope or being inspired by a Harry Potter adornment to become as fascinated with the hobby as Ahmed. “I hope it creates an interest in stamps,” said Ahmed, 51, a collector for about 40 years. “People don’t receive stamped letters as often anymore.” Ahmed, president and CEO of a software development company, said he selects specific

Suitland High’s hopes for perfect season fall short n

Uncharacteristic mistakes doom school in 33-16 loss against Northwest BY

NICK CAMMAROTA STAFF WRITER

At the conclusion of the play that essentially brought Suitland High School’s hopes of an undefeated season to an end, Rams defenders Josh Burke and Brandon Brown stood facing a massive block of empty purple seats in the far end zone at M&T Bank Stadium. There they both stared into the emptiness, arms hooked over a padded banner that said “Ra-

vens,” and watched their season wither away, one win shy of a state championship. On the other sideline, Northwest’s players and fans celebrated a shocking 77-yard passing touchdown — the longest play of the game — from Matt Pierce to Matt Watson that put the Jaguars ahead by 10 points with 4 minutes, 27 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. While the blown coverage on that play was costly, it was the accumulation of uncharacteristic mistakes throughout Friday night’s contest that ultimately doomed Suitland. On a rainy, windy and generally unpleasant night in Baltimore, Northwest’s 33-16 victory ended Suitland’s bid for its third state champion-

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ship. Instead, Ed Shields’ team settled for being runners up for the third time in school history. “We had some opportunities, but we were not about to take advantage of those opportunities for some reason,” Shields said. “We had some miscues and I thought that maybe we could still get by them. But in a state championship game, you’ve got to catch every ball, you’ve got to throw every ball, you’ve got to make every run and do every coverage. “We messed up in those areas and today was one of the first days all year we weren’t able to

See SUITLAND, Page A-8

DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE

Police on Oxon Hill Road direct traffic to overflow lots outside of the Tanger Outlets on Nov. 29.

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MY FAVORITE TEACHER The votes have been counted. Now meet the winners of The Gazette and Gazette-Star’s annual My Favorite Teacher contest today in section B.

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EVENTS EV ENTS

Send items at least two weeks in advance of the paper in which you would like them to appear. Go to calendar.gazette.net and click on the submit button. Questions? Call 301-670-2078.

DEC. 12 Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Implementation Committee, 9 a.m., County Administration

Building, fourth floor Board Room, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro. Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility Implementation Committee. Contact 301-952-3412. Mission of Love, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., FedEx Field, 1600 Fedex Way, Landover. Accepting donations of new mittens, gloves, hats and other winter accessories to keep children warm, along with nonperishable food and unwrapped toys. Contact 301-858-3127. Free Event for Homeowners and Renters, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Largo Community Church, 1701 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville. Rebates, solar panels and energy efficient resources for your home. Contact 301-7721552 or homeenergyaudit@pfccoalition.org.

Believe again A&E

Queen Nur shares stories of Kwanzaa at the Publick Playhouse. SPORTS Winter sports are underway. Check online throughout the week for coverage of high school basketball.

For more on your community, visit www.gazette.net

DEC. 13 Winter Dance, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Indian Queen Recreation Center, 9551 Fort Foote Road, Fort Washington. Join the Kids’ Care staff for an afternoon in winter wonderland. Celebrate the holidays with music, dance and song. Cost: $5 per person. Contact 301-839-9597; TTY 301-203-6030. “Terrible Teddy” Planetarium Program, 7 p.m., Howard B. Owens Science Center, 9601 Greenbelt Road, Lanham. Join in Teddy’s adventures as he uses Santa’s sky friends to help him return to the North Pole. Bring your special teddy and take a picture with your teddy in Santa’s chair. Cost: $5 per adult, $3 for students/seniors/teachers/military. Contact 301918-8750 or russell.waugh@pgcps.org.

DEC. 14 Breakfast with Santa at Baden Community Center, 10 a.m. to noon, 13601 Baden-Westwood Road,

Brandywine. Enjoy a breakfast, children’s performance, holiday craft and a photo opportunity with Santa. Cost: residents, $10 (ages 4 to 12); $12 for all others. Contact 301-888-1500; TTY 301-203-6030. Breakfast with Santa, 10 a.m. to noon, North Forestville Community Center, 2311 Ritchie Road, Forestville. Join Jolly Old St. Nick for a delicious meal. Afterward, enjoy games for the whole family. Everyone gets a goodie bag. Don’t forget your cameras. Cost: resident, $5; non-resident, $6. Contact 301-3508660; TTY 301-218-6768. Holiday Bazaar, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Temple Hills Community Center, 5300 Temple Hill Road, Temple Hills. Check out the holiday bazaar and find items for all the people on your list. Rent a table and help others find the perfect gift. Light refreshments served. Contact 301-894-6616; TTY 301-203-6030. ‘Tis the Season, noon to 4 p.m., Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton. We’re decking the halls for the winter season and for the holidays. Meet Father Christmas, take advantage of holiday discounts in the gift shop, and sample sweets. Contact 301-868-1121; TTY 301-699-2544.

133147G

ConsumerWatch If you have an all-electric home, do you still need a carbon monoxide detector?

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

Mark Hoft as Macy, Bailey R. Center as Santa, Patrick Becker and Lydia Kivrak perform in the Tantallon Community Players’ presentation of “Miracle on 34th Street,” running through Dec. 15 at the Harmony Hall Regional Center in Fort Washington. For more information, visit www.tantallonstage.com.

MORE INTERACTIVE CALENDAR ITEMS AT WWW.GAZETTE.NET Family Campfire, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Clearwater Nature Center, 11000 Thrift Road, Clinton. Enjoy an afternoon nature program while roasting marshmallows. Roasting sticks and marshmallows will be provided. You may bring hot dogs and beverages. Pre-registration through SMARTlink is encouraged (1326421); programs may be canceled due to insufficient registration. Cost: resident, $3; non-resident, $4. Contact 301-297-4575; TTY 301-699-2544. Sugar & Ice Holiday Social, 2 to 6 p.m., Upper Marlboro Community Center, 5400 Marlboro Race Track Road, Upper Marlboro. Ice skating, crafts, games, music, hot chocolate and Santa Claus. Don’t forget to dress warmly. Cost: resident, $3; non-resident, $4. Contact 301-627-2828; TTY 301-203-6030. Deck the Halls Holiday Party, 3 to 5 p.m., Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex, 7007 Bock Road, Fort Washington. Decorate the halls as we prepare for our first holiday season. Join our friendly wreath-decorating competition and create a special gift to take home, plus enjoy caroling, live entertainment, refreshments and more. Come early; space is limited to the first 100 patrons. Contact 301749-4160; TTY 301-203-6030.

To be safe, let’s turn to Liz for our answer.

LIZ CRENSHAW

WeekendWeather

DEC. 15 All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast, 9 to 11 a.m., Patuxent River 4-H Center, 18405 Queen Anne Road, Upper Marlboro. Holiday photo opportunity. Photo with Santa can be purchased for a nominal fee. Cost: adults, $6; children 3 to 6, $3; and younger than 3, free. Contact 301-218-3079 or prfourhc@umd.edu.

DEC. 16 Supplier Diversity Appreciation Night, 6 to 8:30

p.m., Radisson Hotel Largo, 9100 Basil Court, Largo. Hosted by the Prince George’s County Supplier Development & Diversity Division. Annual awards reception celebrating supplier diversity in Prince George’s. Contact 301-883-6480.

DEC. 17 The Historic Preservation Commission meeting, 6:30 p.m., Fourth Floor Board Room, County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro. Contact 301-952-3520.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

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Bowie police collects toys for county children in need There is one more week left in the Bowie Police Department’s toy drive, an initiative to collect new, unwrapped toys for Prince George’s County children in need. Bowie police are collecting unwrapped, new toys for the Toys for Tots drive, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program that is held each year all over the country, according to the Toys for Tots program. The Bowie Police Department’s toy drive ends Dec. 19. Those wishing to donate can drop toys off at the following locations: Bowie City Hall, 15901 Excalibur Road; Bowie police station, 15901 Excalibur Road; Bowie Gymnasium, 4100 Northview Drive; Bowie Ice Arena, 3330 Northview Drive; Bowie Senior Center, 14900 Health Center Drive; Melvin’s Motors, 13405 Annapolis Road; and Chaney’s Auto and Tire, 3268 Superior Lane, according to the toy drive flier.

the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace while mentors shared their experiences living and succeeding with disabilities, as well as discussing federal and state resources available to people with disabilities, according to the release. The visit also included a tour of the White House and a meeting with Tina Tchen, chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. “The students and I truly enjoyed the celebration and joy of the entire experience,” said Kate Fedalen, Chelsea School head. “We were so impressed with the wisdom and passion of the mentors and gained a greater appreciation of the diversity within our disability community.”

Holiday helpers

High school hosts STEM Family Night

Bowie resident inducted into honor society Avon Hart-Johnson of Bowie was inducted into the Golden Key International Honor society on Oct. 25 for her academic achievements as a doctorate student at Walden University in Minnesota. “It is a reflection on the hard work ... the extended number of hours I put into research,” Hart-Johnson said. “If you want to be better than average, you have to put the work in.” Golden Key inductees are selected by chapters in their schools and awarded members into the honor society, which counts Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu as members, according to the honor’s society’s membership information. Hart-Johnson’s induction into Golden Key is added to other inductions into the Psi Chi International Honors, a psychology honor society and the Tau Upsilon Alpha National Organization for Human Services Honor Society, she said. Hart-Johnson is currently working on her dissertation for a doctorate in human services counseling, researching how the stigma of incarcerated men impact the lives of the families they leave behind, she said.

Bowie’s curbside leaf collection continues Bowie’s curbside leaf collec-

tion continues this week with pick up dates on Dec. 12, 16, 17 and 18. Residents wishing to have their leaves collected need to have them raked to the curb by 7 a.m. on the day of their area’s pickup, according to Bowie’s leaf collection guidelines. Leaves do not have to be bagged for leaf collection on these dates. Pickup location for Dec. 12 are as follows: Derbyshire and Forest Hills. Pickup locations for Dec. 16 are as follows: Glen Allen, Longleaf, Mitchellville East, Old Stage, and Patuxent Overlook. The only pickup locations Dec. 17 will be at Pointer Ridge and Ternberry. This week’s final pickup day on Dec. 18 will be the largest collection with Ashleigh, Ashleigh Station, Devonshire, Dixon Crossing, Fairview, Grady’s Walk,

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Students in the Before and After Extended Learning Program at Glenn Dale Elementary School pose Dec. 5 with donated toys they have been collecting for the past three weeks for Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that supports military families. Shown here are (back, from left) Ava Raines, 6; Alhajie Kamara, 9; Kalen Corujo, 9; Kaiya Wise, 9; Kiana Wyatt, 7; (front, from left) Cameron Brown, 6; Brea Everett, 7; Brianna Besley, 6; and Lauren Pace, 5. Grovehurst, Spring Meadows, Stewarts Landing, Tall Oaks, Westview, Woodmore Estates and Woodmore Highlands all receiving collections.

Pet photo op with Santa Claus Pet lovers will have the opportunity to have their pets pose for photos with Santa Claus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Spay Now Animal Surgery Clinic, 7401 Van Dusen Road in Laurel. The event is a fundraiser for area feral cat spay and neuter groups Laurel TNR and Outlaw Kitties, said Helen Woods, Laurel TNR chairperson and event organizer. TNR refers to “trap, neuter, release,” the practice of trapping feral cats, sterilizing them and returning them to the wild, improving their health while reducing the number of homeless kittens, Woods said. Woods said that all pets, including dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, goldfish and others, are welcome to pose with Santa Claus for photos. In addition to selling photos, the two groups will also be

running a “Pet Bake Sale” and will have pet stocking stuffers for sale as well, Woods said. “This will be a fun event for the whole family, especially the four-footed family,” said Woods. “We plan to have free refreshments for humans, and plenty of treats, catnip mice, and other stocking stuffers for companion animals available for sale to finish your Christmas shopping for that furry friend in your life.” To learn more about this event, TNR, or either of these groups, please visit their web sites at www.laureltnr.org or www.outlawkitties.org. Laurel TNR can also be reached at 301-886-8926. Donations of cat food are also welcome at this event, Woods said.

Duval High School senior earns scholar award The Lanham-based Duval High School is home to the most recent Prince George’s County Public Schools scholar of the week award. Niney Nguyen of Lanham was selected as the scholar of the week, an award given out

to Prince George’s County Public Schools high school seniors who are nominated by school officials for their academic achievements, according to a PGCPS news release. Nguyen has been on the honor roll since middle school and currently has a 4.08 grade point average, according to the news release. Nguyen has played the violin for seven years, is a member of her school’s anime club and plans to apply to University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park, University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University, according to the news release.

County resident receives UM honors citation New Carrollton resident Emma Varner received the Honors College Citation in a ceremony held Nov. 8 in the Memorial Chapel at the University of Maryland, College Park, according to a news release. The citation signifies the successful completion of Honors course work, includ-

ing Honors seminars, special Honors versions of introductory courses and a first year colloquium, according to the release. Varner is a 2010 graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. She is the daughter of Eileen Jewison and Mark Varner of New Carrollton.

County students visit White House High school juniors and seniors with disabilities who attend Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt and the Chelsea School in Hyattsville were among 20 students from the region invited to take part in the 2013 Disability Mentoring Day on Nov. 13 at the White House, according to a news release. The Chelsea School is a nonpublic school serving students in grades five through twelve with language-based learning disabilities, according to its website. The White House-sponsored event included discussions about career choices and

The Laurel High School science department will be hosting its first annual STEM Family Night from 5 to 7:30 p.m. today at the school, 8000 Cherry Lane. The event will feature dinner with a scientist, brief remarks from professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields, demonstration of STEM projects and a family STEM challenge/contest, said Laurel High sceince teacher Rima Garg. Participants will include professionals from the NSA, NASA, EDUSERC, Washington Hospital Center and John Hopkins University, Garg said. “Laurel High School was recently recognized as one of three STEM Innovative Schools in Prince George’s County by the Maryland Business Roundtable,” said Garg, adding that the STEM Family Night is part of the school’s efforts to promote STEM education and student interest in STEM fields.

Yule Log and Tree Lighting celebration Bladensburg is holding its annual Yule Log and Tree Lighting celebration beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Bladensburg Municipal Building, 4229 Edmonston Ave. “This is our sixth year of inviting the community out for the lighting of our trees, as well as joining their neighbors for songs and festivities around our burning Yule log,” said Town Administrator John Moss. “There will be refreshments and fun for everyone.” Moss said there will also be a visit from Santa Claus. For more information, contact 301-927-7048.

2013 Holiday Worship

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MGM tabbed as top gaming slot

On a roll

Consultants say site would generate most revenue, less traffic

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BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE

Elizabeth Luther (left) of Bowie helps her niece, Camryn Williams, 5, of Bowie roll a big snowball as the two begin building a snowman Tuesday morning at Allen Pond Park in Bowie.

Longtime neighborhood columnist dies Family said Brandywine resident enjoyed writing

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BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Brandywine resident Norma Jean Fazenbaker, 91, a former neighborhood columnist for The Gazette newspapers, died on Dec. 6, leaving behind a legacy of hard work, a love for music and a passion for her community. Fazenbaker is survived by

her six children, Dottie Ratcliffe, Danny Fazenbaker, Barbara Bailey, Joyce Donaldson, Judy Lucas and Janice Toepper, as well as 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Her memorial service will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Faith United Methodist Church, 15769 Livingston Road, Accokeek. “One of the main things of her working like that taught us is to work hard and enjoy life,” Ratcliffe said. Fazenbaker also loved mu-

sic — she sang in the choir at church, and she passed on her love of music to her children, Ratcliffe said. Danny Fazenbaker, Ratcliffe’s twin brother, said he was in the drum corps as a teenager. Now he plays in a variety band, which he attributed to his mother’s love of music to his passion. “She was a big inspiration, instilling a work ethic in me,” Fazenbaker said. “I loved her and she loved all of us.” Norma Jean Fazenbaker

Event takes games to next level Largo competition awarded gift cards to top designs by youths n

ccook@gazette.net

Parents hope to provide information, support BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER

SPENSER LI/FOR THE GAZETTE

Judges at the Video Game Jam, (from left) the Rev. Marlon Owens, Kenny Diggs, Paul Burks and Ricky McClallum, evaluate the top four game designs on Saturday. All judges are volunteers with the Patriot Technology Center. $100 gift cards for placing in first. Second- and third-place teams received $50 and $25 respectively. About 125 youth participated in the event, creating games using the Kodu Software, a programming game that helps teach the basics of creating video games. They learn how to create and place environments like trees and enemies via computer coding wrapped into formulas that dictate how everything interacts. Capitol Heights-based Patriot Technology Center held the event at Prince George’s Community College in Largo to teach interested youth about science, technology engineering and math, said Gloria Shivers, center program director. Having the education made

part of a video game design competition helps keep participants excited and interested, she said. “It is inspiring them to not just play,” Shivers said. “Video game design has every aspect of STEM.” French said making games has made her more interested in math and science courses, and she has thought about becoming a video game designer or a meteorologist. French’s mother, DeLisa French of Upper Marlboro, said she supports her daughter’s interest in making games because she isn’t just playing them. “It is also about being creative and critical thinking,” DeLisa French said. ccook@gazette.net

ccook@gazette.net

Mothers of chronically ill students create county group to aid others n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

It is a dark night, and you’ve crashed your motorcycle in a forest filled with killer robots. You need to find a way out, but you are also a little hungry, so you go about collecting apples while avoiding the robots. Good luck. The scenario, fit for a horror film, was brewed up by a team of youths who competed Saturday in the Patriot Technology Center’s fifth annual Video Game Jam, a competition where youths work to make a video game in two hours. The games are judged based on completeness, entertainment and creativity. Their game, titled Whisper, won first place, putting a big smile on the faces of teammates Nichelle French, 14, of Upper Marlboro; Jahmari Samuel, 15, of Laurel; and Amber Harris, 13, of Woodbridge, Va. The team got the idea from the Slenderman games, a popular horror video game where the protagonist must collect a set number of items before escaping from a suit-wearing, faceless creature with slender arms and legs. “[We] had a great idea to make it a darker setting,” Harris said. “It was fun.” The Whisper team received

was also active in her community, participating in several senior groups, working for museums and writing for The Gazette newspapers. Her columns would vary and Ratcliffe said her mother was always trying to share what she learned. “She got … enjoyment out of sharing information with people,” Ratcliffe said. “She was always cutting out newspaper articles. She was a big reader.”

Prince George’s residents are one step closer to learning where they will be traveling for their first county casino. Consultants hired by the state to analyze casino applications agreed during their presentations Friday that MGM Resorts International would provide the county and state the best overall revenue and job opportunities. The Maryland Video Lottery Facility Commission, which is tasked with selecting between three companies — Greenwood Racing, Penn National Gaming and MGM Resorts International — as Maryland’s sixth and Prince George’s County’s first casino, will use the consultants’ analysis as a factor in their decision. The consultants discussed reports that analyzed potential revenues and traffic impact among other factors. “Today’s consultant presentations served to validate what we’ve believed since the beginning of this process — that MGM National Harbor represents the best company, the best location and the best proposal,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president and chief marketing officer of MGM Resorts International. MGM’s proposal is a $900 million casino at National Har-

bor with 3,600 slots. Greenwood Racing has applied to build a $761 million Parx Casino at the intersection of Indian Head Highway and Old Fort Foote Road with an initial 3,000 slot machines and then expand to 4,750 slot machines. And Penn National Gaming has requested to expand its Rosecroft Raceway location into a $700 million Hollywood Casino. Each hotel would come with entertainment venues, restaurants and hotels. The earliest the casino could be built is July 1, 2016, according to state law. Each company’s potential revenues for Prince George’s County were broken down over a five-year period with Penn National Gaming generating about $153 million, Greenwood Racing with about $176 million and MGM with $202 million, according to consultants. This money takes form of property tax, gaming tax, personal income tax and hotel taxes, all of which would start flowing into the county’s budget. “[A casino] is direct revenue,” said Brad Frome, Prince George’s deputy chief of staff. “It is jobs for our residents and opportunities for our businesses.” The lottery commission’s final decision will come on Dec. 20 when the commission will hold another meeting on the first-floor auditorium at the Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore.

When Beth McCrackenHarness’ son developed a chronic illness, she struggled to keep his education going for the year-and-a-half he missed school while undergoing a barrage of tests and treatments. McCracken-Harness’ son suffers from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS, a disorder that reduces blood flow to parts of the body when the individual is sitting or standing. “It was really long, really hard and really very lonely,” said McCracken-Harness, who lives in Cheverly. Now, she and Lisa BrooksWilkins of Capitol Heights, parent of a child with urea cycle disorder, a condition disrupting the body’s ability to process protein, want to help make the process smoother for other parents and guardians facing similar challenges. They have formed an advocacy group called Prince George’s Parents of Ill or Pregnant Students. “It’s an underdeveloped and underserved group. They’re generally not taking

part in their local PTAs, because they’re usually caring for a sick child,” McCrackenHarness said. “I think it can be very helpful to have a community to support you.” McCracken-Harness said the group’s website, www. pgpips.org, has information and links for parents, and is a clearinghouse for ideas and advice. She said group members can accompany other parents when they meet with school officials. “It can be really hard sometimes for a parent, especially one going alone. You’re surrounded by all these professionals in suits, and then there’s little old you,” McCracken-Harness said. “We can provide support.” McCracken-Harness said there are more than 500 students in Home and Hospital Teaching, the public county schools division that provides instructional services to homebound and hospitalized students. For county students who have a documented illness that keeps them out of school for an extended period of time, a teacher is sent to the hospital or home, usually to provide six hours of weekly instruction, said Barbara Nelson-Lewter, a Home and Hospital Teaching coordinator. “It may not sound like a lot, but when you’re one-on-one, it’s rather intense,” she said.

Alternately, students may receive online instruction if they have a computer at home, Nelson-Lewter said. McCracken-Harness said the group also can provide respite care to struggling parents, as well as advocate for more funding, and logistical and tech support for the Home and Hospital Teaching program. “It’s important to have a group advocate for these types of issues and needs,” McCracken-Harness said. Julie Coleman of Riverdale Park was one of a dozen people who attended PGPIPS’ inaugural meeting Dec. 4 at Kenmoor Middle School in Landover. Her 8-year-old son has cystic fibrosis and has been in the hospital 43 times. “When I first found out about this, I was really excited, because I hadn’t found any other local groups for parents,” Coleman said. “His school is just not familiar with his condition, so we’ve had a lot of problems with that.” McCracken-Harness said she hopes that PGPIPS can provide a community for parents who may feel like they are struggling alone. “We want to help the school system better understand the needs of students with rare disorders,” BrooksWilkins said. janfenson-comeau@ gazette.net

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

BY

KATE S. ALEXANDER STAFF WRITER

The owner of a coal-fired power plant in Dickerson plans to stop using coal to generate electricity at two of its Maryland plants. NRG Energy, owner of the Dickerson Generating Station in Montgomery County and the Chalk Point Generating Station in Prince George’s County, said it plans to “deactivate” the coalfired units at both plants by June 2017. Both plants produce electricity using a mix of coal, oil and natural gas. NRG sent notice of its plans to regional grid operator PJM Interconnector on Dec. 2, ahead of a capacity auction scheduled for May, PJM spokesman Ray Dotter said. Each year PJM auctions the rates it will pay generators for being available if and when called on to produce power. Dotter, unable to speak specifically about the notice given by NRG due to confidentiality, said a power company must notify PJM when it wants to retire or deactivate a plant. Notices like the one NRG gave typically indicate that the owner expects to and likely will shut down and not operate the plant, he said. However, NRG could change its mind or even revise its plans to expedite closure, Dotter said. NRG East Region spokesman David Gaier said looming state regulations for coal-fired plant emissions precipitated the company issuing the notice. Gaier said the regulations will likely require NRG to install expensive upgrades for processing emissions. “The significant capital investment required to install these systems can’t be justified economically,” he said. The Dickerson plant is capable of generating about 849 net megawatts, according to the NRG website. Gaier said the plant, which employs about 200 people, produces 546 megawatts from coal. Maryland Department of the Environment spokeswoman Samantha Kappalman said talks have only just begun on the regulations, which are part of Maryland’s Healthy Air Act, the toughest power plant emission law on the East Coast. When the regulations will go into effect remains unknown, she said. As the state drafts its regulations for emissions from power plants, it has joined with seven other states to call on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on pollution in states that are upwind. About 70 percent of Maryland’s air pollution comes from other states, Kappalman said.

On Monday, Maryland and seven other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic petitioned the federal government to require upwind states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia — to be good neighbors and reduce emissions. Across the country, coal plants are shutting down, said Diana Dascalu-Joffe, senior attorney for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Environmental advocates are confident that NRG will cease using coal at the two Maryland plants by its 2017 deadline and contribute to efforts to move Maryland to a cleaner energy portfolio. “We are applauding NRG’s commitment and intention,” she said. “By putting in the decommissioning proposal, they’ve basically said to PJM, ‘Look, this is the direction we want to go in. We want to decommission coal, we want to move toward more clean energy.’” But before NRG can stop using coal, the grid operator must study if the grid can handle the loss. Dotter said PJM has 90 days to evaluate the impact the closure would have on the grid and determine if upgrades are necessary before the plant can shut down its coal units. PJM can request a plant remain open longer to ensure any necessary upgrades are made and the system avoid sdisruption, but because NRG has given about three years of notice, any upgrades will likely fit in their window for closure, Dotter said. Dickerson, which first went online in 1959, is one of seven plants in Maryland that still use coal to produce energy, according to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Gaier said any action that NRG takes could potentially affect jobs at the plants. But he added that the company has not yet made a firm decision on ceasing coal operations and will continue to evaluate its options between now and May. Exactly how many of the 200 jobs would be impacted he did not say. Montgomery County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda said he regrets the loss of jobs that would likely result, but closing the coal-fired units in Dickerson would help the county reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The Dickerson plant is the largest single contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the county, Berliner said. The county seeks to reduce those emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Suspect also shot in District Heights gunfire exchange, official says n

BY

A District Heights police officer was shot Saturday in an exchange of gunfire during a response to a robbery, according to the police department. Prince George’s County

Police find youth with apparent gunshot wound n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Prince George’s County police are investigating the death of a District Heights teen found with an apparent gunshot wound early Saturday

Police believe shooting was related to robbery

n

BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER

Two men from Washington, D.C., were arrested in connection with a Forestville homicide that took place Dec. 2. Alex Marshall, 22, and

Dominick Payne, 19, were arrested in connection with the death of Dalonte Allen Jackson, 25, of Fort Washington, said Lt. William Alexander, a Prince George’s County police spokesman. Police responded at about 3 a.m. Monday to reports of a shooting at the 3200 block of Walters Lane at a BP gas station. When officers arrived, they discovered Jackson inside

ccook@gazette.net

was pronounced dead at the scene, Bond said. Police are still investigating the case and have not identified suspects or motives, Bond said. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-7724925. Callers wishing to re-

main anonymous can call the county police’s tip line at 1-866-411-8477, text “PGPD plus your message” to 274637 or go to www.pgcrimesolvers. com to submit a tip online. Up to $25,000 can be awarded to tipsters with information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case. ccook@gazette.net

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is being held at the county Department of Corrections with a no bond status. He has been charged with first- and seconddegree murder, Alexander said. Marshall was arrested Dec. 3 in the District and is awaiting extradition to Prince George’s, where he also faces firstand second-degree murder charges, Alexander said. ccook@gazette.net

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the gas station suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to a police spokesman. Preliminary investigation into the homicide led police to believe Jackson’s death was the result of a drug-related robbery, Alexander said. Payne was arrested Dec. 2 near the scene of the crime and

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in Suitland. Crossland High School freshman Brandon Ramone Johnson, 17, of the 3200 block of Prince Ranier Place in District Heights was discovered at about 3:15 a.m. when police responded to a welfare check at the 4900 block of Suitland Road, said police Officer First Class Harry Bond, a county police spokesman. Johnson

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related to this crime can call the county police tip line at 866411-8477, text “PGPD plus your message” to 274637 or submit a tip online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com. Tips leading to an arrest and indictment in the case can come with a cash reward that is determined by the Crime Solvers board, said Lt. William Alexander, county police spokesman.

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with his bulletproof vest saving his life, said District Heights Police Chief Yolanda Alexander. Alexander said the incident is still under investigation and declined to provide any further details such as number of suspects involved in the incident. The suspect who was shot was listed in serious condition Saturday night, but police did not have an update on his condition, Bond said. Anyone with information

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and District Heights police responded at about 8:47 p.m. to a robbery at a store on the 5800 block of Silver Hill Road, said Police Officer First Class Harry Bond, a county police spokesman. The suspects’ vehicle pulled into a neighboring apartment complex, where gunfire was exchanged and both a District Heights officer and a suspect were shot, Bond said. The District Heights officer was not critically wounded,

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THE GAZETTE

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

POLICE BLOTTER This activity report is provided by the Prince George’s County Police Department as a public service to the community and is not a complete listing of all events and crime reported.

District 2 Headquarters, Bowie, 301-3902100 Glenn Dale, Kettering, Lanham, Largo, Seabrook, Woodmore, Lake Arbor, Mitchellville and Upper Marlboro.

DEC. 2 Theft from vehicle, 3600 block Elder Oaks Blvd, 7:12 a.m. Theft from vehicle, unit block

ONLINE For additional police blotters, visit www.gazette.net of Watkins Park Drive, 7:32 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 600 block Bright Sun Drive, 7:36 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 9400 block Lanham Severn Road, 9:44 a.m. Theft, 9200 block Lottsford Road, 10:31 a.m. Residential break-in, 4700 block King John Way, 11:52 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 10100 block Campus Way S, 11:55 a.m. Theft, 9600 block Greenbelt

Road, 12:02 p.m.

Theft from vehicle, 1200 block

Capital Center Blvd, 12:37 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 700 block Falls Lake Drive, 1:54 p.m.

Commercial property break-

in, 15400 block Emerald Way, 2:04 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 4600 block Boston Way, 2:29 p.m. Theft, 16400 block Governors Bridge Road, 3:44 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 8400 block Burton Lane, 4:26 p.m. Theft, 15800 block Collington Road, 4:26 p.m. Sexual assault, 9800 block Block Woodberry St., 5:38 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9900 block Lanham Severn Road,

11:16 p.m.

DEC. 3 Theft from vehicle, 5900 block Princess Garden Pky, 3:17 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 13200 block Old Chapel Road, 7:11 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 1800 block Albert Court, 7:25 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 2700 block Bartlett Lane, 7:27 a.m. Vehicle stolen and recovered,

7700 block Old Chapel Drive, 7:45 a.m. Theft, 4400 block Mitchellville Road, 9:53 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 10600 block Heather Glen Way, 10:29

a.m.

Theft from vehicle, 9400 block

Annapolis Road, 10:57 a.m. Theft, 8200 block Good Luck Road, 11:45 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 14700 block Main St., 11:53 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 8400 block Burton Lane, 12:18 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 4600 block Boston Way, 12:32 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lottsford Court, 12:45 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lottsford Court, 1:07 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 10900 block Layton St., 2:32 p.m. Theft, 1000 block Ashleigh Station Court, 3:25 p.m. Assault, 8000 block Quill

Point Drive, 8:09 p.m. Theft, 11000 block Buggy Path, 8:56 p.m.

DEC. 4 Theft, Brown Road/Brown Station Road, 7:38 a.m. Theft, 3300 block Superior Lane, 8:01 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 9400 block Largo Drive W, 8:50 a.m. Commercial property break-in,

1500 block Pointer Ridge Place, 9:55 a.m. Theft, 500 block Largo Road, 10:27 a.m. Residential break-in, 12800 block Gladys Retreat Cir, 11:26 a.m. Theft, 3300 block Crain Highway Nw, 11:34 a.m. Vehicle stolen and recovered,

Bartlett Lane/Beechtree Lane, 11:39 a.m. Theft, 9400 block Carol St., 11:41 a.m. Theft, 4300 block Parliament Place, 12:50 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 6000 block High Bridge Road, 1:34 p.m. Theft from vehicle, 10200 block Prince Place, 1:42 p.m. Residential break-in, 2100 block Ardleigh Court, 3:25 p.m. Residential break-in, 9500 block Wellington St., 4:04 p.m. Vehicle stolen, 9400 block Largo Drive W, 4:32 p.m. Theft, 11800 block Backus Drive, 5:05 p.m. Residential break-in, 16600 block Peach St., 10:26 p.m. Residential break-in, 9700 block Good Luck Road, 10:39 p.m.

DEC. 5

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Theft from vehicle, 11500 block Joyceton Drive, 5:18 a.m. Vehicle stolen, Old Annapolis Road/High Bridge Road, 5:43 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 4800 block River Valley Way, 7:16 a.m. Vehicle stolen, 5200 block Lynns Retreat Drive, 7:45 a.m. Theft from vehicle, 9600 block Lanham Severn Road, 10:23 a.m. Theft, 9400 block Lanham Severn Road, 10:39 a.m. Theft, 400 block Kettering Drive, 12:20 p.m.

THE GAZETTE

Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

FEE

Continued from Page A-1 by the rest of us in our shopping bills,” Ainsworth said. “The purpose is to offer an incentive that will reduce litter and protect the environment, not to raise revenue.” Julie Lawson of Accokeek, director of the Trash Free Maryland Alliance, said a Department of the Environment study has shown bag fees have reduced bag consumption in the District. “Eighty percent of D.C. residents are carrying reusable bags with them, to avoid paying the fee,” said Lawson. Lawson said plastic bags make up approximately 20 percent of the trash cleaned from the Anacostia River and 50 per-

cent of the trash cleaned from its tributaries. Last year, the bill had enough votes to pass, said Del. Barbara Frush (D-21) of Beltsville, the House sponsor of the bill, but other delegates looking for a way to fund a bill requiring county schools install turf fields, attached amendments to her bill directing the revenue towards the fields. “The primary purpose of the bill was to protect the environment, and turf fields do not protect the environment,” Frush said. “So I withdrew the bill.” Frush said the bag fee is not a tax on county residents who already pay for the bags. “It’s not a tax, you pay for the bags every time you make a purchase,” Frush said. “It’s a

hidden fee.” Lehman said the “clean” bill drew support from over 30 environmental, business, labor, local government and civic groups. “It really enjoys broad support across many different types of stakeholder organizations,” Lehman said. Lehman said that if the bill is approved, the County Council will then vote whether to approve the fee and where the revenue from the fee will go. “I don’t mind spelling out that it needs to be spent for environmental purposes and for free [reusable] bags for low-income people, for education and for outreach,” Lehman said. janfenson-comeau@ gazette.net

ROAD

Continued from Page A-1 through.” But in Apperson’s case, she said that didn’t happen. “[The officer] told us we would ‘get used to it,’” Apperson said. William Cavitt, president of community group Indian Head Highway Area Action Council, said he has received about two dozen complaints — some of which are from officers of civic associations representing about 3,000 people — regarding residents being denied the ability to bypass the detour. The council advocates on behalf of Oxon Hill and Fort Washington residents in the Indian Head Highway area. It remains to be seen if officers will actually let the residents through, Cavitt said. “It has taken as much as 30 minutes to work your way through National Harbor and back,” he said of the alternative for Oxon Hill Road residents. Alexander said police have received a lot of positive praise on social media regarding traffic control efforts after the mall’s opening and that some residents might prefer the detour during high traffic congestion because it could be faster than waiting in traffic on Oxon Hill Road. Apperson said she hopes police will get the situation figured out so she can return to using Oxon Hill Road and get home faster. “I’d like to have us get our road back,” Apperson said. “It seems like it is just an access road for Tanger Outlets, and that’s upsetting.”

DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE

Police on Oxon Hill Road direct traffic to overflow lots outside of the Tanger Outlets on Nov. 29.

1911913

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THE GAZETTE

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SUITLAND

Continued from Page A-1 overcome those mistakes.” Shivering and sneezing during his postgame interview, senior quarterback Wesley Wolfolk shouldered the blame for his team’s poor performance. In reality, while Wolfolk certainly could have played better than his stats indicate, the result was far from his fault alone. Suitland (13-1) committed 17 penalties, allowed a season-high 33 points, suffered costly injuries and missed the mark on a number of would-be big plays. “You saw our fight and our character in trying to come back, and even with the 17 penalties it looked like we might come back,

but we just couldn’t get it done,” Shields said. On four occasions in the first half, Wolfolk had a receiver open deep downfield, but failed to connect. On the first, he overthrew Nick Nelson along the far sideline. On the second, Tevin Singleton dropped an underthrown ball. The third was intercepted by Northwest’s Rodney Snider (intended for Singleton) and Snider batted the fourth away from Singleton as well. Injuries were an issue, too, as Nelson left the game with a high ankle sprain in the first half and didn’t return. In the third quarter, Singleton cramped badly, which affected his play for the remainder of the game. That left Steven Rivers as Wolfolk’s go-to target as he caught

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10 passes for 132 yards. “We had three linemen to start the year,” Wolfolk said. “We had to get two guys to come on board with us, so the way our season was supposed to go and the way it went were two different things and I’m proud we made it to this point.” Continuing a postseason trend, the Rams started sluggishly. However, after entering the half trailing 12-2, Wolfolk connected with speedster Tevin Singleton for a 40-yard touchdown that pulled the Rams within two. After another Northwest touchdown, Suitland answered when Wolfolk found Darryl Jasper from 4 yards out to make it 20-16, but that’s as close as the Rams would come. On Suitland’s next drive Wolfolk’s fourth-down attempt with 4:46 to play, intended for Jasper, sailed high. “I think our team thought that since we came out scoring in the second half and got one stop that the game was just going to fall into our hands,” Wolfolk said. “And most of us didn’t realize that it was the state championship and they were playing as hard as they could, too.”

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Northwest’s E.J. Lee completes a pass despite coverage by Suitland’s Anthony Jackson during Friday’s Class 4A state championship. Despite the loss, the Rams’ 2013 superlatives are impressive. Nine times this season Suitland allowed seven points or fewer. Only three times did the Rams allow more than 20. They finished with 474 points scored.

On this night, however, Suitland was presented with one too many obstacles to overcome. “I’m hurt that we lost, but I’m still grasping the whole concept that we just played in a state championship game,” said line-

backer Anthony Jackson, who led the team with eight tackles. “I’m proud of everybody. We worked so hard this entire year, we just fell a little short.” ncammarota@gazette.net

STAMP Bowie resident Shukoor Ahmed’s collection features Indian stamps of Mahatma Gandhi, issued in 1948 shortly after the civil rights leader’s assassination. GREG DOHLER/ THE GAZETTE

Continued from Page A-1 plete collections and learn about a country’s history through stamps. Now, Ahmed buys stamps from all over the world, including Ajman and Brazil. He said he keeps connections with dealers in foreign countries, like India and England, so he can buy new stamps that come out annually. Older stamps and some of the rarer collections require visiting dealers and shopping around on the Internet, he said. One of his most unusual stamp collections comes from the country of Bhutan, which turned stamps into an economic force by emphasizing color and artistic beauty to sell more and generate revenue, Ahmed said. His collection of Bhutan stamps has holographic astronauts; large, shiny, coin-shaped stamps; and stamps that look like they were drawn with a tiny paintbrush. “Bhutan was looking for a way to get on the map,” Ahmed said. “They turned stamps into an industry.” Ahmed doesn’t collect stamps for their value, but some stamps can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Roger Brown, a stamp appraiser who works in Frederick, said a collector can go from a low-value to a high-value collection worth hundreds of times the original value. “It only takes one to go from a collection worth 50 cents to a collection worth thousands of dollars,” he said. Stamps are judged on their rarity, how clean they are and how well their perforated edges look, Brown said. Bowie Stamp Club President Frank Soeder said he thinks most people don’t collect stamps for the monetary value. Rather, they, like Ahmed, are introduced to it by a family member or have a connection through stamps with another interest, such as boats. “It is a hobby first of all,” Soeder said. “Most people go into it for pleasure and educational value.” Ahmed isn’t sure how much his collection is worth — he estimates he has 20,000 to 30,000 individual stamps — but said he has spent $10,000 to $15,000 in four decades. He wants to determine the stamps’ value someday. His next goal is to put his collections on display. Ahmed said the only time he has shown his collection was in Arlington, Va., in the early 1990s; the number of stamps he owns has grown “exponentially” since then. He intends to join the Bowie Stamp Club when he has time. The stamp club has several showings each year in Bowie, Laurel and Springfield, Va., Soeder said. Ahmed also wants to display his stamps at the World Stamp Show in New York, a once-adecade show featuring international exhibits, and at embassies in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. “I’d like to do an exhibit or two and will have to work with the World Stamp Show and hopefully fulfill their requirement.” Ahmed said. ccook@gazette.net

Gazette-Star OUROPINIONS

The new Tanger Outlets mall in Oxon Hill has been a rousing success — officials estimated that about 30,000 vehicles passed through on opening day — but the handling of the accompanying traffic has been a big disappointment for nearby residents. Traffic on a portion of the main road leading to the mall, Oxon Hill Road, has had to be diverted occasionally when the mall’s main parking lot is full and Prince George’s County police direct vehicles to secondary lots. Unfortunately, residents living along the roadway are getting caught up in the melee and are sometimes required to follow the detour rather than take the shorter, more direct TIME TO LOOK AT route to their homes. Police have been inINFRASTRUCTURE structed to allow residents to CHANGES TO avoid the detour, but many PREVENT CLASH say they are being denied the WITH BUSINESS option. Donna Apperson, who lives on Oxon Hill Road, said she was told by an officer to take the detour and that she would “get used to” the traffic changes. She took a route that she said added about 30 minutes to her drive. William Cavitt, president of the Indian Head Highway Area Action Council, a group that advocates on behalf of Oxon Hill and Fort Washington residents, said he has received dozens of similar complaints. Some complaints, he said, are from officers of civic associations representing about 3,000 people. Unfortunately, almost everyone loses in this scenario. Residents end up playing a game of chance regarding how long it will take them to get home; police, whose time would be better spent chasing criminals, end up negotiating detour disputes; the mall ends up with an unhappy community; and shoppers join in on the traffic debacle. Granted, the congestion is likely to lessen significantly after the holidays, but it’s a challenge that is likely to recur, at the community’s expense. Post-holiday sales, community events and other big shopping dates are likely to bring a repeat of problems. Perhaps, for residents’ sake, those living along the blocked portion of roadway could get permits, allowing officers to see at a glance who should be allowed to avoid the detours on Oxon Hill Road. And county and mall officials need to take another look at the area’s infrastructure to see whether improvements can be made to prevent such traffic challenges. While those living along Oxon Hill Road have concerns, there have also been complaints regarding traffic backing up along other nearby roadways due to mall traffic. It’s wonderful to see business booming in Oxon Hill, but it will be even better when the kinks — even the temporary ones — are worked out.

Parents helping parents There are many Prince George’s County students who not only deal with chronic illnesses, but must also face the challenge of keeping up with schoolwork even when they are forced to miss significant amounts of class time. Unfortunately, it’s a group that goes unnoticed all too often, as parents may not be able to be involved in PTAs or other school organizations that would make their challenges known because they are busy at home or in hospitals caring for their ailing children. Fortunately, two Prince George’s County women are making an effort to get more support for those families and formed an advocacy group called Prince George’s Parents of Ill or Pregnant Students. Beth McCracken-Harness of Cheverly and Lisa BrooksWilkins of Capitol Heights, who each have a child coping with a chronic illness, hope the group will help parents navigate the difficulties involved in ensuring their children receive a solid education despite their circumstances. In addition to sharing resources and advocating for more program funding, group members can accompany other parents to meetings with school officials. Such help is sure to make the education system, which can feel like a bureaucratic giant at times, a bit less intimidating. McCracken-Harness said there are more than 500 students in the county school system’s Home and Hospital Teaching division, which oversees instructional services to homebound and hospitalized students. About a dozen parents attended the group’s first meeting this month. For the majority of Prince Georgians who may never have to deal with such challenges, formation of such a group may not seem like a big deal — but it is. Writer George Eliot once wrote, “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?” Clearly, McCracken-Harness and Brooks-Wilkins are working to do just that: make life a little bit easier for parents and their children dealing with illnesses. They should be commended for their effort to help a population that is rarely in the spotlight.

Douglas S. Hayes, Associate Publisher

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Page A-9

Let taxpayers decide whether to expand City Hall Does College Park really need to spend $6,000,000 to almost double the size of City Hall? A Gazette article quoted someone that [said] the city needed more room for meetings. I don’t remember any mention of the Parish House or Davis Hall for meetings. Also, I have attended meetings at the community center and numerous auditoriums and rooms on the University of Maryland. It would make a lot more sense to use existing facilities instead of spending a ton of money on fancy new digs for the city. For an expenditure of this amount, I would like to see a referendum of city taxpayers to see how many support this idea. I realize referendums are not popular with politicians, but the taxpayers have to foot the bill for all the wild spending schemes the politicians think up, so it is only fitting for the taxpayers to have a say in the matter. Also, putting all city

employees in one building sounds nice, but with the telephone and Internet, how many times do city employees really need to face-to-face? And where are all these employees supposed to park? The new parking garage was supposed to ease parking problems for local businesses if I remember correctly, so filling it up with city employees was not in the cards, or was that the plan all along? I think the taxpayers really deserve to get their voice heard in this matter, since this will probably be the largest procurement in the history of the city. I remember when the city could not raise taxes without a vote, but we lost that with some political trick. Six million dollars is a lot of money and should not be spent without a genuine need that would benefit the residents of College Park, not just desire to spruce up the place.

Sam Bronstein, College Park

Education lessons from merry olde England ’Tis the season we explore the redemptive powers of charity, generosity and empathy. In the coming weeks, millions of households will stuff their bellies full and head for warm family rooms to watch their favorite version of that most frequently adapted classic by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.” Granted, this nation has progressed far since that little tome was printed, at Dickens’ own expense, and distributed across England at a meager five shillings per copy. Today, only one in five children suffer the ravages of homelessness, food insecurity and wretched poverty. That is down from the seven-in-10 figure that inspired the creation of everyone’s favorite miserly curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. COMMENTARY Collectively, we treat children less like KENNETH HAINES chattel, now. Children are less frequently considered a cheap and expendable labor force in modern times. We have passed child labor laws and, for the most part, no longer treat children as part of “the surplus population” that Dickensian England was, by all accounts, attempting to reduce through attrition. This society has become more adept, at least provisionally, at ensuring the common necessaries are available to most of our citizens. Most children do not experience abject need for food and shelter. Compulsory attendance at school is an invention of the 20th century. Still, it is alarming that any children at all are forced to endure societal indifference to their situation. Outperforming 19th century England is hardly worthy of praise. Dickens used his personal wealth to fund schools and improve access to education for underprivileged children. He saw education as an exit strategy from the servitude of the workhouses. When it comes to our budget priorities this year, we would all be well-served to heed the warning of the second Spirit, “This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both ... but, most of all, beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” Kenneth B. Haines is the president of the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association.

DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE

Police on Oxon Hill Road direct traffic to overflow lots outside of the Tanger Outlets on Black Friday. Some residents worry a casino plan in Oxon Hill would add to congestion in the area.

Infrastructure can’t support MGM plan MGM and its political supporters all but declared themselves the winner of the final gaming license to be awarded in Maryland. They believe they are the frontrunner in this race, and the momentum they’ve gained is attributable to their superior public presentation. MGM’s presentation, at times, took on the tone of a political campaign with all the trappings. They brought their own cheering section, repeatedly reminded the audience of their record and also vacillated through the more substantive questions regarding their financial projections. If MGM had a political platform, it would be summed up as “No New Roads.” During the public hearings, MGM promised to use the current infrastructure (I495 ramps at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and roads from Oxon Hill and Md. 210). They claim no additional roads are needed for their location at the National Harbor. MGM’s executives maintain current road configurations make their location ideal and more viable than other sites. MGM’s proposal is dangerously flawed and naively optimistic. Traffic during opening day of the Tanger Outlets was a sobering reality check against MGM’s claims that our infrastructure is sound enough to support a casino, hotel, spa and showplace arena. On Nov. 22, the Oxon Hill area at the National Harbor experienced unprecedented traffic backup in all directions. The Tanger

Ken Sain, Sports Editor Dan Gross, Photo Editor Jessica Loder, Web Editor

Outlets, much like the National Harbor, has multiple access points from route I-495, 210 as well as Oxon Hill Road. As a temporary solution, Prince George’s is using police presence to help move the backlog eastbound into the community at large. Traffic congestion has already reached critical mass in Oxon Hill, some three years before the advent of a MGM proposed casino, hotel and showplace arena. It is unclear how their plans to further stress our frail and nearly obsolete infrastructure is of benefit to the state, county or neighborhood. One of the other applicants pledged 50 percent or up to $100 million to Md. 210’s expansion project. That amount should buy a lot of goodwill with Prince George’s County and the state of Maryland. Prince George’s County would then receive benefits from applicants instead of providing the incentive to the likes of MGM. We should evaluate each applicant on the basis of financial windfalls and overall benefits to the state, Prince George’s County and the hosting community. We invited several applicants to tell us how they intend to profit us. We scrutinized each of the applicants and somehow allowed MGM to sell us a bridge. We don’t need any more subsidies to large projects that minimally benefit us and maximally stress our already inadequate infrastructure.

Erwin Bonhomme, Fort Washington

Send us your letters Letters must include the writer’s name, address and telephone number. The phone number will not be published; it is for verification purposes only. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Letters

selected may be shortened for space reasons. Send letters to: Editor, Gazette Newspapers, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707. Email them to princegeorges@ gazette.net.

Postal worker’s death shows need for better policy decisions Nov. 23 marked two notable events. It was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and also the day a postal employee was shot to death in Prince George’s County while doing his job: delivering mail. What would motivate a human being to shoot and kill another human being without provocation and without even knowing the victim? Indeed, this is a mystery to humankind in this modern era of gun violence we are experiencing in America. America is unique among developed nations for its rate of gun deaths. America ranks number 1 in gun deaths among the 34 most wealthy nations in the world and number one in gun possession per capita among all nations, but 23rd in ranking for educational performance in math, 34th in science and 17th in reading. While America’s educational system has weakened over that past 50 years, the gang culture is alive and well. America’s prison population is larger than all in-

dustrialized nations with more than two million people incarcerated. African Americans are 39 percent of the incarcerated, but make up less than 14 percent of the total U.S. population. Part of the problem may lie in the breakdown of the American family. In 1963, 93 percent of American families were comprised of two-parent families and for African-Americans, it was 77 percent. Now, in 2013, only 59 percent of families are comprised of two-parent families; for African-American families, it’s just 30 percent. The poverty rate in the United States for single-parent, female headed households with children under 18 years of age is 41.5 percent and 47.5 percent for female headed African-American households. The above statistics, when combined with the proliferation of guns in America, provides a lethal elixir for that postal worker delivering mail at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night in an American suburb.

13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707 | Phone: 240-473-7500 | Fax: 240-473-7501 | Email: princegeorges@gazette.net More letters appear online at www.gazette.net/opinion

Vanessa Harrington, Editor Jeffrey Lyles, Managing Editor Glen C. Cullen, Senior Editor Copy/Design Meredith Hooker,Managing Editor Internet Nathan Oravec, A&E Editor

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LETTERS TOT HE EDITOR

The longer road home in Oxon Hill

Gazette-Star

Forum

Dennis Wilston, Corporate Advertising Director Doug Baum, Corporate Classifieds Director Mona Bass, Inside Classifieds Director

Jean Casey, Director of Marketing and Circulation Anna Joyce, Creative Director, Special Pubs/Internet Ellen Pankake, Director of Creative Services

We have a problem when a relatively small group of people can declare that their right to interpret the Constitution trumps everyone else’s right to life, liberty and the freedom to live without fear when going about their daily business. The U.S. postal worker was just doing his job, going about his daily business. He lost his life because he lived in a country that places the right to bear arms above the right to live free without being shot. The problem with America’s love affair with gun freedom when taken to the extreme is that it trounces on almost every other freedom. There must be a balance. Americans must demand sanity in public policy making. Politicians must be held accountable for policies that permit gun violence to go unchecked, but cuts funding for education, job creation and social programs such as food stamps that help poor families survive.

Michael A. Doaks, Bowie

POST COMMUNITY MEDIA Karen Acton, Chief Executive Officer Michael T. McIntyre, Controller Donna Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources Maxine Minar, President, Comprint Military Shane Butcher, Director of Technology/Internet

ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI PLAYER LEADS THE ALL-GAZETTE GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL TEAM, A-11

SPORTS COMING UP SHORT: BOWIE | LARGO | UPPER MARLBORO | CLINTON | FORT WASHINGTON www.gazette.net | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Page A-10

Suitland loses in state final

n BY

Slow start, miscues and penalties contribute to first loss of season

ERIC GOLDWEIN

NORTHWEST 33 SUITLAND 16

STAFF WRITER

After a long season and an exhausting championship run, senior Rasheed Gillis still isn’t sure about his primary position on Northwest High School’s football team. Not that he, nor any of his Northwest teammates, care what position they play — as long as they’re on the field. “I just play wherever they put me,” Gillis said. The triple-threat — nicknamed “Flash” by a team supporter — made plays on offense, defense and special teams, helping lead Northwest (12-2) to a 33-16 victory against Suitland (13-1) in the Class 4A state championship game Friday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The victory gave the Jaguars their first state championship since 2004. “I’m just proud of the kids for stepping up and being physical, and doing everything we asked them to do,” Northwest coach Mike Neubeiser said. Playing in cold, rainy conditions, Gillis and the Northwest defense kept the Rams in check, shutting down their run game and putting constant pressure on senior quarterback Wesley Wolfolk. Suitland’s offense was silenced in the first half, but the Rams came charging back in third quarter and trimmed Northwest’s lead to 12-8 after a touchdown on their opening drive. Gillis, though, responded

Northwest (12-2) 6 6 8 13 33 Suitland (13-1) 0 2 6 8 16 N — E.J. Lee 9 run (kick blocked) S — Safety N — Joshua Gills 30 pass from Mark Pierce (pass failed) S — Tevon Singleton 40 pass from Wesley Wolfolk (run failed) N — Rasheed Gillis 2 run (E.J. Lee run) S — Darryl Jasper 4 pass from Wesley Wolfolk (Wesley Wolfolk run) N — Matt Watson 77 pass from Mark Pierce (pass intercepted) N — E.J. Lee 10 run (Diego Melendez kick)

Rushing Northwest — Mark Pierce 7-27; E.J. Lee 17-24; Rasheed Gillis 3-2; Matt Watson 1-(-1); Trint Coulter 1-(-6). Suitland — Wesley Wolfolk 1849; Robert Wigfall 9-31; Brandon Brown 4-27; Joshua Burke 7-21. Passing Northwest — Mark Pierce 12-22261-0; Trint Coulter 1-1-7-0. Suitland — Wesley Wolfolk 1842-218-1. Dakarai Ellis 0-1-0-0.

TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE

Suitland High School quarterback Wesley Wolfolk throws against Northwest during the Class 4A state championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. with a 56-yard kickoff return that gave the Jaguars possession deep in Suitland territory. The senior capped off the short drive with a 2-yard rushing touch-

down which gave Northwest a two-possession lead and proved to be the game-winner. Sophomore quarterback Mark Pierce finished his stellar

playoff run by completing 12 of 22 passes for 261 yards and two passing touchdowns. His 77yard touchdown to senior Matt Watson late in the fourth quar-

ter extended Northwest’s lead to 26-16 and put the game away. “This group’s a special

See SUITLAND, Page A-11

FILE PHOTO

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

DuVal High School graduate Thierno Diallo’s (top) success has left an impression on wrestlers still left in the program.

Eleanor Roosevelt High School guard Andre Fox looks to shoot against DeMatha Catholic on Dec. 5.

Fox waits, steps into primary role

TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE

Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School’s Maceo Barbosa (left) and Brenen Garrett run during practice at the school on Monday.

Wise junior on the fast track to success

As the seventh man off the bench last year for Eleanor Roosevelt, shooting guard is set for a breakout season n

BY

TRAVIS MEWHIRTER STAFF WRITER

“Cooking,” explained Raheem Shobowale. “He’s cooking.” It was 14 minutes before tip-off of Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s season opener with DeMatha Catholic, a program in repair after suffering just its second losing season in history last winter. Roosevelt, meanwhile, is currently in a parallel position to the Stags of 2012-2013 this year — complete rebuilding mode. As the Raiders gathered in the bowels of Morgan and Kathy Wootten Gymnasium, Shobowale sang the praises of Andre Fox, the Raiders’ shooting guard billed with the task of keeping Roosevelt among the Prince George’s County elites despite the graduation of its six top scorers — four are now playing in college and another could have, but opted to focus on school.

See FOX, Page A-12

Receiving Northwest — Matt Watson 3-111; Joshua Gills 5-84; Rasheed Gillis 1-38; E.J. Lee 3-28; Brandon Williams 1-7. Suitland — Steven Rivers 10132; Tevin Singleton 1-40; Robert Wigfall 2-29; Darryl Jasper 3-18; Anthony Ruffin 1-0; Dakarai Ellis 1-(-1).

2013-14 indoor track and field: Pumas eyeing state championship n

BY

ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER

Last year, Henry A. Wise High School junior Brenen Garrett was an unknown commodity to the Pumas’ track and field team. But that all changed partway through the season when teammates saw the thensophomore sprinting the 500 meters. “He just takes off and leads everybody,” senior teammate Delanta Yancey said. Added senior Paris Vaughan: “We didn’t know who he was. He just happened to be out in front.” Though spectators thought he was

DuVal wrestling turns the page n

Tigers still feeling impact left by former four-time county champion Diallo BY

NICK CAMMAROTA STAFF WRITER

going to tire out, Garrett finished the race strong. And soon after, he became a regular contributor on a competitive team that won the outdoor Prince George’s County title as well as the 4A South Region championship. Garrett, a transfer from Old Mill, had hoped to play football before a shoulder injury forced him off the field and led him onto the track. At first, Garrett joined Wise’s track and field team to stay in shape, he said, but his mindset changed once he got a taste of success. His accolades from last year’s breakout season include first-place finishes in the 100 and 200 outdoor races at the 4A South Region championships and mul-

From the time he first stepped onto the mat as a freshman to his convincing senior season that ended with an undefeated state championship at Cole Field House, Thierno Diallo was synonymous with DuVal High School’s wrestling program. Diallo, who was a four-year starter, four-year county champion and, arguably, one of the best public school wrestlers to come out of Prince George’s County ever, is now at Binghamton University. The Tigers, meanwhile, are left to press on, creating an identity for themselves post-Diallo. And it’s a bit of an odd feeling, members of the program say. “It’s strange not having him around,” said DuVal coach Cortez Hayes, who’s now in his 19th year coaching wrestling in the county. “But at the same time, it [was] a good experience for his teammates last year to see what he went through to become a state champion. And now, for the newer guys, when

See TRACK, Page A-11

See DUVAL, Page A-12

T H E G AZ ET T E

Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

Page A-11

GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL

Player of the Year

Valen Johnson Junior Pallotti Outside hitter Was all over the place for the Panthers with 180 kills, 126 digs, 53 assists, 66 aces.

FILE PHOTO

St. Vincent Pallotti’s Valen Johnson is The Gazette’s 2013 Player of the Year in volleyball.

First Team

Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School’s Brenen Garrett runs during practice at the school on Monday.

TRACK

Continued from Page A-10 tiple top-3 finishes at the county championships. Now, football is an afterthought and “track is life,” Garrett said. “It was fun and I was winning. So I loved it.” Yancey said Garrett has become one of Wise’s leaders. By training hard, he sets an example for teammates, Yancey said. “He’s done a lot in his spare time to actually better himself,” Yancey said. Garrett and the boys’ team have championship aspirations for the county, region and state — in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. “We’re hungry, we’re working hard. And we feel like we can win indoor and outdoor,” Garrett said. That goal might be attainable with many of Wise’s top scorers returning, including Garrett, Vaughan and Yancey. “Most of the people are still here,” said Vaughan, an All-Gazette indoor and outdoor selection. “We could actually win a state championship this year.” Vaughan said the extra year of experience will help Wise, particularly its newer runners. “They know what it takes now. They don’t have to think about it as just running anymore,” Vaughan said. The Pumas finished third in the outdoor 4A state championships in the spring — within striking distance of champion Northwest — despite disqualifications from multiple highstakes events. A lane violation led to a disqualification in the 800-meter relay, costing the Pumas valuable points. “I remember that feeling like it was yesterday,” Garrett said. “That could have been states right there.” The team is using the championship meet as motivation for the indoor and outdoor seasons. “It made our kids that much more hungry,” coach Fardan

SUITLAND

Continued from Page A-10 group,” Neubeiser said. “There’s a really nice mix — we’re kind of a young team actually. We knew coming in that we’d be young. We just needed some of the guys to step up, and they did.” Pierce recorded 14 passing touchdowns during the Jaguars playoff run. “We knew we had to do it for these seniors this year,” Pierce said. Senior Joshua Gills, who spent part of the season under center, caught five passes for 84 yards. The multi-position star caught a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter that capped off an 85-yard drive.

TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE

2013 PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD Bladensburg

Largo

n Athletes to watch: Deandre Miles, Sashane Williams

n Athletes to watch: Devonni Farrar, Marcel Preston

Bowie

Laurel

n Athletes to watch: Lexus Ramsey, Joshua Wilkins

n Athletes to watch: Karen Vital, Damon Watson-Willis

Central

Bishop McNamara

n Athletes to watch: Chandler Cotton, Mercedes Stokes

n Athletes to watch: Jaela Gay, Camari Murray

DeMatha Catholic

Parkdale

n Athletes to watch: Darryl Haraway, John Oputa

n Athletes to watch: Akorede Olayiwola, Obichi Onwukwe

Frederick Douglass

Potomac

n Athletes to watch: Terrell Green, Anisah Teach

n Athletes to watch: Janay Fields, Henry Forson

DuVal

Riverdale Baptist

n Athletes to watch: Madeleine Akobundu, Deandre Mcalmont

n Athletes to watch: Rashad Manning, Bryana Williams

Fairmont Heights

Elizabeth Seton

n Athletes to watch: Erin Early, Darren Walker

n Athletes to watch: Javonne Antoine, Lauren Morgan

Charles H. Flowers

Suitland

n Athletes to watch: Justin Bentham, Imani Matthews

n Athletes to watch: Brandon Brown, Jasmyn Hall

Forestville

Surrattsville

n Athletes to watch: Oluwadamilol Balogun, Amen Tefarie

n Athletes to watch: Jasmyne Sanchious

High Point n Athletes to watch: Raymond Lyles, Mario Murray

Khayla Carr

Keturah Gregory

Dara Harris

Kilana Jenkins

Christina Oyawale

Kristin Watson

Senior Bowie Setter

Senior High Point Middle

Junior Flowers OH/setter

Senior Henry A. Wise Libero

Senior Parkdale Middle

Junior E. Roosevelt Outside hitter

First-year setter led team to county title over Crossland; averaged eight assists.

Became team’s rock and top passer, averaging 4.5 kills and six blocks per game.

Doubling up positions, she recorded 118 assists, 90 kills, 87 digs and 223 service points.

Anchored the Pumas’ defense in leading team to a winning record.

Was a force in the middle with 157 kills and 38 blocks in final high school season.

Watson did a little bit of everything for the Raiders: hit, dig, set and serve reliably.

Coach of the Year Shirley Diggs High Point Guided Eagles to regional title and state tournament berth for first time since 2005.

Second Team

Honorable Mention

Chelsea Beaudoin, senior, Flowers, hitter; Grace Biney, senior, High Point, hitter; Katelin Canty, senior, Flowers, hitter; Erica Kittlesen, senior, High Point, setter; Amber Reese, senior, Roosevelt, hitter; Kalynn Stroman, senior, Friendly, hitter; Tyler Trahan, senior, Crossland, setter

Deja Amaker, Friendly; Nace DentonHurst, Friendly; Zoe Pascal, Wise; Alesia Richardson, Roosevelt; Shannon Riley, Bowie; Sumentra Sinanan, High Point; Paige Smith, Pallotti; Samaya Smith, Crossland; Paulan Smith, High Point; Sabrina Towson, Crossland

Henry A. Wise n Athletes to watch: Brenen Garrett, Paris Vaughan

Carter said. Wise must overcome the loss of a few top runners, including Chase Powell and Joel Thomas, who accounted for a substantial portion of the team’s points. But in addition to returning most of their athletes, the Pumas also bring in valuable newcomers. Carter said he expects contributions from Bishop McNamara transfer Malik Self and fresh-

man Maceo Barbosa, among others. Between the returnees, the freshmen and the transfers, this year’s team has enough talent to compete for a championship, Carter said. “We’re going to be in contention again. It’s just a matter of our kids working hard and dedicating themselves,” he said.

“This is a terrific season with a storybook ending,” Gills said. “The seniors couldn’t have asked for a better year.” Northwest senior cornerback Rodney Snider had a shutdown performance in the secondary, breaking up four passes and intercepting a deep throw late in the second quarter. The special teams advantage belonged to the Jaguars, whose opening offensive possession started on Suitland’s 28-yard line as a result of a short punt. Northwest capitalized on the field position and took a 6-0 lead after E.J. Lee’s 9-yard rushing touchdown. The Rams started slow for the third consecutive game, committing seven penalties and managing only 105 yards in the

first half. Their offense picked up in the second half, but so did their penalties. “You can’t have 17 penalties in a state championship game. That shouldn’t be allowed. Those are things we did and we have to own up to it,” Suitland coach Ed Shields said. The Rams had not lost since November 2012, when they were defeated by Henry A. Wise 41-6 in the 4A South Region final. Northwest’s victory gives Montgomery County its first football state championship since Sherwood won in 2008. “It’s just an amazing feeling,” Pierce said. “Words can’t explain how we all feel right now. It’s great to definitely shock the world, and get it done.”

egoldwein@gazette.net

egoldwein@gazette.net

133832G

Page A-12

THE GAZETTE

FOX

Continued from Page A-10 As the first quarter unraveled Dec. 5, it became clear what Shobowale meant when he said Fox was “cooking.” Fox made a catch-and-shoot 3-point shot from the wing to put Roosevelt up, 3-2, responded to a DeMatha alley-oop with another 3-pointer to retain a 6-4 lead, and converted another shot two possessions later to extend it to 9-5. At the end of the frame, Fox shot 4-of-8 for 11 points against the most prestigious team in one of the most prestigious basketball conferences the nation has to offer. That pace would prove unsustainable, and DeMatha coach Mike Jones hasn’t led the Stags to WCAC title after WCAC title for no reason at all. He shifted his defense, pressuring Roosevelt’s guards into turnovers before the ball could get to Fox. All in all, DeMatha dominated the Raiders 81-42. Fox finished with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting. The rest of Roosevelt went 9-for-38 in scoring the remaining 22 points. “The first month probably won’t be pretty,” Roosevelt coach Brendan O’Connell had said a week earlier prior to the game. “But we’re going to be

Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo fine.” That’s the prevailing theme among coaches around the county. No matter how much an O’Connell team has lost, “you can never count that man out,” Henry A. Wise coach Rob Garner has said numerous times. “Numbers don’t lie,” Bladensburg’s Antonio Williams added. O’Connell began coaching the program in the 20052006 season. Since taking over, he has coached to six region championships, three trips to the state finals and one state championship (2012-2013). Of course, that state title team had arguably more talent than any public school team in the state and more than most private schools. Versatile big man Malachi Alexander is now starting for Holy Cross, point guard Emmanuel Matey is getting minutes for Morgan State, hyper-athletic small forward Tiwian Kendley is putting up nearly 20 points per game for Lamar Community College and Lerenzo Foote is averaging a double-double for Prince George’s Community College. Shooting guard Trevor Evans waffled between walking on at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County or focusing solely on his engineering studies and opted for the latter.

“We won our league, which wasn’t easy. We won the county championship, we won a regional championship, we had 27 wins — more wins than any Roosevelt team ever has,” O’Connell said after beating Col. Zadok Magruder for the 4A state title last March. “Yeah, we had different types of players ... It’s a really special team.” Talent-wise, it was unmatched, which is why Shobowale called Fox “our little secret” after the loss. He played sparingly last season, finding his spots here and there, but for the most part, he sat back and learned from his elders. “Nobody knows about him yet,” the assistant coach said. “I mean, he was really good last year,” O’Connell said. “We just had a lot of really good players.” Fox came to terms with the fact that the six guys ahead of him last year would get the minutes of playing time. “I knew I had to wait my turn,” he said. “I worked tremendously on my shooting, my dribbling, shooting the three, working hard basically every day in the fall. ... “We had a lot of great players and we made them work hard in practice so we could win that championship. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long

BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE

DuVal High School graduate Thierno Diallo’s success has left an impression on wrestlers still left in the program.

DUVAL

Continued from Page A-10

1911939

you show them the videos, it’s an easy sell. This wasn’t another school that he wrestled for. That happened right here at DuVal High School.” With a balanced lineup that returns eight wrestlers from last season, it’s not as if the Tigers will simply roll over given the graduation of their franchise grappler. A majority of them have been keeping busy, too. Nearly every member of Hayes’ roster participated in a fall sport, mainly cross country and football. Among the aforementioned group of returners, juniors Jalend Hill (106 pounds) and Adepeba Olujuwon (126) will compliment a strong quartet of seniors in Brian Kobe (132), Derec Nijnyi (152), David Shelton, Jr. (160) and Ayodeji Agbelese (285). Hill and Kobe both ran cross country while Agbelese, Nijnyi and Shelton, Jr. played football for the 10-2 Tigers. Kobe, a second-year wrestler and first-year runner, said he was inspired to join the wrestling team after hearing about Diallo’s accomplishments. Now, he’ll try to emulate his peer and

role model. “It’s really sad to see him go because I used to look up to him for motivation,” Kobe said. “We have a lot more people coming out this year because they saw what Diallo did and they feel as though they have the potential to accomplish something like that. “I’m looking forward to the season to show him how much I’ve improved and taken his advice and used it to better myself.” Hayes, who also serves as the football team’s strength and conditioning coach, encourages his wrestlers to prepare themselves for the rigors of the winter season by either running cross country to build stamina and endurance or playing football. Hill, who also ran cross country for the first time this year, qualified for the state meet and is hoping for similar success on the mat. “My stamina was holing me back last season, so I ran cross country,” Hill said. “I think wrestling is more mental, but you can learn a lot from cross country because even when you’re tired, you have to push through.” With football coach Dameon Powell by his side, Hayes is anxious to see how his team’s offseason training will contribute

to potential success. Already, he’s observed an increase in the number of students trying out for the team — both at DuVal and throughout the county — and is hopeful Prince George’s schools can enjoy a wrestling renaissance in the near future. “I put the same challenge to all my new wrestlers as I put to Diallo his freshman year,” Hayes said. “You have a young man who was athletic, who came from junior varsity football and blossomed and became a very dynamic wrestler. We have some others who have shown some flair and are very dynamic and I think that gives them hope.” While it likely will be an uphill battle for any county team this season given the strength of Parkdale’s squad, DuVal has consistently sent wrestlers to the state tournament under Hayes and this year, Diallo or not, appears to be no different. “I think that instead of putting one name on the map like Diallo did for the last four years — he’s been the face of P.G. County wrestling — we can put a team name on the map and make our county known for wrestling,” Hill said. “We’re excited.” ncammarota@gazette.net

MOVIE REVIEW

&

‘FURNACE’ HEATS UP

The Gazette’s Guide to

Many moving parts keep a sprawling ensemble cast busy and engaged

Arts & Entertainment

Page B-4 www.gazette.net

Puck (above) played by Nick DePinto. The fairies play music in the woods during Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” JOSHUA MCKERROW

BY

Storyteller keeps tradition alive with two performances in Prince George’s County

n

BY

CARA HEDGEPETH STAFF WRITER

For professional storyteller Karen Abdul-Malik, her roles as mother and storyteller are intertwined. “A storyteller’s life is not separate from family,” Abdul-Malik said. “It wasn’t like I walked out and came back. [My kids] have always been a part of my storytelling life.” Known professionally as Queen Nur, AbdulMalik of Willingboro, N.J., will be at the Publick Playhouse on Tuesday for two performances. The programs will focus on the symbols and history of the holiday of Kwanzaa, which honors African traditions in African-American culture. It’s a similar presentation to the one that got things rolling for Adbul-Mailk more than 20 years ago.

See QUEEN, Page B-5 Karen Abdul-Malik, known professionally as Queen Nur, has been a storyteller since the early 1990s. QUEEN NUR

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WILL C. FRANKLIN

O

STAFF WRITER

h, the fairies! They control everything! At least in the writings of William Shakespeare, that is. In the case of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a feud between the fairy king, Oberon, and the fairy queen, Titania, reaches out and turns the human world upside down with hilarious consequences. In its third season — first as a professional theater group — the Annapolis Shakespeare Company is set to bring the Bard’s tale to life at the Bowie Playhouse. According to artistic director Sally Boyett-

See WONDROUS, Page B-3

Queen of Kwanzaa

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Page B-1

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM n When: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturday matinees, 3 p.m. Sundays, to Dec. 22 n Where: Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie n Tickets: $18-$24 n For information: 410-415-3513; annapolisshakespeare. org

Vision focused on the future Dance company presents second-annual Holiday Extravaganza n

BY

CARA HEDGEPETH STAFF WRITER

Even before Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble held auditions for its 2013-2014 season in September, the company’s schedule was already booked. Among other performances, the calendar includes Vision’s Holiday Extravaganza at Joe’s Movement Emporium on Saturday. Vision, only in its second year, was founded in 2012 by distinguished choreographer Katherine Smith. Smith is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., where she is now a member of the dance faculty. Smith has worked closely with dance greats including the late Talley Beatty and James Truitte, and her theater and touring credits include “Black Nativity,” “For Colored Girls” and “The Wiz.” After holding a successful summer dance program in 2012, Vision co-executive director Darnese Wilkerson said, “Smith decided she was ready to develop a high-level, high-quality dance company.”

CHRISTOPHER REESE

Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble performs during last year’s Holiday Extravaganza at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.

Vision performs a variety of dance styles including tap, Pointe, jazz, contemporary and modern. This year’s ensemble consists of 28 male and female dancers ranging in age from 10 into their twenties. Wilkerson’s daughter Lenai, a junior at the Baltimore School for the Arts, has

See VISION, Page B-4

Page B-2

Taking risks Griots guide teen in ‘Christmas Gift!’

n

BY

VIRGINIA TERHUNE STAFF WRITER

Last year, the stage show “Christmas Gift!” debuted in College Park as a musical revue celebrating a lost holiday tradition practiced by African-Americans in the 1800s. This year, producer/composer Nolan Williams Jr. is again presenting the show at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, but this time it will celebrate the tradition through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl living today who discovers its true meaning for herself. “It’s a very different show,” said Williams, who wrote the book, music and lyrics for what he describes as an evolving musical presented as a narrative instead of a revue. “It’s a story structured around an interesting journey in a world that is both mystical and mythical,” he said. “It’s still the same overarching theme, but this is more integrated, unified and connected [than last year].” Directed by Eric Ruffin, “Christmas Gift!’ is running once on Friday and twice on Saturdayin the Kay Theatre at the center. The show features an orchestra and a mixed professional and nonprofes-

sional cast of 18 — nine principals, six ensemble performers, three dancers and the Voices of Inspiration group serving as a community chorus. Williams described the set as minimalistic, with a series of platforms and elevations, with variations in lighting tied to scene changes. Many of the 28 songs are new, but also included are two favorites from last year: “What Child is This” (with its “bigband, jazzy setting”) and the finale, “Go, Tell It!” he said. The tradition that inspired the show was a greeting game in which the first person to shout “Christmas gift’” upon encountering someone could expect to receive from the other a small handmade or home-cooked present. “I didn’t know about it until I started working [on the show],” said Saran Bakari, 15, a sophomore at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in northwest Washington, D.C., who plays the teenage protagonist, Zawadi Wise. Bakari said she’s been celebrating Kwanzaa with her family ever since she was born, and in some ways the two traditions are similar. “The gifts are not about quantity but more about quality, like books, or African fabric or something handmade,” she said. Williams describes the teenager that Bakari plays as “very self-interested, very smart, very tech-savvy, very

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CHRISTMAS GIFT! n When: 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday n Where: Kay Theatre, 3800 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, College Park n Tickets: $10-$35 n For information: 301-405-2787, claricesmithcenter.umd.edu

B. K. DUBOSE/NEWORKS PRODUCTIONS

Producer/songwriter Nolan Williams Jr. presents his second-annual “Christmas Gift!” show on Friday and Saturday at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park. This year the holiday musical tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who learns the meaning of giving. The Voices of Inspiration perform as the chorus. materialistic — and she’s used to getting what she wants,” he said. “[But as the story unfolds] she discovers things about herself, her history and culture, and especially the history of her family,” said Williams. “In the process she comes of age and learns about selfless giving and selfless living.” Bakari said she also sees the character as spoiled but also misguided. “She learns to manipulate her parents ... and she thinks she’s smart [doing that],” she said.

During the musical, young Zawadi meets four griots, who in West African culture serve as storytellers, singers, poets and musicians, preserving the oral tradition of their communities. “There are two males and two females,” said Bakari. “They help guide me in different ways but [toward] the same result.” No stranger to the stage, Bakari has performed in school productions of “Pippin” and “Bat Boy: the Musical,” and most recently in “Four Little Girls:

THEATER & STAGE Bowie Community Theatre, “Dark Passages,” coming in February, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, 301-8050219, www.bctheatre.com. Bowie State University, ’Tis the Season: A Holiday Celebration, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 14, , Fine and Performing Arts Center, Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, 301-860-3717, www.bowiestate.edu. Busboys & Poets, Hyattsville, TBA, 5331 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, 301-779-2787 (ARTS), www.busboysandpoets.com. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, 12th Annual Festival

of Nine Lessons and Carols, 8

p.m. Dec. 13; Nolan Williams Jr.’s “Christmas Gift!” 8 p.m. Dec. 1314, 3 p.m. Dec. 14; Kaleidoscope of Bands, 8 p.m. Dec. 13; Ballet Company M: The Nutcracker, Act II, 7 p.m. Dec. 14; Kol Sasson Final Winter Concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 14; UMD Chamber Singers: Images of the Christmas Feast, Dec. 15, University of Maryland, College Park, claricesmithcenter.umd.edu. Harmony Hall Regional Center, TBA, call for prices, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301203-6070, arts.pgparks.com. Greenbelt Arts Center, The Renaissance Man’s “A Comic Christmas Carol,” Dec. 13-22, call for prices, Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway, Greenbelt, 301-4418770, www.greenbeltartscenter.org.

Hard Bargain Players, TBA, 2001 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, www.hbplayers.org. Joe’s Movement Emporium, Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble presents “A Holiday Extravaganza,” 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, 301-699-1819, www.joesmovement.org. Laurel Mill Playhouse, “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,” Dec. 13 to Jan. 4, call for ticket prices, Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St., Laurel, 301-452-2557, www.laurelmillplayhouse.org. Montpelier Arts Center, Movies at Montpelier: “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” 11 a.m. Dec. 14; “Monsoon Wedding,” 6 p.m. Dec. 14, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, 301-377-7800, arts.pgparks.com. National Harbor, ICE! “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” to Jan. 5, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland. www.christmasonthepotomac.com.

Prince George’s Little Theatre,

TBA, call for tickets and show times, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, 301-957-7458, www.pglt.org. Publick Playhouse, Kwanzaa with Queen Nur, 10:15 a.m. and noon, Dec. 17, 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly, 301-277-1710, arts.pgparks.com. 2nd Star Productions, “Funny Money,” coming in January, Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Drive, Bowie, call for prices, times, 410-757-5700, 301-832-4819, www.2ndstarproductions.com.

Tantallon Community Players, “Miracle on 34th Street,” Dec. 6-15; Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301-262-5201, www. tantallonstage.com.

VISUAL ARTS Brentwood Arts Exchange, “My Haiku: Paintings of Cianne Fragione,” to Dec. 28; Front Window Featured Artist: Ellyn Weiss, to Nov. 28, 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, 301-277-2863, arts. pgparks.com. Harmony Hall Regional Cen-

ter, “It Happened One Night,” Pa-

per Collage by Ronnie Spiewak, to Dec. 27, 2nd Annual Prince George’s Parks and Recreation Employee Visual and Performing Arts Exhibition, to Dec. 27, gallery hours from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, 301-203-6070. arts.pgparks. com. David C. Driskell Center, “Still...” by sculptor Allison Saar, to Dec. 13, University of Maryland, College Park. www.driskellcenter. umd.edu. Montpelier Arts Center, “Hiroshima Schoolyard,” to Dec. 1, gal-

vterhune@gazette.net

Complete calendar online at www.gazette.net

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY’S ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR For a free listing, please submit complete information to noravec@gazette.net at least 10 days in advance of desired publication date. High-resolution color images (500KB minimum) in jpeg format should be submitted when available.

Birmingham 1963,” a reading at the Kennedy Center in September directed by Phylicia Rashad. “Christmas Gift!” is Bakari’s first time, however, working with an alladult cast. “They’re open and very supporting, and they’ve allowed me to take risks,” said Bakari, who has her eyes set on college, then Broadway. Williams said much the same about his partnership with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and its support of new projects. “I call this a musical in the making,” said Williams, who sees “Christmas Gift!” evolving over time and also being performed in other cities. He said he hopes it will become a tradition like its namesake, adding to others such as “Black Nativity” by Langston Hughes and “The Harlem Nutcracker,” with its jazz and swing versions of the Tchaikovsky work. “Part of my motivation has been to create a new work that will add to that body of literature and arts that speak to and celebrate African-American culture,” said Williams.

lery open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, 301377-7800, arts.pgparks.com.

University of Maryland University College, TBA, call for prices

and venue, 3501 University Blvd., Adelphi, 301-985-7937, www. umuc.edu/art.

NIGHTLIFE Hand Dancing with D.C. Hand Dance Club, free lesson from 4 to

5 p.m., dancing from 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays at the Coco Cabana, 2031-A University Blvd. E., Hyattsville, $10 cover, www.dchanddanceclub.com. New Deal Café, Mid-day Melodies with Amy C. Kraft, noon, Dec. 12, 19; Open Mic with Paige Powell, 7 p.m. Dec. 12; John Guernsey, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14; Beggars Tomb, 8 p.m. Dec. 13; Cousin John Band, 8 p.m. Dec. 14; Not2Cool Jazz Trio, 11 a.m. Dec. 15; Kids’ Open Mic, 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15; Fez Tones Hafla, 6 p.m. Dec. 15; Reel and Meal at the New Deal: “War on Whistleblowers,” 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16; Poetry Night Open Mic, 7 p.m. Dec. 17; Open Mic with Joe Harris, 7 p.m. Dec. 19; Black Masala, 8 p.m. Dec. 20, 113 Centerway Road, 301-4745642, www.newdealcafe.com. Old Bowie Town Grill, Wednesday Night Classic Jam, 8 p.m. every Wednesday, sign-ups start at 7:30 p.m., 8604 Chestnut Ave., Bowie, 301-464-8800, www.oldbowietowngrille.com.

OUTDOORS Dinosaur Park, Dinosaur Park programs, noon-4 p.m. first and third Saturdays, join paleontologists and volunteers in interpreting fossil deposits, 13200 block Mid-Atlantic Blvd., Laurel, 301-627-7755. Mount Rainier Nature Center, Toddler Time: hands-on treasures,

crafts, stories and soft play, 10:30 a.m.-noon Thursdays, age 5 and younger free, 4701 31st Place, Mount Rainier, 301-927-2163.

Prince George’s Audubon Society, Bird Walks, 7:30 a.m. first Sat-

urdays, Fran Uhler Natural Area, meets at end of Lemon Bridge Road, north of Bowie State University, option to bird nearby WB&A Trail afterward; 7:30 a.m. third Saturdays, Governor Bridge Natural Area, Governor Bridge Road, Bowie, meet in parking lot; for migrating and resident woodland and field birds, and waterfowl. For beginners and experts. Waterproof footwear and binoculars suggested. Free. 410-765-6482.

REC CENTERS Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex, Senior Days at

the Sportsplex, 8 a.m.-noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, seniors allowed free use of the fitness center and pool, age 60 and up, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, 301-583-2400.

Seat Pleasant Activity Center, Line Dancing, 6:30-8 p.m.

Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, $40 series, $6 drop-ins, age 18 and up, 5720 Addison Road, Seat Pleasant, 301-773-6685.

ET CETERA College Park Aviation Museum, Peter Pan Club, 10:30-11:30 a.m. second and fourth Thursdays of every month, activities for preschoolers, $4, $3 seniors, $2 ages 2-18; Afternoon Aviators, 2-4:30 p.m. Fridays, hands-on aviationthemed activities for age 5 and up, $4, $3 seniors, $2 ages 2-18, events free with admission, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park, 301-864-6029, www.collegeparkaviationmuseum.com.

A concert for choir and orchestra celebrating the heritage of the Christmas story. Featuring works by Ernst Bloch, Aaron Copland, Arcangelo Corelli, Claudio Monteverdi, Hugo Distler and Francis Poulenc, as well as J.S. Bach’s beloved “Wachet auf ” (“Sleepers wake”) cantata.

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Continued from Page B-1 D’Angelo, the company continues to grow, as evident by becoming a professional theater. “This year, we decided to really pursue professional status and employ all professional actors in our production,” Boyett-D’Angelo said. “We do have a big emphasis on teaching, as a teaching company, and what that means is really continuing education when actors are already professional and they can continue to expand their skills and development.” While several professional theaters look to New York to fill their cast lists, Boyett-D’Angelo prides their company on hiring local actors. “There are so many talented professional actors in the D.C./ Maryland/Virginia area that we can really fill great productions with their talents and not even have to go to New York,” Boyett-D’Angelo said. Another first for the young theater company is bringing in a guest director for the first time. Kristin Clippard worked in San Francisco, Iowa and Orlando before making a stop in Maryland. Clippard has directed numerous Shakespearean plays and has decided to set this version of “Midsummer” a little closer to modern day. Boyett-D’Angelo said the play has a very 1990s vibe to it and Clippard agrees. “Yeah, mostly with the music, of course, that sets that up for us,” Clippard said. “The clothing choices are definitely in line with that, too. The fairies look sort of a like suburban gang, if you will, and the lovers are looking very much like high school kids in the ’90s. So yeah, there’s a hint of that.” With the fairies fighting amongst each other, nature tends to take a back seat to reason. Because of that, Clippard said she’s taken a seasonal direction to the midsummer play. “We’ve taken a midwinter approach to this forest,” Clippard said. “The idea is that summer has been frozen and it’s kind of a winter wonderlandlook to the world of the play.” Although umbrellas play a

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part in this production, Clippard said audiences shouldn’t worry about getting wet — or having to bring their own umbrella for that matter. “The idea of the umbrellas kind of came because the whole play is about love and about how it ebbs and flows in different relationships and how we fight hard to get it and how we make silly mistakes,” Clippard said. “The thing about the umbrellas kind of came about when I was thinking about the weather and how it’s kind of topsy-turvy and how umbrellas are something that we carry with us through all seasons. That kind of feels

like that’s apropos for the idea of love because love covers all things, too — jealousy, mistakes, fighting, confusion.” For “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Clippard said she hopes audiences take stock of the relationships in the play and think if perhaps they seem familiar outside of the theater. “I hope people get a little bit of recognition out of it and maybe seeing those fights between the fairy king and queen or between the lovers … and go, ‘Oh yeah, I can remember maybe treating someone that I love that way before because I was jealous or angry,’” Clippard

Page B-3 Titania, played by Lauren Turchin, woos Bottom, played by Frank Vince. JOSHUA MCKERROW

said. “Maybe just a hint of ‘I see myself,’ in their arguments and I can understand why I behaved

that way. Maybe a hint of understanding.” If not, surely the fairies will

make amends. wfranklin@gazette.net

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AT THE MOVIES

‘Out of the Furnace’: Revenge tale fueled by strong cast MICHAEL PHILLIPS

BY

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Out of the Furnace” is a lot of movie, a lot of it good and pungent. In the first hour especially, its many moving parts keep a sprawling ensemble cast busy and engaged. Christian Bale and Casey Affleck play Russell and Rodney, sons of a dying Pennsylvania steelworker. Russell has gone into the family business, working in the mill.

OUT OF THE FURNACE n 3 stars n Rated R; 116 minutes n Cast: Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana n Directed by Scott Cooper

Rodney enlists in the Army. The year is 2008. An early twist of fate lands Russell in prison. Upon his release, he and his brother, back from a punishing fourth tour of duty in Iraq, must learn to adjust to new versions of their old lives. Russell’s ex-girlfriend, played by Zoe Saldana, now goes around with the mild-mannered local sheriff (Forest Whitaker). Rodney tries to work off his gambling debts (Willem Dafoe plays his bookie) by bare-knuckle boxing in the realm of a vicious New Jersey backwoods gang headed up by Woody Harrelson. Everyone in Braddock, Pa., and environs knows everyone else’s business, and in some cases they know they’d better keep quiet about it. Writer-director Scott Cooper’s debut feature was the simple, satisfying country ballad “Crazy Heart,” and if that Jeff Bridges showcase operated like a three-minute song expanded into a full-length movie, “Out of the Furnace” is more like a mournful Springsteen album reimagined for the movies. The film opens with a grim prologue, barely related to the stories to come. We’re in a drive-in, and the Harrelson character commits an act of sexual violence so rough it risks throwing people straight out of the movie. It’s effective in one

PHOTO KERRY HAYES

(From left) Sam Shepard and Christian Bale star in Relativity Media’s “Out of the Furnace.” way, certainly: It establishes the casual venality of the story’s chief adversary, a meth-addled sociopath thriving in a tough economy where honest workers have criminally few options. In its setting and portraits of machismo under duress, “Out of the Furnace” recalls the home front sequences of “The Deer Hunter.” The actors clearly are enjoying one another’s screen company. Sam Shepard is also in the cast, as the brothers’ wise old uncle, who joins

Russell in his search for the brother who messes with the wrong criminal element. There is an oddly frustrating showdown at the end of the script’s increasingly familiar, predictable and wearying path. Cooper’s strength as a writer lies in creating dramatic situations in which there is no simple matter of right or wrong at stake; often, it’s a matter of two rights. So why does the picture settle, in the end, for good-ver-

sus-evil revenge? Audiences demand such things, I suppose. But audiences are open to other sorts of depictions of the American working class. They simply need some help finding movies that come and go in a flash, such as the recent, ambitious “Place Beyond the Pines,” which married melodrama with sociology in ways “Out of the Furnace” cannot reach. It’s the little things we take home with us, such as the handwritten menu

above the bar in the local tavern (“We Have a New Fried Hot Sausage Sandwich”). The big things, such as the cross-cutting between a deer hunt and the grisly demise of a major character, betray a heavy hand. Yet Affleck, in particular, finds something fierce and noble in uneven material and in his character’s rage. He’s not like any other actor in American movies. “Out of the Furnace” has four or five actors of which you could say the same.

CHRISTOPHER REESE

Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble during the 2012 Holiday Extravaganza at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.

VISION

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been a member of Vision since its inception. “Because we advertise this company to be the most talented dancers in the DMV, we’re looking for two things,” Wilkerson said. “Looking for talent — that’s, of course, the first step — but the most important quality we’re looking for is good character.” The majority of Vision ensemble members attend performing arts schools such as the Baltimore School for the Arts or Duke Ellington. Several company members have also trained under Smith previously. “Ms. Smith is the modern teacher at Duke Ellington so I’ve been training under her,” said Shaylin Watson, a junior at Duke Ellington. “She’ll bring stuff out of you [that] you never knew you had.” Watson will perform in the majority of the pieces at the Holiday Extravaganza including a company dance called “Hark,” and an all-girls piece entitled “Breath of Heaven.” “I have had the privilege to be trained under [Smith] since I was 7,” Lenai said. “It’s just been an amazing experience being in her rehearsals. She forms the music to her dancing and it fits perfectly as if it were made for it.” But even the dancers who are new to Vision and to Smith’s training have been able to quickly and easily find their place. “I was greeted with open arms into the company,” said Brian Bennett. Bennett became a member of Vision toward the end of the first season after he was invited to sit in on a company rehearsal. Bennett said he knew almost im-

HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA n When: 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday n Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road., Mt. Rainier n Tickets: $20 n For information: 301-699-1819, joesmovement.org

mediately that he wanted to be a part of the ensemble. “I loved the environment and the pieces they were doing,” Bennett said. “It was a really comfortable place to be and I felt like I wanted to add my own personal input to the company as well.” Bennett is a senior at the Baltimore School for the Arts and hopes to pursue a degree in dance with a minor in communications. “I need that backup plan,” he said. The Holiday Extravaganza, which will be the first Visionhosted event of the season, will feature about a dozen pieces to the tune of holiday music including classics such as “Jingle Bells” and “Little Drummer Boy.” The showcase will also include a Kwanzaa celebration. After four sold-out shows last year, Vision company members feel they have something to prove. “Of course there’s an expectation for your first year out and you expect to see a step higher and I think we are getting to that step higher,” Lenai said. “I’m excited for everyone to see Vision … see how diverse we are … how much we have improved as a company and individually.” chedgepeth@gazette.net

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QUEEN NUR n When: 10:15 a.m. and noon, Tuesday n Where: Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Road, Cheverly n Tickets: $5 n For information: 301-2771710, arts.pgparks.com

QUEEN

Continued from Page B-1 Abdul-Malik was 9 years old when she started writing poetry. She said her father would play back up to her verses with jazz music. Now, Abdul-Malik has three children of her own; two daughters, Coniqua, 31, and Sarai, 24, and a son, Niles, 26. In the early 1990s, AbdulMalik read a Kwanzaa story to Sarai’s preschool class and another to Niles’ kindergarten class. A teacher recognized her talent and suggested AbdulMalik pursue storytelling professionally. Though she didn’t know much about the art form at the time, Abdul-Malik soon learned about the National Association of Black Storytellers, a group for which she is now presidentelect, and attended a storytelling retreat in North Carolina. “That’s where a lot of the training came from,” AbdulMalik said. Among her training, AbdulMalik said she learned about the purpose of storytelling and role of a storyteller. “What we do, we’re educating about history. We could use folk tales, Aesop’s Fables, personal tales,” Abdul-Malik said. “When we tell those stories, we’re also passing on lessons of times that have passed ... We do it in an entertaining manner so that we pass on ... the morals, the culture though stories ... Stories are not just to entertain but to pass these principles on.” Kwanzaa, which was created in 1966 by Mulana Karenga, centers on seven core principles — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. But Abdul-Malik points out it is important to recognize those principles throughout the year. “It is a communal holiday and those principles are to be lived all year long,” Abdul-Malik said. “We should always work toward unity and knowing ourselves, giving back to our communities together ... leaving your communities more beautiful than when we walked in ... We should be telling those stories all year long.” On Tuesday, Abdul-Malik will be backed by her drummer, Philadelphia musician Dwight James. The first show is a morning program for all ages and the second is an afternoon program for the playhouse’s Seniors 60 & Better series. “They’re very similar,” Abdul-Malik said of the two shows. “The stories might change a little bit ... the adult [program] might have more about ancestors. We honor our ancestors during this time ...” Family has remained important for Abdul-Malik. Coniqua was in middle school when she began helping her mother with storytelling research. Sarai is a vocalist and both women help Abdul-Malik with In FACT Inc., Adbul-Malik’s nonprofit organization. In FACT, or Innovative Solutions through Folk, Art, Culture and Tradition, works to “perpetuate and preserve folklife traditions and sustain communities and affect social change.” Abdul-Malike founded the group in 2011. While Coniqua helps with research, Sarai leads the hip-hop and blues workshops for the organization. Niles is serving in Kuwait, but Abdul-Malik said he remains connected to his family and the storytelling tradition through emails and social media. As the new president for the National Association of Black Storytellers, Abdul-Malik hopes to build partnerships with other national organizations to help a broader audience understand the importance of storytelling. Though she’ll undoubtedly have more administrative responsibility, it’s unlikely Queen Nur will limit her own storytelling. “It’s like when you become a mother,” Abdul-Malik said. “You’re always a mother. When you become a storyteller, you’re always a storyteller.” chedgepeth@gazette.net

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Some 124,000 Ballots Cast in The Gazette My Favorite Teacher Program By Karen Finucan Clarkson Special to The Gazette “This is an opportunity to celebrate the absolute best in Prince George’s County – those educators who day in and day out are doing amazing things in their classrooms,” said Christian Rhodes, education policy advisor to Rushern L. Baker, III, the county’s executive. Rhodes, who has visited each of the schools where the winners of this year’s My Favorite Teacher contest are employed, noted the outstanding work these educators are doing to ensure the success of their students. Rhodes’ comments came during a December 3 awards ceremony at the Prince George’s Community College Marlboro Gallery for the winners of The Gazette’s sixth annual My Favorite Teacher contest. Surrounded by college students’ works of art, family, friends, students, school administrators and staff, and sponsors from the local business community gathered to honor this year’s three winning educators. The contest – also held in Montgomery County – began in September when The Gazette asked students to nominate their favorite teachers. The newspaper selected finalists at the elementary-, middle-

With four public charter schools in Prince George’s County, Imagine Schools offers parents throughout the county an alternative to the traditional public education model. A third-year My Favorite Teacher sponsor, Imagine

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An apple for the winners of The Gazette’s 2013 My Favorite Teacher program. From left to right: Darrell Holloman II, a social studies teacher at Bishop McNamara High School; Sis. Portia Yvette Clare, a second grade teacher at From the Heart Christian School; and Brad Brown, a language arts and reading teacher at The Chelsea School.

and high-school levels based on the most compelling student essays, and then opened up the voting to the public to select the winners. Ultimately, the contest drew some 500 nominations in the two counties and garnered more than 124,000 online votes. Prince George’s County selected Portia Yvette Clare, an elementary school teacher at From the Heart Christian School in Suitland; Brad Brown, a middle school language arts and reading teacher at Chelsea School in Hyattsville; and Darrell Holloman II, a social studies teacher at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville. On hand to present the awards were Shawn Toler, regional director of Imagine Prince George’s County, the My Favorite Teacher platinum sponsor; Lola Singletary, marketing director, Chick-fil-A at Capital Centre and Steeplechase, the elementary school sponsor; LeAmber Howell, representative for MGM National Harbor, the middle school sponsor; and Vic Samuels, vice president, community relations, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, the high school sponsor.

Schools views the program as “an excellent way to engage our community and highlight the outstanding work that so many of our teachers are doing each day,” says Shawn Toler, regional director. As part of a national public charter school family, Imagine Schools partners with parents and guardians in the education of their children by providing high quality schools that prepare students for lives of leadership, accomplishment, and exemplary character.

In addition to receiving verbal accolades from the sponsors, the teachers were presented with the My Favorite Teacher signature award, a stunning glass apple mounted on an inscribed base. They were surprised and thrilled when Doug S. Hayes, associate publisher of The Gazette and The Star, presented them with generous gifts – including a $350 check from The Gazette, free massage and facial from Massage Envy; $50 from Safeway; $25 gift certificate from Buffalo Wild Wings, a party-platter gift certificate from Chick-fil-A; and four tickets to Nolan Williams, Jr.’s Christmas Gift! at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students received a gift bag with similar gifts from Chick-fil-A, Safeway, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. During the ceremony, students read the essays they submitted online nominating the winning teachers. Their words resonated with the sponsors, educators and parents alike. For additional details about The Gazette My Favorite Teacher contest go to www.gazette.net.

While each school is uniquely tailored both in curriculum and structure, the integration of character development and academics sets Imagine campuses apart. Imagine Schools uses six Measures of Excellence to evaluate the effectiveness of each charter school: parent choice, academic achievement, character development, shared values, economic sustainability, and new school development. The work at Imagine Schools is guided by three shared values: integrity, justice, and fun. Teachers and school leaders are squarely in charge of the decisions affecting the schools and students they serve.

For more information, visit the websites of or call the individual schools: Imagine Andrews Public Charter School Joint Base Andrews 301-350-6002 | www.imagineandrews.org Imagine Foundations Public Charter School Upper Marlboro 301-808-4003 | www.imaginefoundations.org Imagine Foundations II Public Charter School Morningside 301-817-0544 | www.imaginefoundations2.org Imagine Lincoln Public Charter School Temple Hills 301-808-5600 | www.imaginelincoln.org

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Darrell Holloman II Social Studies Teacher Bishop McNamara High School

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Mr. Holloman is a man you want to have conversations with. He always tries to push you to do your best and go beyond an assignment; he wants you to want to find out more than you have to….However, the most important thing he does is provide students with a Brad Brown moral lesson. Language Arts and Reading Teacher Kevin Glotfelty 11th Grade “As teachers, we often second guess ourselves,” says Darrell Holloman II, so “it makes me feel encouraged that Kevin was able to get what I wanted him to out of the classroom.” This year’s high school My Favorite Teacher, Holloman was “a little embarrassed by the attention, but recognized that I should take it all in while I can. Most are not blessed with the opportunity to receive their ‘roses’ while they are alive.”

From left to right Victoria Samuels, vice president of community relations, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union; Darrell Holloman II, social studies teacher, Bishop McNamara High School; Kevin Glotfelty, eleventh grade student and nominator.

The award is bittersweet for Holloman, who will leave shortly for Micronesia to join his wife, now assistant attorney general of the state of Yap. “Kevin’s nomination, and now being the recipient of this award, has made the closing to this chapter in my life more like a fairy tale. This award has eased my pain of leaving a school and students that I love…To be recognized for something that you love without any expectations of accolades is not only pleasantly surprising but humbling.”

As he prepares to depart for Micronesia later this month, Holloman has told his students that “this is an amazing opportunity for me as well. I get to explore the world that most only view and discuss in textbooks or in the news. I hope that my desire to explore new and exciting places will one day inspire you to do the same. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to grow. What God has in store for you may be bigger than the dreams you have for yourself.”

Chelsea School

All of his students love to go to his class in the very subjects that are the hardest for us….His class is not easy but it is fun; he gets us. To him we all have ability and he knows how to bring it out….He has left a lasting impression on me and all of his students that will not only help us in school but in life. Scott Lake, 8th Grade

“Being named this year’s middle school My Favorite Teacher reminds Brad Brown that “teaching is a wonderful and empowering calling. Every day in the classroom presents me with a fresh opportunity to be truly present, to understand that students are hungry for knowledge and skills to succeed but also potentially grappling with what is presented to them. One needs to bring the best of oneself to the task every day.”

From left to right LeAmber Howell, project consultant, MGM Resorts; Brad Brown, language arts teacher, The Chelsea School; Scott Lake, eighth grade student and nominator.

After reading the statement nominating him for the award, Brown “was really surprised but also immeasurably struck that a student would take the time to acknowledge someone that he thought had made an impact on his life as a learner in a public fashion. Hopefully everyone reading this has had an experience as a student where, upon some reflection, they see that a teacher really helped them achieve their academic or personal goals.”

An educator since 1999, Brown earned a B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Southern California and a M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver. He currently teaches students struggling with language-based learning differences at Hyattsville’s Chelsea School. The reaction to his nomination “has been overwhelming. The Chelsea School is small, but our community is filled with dedicated teachers, staff, parents, friends and students. When my community learned that I was nominated, almost daily colleagues, parents and, most affecting to me, my students, told me I was receiving their vote. It has been a very gratifying experience to say the least.”

MGM GRAND NATIONAL HARBOR

“It’s exciting to be a part of something as wonderful as My Favorite Teacher,” says Victoria Samuels, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union vice president of community relations. “As we honor Darrell Holloman II, this year’s My Favorite Teacher high school winner, we would like to commend the students who took the time to recognize their teachers. When a student is inspired enough to recognize his or her teacher, you know there is something special there.”

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It is due to the efforts of those students, that “My Favorite Teacher gives us all the chance to recognize educators who get involved. After all, when a teacher motivates, encourages and inspires the next generation, it can change the world.” Educational Systems Federal Credit Union serves the employees, students and immediate family members of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and Talbot County Public Schools, as well as Montgomery College, Prince George’s Community College and the College of Southern Maryland. Learn more about Educational Systems FCU online at esfcu.org.

MGM resort properties that proudly support community-based educational initiatives to build and fortify our workforce of the future. Ensuring the success of Prince George’s County’s children is a collaborative effort, one that involves not only parents and teachers, but supportive businesses, such as MGM National Harbor, says Dee Dee McKinney Odom, a MGM spokesperson. Teachers, however, are key, having “made a commitment to shape the minds of our future leaders. We celebrate them each and every day throughout the MGM Resort properties.” MGM Resorts International – known for its corporate social-responsibility policy and community investment – is seeking to create a world-class destination resort casino that respects the history and culture of Prince George’s County and meets the needs of the sophisticated Maryland marketplace. Through “Touching Communities, Touching Lives,” MGM National Harbor joins more than 20 other

The design of MGM National Harbor is influenced by both the natural topography and the iconic nature of nearby national monuments and their interactions with residents and visitors. Its operational standards will reflect the superior level of quality found in its other hotels, including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, ARIA, and The Mirage. The ultimate vision for National Harbor extends far beyond gaming to include a luxury hotel, fine dining courtesy of local and celebrity chefs, premier entertainment, shops featuring some of the world’s finest retailers, and a luxurious spa. To learn more about MGM National Harbor and to view the architectural renderings of this stunning resort, visit www.mgmnationalharbor.com.

THE GAZETTE

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

understand something. I really appreciate how she treats us, like we should be treated. She sincerely cares about us. Simone Thompson 6th Grade

Portia Yvette Clare

Teacher From the Heart Christian School

When Portia Yvette Clare first read the statement nominating her as My Favorite Teacher, she “was humbled and overwhelmed. I thought, ‘Thank you, Lord. She has heard my heart. This is exactly what I desire for all of my students.’ “Receiving this award means that my level of commitment to my students and to my craft must not be compromised. It means that my character and conduct matter, and that everything we do affects someone else. That’s humbling to me,” says Clare. “We all have something important, necessary and sufficient to give, and we must recognize and accept that responsibility so that others might be edified, strengthened and encouraged through our service.”

From left to right Lola Singletary, Marketing Director, Chick-fil-A Capital Centre/ Steeplechase; Sis. Portia Yvette Clare, second grade teacher, From The Heart Christian School; Simone Thompson, sixth grade student and nominator.

Sis. Clare is the absolute BEST teacher! She makes learning fun and very interesting. Her humor and smile make us laugh when we are down. She teaches in a very simple manner that everyone can understand. Sis. Clare never rushes us when we don’t quite

Held Tuesday evening December 3, 2013 Prince George’s Community College (Marlboro Gallery)

Now in her 23rd year of teaching, Clare holds an A.B. in English from Duke University, M.S in elementary education from Pensacola Christian College, and M.Ed. in education from Regent University. “I was initially attracted to teaching because my mother was, and still is, a teacher. Oftentimes, while playing with my friends, I would pretend to be the teacher and they would pretend to be my students. By the age of four, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I sincerely believe that I was born to teach.” Clare sums up the reaction of family, friends and co-workers with the words, “jubilation, glee, bliss, pride and elation…The outpouring of love that I have received because Simone Thompson took the time to think of me has been tremendous. I am eternally grateful and sincerely thankful. To God be the glory, great things He has done.”

From left to right: Kevin Glotfelty, eleventh grade student and nominator; Darrell Holloman II, social studies teacher, Bishop McNamara High School; Simone Thompson, sixth grade student and nominator; Sis. Portia Yvette Clare, second grade teacher, From The Heart Christian School; Brad Brown, language arts teacher, The Chelsea School; Scott Lake, eighth grade student and nominator.

opportunity to give recognition and praise to a local educator for his or her hard work and dedication to teaching our children and giving them the tools to think and make good decisions for themselves.” It’s as much about community as it is about chicken at Chick-fil-A. Its My Favorite Teacher elementary school sponsorship is testament to that. “Chick-filA supports opportunities that foster positive educational and developmental opportunities for all ages and strives to be involved with community projects and programs designed to enhance Prince Georges County and its citizenry,” says Lola Singletary, marketing director for Chick-fil-A at Capital Centre and Steeplechase. That concept of community infuses Chick-fil-A’s belief that “it does ‘take a village’ to raise children properly.” Now in its second year as a sponsor, Chick-fil-A finds the contest to be “a fantastic

Singletary found it “gratifying to learn about the lives of the finalists and discover what brought them to teach and why children matter. The respect and admiration for those who win the contest are the reflection of residents of Prince Georges County, and that is an honor quite different from a ‘national’ award, because it is their direct and immediate community.”

Doug S. Hayes, associate publisher of The Gazette & Gazette-Star welcomes teachers, students, sponsors, friends and family to the 2013 My Favorite Teacher awards ceremony at Prince George’s Community College’s Marlboro Gallery.

Since opening its first Chick-fil-A in an Atlanta shopping mall in 1967, the company has steadily grown to become the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the U.S. The restaurant chain offers scholarships to employees and local franchises “recruit and employ young people.” Platinum sponsor Shawn Toler, regional director of Imagine Schools Maryland (left), and Doug S. Hayes, associate publisher of The Gazette & Gazette-Star

Sis. Portia Yvette Clare, second grade teacher, and Simone Thompson, sixth grade student and nominator, From The Heart Christian School sharing an emotional moment during the ceremony.

The Gazette congratulates all the Prince George’s County teachers who made it to the final voting round this fall: PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL n Danella Michelle Borden-Browne Patuxent Elementary School n Portia Yvette Clare From the Heart Christian School n Norma Dean (Richardson) Samuel P. Massie Academy n Michael R. Goforth Valley View Elementary School n Angela Grooms Whitehall Elementary School n Myrna P. H. James George E. Peters Adventist School n Marcus D. Johnson Imagine Lincoln Public Charter School n Melissa Shipp (Ford) Scotchtown Hills Elementary School n Judy Skarsten New Hope Academy PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL n Traci L. Allen James Madison Middle School n Brad Brown Chelsea School n Jennifer C. Eller Holy Redeemer n James Fowler Beltsville Academy n Celeste Kell Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School n Jeffrey Lloyd Walker Mill Middle School n W. Nulty Lynch Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School n Titus O. Peck Benjamin Tasker Middle School n Andrew VanEgmond Drew Freeman Middle School n Tonia Ziegler Drew Freeman Middle School PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School n Darrell Holloman II Bishop McNamara High School n Veronica Nowinsky DuVal High School n Torrence Oxendine Laurel High School n Stephanie M. Reliford Laurel High School n Erika Sheehan Elizabeth Seton High School n Lucia Simpson Bladensburg High School n Janay Stallworth Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. High School n Rashieda D. Addison-Gantt

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RELIGION CALENDAR

DEC. 12 Free Event for Homeowners and Renters, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.,

Largo Community Church, 1701 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville. Rebates, solar panels and energy efficient resources for your home. Contact 301-772-1552 or homeenergyaudit@pfccoalition.org.

DEC. 14 Christian Writer’s Critique Group, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Largo Com-

munity Church, 1701 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville. The Christian Writer’s Fellowship is a critique and writing group that meets every second Saturday. Contact lrw941@ verizon.net. Handel’s Messiah, 4 to 5:30 p.m., St. Christopher’s Episcopal

Church, 8001 Annapolis Road, New Carrollton. Concert featuring selections from Handel’s well known oratorio performed by a superb choir, outstanding soloists and phenomenal orchestra. Reception following. Admission is free. Contact 301-577-1281 or butlerize@aol.com. The 14th annual Christmas Benefit, 5 p.m., Mount Calvary

Way of The Cross Church, 306 Hill Road, Landover. Benefit musical with an oldies flavor. Contact 301800-3179 or nwready2minister@ yahoo.com. Christmas Dance Party, 5 to 10 p.m., Mount Rainier Christian Church, 4001 33rd St., Mount Rainier. Party family-friendly dance music for all ages. Includes free dance instruction, food and non-alcoholic drinks, karaoke and prizes for children. Go to the back of the parking lot to the back door to enter. Contact 443-632-5218 or brianpadamsus@yahoo.com. Winter Concert, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 4512 College Ave., College Park. The Maryland Cantabile will perform works by Barber, Persichetti, Mozart and Victoria. Tanya Ruth, mezzo soprano, will perform Christmas songs by John Jacob Niles. Contact mdcantabile@ gmail.com.

DEC. 15 Christmas Music Program, 10:30 a.m., Glenn Dale United Methodist Church, 8500 Springfield Road, Glenn Dale. Contact soniametelsky@hotmail.com.

Our Savior Lutheran Church’s annual Christmas Concert, 3 p.m.,

Our Savior Lutheran Church, 13611 Laurel-Bowie Road, Laurel. Featuring choirs, strings, hand bells, praise team and sing-along carols. Refreshments and child care are available. There is no admission charge, but we ask that you bring a freewill offering of a nonperishable food item for Elizabeth House soup kitchen in Laurel. Contact 301-776-7670. HOPE Support Group, 3 to 5

ONGOING Women’s Bible Study, 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday, Berwyn Baptist Church, 4720 Cherokee St., College Park. Study the book of Romans. Women of all ages are invited. Cost of $6.50 for textbook. Contact 301-474-7117 or secretary@berwynbaptist.org.

Mount Rainier Christian Church will conduct Praisercise, a Chris-

tian exercise group meeting at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays at the church, 4001 33rd St., Mount Rainier. The

exercise group will have exercise education about nutrition and more. Professional instruction from University of Maryland, College Park, kinesiology students and the program. Open to people of all ages and fitness levels. Free. Call 301864-3869 or visit www.facebook. com/groups/praisercise/ or email brianpadamusus @yahoo.com. Largo Community Church is revising its fitness program, Mon-

days and Wednesdays, to include Latin-infused dance. Classes start at 7 p.m. and the fee is $5. The church is at 1701 Enterprise Road in Mitchellville. E-mail justfit4life @yahoo.com.

Body and Soul Fitness presents “I’m All In,” Bethany Community

Church, 15720 Riding Stable Road in Laurel. Sessions start with car-

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p.m., St. John’s Parish Education Center, 8912 Old Branch Ave., Clinton. For people suffering from depressive illnesses. Contact 301868-6180.

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To submit a calendar item online, go to calendar.gazette. net and click on the submit button in the lower left-hand corner. To find an item, go to The Gazette’s home page at www. gazette.net. You can mail them to The Gazette, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD 20707; fax, 240-473-7501. Items must be received by Wednesday to appear the following week.

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dio/strength classes from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, with a co-ed session from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. For more information, call Abby Dixson at 301-5491877, email abbyfitness@aol.com or visit www.bodyandsoul.org. Touch of Love Bible Church, conducts weekly support group meetings for people who are separated or divorced, 11 a.m. every Saturday at the church, 13503 Baltimore Ave. in Laurel. Call 301210-3170. Ladies Bible Study Class on the book of Esther, Maryland City

Baptist Church, 1:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoons at the church, 326 Brock Bridge Road in Laurel. Free nursery. Call Tammie Marshall at 301-498-3224 or visit mdcitybaptist @yahoo.com.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

THE GAZETTE

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Thursday, December 12, 2013 bo

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