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FOOTBALL PREVIEW HIGH SCHOOL A breakdown of all 30 Montgomery County teams, preseason rankings and features. B-1 The Gazette DAMASCUS | CLARKSBURG DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, August 28, 2013 25 cents Restaurateur launches Clarksburg chamber Direction in education ‘I think Clarksburg needs to be represented by the people here’ n BY VIRGINIA TERHUNE STAFF WRITER DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Clarksburg Elementary School Principal Sunny Lee helps guide students to their classrooms on the first day of school Monday. This is Lee’s 17th year as principal at Clarksburg Elementary. Backpacks absent at back-to-school bash n Event provided activities and information but no free school supplies BY PEGGY MCEWAN STAFF WRITER Montgomery County Public Schools held its annual Backto-School Fair on Saturday, but students didn’t leave the fair this More year in Rockville scenes with new backpacks slung over from their shoulders. school That’s beopenings cause this year n Page A-4 backpacks were sent directly to schools to be distributed. “We thought empowering See SCHOOLS, Page A-7 Security teams prep for start of classes n Sessions focus on drugs, gangs, other threats BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Detective Ed Wilcher faced a darkened room, clicking through his presentation on the youth gangs in Montgomery County. His audience Friday at Northwest High School in Germantown was about 20 school security staff from Montgomery County Public Schools, who were there to get an update on some of the groups they’d be partly responsible for monitoring when school opened on Monday. Wilcher, of the Montgomery County Police Department, said police are currently tracking 33 See SECURITY, Page A-7 DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Lt. Matthew Trivett, a fire and explosives investigator with the Montgomery County Police Department, gives county school security guards a look at two types of pipe bombs during a daylong security seminar Friday at Northwest High School in Germantown. Businesses in Clarksburg will have a new local voice to represent their interests with the formation of the new Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce. Joe Buffington, co-owner of Bennigan’s restaurant in Clarksburg, said he is starting the chamber to make sure local businesses have a say in the debate over the final phase of growth in the community. Buffington and nine other businesses or individuals already belong to the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, which supports growth in Clarksburg. However, Buffington said, local businesses should be able to speak for themselves. “I think Clarksburg needs to be represented by the people here,” he said. “Gaithersburg and Germantown have a different historical perspective, different geography. Clarksburg needs its own group.” Buffington said has received a charter from the state and plans to host a breakfast meeting at 8 a.m. Sept. 4 at Bennigan’s on Md. 355 to talk to interested people and begin setting up a structure, dues and board of directors for the new chamber. Coming up are important public hearings about three major projects proposed for Clarksburg. The county Planning Board is scheduled to meet Sept. 10 to consider amending the Clarksburg Master Plan to accommodate a Tanger fashion outlet center east of Interstate 270 and a Pulte Homes development of 1,000 homes within the Ten Mile Creek watershed in Clarksburg and Boyds. Also under review in a separate process is a proposed Premium fashion outlet west of I-270 in the Cabin Branch watershed in Boyds. A hearing about whether to allow more retail space on the site is scheduled to resume Sept. 4 before the county hearing examiner. Buffington said he personally favors the Tanger outlet plan, which is close to his restaurant, and also said he believes that “Pulte should go forward.” Marilyn Balcombe, president and CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown chamber, said she supports the formation of a Clarksburg chamber. “I think that having a chamber or business association is fantastic,” said Balcombe, who said members will sometimes belong to several chambers depending on their business interests. See CHAMBER, Page A-7 Franchot won’t endorse in gubernatorial primary ‘I’m going to be like Switzerland’ n BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot says he won’t endorse a candidate in the state’s 2014 Democratic primary for governor. Franchot (D) said he has worked with and likes Democratic candidates Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, and doesn’t plan to pick a favorite in the June 2014 primary. “I’m going to be like Switzerland,” he said. Franchot said he does plan to endorse the Democratic candidate for governor in November’s general election. Franchot considered a run for the governor’s mansion himself, but announced in December that he wouldn’t seek the office, calling the comptroller’s position his “dream job.” He was in Damascus on Thursday to present a proclamation to the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department for its service to the town’s residents. Volunteers such as those at the fire company represent oldfashioned Maryland values, he said. Darron Long, who has been chief of the Damascus fire company for 32 years, said the recognition was nice because it lets the members know their work is being noticed. It also meant a lot that Fran- NEWS NEWS Parents sue Frostburg State University after their son dies soon after collapsing at football practice. County residents remember the historic 1963 March on Washington. A-4 A-11 INJURY FALLOUT chot came to deliver the honor personally. “It’s been really well appreciated,” Long said. Franchot also presented a proclamation to Damascus’ Jimmie Cone restaurant, recognizing it for more than 50 years of providing ice cream and serving as a center of the community. Franchot said he presents many proclamations to restaurants because they offer a lot of jobs in communities around Maryland. Franchot said he remains 50 YEARS LATER: A MARCH TO CELEBRATE Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE concerned about the effect the government’s budget sequestration cuts have had on the state. While there have been some small areas of recovery in Maryland, the state is not in a full economic recovery and sequestration adds to the anxiety of families and businesses, he said. “We have a lot of angst,” he said. But Franchot said he’s not See FRANCHOT, Page A-7 BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Chief Darron Long of the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department chats with Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, who spoke at Station 13 in Damascus on Thursday. B-15 A-2 B-10 B-12 A-4 A-13 A-10 B-9 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906605

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