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A LIFE’S LESSONS & Strathmore tribute honors Polish hero turned professor. A-10 The Gazette GERMANTOWN | POOLESVILLE | BOYDS DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Officials say county crime rate is down n Wednesday, February 26, 2014 25 cents Familiar names join council contests Victory hug for Northwest High Cooperation a major factor in success, officials say BY ELIZABETH WAIBEL STAFF WRITER Crime dropped by 26 percent in Montgomery County, comparing crime rates from 2007 to 2013, according to police data released Tuesday — this despite a recent rash of homicides to start 2014. Officials say cooperation between different law enforcement agencies and the community has contributed to a drop in crime in Montgomery County over the past few years. County Executive Isiah Leggett, State’s Attorney John McCarthy, County Council President Craig Rice and Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger spoke at a Tuesday press conference to tout their combined efforts to reduce crime in the county. Overall, the number of crimes in the county dropped by 26 percent from 2007 to 2013, according to year-end crime statistics from the county. Nationwide, the number n Hucker, Barclay, Trachtenberg, Katz, Spiegel, Moore among candidates BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER In June’s primary elections, Montgomery County voters will have familiar political names to choose from for County Council seats. In District 5, Del. Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring filed for the seat Tuesday and school board member Christopher Barclay filed for the seat Monday. In District 1, former Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg (D) of Rockville will challenge Councilman Roger Berliner (D) of Bethesda. District 3 features a showdown with three sitting elected officials in the Democratic primary: Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz and Councilman Ryan Spiegel, and Rockville Councilman Tom Moore. See CRIME, Page A-7 See COUNCIL, Page A-7 Midcounty Highway vote ia postponed DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger (right), with County Council President Craig Rice, speaks on Tuesday about the reasons for a decrease in crime for the county. TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Northwest High School’s Austin Castleberry hugs coach Robert Youngblood after completing a 6-foot, 2-inch high jump during last week’s Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 4A/3A state championship indoor track and field meet at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Center in Landover. Northwest boys won the state title. Castleberry is a member of the 2014 All-Gazette team, Page B-3. ‘Lib’ Tolbert, former Barnesville politician, dies at age 88 Service to be held Saturday n BY SYLVIA CARIGNAN STAFF WRITER Barnesville is remembering a beloved “mayor” and resident, Elizabeth Hays Tolbert, who died Feb. 17. Tolbert, who was 88, was president of the town’s commissioners from 1965 to 1969, and again from 1975 to 2001. She had Alzheimer’s disease in her later years and shied away from the spotlight after her last term as commissioner ended. She and the town’s other commission presidents are often called the “mayor” of Barnesville, though NEWS AIMING FOR A VIBRANT DOWNTOWN Poolesville’s plans to revitalize its downtown district were met with warnings at last week’s public hearing. A-4 that was not her formal title. Douglas M. Duncan had Tolbert serve as his campaign chairwoman in the 1990s when he ran for county executive. They met when he was a Rockville city councilman and she was involved with the Maryland Municipal League. “She was the grand lady of Montgomery County politics,” Duncan said. “She just had a way about her, of making people feel at ease.” He said she enjoyed sharing gossip about Montgomery County politics, but she loved talking about her town and her family. Tolbert’s niece Shirley Prasada-Rao said she talked to her aunt almost every day for most of her life. “To me she was just Aunt Lib — not ‘The Mayor’ nor the ‘President of the Maryland Municipal League,’” she said in an email. Prasada-Rao kept in touch with Tolbert as her Alzheimer’s progressed. “I didn’t see her very much since she moved into the assisted living home [in Germantown], but the times that I did go and got a sign that she knew who I was, was a special gift,” she said. In Barnesville, Tolbert would host dinners at her home, attended by almost a hundred residents. The town has a population of about 170, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. See TOLBERT, Page A-8 SPORTS BUILDING BLOCKS Boys basketball: Underdog Jaguars optimistic heading into postseason. B-1 FILE PHOTO Elizabeth Hays Tolbert, former “mayor” of Barnesville, was 88 when she died Feb. 17. Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE n Members fail to reach consensus on master plan route BY SYLVIA CARIGNAN STAFF WRITER The sharp words and forceful rhetoric that have come to define discussions about Midcounty Highway caused an upcounty board to postpone a significant vote on the issue Monday. The Upcounty Citizens Advisory Board is composed of 20 upcounty residents who represent different INSIDE communities, including n A breakdown Montgomery Village, of Midcounty Clarksburg, Dickerson Highway and Germantown. The options board reports to the county executive on n County funding budget priorities for the request upcounty region. emphasizes Members of the transit projects board held a meeting Page A-8 with a county transportation official Monday evening for a briefing on upcounty transportation projects, but the meeting was soon derailed once Midcounty Highway became part of the conversation. The highway is “a very important, and therefore controversial, project,” said Edgar A. Gonza- See VOTE, Page A-8 B-11 B-5 A-2 B-8 A-10 A-9 B-6 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906251

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