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EXTENDED SUMMER County public school year starts day later than usual. A-3 The Gazette SPORTS: Officer volunteers to help keep Laurel drivers in check. A-4 SPORTS: DeMatha junior ends recruiting process by selecting Penn State. B-1 NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNT Y DA I LY U P DAT E S AT G A Z E T T E . N E T Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 25 cents Rain floods Prince George’s spending trails Montgomery Laurel, again NON-LEVEL PLAYING FIELD Low funds and outdated facilities hold back county athletics n BY n With second incident in four months, community members seek answers BY PRINCE J. GRIMES STAFF WRITER STAFF WRITER It’s happening slower than most have hoped for, but Prince George’s County’s public high school’s are showing some progress when it comes to improving their athletic facilities. It’s hard to tell when you look at the relatively quick progress being made in neighboring Montgomery County, Each school gets but Prince George’s County P u b l i c in Prince George’s for athletics. Schools Director of Interscho- Each school gets lastic Athletics Earl Hawkins in Montgomery said you for athletics. can’t compare the two counties. “We don’t operate the same,” Hawkins said. “We really don’t operate the same, and financially, I don’t know how they stack up to us, but I think they have more resources right now in terms of money.” Montgomery County does have more financial resources than Prince George’s. MCPS allocated $7.8 million last fiscal year to its athletic programs, $17,000 $65,000 Schools struggle to raise money for basic needs Lack of funds, equipment puts schools at disadvantage, coaches say n BY INSIDE ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER n School officials often maintain their fields. A-8 n Title IX helped some schools upgrade. A-9 n Schools struggle to find enough practice space. A-9 On a late July afternoon, the Crossland High School football team walked across the school’s concrete track, and onto an uneven grass field for an informal summer practice. Referred to as “the dust bowl” and “the prison,” the field will be its home for the next four months. The Oxon Hill Parkdale Northwestern Henry A. Wise Crossland 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,800 2,500 T G G G G Y Y Y Y Y N N Y Y N N N N N N Thomas S. Wootton Walt Whitman Walter Johnson Montgomery Blair Richard Montgomery 4,000 3,500 3,500 3,200 3,200 T G T T T Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Fairmont Heights Gwynn Park Frederick Douglass Potomac Suitland 750 800 1,000 1,000 1,000 G G G G G Y Y N Y Y N N N N N N N N N N Rockville Albert Einstein Bethesda-Chevy Chase John F. Kennedy Sherwood 1,500 1,900 2,000 2,000 2,000 G G G G G Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Prince George’s GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Oxon Hill High School is the first public school in the county with an artificial turf field, making its debut this fall. High school Cap acit y Fiel d (T u Con rf or G ras ces s) Res sions troo Ligh ms ts Comparing the five largest and smallest in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Montgomery The Gazette analyzed athletic facilities at the 47 public high schools in its coverage areas of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. FOOTBALL FACILITIES Prince George’s IN DEPTH DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Crossland High School coach Stephen Powell stands on the 50-yard line of the program’s football field on July 30. Montgomery See FACILITIES, Page A-8 See MONEY, Page A-9 New principal has big plans for Riverdale Park school William Wirt Middle among lowest-performing on state tests n BY ALICE POPOVICI STAFF WRITER Although school doesn’t start for nearly two weeks, Allison Beatrez, 12, said she already has met Roger Prince, her new principal at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale Park, as she and a few summer school classmates walked down the hall recently. “He gave us a high-five and he told us his name,” said Allison, of Riverdale Heights, a seventhgrader who on August 4 was attending a summer program near her school. “He’s really nice and he’s cool,” she said. Prince, 41, of Elkridge started at William Wirt on July 1 as part of a Maryland State Department Automotive Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion Sports of Education initiative to replace principals at underperforming schools, according to Prince George’s County Public Schools officials. He is the only principal the county is replacing this year as part of the School Improvement Grant, which focuses on improving teacher performance and increasing community and parent engagement. New principal Roger Prince talks Aug. 4 about his plans for William Wirt Elementary School in Riverdale Park. GREG DOHLER/ THE GAZETTE See PRINCIPAL, Page A-10 NEWS INDEX MUNICIPAL SCENE B-10 A-2 B-7 B-4 A-11 B-1 ARTS & CRAFTS New Edmonston shop highlights waste reduction. A-6 Volume 17, No. 33, Two sections, 24 Pages Copyright © 2014 The Gazette Please RECYCLE Advertising Supplement August 21, 2014 1934318 1934323 ALICE POPOVICI Though not nearly as severe as on May 1, residents and businesses in low-lying parts of Laurel said water rose to about two feet after heavy rainfall late Tuesday morning and they are anxious to get a response from city officials on how they plan to address future incidents. Coincidentally, the flood occurred two days before a public hearing Laurel officials planned to discuss a major May 1 flood that caused property damage and forced some residents to evacuate. Bill Polizos, vice president of Progressive Rent A Car at One Main St., said he plans on attending the meeting to hear residents’ and officials’ thoughts on the recurring flooding problems. “The parking lot was flooded and we had to move some cars to higher ground,” Polizos said Tuesday, estimating that the water rose as high as two and a half feet in the parking lot of his business, which is adjacent to the Patuxent River. But he added, “based on the last [flood] this was definitely small.” Shortly before 2 p.m., Laurel officials reported on social media that sections of several streets were closed, along with Riverfront Park in Laurel, and several cars had to be moved from the parking lot of the American Legion Laurel Post 60 at 2 See FLOOD, Page A-10 New Route 1 safety measures go into effect n Lower speed limit, speed cameras and a median fence among changes in College Park BY ALICE POPOVICI STAFF WRITER Darrin Barnes, 45, of Laurel has been driving to work on U.S. Route 1 through College Park for the past 10 years, and in that time he said he has watched the once-safe road become more congested with cars and pedestrians as the city continues to grow. Barnes said despite new safety measures College Park, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Maryland State Highway Administration officials are implementing in response to recent fatal accidents, pedestrians need to also be vigilant. “I noticed that the students seem to have this entitlement to the road ... so they just kind of jump out,” Barnes said. “If they do follow the walkways and do what they’re supposed to do, they’re going to be safe.” This is essentially the message that city and public safety officials are trying to send pedestrians and drivers as they prepare for a new school year and announce recently implemented traffic changes along Route 1. The changes include lowering the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph between Guilford Road and Berwyn Road, yellow diamond-shaped signs directing pedestrians to crosswalks, See SAFETY, Page A-10

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