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& MOVINGPICTURES Documentary reveals kindness, optimism of children in a time of war. B-1 The Gazette SERVING NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COMMUNITIES DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Thursday, November 21, 2013 25 cents Minimum wage vote gets delayed No date set for council’s decision n BY CHASE COOK STAFF WRITER Approving raises to the minimum wage will have to wait as the Prince George’s County Council decided not to vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage by a total of $4.25 over a threeyear period. County Council Chairwoman Andrea Harrison (D-Dist. 5) of Springdale said the council was waiting on information from Montgomery County before it passed the bill. The minimum wage bill was announced as a regional collaboration between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Washington, D.C., to limit competition with other counties that PHOTOS BY BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE An inside look New Carrollton students explore the news business with online publication W Charles Carroll Middle School technical coach William Simpson helps seventh-grader Benjamin Zheng edit video interviews for the school’s student-led online newspaper as part of its journalism program. indy Nguyen, a seventhgrader at Charles Carroll Middle School in New Carrollton, signed up for what he thought was a “basic writing class” that would meet in school every other day. What he landed in, however, was a new multimedia publication: The HighLander. Windy, a video game columnist, is one of 14 Carroll students at the school’s new student-run online news publication. The students do all of the writing and interviewing and they create See WAGE, Page A-10 Schools CEO says new security features in works Charles Carroll Middle School eighth-graders Cindy Beza and Maria Martinez set up a camera to record an interview Nov. 14 for the student-led online newspaper as part of its journalism program. n may attract businesses with lower employee wages. “At some point we have to act and do the job we were elected to do,” Harrison said during the council’s Tuesday meeting. “There is unanimous support on this council for this bill.” The bill would raise the county’s minimum wage to $11.50 over a three-year period with incremental increases. Employees who were exempt from state and federal wage laws and employees under the age of 18 working 20 or less hours would be exempt, according to the bill. David Iannucci, the county executive’s assistant deputy chief administrative officer for economic development and public infrastructure, was in favor of the council’s delay in moving forward. System looking at ID swipe to flag visitors on sex offender list n BY ERIC GOLDWEIN STAFF WRITER BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER Hoping to further bolster school safety and safeguard against potential tragedies such as the Newtown, Conn., shooting, Prince George’s County school officials are adding security enhancements such as ID scanner systems and high fencing. Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell said a system that scanned visitors’ licenses and checked names against sex offender registries and other lists was in use when he was superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Produced by Houston-based Raptor Technologies, the system requires videos for the publication. “I didn’t know it was actually going to be a group, and we were actually going to do stuff. But now that we know, we think it’s pretty cool,” Windy said. The HighLander, named after the school’s former mascot, launched this school year as part of Carroll’s new journalism department. Students from Carroll’s journalism department work in class and at home with volunteer help from See PUBLICATION, Page A-10 visitors to slide their photo identification through a digital reader, which will flag individuals listed on state sex offender registry lists and also keeps a log of all visitors. “We are already looking into it, and I expect we will have something very similar to it, and get it installed soon,” MaxMaxwell well said during a Nov. 14 meeting with The Gazette’s editorial board. Rex Barrett, acting security director for PGCPS, said the system is currently reviewing ID management systems and is hoping to have one implemented through- See SECURITY, Page A-10 Laurel Lakes neighbors hope to see clearly now Sediment removal project expected to begin in July 2014 n BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU STAFF WRITER Donald Williford said he hasn’t seen some of his neighbors at Laurel Lakes in years, the result of deteriorating conditions to the once-beautiful area. “You used to be able to catch fish there, and ducks would come out every morning,” said Williford, who has lived on the north side of the lakes since 1991, adding that there’s no fishing at the lake and ducks haven’t come by in years. NEWS ‘NO LONGER A FORGOTTEN COMMUNITY’ United effort yields new library for William Paca Elementary School. A-4 Williford and about 10 other nearby residents and city officials turned out Nov. 14 to hear an update on a project by county Department of Environmental Resources officials. The county is finalizing plans to dredge the upper lake, removing an estimated 15,000 cubic yards of sediment that has plugged it up, said DER engineer and project manager Joanna M. Smith. Dredging is the excavation of materials at least partially underwater, removing sediment for disposal at another location, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website. Smith said DER is in the permitting phase of the project, which is expected to be put out to bid in the spring. “If everything goes well between the bid date and the open bid, we expect construction to hopefully begin July 2014,” Smith said, adding that construction would take three to six months. Smith said much of the vegetation growing out of control in and around the lake will be removed, affording viewers a better look at the lake, which should look clearer and provide a better habitat for fish and other wildlife. The two lakes comprising Laurel Lakes were created in the 1980s. The upper lake is intended to capture runoff See NEIGHBORS, Page A-10 SPORTS A KEY MISSING PIECE Injury to Flowers quarterback coincided with team’s four-game losing skid. A-10 GREG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Donald Williford of Laurel lives near the upper lake at Granville Gude Park, which is scheduled to be dredged because of a buildup of sediment. Automotive B-11 Calendar A-2 Classified B-9 Community News A-4 Entertainment B-1 Opinion A-11 Sports B-1 Please RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906193

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