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& ‘DESERT’ STORM Family drama stirs up a battle of emotions. B-5 The Gazette POTOMAC | NORTH POTOMAC DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, April 9, 2014 25 cents Prekindergarten gets boost from lawmakers n New program to direct state money to public and private providers BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER Maryland school systems and private providers will soon have access to a new grant program aimed at expanding prekindergarten services in the state. Gov. Martin O’Malley signed on Tuesday the Pre-Kindergarten Expansion Act of 2014, which sets aside grant money to help programs take in more children, jump from half-day to fullday services or open their doors for the first time. The O’Malley administration labeled the act one of its priorities in the state’s 2014 legislative session, which ended Monday. The program will start in fiscal 2015 with about $4.3 million. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) said the legislation marks another step toward the larger goal to provide universal, halfday prekindergarten by 2018. The state will seek out the best, most innovative public and private programs to channel grant funds to, he said. “Our intent is to see an equitable distribution around the state,” Brown said. “We would like to see, if not every county, every region of the state have a program that is funded [through the grant program].” He said the new grant funds will allow about 1,600 more children to attend prekindergarten programs than the current 29,000 low-income children in the state who use the services. Janine Bacquie — director of Montgomery County Public Schools’ Division of Early Childhood Programs and Services and co-chairwoman of the Montgomery County Early Childhood Advisory Council — said she thinks it will benefit the state that many different types of prekindergarten providers could receive the grant funds. Bacquie said the school system will support the three child care programs it currently partners with, should they decide to apply for grant funds. The system is also open to working with other programs interested See GRANTS, Page A-9 BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE The final auditions for new Redskins cheerleaders were held Sunday at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. Sixty women tried out for the squad. Newest ‘first ladies of football’ MAKE THE CUT Women balance careers, other commitments with passion for dance n BY ELIZABETH WAIBEL STAFF WRITER After months of preparation and three rounds of auditions, a new team of cheerleaders danced to “Hail to the Redskins” together for the first time Sunday in Bethesda. The final stop in the audition process to pick the 2014 Redskins cheerleaders was a ticketed event at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. For a full house of friends and fans, 60 women showed off their dance, cheer and modeling skills in a bid to join the “first ladies of football.” From a pool of about 200 who came to the first audition, 60 were selected to audition Sunday in a final that was part showcase of athletic dance skills, part beauty pageant. While the women walked across the stage in bikinis and posed with footballs, audience members cheered for their favorite candidates. An announcer said what each contestant does when she is not cheering. They came from different states and hold different jobs — federal employees, personal trainers, an eighth-grade science teacher, an auditor and CPA, and a bartender. Some are former pageant winners. Some listed shoe collecting or walking their dogs as hobbies; some had master’s degrees or were planning to go to law school. Stephanie Jojokian, director of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders, said the cheerleaders fall into a category known in the contemporary dance world BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE Riders with the Great MoCo Bicycle Summit bike up Second Street in Silver Spring on Saturday. Cyclists say pedaling should be a priority See CUT, Page A-9 n Grocer focuses on local products, prepared items New store opens in Potomac Village n BY PEGGY MCEWAN STAFF WRITER Most things on the shelves at Potomac Grocer on River Road didn’t take long to get there. There are “craft” granolas from Oat My Goodness, made in Potomac; Cherry Glen goat cheeses from Boyds; Dr. Dread’s Jamaican Jerk chips and peanuts made in Glen Echo; and salad dressing from Dress Me Up in Kensington. “Absolutely, there are a lot of local vendors,” Potomac Grocer owner Tom Spencer said. “Like anybody in retail, we want to do as much local, organic as we can. People want it.” So far, he said, the most popular items have been the “high-quality prepared foods” the store sells. “We’re finding that’s a niche that’s underserved,” he said. Georgetown Prep freshman golfer views life differently after facing down brain cancer. Volunteers help remove invasive plants around the county. B-1 1910233 WEED WARRIORS WAGE WAR A-13 Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please ELIZABETH WAIBEL STAFF WRITER Most people have at least some interest in biking, advocates say, and overcoming their reservations is the first step toward making biking a mainstream form of transportation. Bike advocates at the Great MoCo Bicycle Summit on Saturday in Chevy Chase pointed to a study in the Portland, Ore., area that found more than half See GROCER, Page A-9 NEWS FINDING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE BY Spencer said the store opened Feb. 12, then was closed for four days that month because of snow — days when many of his workers could not get in to work. He has a crew of 15 whose jobs range from chef to dishwasher to counter help for the 3,200-square-foot store, which has 1,200 square feet of kitchen space. Other than the snow days, he said, customer traffic has been good and has improved along with the weather. SPORTS Advocates seek ways to make biking more mainstream of people were interested in biking more, but didn’t feel comfortable making it a part of their daily routine, especially on nonresidential roads. “We win when we get that full 50 percent able to bike comfortably,” said Shane Farthing, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Farthing, one of several planners and bike advocates who spoke at the conference, said the first challenge in making bicycling more mainstream is getting people who are not See CYCLISTS, Page A-9 B-13 A-11 A-2 B-10 B-5 A-14 A-12 B-1 RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION

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