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& SILVER ANNIVERSARY Theater marks 75th with free showing of first movie. A-13 The Gazette POTOMAC | NORTH POTOMAC DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, September 11, 2013 25 cents Trash collectors might end picket, go back to work n Labor union and Potomac Disposal scheduled to meet Wednesday AND BY KRISTA BRICK ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITERS A strike by workers at a Gaithersburg trash-collecting company over accusations of worker intimidation by managers could end on Wednesday, if the sides can work out their differences. About 50 employees for Potomac Disposal went on strike Monday morning, claiming the company tried to intimidate them during labor negotiations last week with threats of immigration checks. Nicole Duarte, communications director for Laborers’ International Union of North America Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition, which bargains for the workers, wrote in an email on Tuesday that See PICKET, Page A-8 Richard Willis, who is currently homeless, panhandles at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Democracy Boulevard in Bethesda on Monday. TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE DISCOURAGED DONATIONS County tries to curb panhandling; instead, campaign seeks to increase aid to groups that help the poor n BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Richard Willis strolled up and down the thin median strip in Bethesda, following the ebb and flow of traffic as the lights changed. Monday was one of the first days Willis had come to the intersection of Democracy Boulevard and Old Georgetown Road in months, but he said he’s been coming to the area off and on for nearly 10 years. His small cardboard sign said he needed money for prescriptions, but Willis said he was actually trying to raise money to stay at a motel because there was no room in the homeless shelter where he had been staying. Drivers’ reaction to his presence is mostly good, although occasionally someone will tell him to get a job, Willis said. He said sometimes people will bring him a soda or a sandwich. Other times, a driver will say they are on their way to the grocery store across the street, and they’ll bring him something on the way back. In the winter, people School system examines policy on moving teachers Reassignment after accusations could be rare n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER will bring gloves, hats or an umbrella if it’s raining, he said. Earlier Monday morning in Wheaton, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), County Councilman George Leventhal and other officials announced an initiative to discourage drivers and other county residents from giving money to panhandlers such as Willis and instead direct their money toward county programs that work with the poor and homeless. “We want people to give. We don’t want people to give to panhandlers,” Leventhal said When a teacher has been accused of inappropriate behavior with a student, that teacher could wind up in a new school. The latest education news in Montgomery and affecting Montgomery County County Public Schools is considering new rules that would make such reassignments less likely in cases of “a sexual nature,” said chief operating officer Larry Bowers. The school system is examining its policy for reas- See DONATIONS, Page A-11 See SCHOOL, Page A-11 Wegmans nearing its opening day in Germantown Will be grocery chain’s first store in Montgomery n BY KEVIN JAMES SHAY STAFF WRITER With less than five days before Wegmans opens its first Montgomery County grocery store, Kevin Grenzig took a glance around at fellow employees preparing for Sunday morning. “This is going really smoothly,” said Grenzig, the ex- NEWS WSSC ADMITS ‘MISTAKE’ Utility company takes responsibility for water main break in March. A-4 ecutive chef of the Germantown store on Seneca Meadows, who has helped open several Maryland Wegmans branches. “By now, we’re usually scrambling to get things done, but I don’t see a lot of that here.” Employees have been preparing for opening day for months. The development process began some four years ago, after Wegmans found a parcel within walking distance of the 150,000-square-foot WalMart in Germantown. Its latest 123,000-square-foot store is set to open at 7 a.m. Sunday. Such an opening can draw a large crowd. When the 130,000-square-foot Frederick store opened on a Sunday morning in 2011, people started lining up hours before, and upwards of 20,000 shoppers packed the aisles that initial day. Planning for how much specialty food, housewares, beverages and other items on shelves can pose a challenge, said store manager Phil Quattrini, a 25year company veteran who SPORTS managed the Frederick store. Then, there is the fresh seafood shipped in daily from ports that include those in Maryland, and the meats, produce and other perishable items. “It’s like this,” Quattrini said, making a rolling-the-dice gesture as he guided a reporter on a sneak-preview tour through the Germantown store Tuesday. Special promotions for that day are not planned, though shoppers have access to store A DIFFERENT TYPE OF PRESSURE Tennis players face a unique type of pressure when wearing their school’s colors. B-1 See WEGMANS, Page A-8 Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE B-15 A-2 B-9 B-11 A-4 A-13 A-10 B-8 B-1 GRETG DOHLER/THE GAZETTE Valerie Singleton (left) makes pie crusts in the bakery department Tuesday at the new Wegmans supermarket in Germantown. SPECIAL SECTION MONTGOMERY HOSPICE Learn how Montgomery Hospice can help you and your loved ones, plus get advice on coping with grief. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT 1906618

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