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& A LIFE’S LESSONS Strathmore tribute honors Polish hero turned professor. A-10 The Gazette ROCKVILLE | ASPEN HILL | WHEATON DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, February 26, 2014 25 cents Crime down in Montgomery County n Cooperation a major factor in success, officials say BY ELIZABETH WAIBEL STAFF WRITER BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE 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 Girl Scouts from Bethesda Troop 4959 — Amalia Sulk, 12, of Bethesda, Samantha Christenson, 12, of Rockville, and Miriam Herman, 14, of Bethesda — use a special smartphone device to take credit card payments for cookies at the NAMI store in Rockville on Saturday. Girl Scout troops in capital region now have card option for sales BY SHEMAIAH ELLIS SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE Do you have a Samoa fix, but no cash? Do you need to curb your Thin Mint craving, but you’re short on dough? Your neighborhood Girl Scout might let you pay for your cookie order by credit card. The Girls Scouts recently adapted to the technological curve, thanks to Spark Pay by Capital One. This feature lets Girl Scout troops across the region accept credit cards, after years of cash-only payments. matched last year’s total number of homicides at eight as of Tuesday. There were eight criminal homicides in the county in 2013, down from 15 in 2012 and 19 in 2005, the earliest data available online from police. So far this year, there have been seven homicides in the county, according to police. The number of forcible rapes reported was up from 102 in 2012 to 130 in 2013, according to the crime statistics. Manger said part of the increase was probably due to changes in how rapes are reported. The statistics Montgomery County re- See CRIME, Page A-6 Winning sprint at state championships Cookies on credit n 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 of crimes declined by 9 percent from 2007 to 2012. This year, however, already has almost “This is an optional agreement depending on what troops think will work best for their group,” said Nancy Wood, the public relations director for the Girl Scouts Council of the Nation’s Capital. Troops that want the electronic payment option will get credit card readers that can attach to smartphones and tablets. “Working with Capital One is very exciting for the Girl Scouts. We have a good relationship with the company and I think having this optional way to pay for cookies is a great thing to add,” Wood said. For its Spark Pay system, Capital One does not charge a See COOKIES, Page A-6 County funding request focused on transit plans Letter puts Purple Line, Corridor Cities Transitway as top priorities n BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Getting state money for transit projects will be a main focus for the Montgomery County Council as it submits its transportation priorities to the state delegation. The projects include making sure the Purple Line project and Corridor Cities Transitway are funded, as well as supporting funding for capital improvements to the Metro system. The council voted 9-0 Tuesday to approve a letter from the council members and County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) to be sent to Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring and Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Dist. 14) of Calverton highlighting projects the county would like to see money appropriated for in the state’s budget. Raskin and Kaiser chair the county’s delegations to the state Senate and House of Delegates, respectively. The letter contains 15 projects to be funded for construction and another nine to have funded for development and evaluation. The state has provided part of the funding for the Purple Line, the 16-mile lightrail project that would connect Bethesda and New Carrollton. The county’s letter asks that money be appropriated in case the federal government doesn’t provide its share of money for the project. The letter also asks that state money be provided to fund the second stage of the Corridor Cities Transitway, a bus rapid transit system. Money has already been provided for the first stage that will run from the Shady Grove Metro Station to the Metropolitan Grove MARC station. The second phase is expected to continue north to Clarksburg. See FUNDING, Page A-6 TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Bethany White, a senior at Col. Zadok Magruder High School in Rockville, wins the 55-meter dash at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association indoor track and field state championships Feb. 18 in Hyattsville. She is a member of the 2014 All-Gazette team, which is on B-3. County Council races to feature familiar names Hucker, Barclay, Trachtenberg, Katz, Spiegel, Moore among candidates n BY 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. SPORTS SMALL SQUAD, BIG RESULTS Blake indoor track team only needs five athletes for a top three finish. B-1 RYAN MARSHALL 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. Tuesday was the filing deadline for candidates to be eligible for the June 24 primary election. By 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 candidates had filed to run for seats on the council, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website. Besides Hucker and Barclay, SPECIAL SECTION A NEW ERA FOR ANIMALS Learn all about the new Animal Services and Adoption Center opening soon ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT INSIDE SELECT EDITIONS Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE the District 5 race includes Evan Glass and Jeffrey Thames, who filed for the Democratic primary earlier. Terrill North filed Friday. The seat came open with the resignation of former Councilwoman Valerie Ervin last month. Cherri Branson (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring was appointed to finish our her term as a caretaker, meaning she wouldn’t run for a full term. Besides Berliner, six other council incumbents seek reelection: Council President Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown, Nancy Navarro (DDist. 4) of Silver Spring, Council Vice President George L. Leventhal (D-At Large) of Takoma Park, Marc Elrich (D-At Large) of Takoma Park, Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) of Garrett Park and Hans Riemer (D-At Large) of Takoma Park. Councilman Philip M. Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg is seeking the Democratic nomination for county executive. Navarro faces no challenger in her race. In District 2, Democrat Neda Bolourian and Republican Chris P. Fiotes Jr., both of Gaithersburg, and Republican Dick Jurgena of Germantown have filed to challenge Rice. Democrats Beth Daly of Dickerson and Vivian Malloy of See COUNCIL, Page A-6 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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