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& ‘DESERT’ STORM Family drama stirs up a battle of emotions. B-6 The Gazette SILVER SPRING | TAKOMA PARK | BURTONSVILLE DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, April 9, 2014 25 cents Still no firm date for transit center opening Availability of Silver Spring project could depend on whether further work needs to be done n BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER As spring brings warmer temperatures, crews will soon begin work on some of the final stages of the Silver Spring Transit Center. But when the facility, at the corner of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue, will be open to residents is still an open question and could depend on whether more work will be needed to help secure the facil- ity’s interior beams. That could delay the opening for up to a year or more. The project has been in the works for years and the facility was originally scheduled to open in 2011. Soon, crews will begin laying latex-modified concrete in an effort to correct cracks in the building. In addition, a county consultant’s March 2013 analysis revealed concerns about stress on the facility’s interior beams and girders, David Dise, director of the county’s Department of General Services, told the County Council during a briefing Tuesday. To fix those cracks, the con- See OPENING, Page A-12 BILL RYAN/THE GAZETTE The final auditions for Redskins cheerleaders at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club were on Sunday. Newest ‘first ladies of football’ MAKE THE CUT Women balance careers, other commitments with passion for dance n ELIZABETH WAIBEL BY 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. DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE 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 as “working dancers,” holding down full-time jobs “I am disappointed that it has become an issue of process,” says Jose Dominguez, executive director of Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, of the nonprofit’s dispute with the county. Arts group could lose its space in Silver Spring Dispute centers on right of way needed for transit center n See CUT, Page A-12 BY Maryland passes law for pre-kindergarten grants n New program to direct funds to public, 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 full-day 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, half-day See GRANTS, Page A-12 NEWS Georgetown Prep freshman golfer views life differently after facing down brain cancer. Volunteers help remove invasive plants around the county. FINDING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE B-1 1910233 A nonprofit arts center offering free arts classes may get edged out of space it was promised in the new Silver Spring Library. The library, at the corner of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue, is scheduled to open in the fall. The plan was to let Pyramid Atlantic lease 15,500 square feet on the ground floor, and in exchange the nonprofit would offer free art classes to county residents. The nonprofit also would be responsible for building out the library space, includ- pre-kindergarten 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 pre- SPORTS WEED WARRIORS WAGE WAR A-15 Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please ALINE BARROS STAFF WRITER ing interior walls and utilities at an estimated cost of $1.3 million, according to Jose Dominguez, the nonprofit’s executive director. That deal, however, hinged on the transfer of a right of way Pyramid Atlantic owned on its Georgia Avenue site that is needed for the new Silver Spring Transit Center. But, when the group entered into a contract to sell the property at 8230 Georgia Ave. to Harvey Maisel for $2.5 million, the agreement failed to include the right of way transfer to the county. A Montgomery County staff report is now recommending the County Council block or delay approval of Pyramid Atlan- See ARTS, Page A-12 B-16 A-13 A-2 B-11 B-6 A-16 A-14 B-1 RECYCLE Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION

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