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& JINGLE BELL CLOCKED Adventure Theatre-MTC recounts classic Christmas tune. A-11 The Gazette SILVER SPRING | TAKOMA PARK | BURTONSVILLE DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, November 27, 2013 25 cents Residents reject Army’s fence for Silver Spring trail Fence would close off possible contamination at Forest Glen Annex n C O U N T Y T R U A N C Y BY STAFF WRITER COURT-STYLE PREVENTION PROGRAM LOOKS BEYOND ATTENDANCE n DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE University of Baltimore School of Law student Andrea Bento (left) and assistant state’s attorney George Simms (right) listen to a student during Truancy Court at A. Mario Loiederman Middle School in Silver Spring. students seats GETTING BACK IN LINDSAY A. POWERS AND ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH BY M STAFF WRITERS ontgomery County students who repeatedly miss class are getting guidance from unlikely allies: local prosecutors and judges. In a program that spread to the county from Baltimore in 2010, Montgomery County prosecutors and a local judge meet with students facing a range of attendance issues, from persistent lateness to chronic absence. According to a report by Montgomery County’s Office of Legislative Oversight, “habitual truancy” is defined as missing 18 days in a semester or 36 days of school in a school year. About 984 county public school students were habitually truant in 2009, including about 627 in high school, the report HABITUAL TRUANCY Montgomery County Public Schools’ habitual truancy rate has increased slightly in recent years as Maryland’s rate has decreased. “Habitual truancy” is defined as missing 18 days in a semester or 36 days of school in a school year, according to a report by Montgomery County’s Office of Legislative Oversight. 2.5 2.0 STATE 2.32% 1.93% 2.25% 1.89% 1.80% 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 2008-09 Community members had a strong message for the authorities at the Forest Glen Annex: Don’t fence off our trail. Neighboring residents have long opposed a fence for the Ireland Drive trail in Silver Spring, where syringes and scalpels were found in 2012. The trail runs along the southwestern edge of the Forest Glen Annex. On Thursday evening, residents met with Army Col. Steven P. Middlecamp, garrison commander at Fort Detrick, to state their case for keeping the potential safety hazard open to the public. The military installation in Frederick assumed control of the Forest Glen and Glen Haven areas, totaling 147 acres, in 2008. An Army contractor found this year that the debris could be part of larger landfills under the annex’s ballfields. Medical waste may have originated from one of two landfill sites on the annex — one near the commissary and one near the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research — where household waste, office waste, incinerator ash and medical waste were dumped from the 1940s to the 1960s. Members of the Restoration Advisory Board — which includes representatives from the Army, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, local government officials and community members — said they recognize the risk, but still want to enjoy the park. “You’ve got an incredibly beautiful dump there,” board member Roger Paden told Middlecamp. According Don Hall, the board’s co-chairman, several board members met privately in September to discuss a fence the Army proposed to close off the end of the trail and keep the public away from the suspected landfill sites. See TRAIL, Page A-9 MONTGOMERY 0.72% SYLVIA CARIGNAN 0.63% 0.40% 2009-10 1.13% 2010-11 1.08% 2011-12 Cymbalism 2012-13 SOURCE: MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION says. The same year, more than 8,600 students were chronically absent, missing 20 or more days of school. Montgomery County ranks in the middle of the pack among Maryland counties’ habitual truancy rates. The Truancy Court Program is in five Montgomery County See TRUANCY, Page A-10 Board member gauges interest in a new co-op Silver Spring store shut down in October; Takoma Park store still open n BY ALINE BARROS STAFF WRITER Mark Hersh, a board member for the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op — which closed its Silver Spring store on Oct. 15 — is trying to spark community interest in a new local store. The co-op’s Takoma Park store remains open at 201 Ethan Allen Ave. in Takoma Park. NEWS ONCE IN A LIFETIME This year, the first full day of Hannukah is the same day as Thanksgiving, which hasn’t happened since 1888. A-4 Hersh is trying to find a new group and location for a Silver Spring store, replacing the one that closed at 8309 Grubb Road. On Saturday, he organized a meeting at the Rock Creek Sports Club. Twelve people showed up to discuss the first steps to open a new Silver Spring store with organic produce from local vendors. “We got some good people together,” Hersh said. He said the purpose of the meeting was to inform people about the co-op planning process and how they can get involved and volun- teer. To open a new grocery store, he said, enough people need to be willing to work together to elect a board; develop a common goal; create a budget; and study the community for possible interest and a potential location, Hersh said. After 51 profitable months and 89 months of losses, the co-op’s board decided to close the grocery store. Fiscal year 2013 was a “mixed bag with the SPORTS A PATH WITH MANY DETOURS Magruder High School grad recovers from serious blood clot, pursues dream of playing professional soccer. B-1 See CO-OP, Page A-9 Automotive Business Calendar Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Sam Cui of Gaithersburg leads the Flaun Dafa at the annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving parade as it marches through downtown Silver Spring on Saturday morning. B-13 B-5 A-2 B-9 A-11 A-8 A-6 B-1 Check out our Services Directory ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906197

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