Thursday, June 30, 2022

Victim assaulted in vehicle in Rockville

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a 2nd-degree assault in Rockville yesterday afternoon. The assault was reported in a vehicle in the 14700 block of Avery Road at 1:20 PM. That's near RedGate Park and Avery House.

Homesense opens in Rockville (Photos)

has opened at the Montrose Crossing shopping center on Rockville Pike. The shelves are jam-packed with home decor and improvement items, and furnishings and lighting fixtures abound on the sales floor. Logo color-coordinated shopping carts look sharp. Prices are stated to be 20-60% below Homesense's competitors.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dairy Queen closes at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda (Photos)

Sad news for Dairy Queen fans, including me. Dairy Queen has closed at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Last night, the Dairy Queen stall was shuttered and dark. Menu boards and a significant amount of equipment had been removed, but the sign was still up. Today, a mall spokesperson confirmed that Dairy Queen has permanently closed. 

Car stolen from home in Rockville

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the Fallsgrove area of Rockville yesterday morning. The vehicle was parked outside of a townhome in the 300 block of Casey Lane. It is believed the car was stolen sometime between 10:00 PM Monday night, and 6:05 AM Tuesday morning.

Bethesda resident and Honest Tea founder returns with Just Ice Tea

Seth Goldman
, Bethesda resident and founder of Honest Tea, has hinted at a comeback, after Coca-Cola acquired but recently dropped it from its product line. This morning, Goldman revealed that his new beverage brand will be called Just Ice Tea. He said he will once again ground the new brand in the principles on which he founded Honest Tea: Fair Trade certification, reinvesting in workers' communities, and avoiding synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers. 

Minimal ingredients and sweeteners will be employed in the new flavors. Goldman tweeted that the new line of teas will appear on store shelves "in a few months." Montgomery County residents are looking forward to again seeing a local Bethesda address on their tea bottles before year's end.

Aria Halal Supermarket opens in Rockville

Aria Halal Supermarket
has opened at 811 Hungerford Drive at the Saah Plaza in Rockville. The store features high-quality meats, fresh-baked bread and fresh produce. It is in the former Ranger Surplus space, a block north of Flagship Car Wash. The store's operating hours are 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM, seven days a week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Hans Riemer TV ad makes closing argument he is the "Best Guy" for Montgomery County Executive

Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer (D - At Large) is launching an ad blitz on cable, streaming services, and - tomorrow - broadcast television, to make the closing argument that he is the "best guy" to serve as Montgomery County Executive. Interspersed with scenes of Riemer with family and meeting constituents around the county, the ad takes some sharp swipes at his opponents in the July 19 Democratic primary, businessman David Blair and incumbent County Executive Marc Elrich.

"Blair's tryin' to buy it," the narrator says over an image of a business-suited Blair, who has spent record amounts of his own money in his two campaigns for the executive seat. According to The Washington Post, Blair has spent $2.5 million on this year's campaign, and dropped $5.4 million in his 2018 run in which he lost to Elrich by only 77 votes. The most expensive County-level campaigns in history earn him a "Rich Guy Blair" moniker in Riemer's ad.

"Current Guy" Elrich let bars stay open late, while schools were forced to stay closed, the ad recalls from recent pandemic history. The spot hones in on education issues through the narrative that Riemer is the only executive candidate with children in County public schools, that he will support univeral pre-K. Riemer will keep schools open, the narrator promises, while providing mental health services to address the widely-acknowledged impact of the pandemic and closures on children. Elrich is also criticized in the ad for blocking forced vaccinations for County employees.

Riemer, the ad concludes, is the "Best Guy" for the job. "Good thing we've got Hans Riemer," the narrator states, as a quote from the Post is superimposed on the screen citing Riemer as a " leader."

The Post, as many expected, once again endorsed Blair. But its endorsement editorial was also effusive in praise of Riemer, and notably did not criticize him, weakening its argument for Blair in the context that both men are neck-and-neck in what little polling has been done. The Post has had incredible sway over Democratic voters since it was purchased by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; prior to Bezos' acquisition, voters had often ignored the Post's endorsements. While the harshly anti-labor editorial board's Ahab-like pursuit of its nemesis Elrich fell short in 2018, the razor-thin margin again showed the grip the Post now has on many voters. When the Post editorial board says, "Jump!" a surprising number of voters these days ask, "How high?"

Along with the question of the Post's influence on the election result will be the impact of Republican and independent voters who plan to vote in this Democratic primary. An informal movement in 2018 has become more organized in 2022, and has been given a push by backers of Blair, a former Republican himself. Switch to the Democratic Party for July, then switch back to GOP or independent affiliation in August, voters are being told online. The suggestion has been appealing this time around for many public and private school parents furious over pandemic school closures, and County interference in the operations of private schools during that period.

Polling has suggested these party-switching voters are currently splitting their vote between Blair and Riemer. Elrich - the most popular politician in Montgomery County by total votes over the years - appears to be retaining his base of progressives and residents concerned about the overwhelming influence of developers on County zoning and planning decisions, such as the controversial Thrive 2050 plan, which would allow replacement of single-family houses with duplexes, triplexes and small apartment buildings.

The ad buy is critical for Riemer. Blair has been hitting the local TV airwaves hard for several weeks. Riemer's campaign feels it is in a good position to respond now, with a $1 million fundraising haul comprised of small donors and corresponding public financing.

“Our campaign plan is right on schedule. I’m confident that voters will pick Hans when introduced to him in what’s clearly a three way race,“ Riemer campaign manager Aziz Yakub said in a statement. “David Blair has $6 million and Marc Elrich has insider special interest groups. We have people power and motivated voters, and that will matter most on July 19th.” Upcounty businessman Peter James is also running in the Democratic primary. Early voting begins July 7.

Car crashes into Tiger Sugar in Rockville

A driver crashed their vehicle into Tiger Sugar at 12266-E Rockville Pike at Federal Plaza last night. According to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer, no injuries were reported, but he said the County will inspect the structure to determine the extent of the damage. However, a witness told The MoCo Show, when it first reported the crash last night, that the driver was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries. 

A large board has been placed over the damaged area today. If you look closely, you'll notice a column at the curb in front of the shop was destroyed by the vehicle, as well. Tiger Sugar is temporarily closed due to the incident.

Donald Trump phones in to rally for GOP Maryland governor candidate Dan Cox

Maryland governor hopeful Delegate Dan Cox (R) got an assist from his highest-profile endorser, President Donald Trump, at a rally this past weekend in Carroll County. "We're going to get rid of the stench of Larry Hogan," Trump vowed to rallygoers by speakerphone, referring to the current Maryland governor, who has been one of the most prominent never-Trump Republicans in America over the last six years. Hogan was again on Trump's mind, as he praised Cox as his choice over Hogan-endorsed Kelly Schulz in the contest.

"Dan is MAGA all the way and I say that very strongly," Trump said on the call, "unlike his opponent named Kelly Schulz who is, along with Larry Hogan, bad news. And I'll tell you, Larry Hogan is bad news. He's a RINO." Trump promised that Cox would do "a full forensic audit" of the 2020 election, and cut taxes and regulations. "I’ve known Dan for awhile and he’s a great, highly respected lawyer, he’s tough and smart, and as a businessman very successful. He fought really hard to expose the 2020 election scam," Trump added.

Trump also praised Cox's running mate, Gordana Schifanelli, calling her "fantastic," and the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, who was the headlining guest of the rally. He also complimented the boisterous crowd, who chanted, "Trump, Trump, Trump!"

"Go out and get Dan Cox elected," Trump exhorted attendees at the Hampstead rally. "You’ve got to go out and you’ve got to vote for Dan Cox. I love you all and Dan, to Dan I say, you’re a great, courageous patriot, you’re going to win, and you’re going to win big." “It was a tremendous honor to host the President of the United States at my campaign Rally via live telephone," Cox said in a statement, "and once again President Trump provided a momentous point in our campaign." Former delegate Robin Ficker and attorney Joe Werner are also running for the GOP nomination in the July 19 primary. Early voting begins July 7.

Photo via

Monday, June 27, 2022

Rockville and Montgomery County fireworks displays 2022 - Where to watch fireworks

Who needs the hassle of riding Metro downtown, or getting caught up in the Independence Day traffic, when there are many other fireworks shows right here in Montgomery County - most private - that can be viewed from nearby parking lots. Just remember not to trespass on private property. If you are within two blocks of a professional fireworks launch site, consider wearing hearing protection to avoid developing tinnitus or hearing loss, especially for children.

Let's take a look at what the fine country clubs and other organizations have in store for us this July 4th holiday of 2022:

Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Potomac

Columbia Country Club - June 28/9:10 PM
Congressional Country Club - July 3/9:15 PM
Kenwood Golf & Country Club - June 30/9:00 PM

Gaithersburg (PUBLIC)

Bohrer Park - July 2/9:20 PM

Germantown (PUBLIC)

South Germantown Recreational Park - July 4/9:15 PM
(18041 Central Park Circle in Germantown/Concert 7:00 PM/No alcohol/No pets/"Low" lawn chairs, blankets & coolers permitted)


Montgomery Country Club - July 1/9:20 PM

Poolesville (PUBLIC)

Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department at soccer fields on Hughes Road at Sugarland Road - July 4
(Event begins 5:00 PM, fireworks "after dark"/Parking $5.00/No alcohol/No pets/Coolers will be inspected)


Manor Country Club - July 1/9:00 PM
Norbeck Country Club - June 30/9:20 PM
Mattie JT Stepanek Park - July 4/9:15 PM (PUBLIC)

Silver Spring

Argyle Country Club - July 1/9:00 PM

Wheaton (PUBLIC)

Albert Einstein High School - July 2/9:15 PM
(Event begins with concert at 6:00 PM/Disabled parking only on-site/Park at Westfield Wheaton Mall beginning at 5:30 PM and take free shuttle to Einstein HS/No alcohol/No pets/"Low" lawn chairs, blankets & coolers permitted)

Photo courtesy Warner Brothers

Hangry Joe's Hot Chicken opening new Rockville location (Photos)

Hangry Joe's Hot Chicken
is opening a new Rockville location. It will be at 718-B Rockville Pike, next to Roy Rogers. This sets up a battle royale of chicken sandwiches, with Roy's famous Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich. Hangry Joe's is expanding rapidly in Montgomery County, with a location in Wheaton, and another opening soon at Travilah Square in Rockville.

Sweet Frog yogurt founder Derek Cha teamed with partner Mike Kim on the Hangry Joe's concept, inspired by hot chicken sandwiches they ate in Nashville and San Francisco. This will be the chain's fourth Maryland location; there is one in Annapolis. A fifth is planned for Gaithersburg.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Assault at Rockville grocery store

Rockville City police officers responded to a report of a 2nd-degree assault at a grocery store Friday afternoon, June 24, 2022. The assault was reported at a supermarket in the 1900 block of Veirs Mill Road in the Twinbrook area at 2:51 PM. A suspect was also accused of shoplifting in the incident. Lotte Plaza Market is located on that block.

Strong-arm rape reported in Rockville

Rockville City police responded to a report of a strong-arm rape on Rockville Pike yesterday morning, June 25, 2022. The sexual assault was reported in the 200 block of Rockville Pike at 5:00 AM Saturday, according to crime data.

Friday, June 24, 2022

UPDATED: Donald Trump-endorsed Maryland governor hopeful Dan Cox to hold car rally in Bethesda

UPDATE - June 25, 2022, 10:11 PM: A representative of the Cox campaign said she has been in touch with the event organizers, and that they have not mentioned any change in plans for Sunday's rally as of this hour.

UPDATE - June 25, 2022, 8:38 AMA public relations firm representing Westfield Montgomery Mall issued the following statement regarding Sunday's rally: "We were just made aware of this event—permission to use the property was never requested or granted. We have contacted the organization hosting the rally to let them know they need to find an alternate location." Stay tuned for further updates.

Concerned Americans Seeking Truth will host a car rally for Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda this Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 10:00 AM. "Bring your cars, vans, SUVs, trucks and parade with us to support Dan Cox for governor of the great state of Maryland," the event announcement reads. Cox, a Maryland state delegate from Frederick County, has been endorsed by President Donald Trump. He faces Gov. Larry Hogan-endorsed Kelly Schulz, attorney and former state delegate Robin Ficker, and attorney Joe Werner in the July 19 GOP primary.

Rockville Wegmans/Twinbrook Quarter construction update (Photos)

A complex job of concrete pouring is the major task at the Phase 1 construction site of B.F. Saul's Twinbrook Quarter development in Rockville, at the corner of Rockville Pike and Halpine Road. Below-grade concrete pours are now 50% complete at the mixed-use development, which will be anchored by an eagerly-awaited Wegmans grocery store. B.F. Saul anticipates all below-grade concrete pours to be complete by the end of the summer. 

Pouring for all three levels of the parking garage is already complete at one corner of the site, and is slowly progressing across the rest. If you'd like a sample of what to expect when Wegmans opens here, check out the new Wegmans at City Ridge in Northwest Washington, D.C. when it opens July 13, 2022.

Rockville Red Roof Inn homicide victim identified, two suspects charged

Two suspects have been charged in the shooting death of a man late Wednesday night at the Red Roof Inn at 16001 Shady Grove Road in Rockville. Micah Clemons, 32, of Dumfries, Virginia and Sergey Danshin, 34, of Rockville have both been charged with first-degree murder and firearm related charges. Both are being held without bond.  Montgomery County police identified the victim as 39-year-old Javier Gonzalez-Mena, of no known address.

Gonzalez-Mena was staying at the motel, police say. The two suspects knocked on the door of his room, and he stepped outside to speak with them. He was then shot; police did not identify who the alleged shooter was. Montgomery County police say they were called to respond to a shooting at the motel at 11:30 PM on Wednesday, June 22, contradicting an earlier statement by Rockville City police that cited the response time as 12:15 AM Thursday, June 23.

Detectives from the Major Crimes Division are asking anyone who has information about this homicide to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070 or contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).  A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the homicide suspect(s). Callers can remain anonymous. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Shooting at Red Roof Inn in Rockville now a homicide after victim dies

A shooting at the Red Roof Inn in Rockville early this morning has become a homicide case after the victim died, Rockville City police said in a statement today. Rockville officers arrived at the hotel at 16001 Shady Grove Road at 12:15 AM this morning and found an adult male victim suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Due to the severity of the victim's condition, the investigation was transferred to the Montgomery County Police Department. 

Montgomery County detectives have now declared the case a homicide, after the victim was later declared deceased from his injuries. According to the Rockville police, multiple suspects have already been arrested. The Rockville police statement indicates that the incident was isolated, and that there is no danger to the greater community. Montgomery County police are expected to issue a statement on the homicide in the near future.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Rockville car dealership targeted by car thieves for the 2nd time in a week

Car thieves appear to be targeting auto dealerships in Rockville over the past week. Last Thursday, a vehicle was stolen from a used car dealership on Carroll Avenue. Monday afternoon, a car was reported stolen from another dealership in the 15600 block of Frederick Road at 4:00 PM. Rockville City police responded to the scene to investigate the theft.

Fangyan opening store at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

has leased a space at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Signage has been installed outside the storefront. Fangyan is a Gaithersburg-based importer of emerging Chinese fashion labels now moving into bricks-and-mortar stores. Its first store was opened on M Street in the District.

Sayki opens at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda (Photos)

has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The boutique features fine menswear and accessories from Turkey. This is Sayki's sixth U.S. location. Look for Sayki on Level 1 in the former Michael Kors space.