Saturday, December 31, 2022

Car stolen from apartment complex in Rockville

Rockville City police responded to report of a stolen vehicle at an apartment complex yesterday morning. The vehicle was reported stolen from a residential parking lot in the 200 block of Congressional Lane. It is believed the vehicle was taken sometime between 1:59 PM on Thursday and 9:00 AM Friday.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Water main break in Derwood

Rising temperatures after the Christmas weekend deep freeze have led to a water main break at this hour in Derwood. The break is right off Redland Road on Grande Vista Drive. WSSC estimates a restoration time of 4-6 hours for the affected customers in that area.

Robbery in Rockville parking lot

Rockville City police are investigating a robbery that occurred in a parking lot on Wednesday morning, December 28, 2022. The robbery was reported in a commercial parking lot in the 1900 block of Veirs Mill Road at 10:35 AM. That's the commercial area in Twinbrook.

Armed carjacking in Derwood area of Rockville

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an armed carjacking at a gas station in Derwood early Wednesday morning, December 28, 2022. The carjacking was reported at a gas station in the 15800 block of Frederick Road at 1:19 AM. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Papaya opens at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The women's boutique chain specializes in fashions for the teenage or petite customer. Prices are kept low by eliminating the middleman; all apparel and accessories are shipped straight to Papaya from the manufacturers themselves. The company has 79 locations nationwide. Look for Papaya on Level 2, next to AT&T.

Adonni's Desserts opens at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

Adonni's Desserts
has opened in the Dining Terrace food court at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. It serves treats usually found at fairs or carnivals, such as fried Oreos and funnel cake fries. Other desserts include warm cookies, sweet potato pie, warm brownies, cake, bread pudding, banana pudding, warm muffins and cookie cups. Come in from the cold for a hot apple cider or hot chocolate at Adonni's Desserts, which is across from 7-Eleven at the food court.

See's Candies closes at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

See's Candies
has closed at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The store was a pop-up shop for the holiday shopping season. See's Candies knows what it's doing, as the company had generated $401 million in revenue by the time last December came to an end. But don't they know Christmas doesn't end until January 6?

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Victim assaulted on street in Rockville

Rockville City police are investigating a 2nd-degree assault that was reported in the Rockville Town Center area yesterday afternoon, December 27, 2022. The assault was reported in the 300 block of Hungerfprd Drive at 3:00 PM Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Construction of RASA Indian restaurant begins in Rockville

Construction is underway at the future location of RASA at 12033 Rockville Pike, in the Montrose Crossing shopping center. This will be the fifth location of the local Indian restaurant chain in the Washington, D.C. region. It replaces Slapfish, which closed in November. Signage for RASA has been installed above the storefront, and you can see that the Slapfish interior has been gutted to make way for the new interior fit-out.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Rockville office building could be replaced by townhomes

A vacant office building at 2115 E. Jefferson Street in Rockville could be demolished and replaced by a townhome development, if the Montgomery County Planning Board approves. Missing Middle Jefferson, LLC, is seeking to build 93 townhouses on the site, stating it has had no luck finding new tenants for the building due to the poor office market and high office vacancy rates of the county. The townhome community will not provide any additional affordable housing beyond the 15% required by Montgomery County. It will provide much more than the required open space, however, with 19.65% green space rather than the 5% minimum. The Planning Board will review the proposal at its January 5, 2023 meeting; planning staff are recommending approval of the project.
Proposed site plan for the new
townhome community

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Car stolen from parking lot in Rockville

Rockville police are investigating the theft of a vehicle from a parking lot Friday morning, December 23, 2022. The vehicle was reported stolen from a commercial parking lot in the 800 block of Rockville Pike at 9:30 AM.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Assault at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda leaves female victim with minor injuries

Montgomery County police were called to Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda on Thursday, December 22, 2022, after a 2nd-degree assault was reported there. The assault was reported at 6:00 PM. @MoCoPGNews reported on Twitter that there was a fight outside of CAVA, which was broken up by Montgomery County police officers who were already at the mall. 

One female victim suffered minor injuries. Officers then searched the mall for the suspect(s) involved. This was the 12th 2nd-degree assault reported at the mall since May 18, and the first since October 18.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Frosty Siberian winds lead to falling trees, power outages across Montgomery County and D.C. area

Darkened apartments along
Georgia Avenue near Wheaton Friday night

It's been a "wild and wooly" day across the Washington, D.C. region and much of the nation, to use the words of the telephone meteorologist of old. Gusty winds that have blown from Siberia and down through Canada joined with a bomb cyclone winter weather event to start Friday with a blast of ice. The winds have stuck around through the evening, leading to many falling limbs and trees, and the resulting power outages.

There are currently 8,459 Pepco customers without power in the D.C. Metro area. Outages are widespread over the entire map of Montgomery County. The most concentrated outages are in the Silver Spring, Wheaton, Calverton, Gaithersburg and Germantown areas. In Rockville, there are significant outages in the King Farm, Twinbrook, West End and College Gardens neighborhoods. Bethesda residents are in the dark in a couple of spots along the Bradley Boulevard corridor, and in Westgate near the D.C. line. Over the border, there are outages in the Palisades and Wesley Heights in Northwest Washington.

The current temperature is 11 degrees. Winds are gusting at 18 MPH, and a wind chill advisory is in effect until 10:00 AM Saturday morning. Be sure to fully cover up if you have to go outside to avoid frostbite. Remember that dark intersections during power outages are to be treated as a four-way stop - but proceed with caution, as many drivers ignore this and will steam through the intersection anyway, or rear-end you if you conscientiously try to stop as the law requires. The best advice is to stay off the roads if you can.

Van Hollen secures funding for NIST, NIH in U.S. Senate omnibus spending package

A massive $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill for FY-2023 passed by the United States Senate yesterday will include substantial funding for two major federal employers in Montgomery County, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen pressed for those and other Maryland priorities in the controversial and complicated negotiations and agreement. The deal found some Republican senators joining with the Democratic majority in an attempt to lock in spending before the GOP gains control of the House of Representatives in January.

The Senate deal includes $48 billion for NIH, and $1.7 billion for NIST. It also includes renovation funds for a failing bridge over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Goddard Flight Center. Van Hollen and other Democrats lamented they could not get other priorities filled in the agreement, but considered the end run around potential GOP cuts in next year's session to be a success worth compromising for. "While I was deeply disappointed that Republicans refused to support a number of key priorities, it was vital that we pass a new government funding bill instead of kicking the can down the road," Van Hollen said in a statement late yesterday afternoon. "On balance, this package will meaningfully invest in the critical priorities of our state and nation.”

Senate Republicans who voted for the bill were Roy Blunt (Missouri), John Boozman (Arkansas), Shelley Capito (West Virginia), Susan Collins (Maine), John Cornyn (Texas), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Richard Shelby (Alabama), John Thune (South Dakota), Roger Wicker (Mississippi) and Todd Young (Indiana). The majority of them have already publicly distanced themselves from President Donald Trump in varying degrees.

Assault at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville

Montgomery County police were called to Richard Montgomery High School Wednesday afternoon, December 21, 2022, to investigate a 2nd-degree assault reported on the campus. The assault was reported at 2:35 PM on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Car stolen from dealership in Rockville

Rockville City police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle at an auto dealership yesterday afternoon, December 21, 2022. The vehicle was reported stolen at a dealership in the 1300 block of Rockville Pike at 2:15 PM on Wednesday. There is a new Tesla dealership on that block.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Rockville biotech firm Immunocore wins Prix Galien France award

, a biotech firm located at 2273 Research Boulevard in Rockville, has won a prestigious Prix Galien France award. It received the honor for its breakthrough therapeutic, KIMMTRAK, the world's first T cell receptor therapy. Immunocore took home that award in the "Medicine in Innovative Therapeutics" category. KIMMTRAK is the only therapy approved for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma, and the first bispecific T cell engager to receive regulatory approval to treat a solid tumor.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award, which is a reflection of the impact of this novel treatment for patients and the innovative technology behind it,” Immunocore CEO Bahija Jallal said in a statement. “This award is also a tribute to the teams at Immunocore who have taken KIMMTRAK from bench to bedside, and those working on our future therapies that could benefit more patients living with cancer, as well as infectious diseases and autoimmune conditions.” KIMMTRAK received FDA approval this past January. Immunocore's press release notes that the Prix Galien France awards are considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the biopharmaceutical research field.

Photo courtesy Immunocore

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Water main break in Rockville

There is a water main break in the area of 500 N. Washington Street in Rockville. A City of Rockville Public Works crew is now on-site making repairs. The right southbound lane of N. Washington Street is currently closed. 401 and 500 N. Washington Street are currently without water service until the repair is completed.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Man who threatened Rockville cannabis dispensary headed to federal prison

A Seattle man who police say phoned in homicidal threats to a Rockville cannabis dispensary on September 11, 2021, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison. Joey George, 37, admitted calling multiple businesses nationwide and threatening to kill African-American and Latino people. He made the admission as part of a plea agreement in the case of his telephone threats to the Tops Market in Buffalo two months after a mass shooting took place there. 

George's threatening calls to the unidentified Rockville marijuana dispensary caused the business to temporarily close and hire security. The dispensary owners estimated their financial loss to be more than $50,000, the United States Department of Justice said in a statement. George has agreed to make financial restitution to the dispensary, and to the other businesses that he threatened around the country.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Derwood Wendy's renovation update (Photos)

You can see some significant cosmetic changes on the exterior of the Wendy's at 15807 Frederick Road in Derwood now. The restaurant is temporarily closed for a major renovation project. There are now long, black strips along the top area of the facade on the side of the building. Tyvek covers the center of that area, above the side entrance.

Where there was a stone facade cover at the front corner, you can see red peeking out from underneath a Reynobond covering. Construction materials are laid out in the parking area. While you are waiting for the Wendy's of the Future here, the Rockville Wendy's at 808 Rockville Pike is open and ready to take your Baconator and Chocolate Frosty order.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken opening in Rockville

Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken
is opening soon at 16248 Frederick Road in Rockville, in the new Rock Grove shopping center. Signage was just installed over the future restaurant's storefront. Rise was founded in Durham, North Carolina in 2012. It has since expanded to 17 restaurants in North Carolina, Kansas, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

It sounds like Rise will check many boxes for diners. They have tenderized, buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwiches, and creative donuts. Their buttermilk cheddar biscuits should appeal to Red Lobster fans, but with the bonus of fillings that range from bacon or sausage to fried green tomatoes or fried chicken. Rise has a signature side dish of Cheddar Tots. And who could resist a Cheerwine donut?

There is no waitstaff at Rise, just a "swift service line," their website notes. The chain was named one of the Top 100 Movers and Shakers last year by Rockville diners will even be able to judge who has the better donut at Rock Grove on the premises, Rise or Dunkin'?

Police called after assault at grocery store in Rockville

Rockville City police were called to a grocery store in the Rockville Town Center area yesterday morning, after an individual reported being the victim of a 2nd-degree assault there. The assault was reported at a store in the 200 block of N. Washington Street at 10:20 AM Friday, December 16, 2022. A suspect was accused of shoplifting at the store, as well. Dawson's Market is located on that block.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Downtown Brews to open in Rockville

Downtown Brews
will be opening soon at 5751-E Fishers Lane in The Alaire apartment building in Rockville. The shop will sell beer, wine and coffee. It will be open from 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM seven days a week. This space was formerly home to Downtown Beer and Wine.

Car stolen from parking lot in Rockville

Montgomery County police are investigating the theft of a vehicle from a parking lot in Rockville on Tuesday, December 14, 2022. The vehicle was stolen from a commercial parking lot in the 5600 block of Fishers Lane. It is believed the vehicle was taken sometime between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM.

Rockville Sport & Health rebranding as Onelife Fitness

The Rockville location of Sport & Health is being rebranded as Onelife Fitness. Located at 11594 Old Georgetown Road at Pike & Rose, the gym is one of eight Sport & Health clubs still operating under that name. Corporate owner U.S. Fitness Holdings, LLC is now bringing those locations into the Onelife Fitness portfolio all of its other clubs operate under. The signage hasn't been changed yet here, but a banner has been placed out front to announce the change.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Update on Hulu Skewer House, opening soon in Rockville (Photos)

Hulu Skewer House
looks close to opening at 1488-B Rockville Pike. The restaurant is promising "the most authentic Chinese BBQ experience in Maryland." Tables and seating are in place in the dining room, and the permanent sign has been installed. Last night, it was already lit. While we await an official opening date announcement, take a sneak peek at their menu, from a website where you will be able to make online pickup or delivery orders directly from the restaurant when it opens.

Nationwide romaine lettuce shortage temporarily nixes Caesar salad at Montgomery Mall's Frank Pepe Pizzeria

A nationwide romaine lettuce shortage discussed in the media since November is now hitting home at Frank Pepe Pizzeria at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The pizza parlor is unable to offer its Caesar salad at this time, due to the shortage, a sign at the business says. Romaine lettuce prices have doubled due to the shortage, which has been blamed on a insect-spread virus that killed off 70-80% of some farmers' lettuce crops this year. 

A massive fire destroyed a major produce packing plant in Salinas, California earlier this year, knocking out a facility that "provides a majority of west coast food service customers with fresh lettuce and vegetables" until 2023. Months later, no cause for the fire has been positively identified. Investigators noted that maintenance workers were performing welding work at the facility the day the fire started. It was one of several major food processing plants destroyed by fire earlier this year across the country, which has contributed to pandemic-related supply chain issues.