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Montgomery County Police Hunt For The Suspect

GERMANTOWN, MD (WUSA)--Residents of a Montgomery County independent living center are on edge after an 86 year-old woman was raped in her apartment there. Now, police are looking for the suspect and it may not be the first time he's committed such a brutal crime.

Evening Hayrides at Butler’s Orchard

The 300 acre family owned farm in Germantown, MD is offering a tractor-driven hayride around the farm. Afterward, gather around a crackling bonfire where you can enjoy the refreshments and entertainment you have brought.

At Butler’s, you can also visit the market where this is a wide assortment of fruits & vegetables, jams & jellies, honey, maple syrup, gourmet condiments, apple cider, and a variety of handmade gifts and flowers.

You can even pick your own produce with the selection of strawberries, blueberries, peas, tart cherries, thorn less blackberries, red raspberries, pumpkins, apples, peas, pumpkins and Christmas trees.

For more information on this event and Butler’s Orchard, please visit: http://www.butlersorchard.com/

Family Events Galore at the Germantown Library

Thursday August 19, 1pm to 2pm: Mike Rose Magic comes to perform mind blowing interactive magic shows for children and teens. Seating is limited. Free tickets are available at the Library beginning Tuesday prior to the program.

Saturday August 21, 10:30am-11:30pm: Rainbow Co. presents "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble." Check out the picture book ahead of time for special reading. Seating is limited. Free tickets are available at the Library beginning Tuesday before the program.

Wednesday August 25, 7pm to 8:30pm: Master Gardeners from Montgomery County Cooperative Extension will be on the ground floor of the Library to answer gardening questions.


Family of Alaska Plane Crash Victim Returns to Maryland

The Associated Press reports the family of a Maryland father and son who were on board the plane that crashed in Alaska last week is preparing to return home.

Bill Phillips of Germantown, Md., served on former Sen. Ted Stevens' staff for five years and died in the crash with Stevens. Phillips' 13-year-old son, Willy, survived and remains hospitalized.

A funeral Mass for Bill Phillips is planned Friday at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac.

Pepco Defends Storm Response To Maryland Regulators

BALTIMORE (WUSA/AP) -- Pepco is defending its response to recent storms that left many without power for days to Maryland utility regulators.

But during a hearing before the Maryland Public Service Commission on Tuesday Pepco officials also admitted that they've had problems communicating with customers.

The PSC noted in its order calling Tuesday's hearing that outages since late July have affected nearly a half million customers and customers complain the company has not communicated effectively during outages.

PSC Chairman Douglas Nazarin engaged in a long round of questioning. He says from hundreds of letters and complaints, the perception among customers is that "the power goes out too often, too easily, and takes too long to restore."

School Lunches Affected by Slow Economy and Budget Cuts

Education Week reports that due to summer school and transportation budget cuts in Montgomery County schools (and in counties across the country) fewer children are getting free lunches in at least one school district.

The recession has made an impact in school lunch and nutrition programs funded by the Department of Agriculture.  The number of free lunches provided to children in the summer has dropped drastically, and the outcome is proving to be detrimental to low income families.

While the cuts in free lunch assistance are heavy this summer, the program should be stabilized for the fall school year.

To read more, visit: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/08/16/01nutrition.h30.html?tkn=MMLFZq6PoVB8iFvgg7dQ1KSCyQH0m549TsDC&cmp=clp-edweek

Montgomery County Council Members Meet Head-On with Pepco

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, Vice President Valerie Ervin and Council members Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro and Duchy Trachtenberg are set to meet in Baltimore on August 17 with Pepco’s chief operating officer and senior officials as the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) performs “a proceeding to investigate the reliability of Potomac Electric Power Company’s (Pepco) electric distribution system and the quality of electric distribution service that Pepco is providing its customers.”

According to the Commission, Pepco’s response to power outages and their communication with customers has been far from superior with the recent summer thunderstorms that have occurred in the area.

The continual year-round power outages that occur in Montgomery County have made the need for a more trustworthy electric company a “top priority”, says President Floreen.