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Montgomery County to Get $2.6M for Snow Removal

(AP)-Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Montgomery County will receive $2.6 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover some of the costs for snow removal last December.

Mikulski said Friday that the agency had allocated the money to the state of Maryland.

A federal disaster declaration after the heavy snow storm made federal funding available to state and local governments for their cleanup costs.

On Thursday, FEMA also awarded funds to the District of Columbia, Virginia and Baltimore County.

Chevy Chase Breaks Ground on the Brookville Road Sidewalk

The public is invited to the October 2 Groundbreaking Event at 9:00 a.m.

Chevy Chase Village will officially break ground on the Brookville Road Sidewalk Project on Saturday, October 2, at 9:00 a.m. The groundbreaking will take place along the sidewalk’s path located in front of the Brookville Road Park at the intersection of Brookville Road and Quincy Street. The current effort to install a pedestrian sidewalk along Brookville Road began five years ago in response to residents’ requests for a sidewalk alongBrookville Road between East Irving Street and the existing sidewalk installed by the Village of Martin’s Additions. The installation of this sidewalk is fully funded by revenues from Chevy Chase Village’s SafeSpeed Program (photo speed monitoring cameras).

4-H Youth Learn and Lead on Water Quality and the Environment

The third annual 4-H National Youth Science Day will bring together hundreds of thousands of young people across the nation to simultaneously conduct the 2010 National Science Experiment, 4-H?O.

Washington, DC students from Hearst Elementary School, Sidwell Friends School and homeschools will come together to participate in an event to celebrate 4-H National Youth Science Day and conduct this year’s National Science Experiment.  For this public/private partnership event, more than 200 students will learn about the importance of water quality and its impact on the environment as they complete a three-tiered experiment to discover how to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Court Orders Vote On Montgomery Co. Ambulance Fee

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Maryland's highest court has ordered a public vote on a recently passed ambulance fee in Montgomery County.

The Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a lower court ruling and ordered the referendum on the ballot for Nov. 2.

The lower court had ruled that elections officials were correct to bar referendums because thousands of people signed their names on petition forms in a manner that conflicted with state law. The county board of elections rejected thousands of petition signatures, including illegible ones and some from people who signed without a middle initial.ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Maryland's highest court has ordered a public vote on a recently passed ambulance fee in Montgomery County.

The Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a lower court ruling and ordered the referendum on the ballot for Nov. 2.

Handsfree In Maryland

LAUREL, Md. (WUSA) - - The first time you're caught driving in Maryland with your cell phone to your ear it will cost you $40.00 every violation after that carries a penalty of $100 and a point on your driving record.

"People really get distracted when they're on their phone," said Tia Goodwater.

MORE: 9NEWS NOW's Great Hang Up Campaign

But admit it. We've all done it before.

Roger Sullivan said, "I feel a need to see what's happening in my other world when i'm driving so it is a temptation."

"Yes, I have and it's dangerous because i have a kid and i shouldn't be doing it," admitted Sherreen Tolliver.

"It's going to be difficult to enforce." 

County Facing $140M Shortfall for Fiscal 2012

The Gazette reports that Montgomery County has a $145 million budget shortfall that officials already have identified for fiscal 2012, which begins next July.

On Tuesday, county officials told the County Council that known expenditures will be 4.3 percent higher in fiscal 2012 than this year. A fiscal plan approved by the council earlier this year allows for growth of one-tenth of one percent.

To help curb government expenses, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has directed all county agencies to prepare to trim their budgets by as much as 15 percent. County spokesman Patrick K. Lacefield said such a scenario might not even be the worst case if decisions during the next Maryland General Assembly session, which begins in January, transfer more state expenses — such as teacher pensions — to county government.

Heavy Rainfall Possible Thursday

With the area drying out after showery conditions for the last few days, another storm system is brewing and could threaten the Washington D.C. Metro area with more rainfall by Thursday.

Current weather model forecasts indicate the potential for some very heavy rainfall in association with a tropical weather system that is currently developing in the Caribbean. This storm system could intensify and stream tropical moisture and rainfall over the area. Most forecasts indicate the potential for greater rainfall that was experienced during the most recent rain event.

Residents should stay tuned for local media and the local weather service office for the latest details and updates. It should be noted that rainfall of the magnitude forecasted COULD cause areas of flooding.

On the positive side, however, more rainfall will provide great relief for the farmers currently being impacted by moderate to severe drought.