In rural Montgomery County, the fight continues to revive historic White’s Ferry

The ferry isn’t really much to look at. It’s flat, wide, and open to the elements, with little more than “Historic White’s Ferry” signs atop to identify the two-century old crossing. But in the rural western corner of the otherwise development-laden Montgomery County, White’s Ferry isn’t just a ferry.

“It’s the heart of our community,” says Link Hoewing, a longtime resident of nearby Poolesville. “The ferry actually is our main street, when you think about it.”

Just over two years ago, that heart suddenly stopped beating, the victim of a quirky and complicated legal battle between two entities that aren’t just on different sides of the Potomac River that the ferry used to cross, but also in different states.

And since the day the ferry was grounded, Hoewing and other activists and business owners around the county’s 93,000-acre agricultural reserve have faced stiff currents in their quest to restore service across the river. The conflict that shuttered the ferry is knotty, they concede, but the inability to resolve it speaks to bigger gripes over the lack of attention the county’s rural areas get.

“The truth is the political system has failed us,” says Hoewing. “Loudoun County, Montgomery County, they should have worked on this long ago to get this done. The bottom line is that there are people’s lives affected by this every day.”



Northwood High School security guards briefly hospitalized after drug exposure

Two security guards at Northwood High School in Silver Spring were recently hospitalized after breathing in smoke from an unknown drug inside a school bathroom, officials say.


The guards were checking out an odor coming from a bathroom on Feb. 17, when they “experienced adverse reactions,” according to a letter school officials sent to parents about the incident.

Montgomery County police said the guards experienced “odor induced vomiting.”

According to the school’s letter, the guards found two students and visible smoke in the bathroom. The students admitted to “smoking an unknown drug in the bathroom” and are facing punishment, school officials said.



Police applications increase since $20K bonus announcement, chief says

The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) has seen an increase in applications since the county announced a plan to offer a $20,000 bonus to newly-sworn police recruits, according to the police chief. 


Police Chief Marcus Jones said the department is already seeing the fruits of the offer. Before the bonus was announced, he said, MCPD was receiving “probably one to four” applications per day.

“Since we have advertised this bonus, we are now receiving anywhere from 10 to 15 applications per day,” Jones said during a press conference Wednesday as County Executive Marc Elrich announced his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2024 operating budget.

[Montgomery Community Media] 


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