Each week editors compile the top stories from Patch sites across Montgomery County — arrests in connection with six burglaries in Takoma Park, a state-of-the-art cancer center broke ground at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and a Germantown technologist building a hydroponic farm run by salvaged junk robots are a few of the headlines corralled this week. You can get the news delivered to your inbox daily by subscribing to your Patch’s newsletter.
Reaping What Robotic Farmers Sow
GERMANTOWN — A Germantown technologist is building a hydroponic farm run by robots made of salvaged junk. First Fruits Farm Founder Peter James gave Patch a tour of his robo farm. Under the shelter of a greenhouse, the agribots would tend to and harvest an array of greens planted inside water-filled PVC pipes. James said once he’s got a working prototype, he plans to post DIY robo-farm instructions online, open-source style. Learn about the farm at Germantown Patch.
Adventist HealthCare Breaks Ground On State-of-the-Art Cancer Facility
GAITHERSBURG — The Aquilino Cancer Center, Montgomery County's first free-standing, comprehensive cancer center, is slated to open in 2013 on the campus of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. The center will offer personalized, expert care to cancer patients with up-to-date technology and support services to treat various forms of cancer in a 50,000-square-foot, three story facility. Read the full story on Gaithersburg Patch.
City's HR Director Resigns
ROCKVILLE — Carlos Vargas has resigned as the City of Rockville’s human resources director, city officials confirmed Tuesday. Vargas was criticized by former city employees who alleged harassment and discrimination by supervisors while employed by the city. A City Council member praised his work. Read more on Rockville Patch.
Third Man Arrested in Takoma Park Burglaries
TAKOMA PARK — After two arrests this week in connection with six burglaries in Takoma Park's Ward 1, Takoma Park Police arrested a third man Friday, Takoma Park Police Chief Ron Ricucci said. Alexander Gorge Ellis, 19, of no fixed address,was arrested for first degree burglary, theft over $1,000 and malicious destruction of property, police said. Ellis was apprehended June 7 in the 100 block of Sandy Hill Drive in Ocean City. This comes after Darlene Lucas, 46, of Washington, D.C., and a 17-year-old male juvenile from Washington, D.C. were arrested on June 6. Read more on Takoma Park Patch.
Paint Branch High School to Be Demolished
COLESVILLE — Current and former students are invited to say good-bye to the 43-year-old building of Paint Branch High in Burtonsville. Montgomery County invested $81 million in a 340,000 square-foot replacement that will open to students and faculty in August. Read more on Colesville Patch.
Playhouse Auction Nets $114,000 for Charity
CHEVY CHASE — Eight designer playhouses have been on display in Friendship Heights for the past month. After they were auctioned off last week, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County's funds had grown substantially. Read more on Chevy Chase Patch.
Planning Board Divided Over Gas Station Regulations
WHEATON — At its Thursday meeting, the Montgomery County Planning Board struggled to come to a decision about a contentious zoning text amendment that would place more restrictions on "mega" gas stations--and block the proposed construction of a 16-pump Costco gas station in Wheaton. The final vote rests with the county council. Read more on Wheaton Patch.