Blogs of the Week: Smuggling Cigarettes, DNA Testing

The best of our Local Voices.

Each week, community bloggers contribute to Patch sites across Montgomery County and Maryland through our Local Voices section. Non-profit groups, students, residents, and government agencies and officials are among those to weigh in, contributing to the dialogue in our communities. Here are a few of the blogs featured on Patch sites this week:

This week, Patch’s own political blogger Bryan Sears brought us a post about the  that have not been taxed in Maryland. Comptroller Peter Franchot is asking residents to keep an eye out for anyone who may be carrying an unusually large amount of cigarettes. “If you happen to look in someone's car and you see 6,000 packs of cigarettes in the back seat, could you call my office?" Franchot said. "We would like to ask those people what the story is."

Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Marcus L. Brown weighed in this week on the debate over whether police officers should be allowed to take DNA samples from a defendant charged with a crime. The appropriate use of DNA can make Maryland safer, Brown argued.

This week on Local Voices, Morris Panner, running for at-large seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education, lauded Maryland State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Dist. 16) for blocking a measure that would grant full voting rights to the Student Member of the Board of Education. The post generated a great debate in the comments section, so be sure to weigh in if you haven’t yet.

Jim Pekar, of the advocacy group Save Rock Creek Hills Park, highlighted the debate over whether Rock Creek Hills Park in Kensington is large enough to fit a new middle school in the cramped Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster.

Aspiring journalist and University of Maryland student brought us a blog this week on how social media can help autistic individuals to communicate.

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