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MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN THE NEWS: Amazon May Come to MoCo

Montgomery County has made the list of Amazon’s short list of possible locations for the online retail titan’s new headquarters.

Montgomery is the only location in the state of Maryland and one of three areas around the D.C. region under consideration for the building, which could bring a $5 billion investment and more than 50,000 jobs.

Montgomery County is among the most affluent counties in the country and has one of the highest percentages of residents with post-graduate degrees. The county also houses many major institutions, including a Johns Hopkins University campus, the University System of Maryland, the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Amazon received 238 bids from across the country, but now that company Discovery is leaving Silver Spring, many residents are hopeful that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos may just say yes to the region, given his longstanding ties to the area as owner of The Washington Post.

Dance Troupe Holds Stepping Showcase

On Saturday, Jan. 20, Step Afrika!, the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping held its fourth annual showcase at Strathmore Theatre.

The “Step Xplosion” showcase featured percussive dance styles historically practiced by African-American fraternities and sororities alongside African traditional dance and art forms from around the world.

Step teams included members from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and Dem Raider Boyz Step Squad, incorporating songs, storytelling and humor into a highly interactive show.

During the annual showcase, K-12 and college students participate in workshops, residency programs and arts education activities in the D.C. area and in cities around the world.

The organization aims to entertain while promoting stepping as an educational tool for young people, part of its mission to promote teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.

Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through a 50-city tour of colleges and theaters. The troupe also performs globally and serves as a cultural ambassador to the U.S.

Leggett Releases Final Capital Budget

​County Executive Isiah Leggett released on Jan. 16 his recommended fiscal 2019 capital budget and 2019-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) — his final budget as county executive.

Totaling $4.521 billion, his CIP included $1.751 billion for the county public schools system. Including this recommendation, capital funding for the schools system under Leggett has grown by $577.8 million — a 49.2 percent increase — over the past 12 years.

The budget also included $281.2 million for Montgomery College’s Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring campuses.

Capital budget support for business and job creation included funding for Marriott’s new headquarters in Bethesda and development in White Flint, White Oak and Wheaton. It also included a $33 million boost in support for affordable housing and a $36.6 million increase in road maintenance funding over the previous CIP.

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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