Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump helps work on Valentine's Day cards at the Children's Inn. (Courtesy of The Children's Inn via Twitter)

First lady Melania Trump stopped in Bethesda on Valentine’s Day to visit children staying with their families at The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health.

Bringing warm smiles and cheers, the first lady, dressed in all red, received a tour of the inn from NIH Director Francis Collins, decorated cookies and made Valentine’s Day cards with the children, many of whom are participating in clinical trials at the Rockville Pike medical center for rare diseases.

At the end of the visit, children presented Trump with gifts that included a finger-painted paper heart, a First Lady of The United States apron with The Children’s Inn logo and Valentine’s Day T-shirts for the first family.

When eager 8-year-old Amber Negrete asked what is was like to be first lady, Melania reportedly replied “it feels good,” and also complimented the child on her beauty, calling her “gorgeous.”

County Schools Receive Online Threats

County investigators reported Friday responding to online threats made against up to a dozen local schools.

Police said none of the threats, which were posted to social media and or texted, were determined to be legitimate.

Authorities identified a 15-year-old male student as the source of online threats made against Northwest High School in Germantown on Friday morning, which prompted a full police response.

Investigators said they think the online threat was the student’s idea of a joke or an attempt to close school for the day. The social media posts advised students to not go to school Friday.

The student was charged as a juvenile “with offenses relating to disrupting school operations” and has been returned to the care and custody of his parents, county police said.

Police urge parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts and stress that students should not repost or share rumors of threats, but should contact adults instead.

County Tops List for Speeding Tickets

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties were one and two, respectively, on the list of jurisdictions where drivers are most likely to receive speeding tickets in the state of Maryland.

More than 1.5 million speed-camera tickets were issued in the state in fiscal 2017, generating more than $62 million in fines, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. Of those tickets, 1.2 million were issued in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

“Motorists stand at three times greater chance of being ticketed in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County than any other counties or jurisdictions in the state,” said John Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s manager of public and government affairs.

Police say that the automated speed enforcement programs are important in slowing down drivers, especially in school zones. And while AAA Mid-Atlantic supports the speed cameras in school zones, its analysis shows that overall there was no meaningful reduction in the number of speed camera tickets issued in the state from 2016 to 2017.

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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