New police chief marks many firsts for Hyattsville

Before a packed room of law enforcement officers and well-wishers at Hyattsville’s city hall, Amal Awad was officially sworn in to her new role as chief of police for the Hyattsville City Police Department. The ceremony took place shortly after 2 p.m. Dec. 13, 2018. In assuming her new title, Awad becomes the first African-American, the first woman, and the first member of the LGBT community to lead Hyattsville’s police. 

In swearing in Awad, Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth said the department has a leader committed to maintaining and building trust between the community and the police department. “Amal has dedicated and demonstrated to this community that she will lead the department at the highest level, that our community will have – through her leadership and the work of the police and law enforcement officers that are in this room and from our department and our partners – that our community will have a police department that delivers on the type of community policing that residents value and deserve,” said Hollingsworth during the event.

Required Reading: Greenbelt Metro bike trail; Improv for police; Opportunity zones

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage from other outlets relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Dec. 14, 2018, edition: New questions for a proposed trail link to Greenbelt Metro, Prince George’s Police unscripted, and a look at these mysterious “opportunity zones.” Hurdles ahead for Greenbelt Metro bike trail plan (Greenbelt News-Review)

Prince George’s police turn to improve for de-escalation training (WAMU)

Maryland officials push for late-night Metro (The Montgomery Sentinel)

Providence hospital cutting back services (PGCTV)

Meet SeoulSpice founder Eric Shin (The Hyattsville Wire)

New age of Scouting joins boys with girls (Laurel Leader)

No need to subsidize St. Mary’s firing range (Southern Maryland Independent)

Another man hospitalized after shock at MGM casino (WTTG)

Air Force One hangar builder revealed (WTOP)

Opportunity zones pop up across Maryland (Baltimore Business Journal)


Berwyn Heights gets third mayor in less than six months.

Berwyn Heights has a new mayor in former Councilor Stephen Isler, who was sworn in at Berwyn Heights’ Dec. 12, 2018 meeting following the resignation of now former Mayor Lynn White. It is the second time since June that a Berwyn Heights mayor has resigned. 

“Last Thursday we received a message around 10 a.m. from now former Mayor White informing us she has resigned from her position as mayor and council member. We are really saddened to hear that. We were hoping to really work with her.

Details of Brentwood Vol. Fire Dept. embezzlement revealed

Several months after the trial ended, the nature of the crimes alleged to have been committed by Steven King have been revealed. King pled guilty in September to charges of embezzlement from the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department, where formerly served as president of the volunteer squad. The new details were disclosed in an interview with Denise Roberts, spokesperson for the Prince George’s County’s Office of the State’s Attorney. “Basically, he was living at the Fire Department, he was president of the Brentwood Volunteer Fire Department and he used company credit cards for personal expenses,” said Roberts.Roberts said the total amount embezzled was about $37,000. In May 2018, a Prince George’s County grand jury issued an indictment against King.

Required Reading: Police discrimination lawsuit, more sick at UMD, DM football coach goes to college

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage from other outlets relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In our Dec. 13, 2018, edition: Prince George’s County Police Department sued over racial discrimination allegations, Gov. Hogan’s schools promise sets up showdown. Prince George’s County Police Department sued for racial discrimination (WTOP)

Hogan sets up a schools showdown (The Baltimore Sun)

Five more adenovirus cases confirmed at University of Maryland (The Baltimore Sun)

The real winner of Redskins stadium derby will be whoever doesn’t get it (The Washington Post)

DeMatha head football coach joins University of Maryland coaching staff (USA Today)

Vigilante’s ‘Gloria’ coffee is the roast of the town (Hyattsville Life & Times)

Concerned, but not yet opposed: UMD Golf Course proposal splits College Park Council

Correction: This article has been updated to correct an error that misattributed votes by Councilors John Rigg and Robert Day.College Park City Council, with Mayor Patrick Wojahn in the tie-breaker role, voted five-to-four to send a letter outlining serious concerns with, but not-yet opposition to, a controversial proposal to build intramural fields on the University of Maryland Golf Course. Minutes earlier, Wojahn cast a similar tie-breaking vote to defeat a motion to send a letter to university officials explicitly in opposition to the proposal. The votes disappointed dozens of city residents in attendance who encouraged City Council to flatly reject the proposal during debate over the issue at its Dec. 11, 2018 meeting. The proposal now heads to the University of Maryland’s Facilities Council, which will consider the proposal at a closed-door meeting scheduled for Dec.

Required Reading: 71 dispensaries licensed, 911 future, money for schools

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In today’s edition: Opponents rise to plan for Redskins’ stadium at Oxon Hill, 911 suggestions put forward, and $3.5 billion for state schools. Advocacy group ‘vehemently opposes’ pitch for Redskins stadium on Oxon Hill Farm. (Washington Business Journal)

Maryland commission puts forward next-gen recommendations (WTOP)

Hogan wants $3.5 billion for Maryland school construction (The Baltimore Sun)

71 Maryland dispensaries licensed as first year of sales end, 31 to go (Baltimore Business Journal)

Hyattsville Girl Scout Troop creates little free food pantry (Hyattsville Life & Times)

A steel-framed box bridge, narrow, suited for pedestrians and cyclists, stretches across a shallow, narrow streambed. In the background, winter has stripped a forest of trees of its leaves. Behind the forest, an apartment high-rise is visible.

Big extension of Little Paint Branch Trail to open soon, link Beltsville to regional trail network

Major construction on an expansion of the Little Paint Branch Trail is expected to be finished later this month, according to Prince George’s County officials. The new extended trail will run for 2.2 miles alongside Cherry Hill Road from the trail’s present-day terminus in Northern College Park near Cherry Hill Road Park. A steel hiker-biker bridge has been built to cross the Little Paint Branch creek. From there it will parallel Cherry Hill Road and cross the Beltway on existing bridges before turning east onto Sellman Road where it hooks up to an existing trail stub at Little Paint Branch Park in Beltsville. 

Robert Patten, trail development program manager at Prince George’s County Parks, praised construction crews for their ability to rapidly make progress on the trail once construction started. In particular, he said the rate of construction was notable because of the heavy rains that have presented obstacles for work, particularly around the streambed where the bridge is built.

“We hope to open the trail in March or April.

The modernist facade of Prince George's County's Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.

Required Reading: Stadium limbo, dryer fires, and stadium tug-o-war

Required Reading is a simple, daily roundup of news coverage relevant to Prince George’s County and its Route 1 communities. In today’s edition: Terps win national championship, a fight over future Redskins stadium sites is brewing, and how far is too far for your county government? Terps win fourth NCAA mens soccer crown (ESPN)

Outbreak of dryer fires in Prince George’s sparks concern (WRC)

Academy of health sciences tops Maryland school achievement report (Washington Informer)

Bowser teams up with Republicans to win control of RFK campus (WAMU)

DC stadium opponents fight possible new Redskins stadium in DC (WTOP)

Hogan pitches National Harbor for Redskins stadium (Maryland Matters)

Prince George’s county seat is too remote for most residents (Greater Greater Washington)

Bowie city councilor to resign over health issues (Capital Gazette)