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The Greater Olney News (Vol. 7, No. 33) (Photo Courtesy of Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro)

Tornado in Olney

Judy Hruz | judyhruz@gmail.com

June 8, 2022

Nearly a week after a tornado touched down in Olney on May 29 residents were still talking about the swiftly swirling winds that up-rooter some 15 to 18 trees in the area of Toddsbury Lane and Queen Elizabeth Drive.

The National Weather Service said it was a weak EF-0 tornado with winds blowing at about 80 mph. The tornado travelled about a quarter-mile and lasted about a minute, hitting the area about 12:22 p.m. It threw trees onto homes, yards and roads.

No injuries were reported.

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

The MoCo Show

One Family Displaced After House Fire in Olney on Friday Morning

Written by Patrick Herron

Published: June 3, 2022

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

A fire on the first and second floor of a two-story townhouse on the 32000 block of St. Augustine Court in Olney has left at least one family (including two adults and two children) displaced, according to Chief Spokesperson for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Pete Piringer. Close to 75 firefighters responded to the scene around 9:30am on Friday morning.

The fire has been extinguished and there were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

WUSA9 News

Flags for Heroes Rockville Rotary

Author: Hande Apaydin

Published: May 31, 2022

Beautiful aerial photography by community member and certified commercial drone pilot Tim Pruss from MyDrone.Pro. Rockville Rotary is highly grateful to Tim for his service in taking these beautiful photos of the Flags for Heroes field of Rockville Rotary and the City of Rockville.

WUSA9 News

Tornado confirmed in Olney; Here's how NWS determines strength of a tornado

Author: Makayla Lucero

Published: 11:42 PM EDT May 28, 2022

Updated: 8:52 AM EDT May 29, 2022

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

WASHINGTON — On Friday afternoon a confirmed EF-0 tornado touched down in Olney, Md. The tornado had peak winds of 80 mph and was on the ground for around 1 minute. Here's a look into the process the National Weather Service takes to determine the strength of a tornado.

After a tornado tears through a town, the National Weather Service will survey the damage. It will determine if the damage was caused by an actual tornado or something else, possibly straight-line winds or thunderstorm damage.

The surveyors will look at the pattern of the damage. If it is scattered, then it was likely tornado or thunderstorm damage. If debris has all fallen in the same direction, then it was likely straight-line wind damage.

If the type of damage turns out to be tornadic, the next step is to determine the strength of the tornado. NWS uses the Enhanced Fujita Scale to rate a tornado between 0 and 5 depending on estimated wind speeds and damage.

To assess the damage, NWS runs through its list of 28 different Damage Indicators (DI). Each DI has different Degrees of Damage (DoD) that help pinpoint how strong the tornado was.

Then the NWS will look for the following damage to the structure. It decides whether the damage falls within the upper bound (UB), lower bound (LB), or the expected (EXP) wind speeds.

Once the DoD has been determined, NWS will evaluate the possible wind speeds that could have caused that type of damage. This process is then repeated on different structures until a final rating can be reached.

Regarding the tornado in Olney, trees were used as the DI. The NWS reported that the DoD was dozens of snapped and downed trees which lead to rating the tornado as an EF-0.

The Greater Olney News (Vol. 7, No. 31) (Photo Courtesy of Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro)

Olney's new collegiate baseball team prepares for season opener

Judy Hruz | judyhruz@gmail.com

May 25, 2022

Olney-area residents will soon be able to root, root, root for the home team when the Cropdusters take the field at Olney Boys and Girls Club this summer.

Cropdusters Baseball, a new addition to the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, will play a two-month summer schedule, fielding some of the finest college players.

Tony Korson, a native Washingtonian, is the founder and president of the team and credits a local volunteer board for being "passionate" about baseball and the community.

An aerial photo of Olney Boys and Girls Club's Freeman Fields, where the new Cropdusters will play.

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

Korson, the CEO of Koa Sports in Montgomery County, thought the Greater Olney community would be a good fit for the collegiate baseball team.

"I just thought we could do it really well," he said.

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2021 and is only a few weeks away from its season opener. About 35 college baseball players will arrive for the season on June 1, bringing a "nice mix" of talent, Korson said.

Players must be on a college baseball team in order to play in the Ripken League.

The Cropdusters are coached by Adam Leader of Howard County, who played baseball at Wesley College.

Leader pitched and played middle infield.

He began coaching baseball after college and was named the head baseball coach at Reservoir High School in 2002 and is approaching his 300th win.

Cropdusters Baseball has a 20-year lease with Olney Boys and Girls Club (OBGC) to play at its Freeman Fields.

Korson approached OBGC Executive Director Brad Scott about a year and a half ago looking for support for a new team.

Scott said it was easy to agree. Having the collegiate baseball team on OBGC's campus would provide inspiration for OBGC's players and draw patrons to the facility.

"We can feel the sense of excitement building in community" he said.

He said OBGC has top baseball teams on the youth level, so those young athletes being able to see excellent collegiate athletes will enhance their skills.

"It's win for everyone", he said. "Such as huge win for everyone."

Scott and Korson approached Sen. Craig Zucker (D-Dist. 14) about funding for a stadium for the Cropdusters, which could be used for OBGC teams when the collegiate team is not using the facility.

Zucker and the District 14 lawmakers brought home $1 million from Annapolis for OBGC to build a new stadium with dugouts, seating, lights and other field improvements.

"We are extremely excited about this amazing project and the positive impact it will have for our entire community," Zucker said.

The stadium is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023, Scott said.

OBGC also received $1.75 million to build a multi-sport training facility on the campus.

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center will partner with OBGC on that project.

WUSA9 News

Fireworks from Olney Days Party in the Park

Published: 4:34 PM EDT May 1, 2022

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

WorkBoat

Freed from the bay bottom, Ever Forward finally refloated

By Kirk Moore in Coastal & Inland Waterways Bluewater News

Published: April 17, 2022

After a month aground in Chesapeake Bay, the 1,095’ Ever Forward was hauled free into the channel and taken under tow Easter Sunday morning.

Weeks of dredging around the Ever Forward prepared for a third successful refloating attempt April 17. Tim Pruss/ MyDrone.Pro photo.

A lightering operation using two crane barges had removed 500 containers the previous week – about 10 percent of the cargo carried by Evergreen Marine Corp.’s vessel as it departed Baltimore March 13.

Lifting the containers was recommended by salvage experts as a last resort, after weeks of dredging around and astern of the vessel, and two unsuccessful efforts to pull the 42.6’ draft ship free with multiple tugs.

The feat was finally accomplished on Easter Sunday morning using two anchored pull barges. The Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region called a halt to one-way traffic through a safety zone at 5 a.m. Sunday in preparation for the pulling evolution.

Aided by a slightly higher than usual tide, the anchored barges and five tugs finally moved the Ever Forward around 7 a.m.

“A tremendous team effort with a little help from the Easter Sunday rising tide in the Chesapeake Bay,” Maryland Port Administration Executive Director William Doyle reported on LinkedIn social media. “Outstanding team effort led by Donjon-Smit, LLC, the salvage manager. This was a #jonesact effort using every facet of the sector including dredging, marine construction, tugs, barges (deck barges, crane barges, and pull barges). The U.S. Coast Guard as the lead federal agency, and leader of the Unified Command, exhibited outstanding leadership.”

The Ever Forward was moved south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to anchorage between Annapolis and Kent Island, Md., for continued survey and assessments before proceeding to its destination of Norfolk, Va.

WUSA9 News

Orioles home opener on April 11 at Camden Yards against the Milwaukee Brewers

Published: 7:52 PM EDT April 9, 2022

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

WJLA ABC7 News

Maryland seeks solutions to free 'Ever Forward' cargo ship stuck in Chesapeake Bay

Published: Friday, April 8th 2022

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJLA) — Is the 'Ever Forward' cargo ship ever going to move forward? The U.S. Coast Guard is hoping so.

In another attempt, crews are trying to free a large cargo ship that has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay for nearly a month.

The Ever Forward became lodged off the coast of Pasadena on March 13. Since then, crews from Evergreen Marine Corp., the Maryland Department of the Environment and other state and local agencies have been trying to free the vessel without success.

An April 7, 2022, video of the Ever Forward, owned by Evergreen Marine Corp. stuck in the Chesapeake Bay, Md. (Courtesy of Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro)

Crews had been dredging around the ship in hopes of getting the vessel floating again. Earlier this week, the agencies worked to remove shipping containers to drop weight to be able to move the ship.

The Coast Guard said the Ever Forward is carrying about 5,000 containers of general dry goods.

According to Port of Baltimore Executive Director William Doyle, weather permitting, the effort is expected to begin on April 8 and run until April 15.

When the containers are removed, barges will again try to pull the Ever Forward free.

The Coast Guard said a 500-yard safety zone will remain in place around the vessel.

The threat of pollution and damage has environmentalists concerned. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, has been watching the removal efforts closely, said Doug Myers, Maryland senior scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

“We’ve been in contact with the Department of the Environment and the Coast Guard since a day or two after the grounding, because of concern that anytime a ship that large is aground, it creates a lot of stress on the hull,” he said.

“This kind of ship is not designed to be sitting on the bottom. It’s designed to be floating. We will remain very concerned until it is freed, and we’re sure no spills have occurred.”

Soundings Online News

Containership Continues to be Stuck in the Mud

PIM VAN HEMMEN

Published: APR 7, 2022

The 1,095-foot-long cargo ship that has been mired in the mud of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay for the past three weeks will be partially offloaded in an attempt to get it unstuck.

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

Following two failed attempts to free it, U.S. Coast Guard officials said two large cranes and barges will be used to get some of the 5,000 containers off the Ever Forward in the hopes that the ship can then be pulled back into the channel.

Containers will start being offloaded this weekend or early next week. A few hundred containers will be removed in the hopes it will lighten the ship enough to get moving again.

Ever Forward belongs to Evergreen Marine Corp., the same company that owns the Ever Given cargo ship that caused massive global shipping delays when it blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal for six days in March 2021.

The Ever Forward is stuck in about 23 feet of water about 20 miles south of Baltimore, Maryland. It’s outside the deep-water shipping channel and not blocking ship traffic on the Chesapeake Bay.

The container vessel ran aground March 13 after leaving the Seagirt marine terminal in Baltimore. It was headed to Norfolk, Virginia, when it missed a turn, left the shipping channel and ran aground. The incident is under investigation to determine its cause.

WUSA9 News

The Kennedy Center and other sites light up to support Ukraine

The Kennedy Center joins other U.S. sites illuminating their buildings in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Published: 10:54 PM EST March 12, 2022

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

WUSA9 News

The Crownsville Hospital Center was a psychiatric hospital that was in operation in 1911 and was abandoned in 2004.

Published: 3/11/2022 8:37:20 PM

Updated: 8:28 AM EST March 12, 2022

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

A 7News DC viewer sent us drone footage as part of the convoy passed through Clarksburg, MD.

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

A large trucker convoy drove around the DC Beltway Sunday after rallying in Hagerstown, Maryland the last two days. The group, which was gathered at the Hagerstown Speedway, left around 9:30 a.m. to head to the Beltway. They did two loops and then headed back to Hagerstown.

They say they have the same plans for Monday, as well.

While Sunday's demonstration didn't appear to lead to any serious traffic issues, that could change Monday with commuters returning to the roads.

Motorists in the DC metro area should expect potential delays along the Beltway and around the region as people take alternate routes.

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

WBAL-TV 11 News

Updated: March 7, 2022, 11:01 AM EST

CLARKSBURG, Md. — A convoy of vehicles lapped the Capital Beltway Sunday morning to demand an end to COVID-19 mandates and restrictions. This is drone video taken Sunday on an I-270 overpass in Clarksburg, Md., courtesy Tim Pruss/MyDrone.pro.

CNN

Trucker convoy laps Washington, DC, beltway to protest COVID-19 measures

By Gabe Cohen and Dakin Andone, CNN

Updated: 12:00 PM EST Mar 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — A convoy of vehicles lapped the Washington, D.C., beltway Sunday morning to demand an end to COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

The protests come at a time when many pandemic-related mandates and restrictions — imposed by state and local governments rather than lawmakers in Washington — have already begun being lifted in much of the country.

The group — which included dozens of vehicles, including some eighteen-wheelers, according to drone footage from WBAL — planned to drive at least two loops around the beltway before returning to Hagerstown, Maryland, Maureen Steele, an organizer with the "People's Convoy" told CNN. They did not plan to enter the city proper.

Sunday's protest may mark the beginning of several days of disruptions, according to District of Columbia emergency management officials.

On Sunday, Christopher Rodriguez, director of the District of Columbia's Homeland and Emergency Management Agency, estimated that there were 1,000 vehicles at the time up in Hagerstown, Maryland, and that the ultimate number of vehicles could reach 2,000 over the next several days.

Rodriguez added that District officials have remained in close contact with other partner agencies nationwide to track potential threats or violence. So far, he said, there have been a few instances of low-level acts of violence associated with the convoy, but no overt actions or overt calls for violence in furtherance of the convoy's effort.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser asked the Department of Defense to extend the authorization for DC's National Guard through March 9, Rodriguez said, and that request was approved.

Rodriguez acknowledged the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has helped shape officials' "aggressive" approach to preparing for large scale events.

"When we see large numbers of people coming to our region, but we do respect everyone, any Americans right to come to the nation's capital and exercise their First Amendment rights," he said. "But what we won't tolerate are any individuals who come into the nation's capital and break our laws."

CBS News Baltimore (WJZ-13)

People’s Convoy Truckers Make Protest Pit Stop In Hagerstown

By Stetson Miller

March 6, 2022 at 4:10 pm

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — Truckers from across the nation converged on the Hagerstown Speedway to protest COVID-19 mandates on Saturday.

“We’re here for lifting mandates and getting the emergency order act revoked,” Jimmy Fletcher, a trucker from Oklahoma, said.

They call themselves The People’s Convoy and they stopped at the Hagerstown Speedway to call for all mask and vaccine mandates to come to an end.

“You know we’ve pretty much nailed down exactly how this virus operates and we’d like to you know go back and live the way we were before all this happened,” Alabama resident Richard Schmittou said.

Traffic was slow-moving in the area around the speedway as thousands of vehicles drove in along National Pike to attend the rally.

Some people came from as far away as California while others came for part of the trucker’s journey to show their support for the movement.

“We joined Friday and drove 12 hours over here,” another trucker said.

The group formed after Canadian truckers protested mandates in the country’s capital of Ottawa, halting government operations there last month.

Now the truckers plan to head to the Washington, D.C., area next to continue protests.

“When these guys roll into DC it’s going to make a difference,” Dustin Blanton, who drove from Columbus, Ohio, said.

Credit: Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

WUSA9 News

The current speed limit on the Intercounty Connector is 60 mph, but activists say drivers don't follow this limit.

Deirdre Byrne

February 12, 2022, 11:34 PM EST

OLNEY, Md. — Activists in Olney are calling on the Maryland General Assembly to pass a bill that would add speed cameras on the Intercounty Connector (ICC).

The Montgomery County Delegation for the Maryland General Assembly sponsored House Bill 811 which calls for "at least one speed monitoring system shall be placed and used by Montgomery county between each exit ramp on Maryland Route 200."

The Greater Olney Civic Association (GOCA), a nonprofit that brings community members together to coordinate a master plan for the unincorporated town, met on Tuesday, about three weeks since the organization voted on a resolution to endorse HB 811.

GOCA's resolution notes the danger that speeding causes and asks, if cameras are added, that the fine not exceed $40.

In a letter to the Montgomery County Delegation dated Jan. 14, GOCA President Hilary Phillips-Rogers wrote that about 30,000 vehicles pass through the 18.8-mile long toll road per day. Phillips-Rogers said the Maryland Department of Transportation (MTA) recently shared data with GOCA indicating that the average speed on the ICC 67 mph, which is 7 miles over the limit of 60 mph.

"This average speed is far too fast, clearly unlawful, dangerous, and creates excessive road-noise, affecting the safety and quality of life for Olney and other Montgomery County residents," Phillips-Rogers wrote.

When the ICC opened in 2011, the speed limit was 55 mph, but — according to the Washington Post — the limit increased in 2013 after a crash analysis conducted by the MTA, the organization said the limit could be raised safely.

Del. Eric Luedke (D), the Maryland House Majority Leader who represents Olney residents in District 14, spoke at the GOCA meeting and announced the bill was killed during a transportation committee meeting. However, Luedke pledged to revise the bill so that it can make it passed committee and ultimately pass.

John Seng, the director of the Maryland Coalition for Highway Safety, said Tuesday he is disappointed the bill was killed in the committee meeting, but he will work with the delegation for Montgomery County to "resurrect" the bill and make it stronger.

Reverend Dr. Robert Screen, who helped found the 210 Traffic Safety Committee in Prince George's County, spoke to GOCA leaders, noting that his organization helped add speed cameras to the Indian Head Highway and the community has seen significantly fewer deaths in the area.

He said, "It is speed that is killing people on the roadways," and said the point of speed cameras wasn't to make money, but rather to save lives.

Luedke said the Montgomery County Delegation meets Friday at 9 a.m. and they will talk about improving HB 811 at that time.

"Speed cameras work," Seng said. "People shouldn't have to die to get from point A to point B."

WUSA9 News

Rick Massimo | rmassimo@wtop.com

February 1, 2022, 12:53 PM

A man was arrested in Montgomery County, Maryland, Tuesday morning after leading police on a chase during which he allegedly fired at officers.

Courtesy Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro

A spokesperson for the Maryland National Capital Park Police said someone at the Olney Swim Center called them around 9:40 Tuesday morning and said a possible theft suspect was inside.

When officers showed up, he drove off down Georgia Avenue, the police said, and crashed his car about a mile down the road at King William Drive.

The police said he ran off, then turned and fired at officers who were chasing him, hitting an empty parked car. He was found behind a house and arrested later, the police said.

No one was hurt.

WTOP’s Thomas Robertson contributed to this report.

The Greater Olney News (Vol. 7, No. 13) (Photo Courtesy of Tim Pruss, MyDrone.Pro)

County provides rapid test kits at libraries

Judy Hruz | judyhruz@gmail.com

January 19, 2022

WTOP News

Kevin McAllister | jfraley@wtop.com

July 7, 2021

Director of Curated Programs, Kevin McAllister, sits down with WTOP's Jason Fraley to talk all things Olney Outdoors. You can listen to the full conversation on the WTOP website.

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