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Excitement Builds with a New Wegman’s Opening in Prince George’s County

With the opening of a Wegman’s in Lanham, Md. Sunday, residents and officials feel that the often disregarded Prince George’s county can show everyone it has the strength to support high-end shopping.

Neighboring Montgomery County boasts numerous high end grocery stores, including five Whole Foods Markets and three Trader Joe's.  Prince George’s County has none.  Most of the time luxury retailers skip over Prince George’s County when it comes to business development like Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdales have in the past. Officials are hoping that the success of the new Wegman’s will change all of that.

Currently, Wegman’s has five Northern Virginia locations and six more are planned for the Maryland region including Germantown.

Halloween Costume and Parade

Friday,October 29th

Registration from 4-4:30pm at Roosevelt Center behind Curves.

All ages encouraged to come out to Roosevelt Center and enjoy this Greenbelt Tradition. Prizes for best costumes in age groups from 18 months through 6th grade, best family and best pet. Trick or Treat with Center Merchants. Entertainment by Greg May's Magical Mayhem Circus.

Firefighters and Paramedics Initiative - Helping Hearts for Troops

This story comes to us from Mark Brady of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department:

Documentary About Greenbelt Kicks Off Utopia Film Festival

The Gazette reports that the annual Utopia Film Festival kicks off Monday with its "Reel & Meal" event at the New Deal Café in the Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt.

Showing at the café in the historic shopping center will be "Green Towns USA: A New Deal," a 57-minute documentary about the three New Deal towns (Greenbelt, Md., Greenhills, Ohio and Greendale, Wis.) and how each of them have fared since they were created by the Roosevelt administration as an experiment in suburban community planning for moderate- and low-income people during the Depression.

The screening is free, but festival officials are encouraging moviegoers to support the New Deal Cafe by coming between 6:30 and show time at 7 p.m. to purchase its vegan buffet for $13.

Prince George's Council Members Vote to Raise Their Pay

The Gazette reports that the Prince George's County Council voted today to increase its $96,417 annual salary — the highest amount earned by council members in Maryland — despite sharp criticism from at least one presumptive councilman and two current members who said they should scale back the pay hikes.

"This is a really bad idea," said Mel Franklin, the presumptive District 9 county councilman, who is unopposed in the general election.

County Resolution 105, which was introduced and approved immediately by the council today after members agreed to suspend normal legislative procedure, sets new salary terms to start in December 2011 for the nine council members.

Ex-Officer Gets 2.5 Years In Bank Break-In

Greenbelt, Md. (AP)- A former Prince George's County police officer has been sentenced to 21/2 years in prison for orchestrating a bank break-in.

A federal judge sentenced 42-year-old Eddie Smith Jr. of Fort Washington on Monday and ordered him to pay more than $10,000 in restitution. Smith pleaded guilty in July to breaking into a Temple Hills SunTrust bank last year.

According to his plea agreement, Smith drove 54-year-old Earl Blake of Capitol Heights to the bank in his cruiser, then gave him tools and instructions on how to cut open an ATM safe. Firefighters responded to the bank after receiving an alarm and saw Blake inside. Blake fled and Smith ran around the bank as though he were pursuing him, but then fled himself.

Blake was sentenced to five months in prison.

Prince George's County Bus Strike Ends After 5 Weeks

Upper Marlboro, MD (AP)- Bus drivers in Prince George's County have ended a five-week bus strike and are returning to work.

Tommy Ratliff, president of the union that represents drivers and mechanics, said union members approved a three-year contract with the bus operator Veolia Transportation on Monday. Ratliff says the union sought better job security and health insurance, higher wages and changes to a disciplinary policy.

The new contract includes a $1-an-hour pay increase, an additional holiday and continued pension contributions and health care options.

Valerie Michael, a spokeswoman for Veolia, says employees will start returning to work on Tuesday.

Veolia had run limited service for weeks. The company employs 136 full-time and 26 part-time workers in the county.