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Wegmans Grocery Store Comes To Prince George's County

LANHAM, Md. (WUSA) - - Construction crews are busy building the future of Prince George's County.

Wegmans, a family run chain named one of the best 100 places to work by Fortune Magazine, is an anchor store at the future Woodmore Town Plaza, located off 495 and Landover Road. 

The grocery store will open its second Maryland location Sunday at 7am.  Six hundred local residents have already been hired at the store. 

Jim Estepp with the non profit group, Greater Prince George's Business Roundtable, said the county has the space, resources, and demographics best suited for an economic boost.  "We have the highest educated population and the highest income of any majority African American county in the nation, to not serve us with a high quality retail would just be missing the boat."

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.

Prince George’s County Voters Can Vote Early Beginning October 22 Through October 28

The Prince George’s County Board of Elections announces Early Voting!!  In addition to Election Day, now, Prince George’s County voters will have six additional days to vote.  Early voting begins on Friday October 22 through Thursday, October 28.  The early voting centers will be closed on Sunday, October 24 2010. 

“The Board of Elections is excited about early voting.  This will give Prince George’s County voters an opportunity to vote at their convenience.  Nearly three percent of the voters in the county voted early for the Primary Election.  I challenge the voters of Prince George’s County to take advantage of the opportunity” said Elections Administrator Alisha Alexander. 

Prince George’s County has five early voting centers:

Man Files $1.5 Million Lawsuit Against Prince George's County Police

UPPER MARLBORO, MD. (AP) — A former Prince George's County police academy cadet has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking $1.5 million after he says he was dismissed for being outspoken about alleged cheating at the academy.

Attorneys for Steven LaPier filed the lawsuit Thursday. According to the lawsuit, LaPier was dismissed after a medical board declared him unfit for duty. Before being dismissed he had complained that instructors gave test answers to the cadet class. The lawsuit says the police department tried to "silence" LaPier as "retaliation for voicing his complaints."

The instructor denies wrongdoing, but an investigation is ongoing. A county spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Ex-Cadet Sues Prince George's County Police due to Police Test Cheating

WBAL reports that one of the former cadets who blew the whistle on the cheating scandal has filed a $1.5 million federal lawsuit...alleging he was dismissed from the class because he complained.

Perfect scores were recorded for all of the students in the summer 2009 class.

Steven LaPier claims the instructor said as he passed out the test, "we're going to do this Enron style" and then gave out correct answers.

LaPier went along with the cheating but reported it afterward to a commander, the Washington Post reported.

He was dismissed later and told it was because he fainted during a training run.

The instructor was moved out of the academy.

The police chief has denied that any students cheated.  Records show perfect scores on 11 tests.