2021 Year in Review: A look back at some of our most popular (non-COVID) posts and stories from the past year.

by Patrick Herron
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2021 Year in Review

Below you’ll find some of our most popular (non-COVID) posts and stories from 2021.

January:

Inauguration Day Bernie

Jon Bernthal hanging out at the Lego Store in Westfield Montgomery

“Originally from MoCo, the actor is popular for his many roles in television series and movies such as The Walking Dead, The Punisher, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Accountant, Ford v Ferrari, and the recent Soprano’s movie The Many Saints of Newark.

He grew up in the Cabin John area and graduated from Sidwell Friends in DC in 1995.

He still has family in the area and is spotted hanging out in MoCo all the time.

Photo courtesy of @e_j_fletch on Instagram”

February:

Good Counsel Alum Plays in Second Straight SuperBowl

Kansas City Chief Dorian O’Daniel played against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers at this year’s SuperBowl LV in Tampa, FL.

Dorian attended high school and played football at Good Counsel in Olney, where he was a running back and linebacker. As a senior he was named the Montgomery Sentinal’s Offensive Player of the Year and the Gazette’s Montgomery County Player of the Year.

That year he also made the Washington Post’s All-Met First Team. O’Daniel then graduated from Clemson with a degree in parks, recreation, and tourism management.

In 2018, he was selected 100th overall in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft.

Last year Dorian and the Chief’s won the NFL Championship when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers SuperBowl LIV.

March:

Brian Nicholson, a MoCo Native, is the Youngest Krispy Kreme General Manager in Company History


Krispy Kreme recently opened a new shop at a Columbia Heights in Washington DC with general manager Brian Nicholson leading the way.

Brian is a MoCo native. He was born and raised in the county and graduated from Wootton High School in 2018.

He has worked for Krispy Kreme for five years, starting a the Fallsgrove location in Rockville, where he became a full-time in employee after his high school graduation and served as an assistant general manager.

After just 9 months, he was promoted to general manager of the DuPont Circle location before being asked to open the newest location at 3100 14th Street in Columbia Heights last month.

Brian tells us his experience opening a new store has been “more than fun” and was excited to be able to open the store in February– Black History Month.

We wish Brian the best at Krispy Kreme and look forward to seeing him continue to succeed. Maybe he will bring MoCo a second Krispy Kreme location? We can only hope!

Congratulations, Brian!

Steve Chu, QO alum and owner of Baltimore restaurant Ekiben, Drove 6 Hours to Cook for Customer with Cancer

Steve Chu, QO alum and owner of Baltimore restaurant Ekiben, packed up and headed to Vermont when he learned that one of his customers, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, was craving one of their dishes.

A family member had reached out to the Ekiben team to tell them that her mother-in-law, who lives in Vermont but often visits Maryland, had stage 4 lung cancer and was craving Ekiben’s tempura broccoli. The family member shared that she was planning to drive up from Maryland to Vermont and wanted to surprise her Ekiben-loving relative with the dish.

After asking whether she could either have the recipe or ingredients for the broccoli dish so it would be fresh after the long drive, she got a surprising response from Ekiben’s team. Chu replied by saying “Thanks for reaching out. Ephrem [a co-owner] and I are more than willing to meet you guys in Vermont, and make the food fresh so it will be just like what she remembered.”

As reported by Good News Movement , Steve and his team stayed in the area for a couple of days and turned down the family’s offer to compensate them for their air bnb, food, and gas. Chu was joined by co-owner Ephrem Abebe alongside one other team member.

By: Michelle Katz @pike.and.rozay on Instagram

April:

Good Samaritan in Germantown

Odessa Shannon Middle School Chooses New Colors and Mascot

Back in November, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to change the name of Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring to Odessa Shannon Middle School.

The change will take place following this school year and yesterday the school staff unveiled the brand new mascot and school colors in a YouTube video.

Odessa Shannon Middle School has adopted “Wolves” as the new mascot and has chosen blue (the top color from a survey) and light green (Odessa Shannon’s favorite color) as the nee school colors.

Shannon was the first African-American Board of Education member and a lifelong activist. She worked tirelessly to help close the achievement gap for minority families and was the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Human Rights Hall of Fame, the African American Living Legend Award, and Hornbook Award for Outstanding Service to Education.

Shannon’s name will replace Col. E Brooke Lee, a Maryland politician whose policies shaped Montgomery County’s zoning and land use in the 1920s. These laws barred African-Americans from living in Silver Spring, with the exception as domestic servants. It wasn’t until 1968 that Montgomery County enacted fair housing policies.

May:

Police Search for a Raccoon After Attacks in Rockville

Per Rockville City Police:

“The Rockville City Police Department is asking community members to be on the lookout for a raccoon that attacked a dog and a child in Rockville on Monday morning.

Anyone who sees a raccoon acting aggressively should leave the scene and call 911.

A dog was attacked and bitten Monday morning near College Gardens Park, 615 College Parkway.

Later in the morning, around 11 a.m., a child was bitten in Kinship Park, 254 N. Washington Street.

Officers from the Rockville City Police Department are actively searching for the raccoon.”

The Last Arby’s in MoCo Closes

A few of the reactions from twitter:


June:

2021 High School Graduation Season

July: 

I<3U Jenny

Former Damascus Student-Athlete Bikes Across the Country Raising Money for ALS

 

“On Saturday, June 26th Wil Armstrong, a 2016 Damascus High School graduate, commenced his cross-country bike ride “Against the Wind” from Rehoboth Beach, DE. He is expected to finish 2.5 months later in Seattle, Washington. Throughout this journey, Wil is updating his daily blog with his progress, experiences, and updates on his banana consumption count. During his cross-country journey, he is crowdfunding for the ALS Association after seeing his mentor and former basketball coach, Rodney Lapp, go through it.

Wil played football for his high school’s state champion team and later played rugby at the University of Maryland. What started off as a high school job at Jimmie Cone carried over into his time at the University of Maryland, where he got his Master’s in Quantitative Finance through the Robert H. Smith School of Business through their Plus One program. With eight years under his belt, he was the Damascus Jimmie Cone’s longest tenured employee! How much more Damascus can you get?

When people ask Wil why he is taking on such an adventure he says, “Touring is a way to use my gifts to make a difference in the world, the stars are aligned, and nothing makes me feel more clear, focused, and alive.”

August:

Rockville’s Helen Louise Maroulis Becomes The First American Woman to Win Two Olympic Medals in Wrestling

Helen Louise Maroulis is a Rockville-born freestyle wrestler who competes in the women’s 55-kg 53-kg and 57-kg categories. She was the first-ever American to win a gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling back at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In August, she became the first American woman to win two Olympic medals in wrestling when she beat khongorzul Boldsaikhan from Mongolia for the Bronze medal.

She attended Magruder High School for three years, where as a freshman she became the first female wrestler to place at the Maryland state wrestling championships. She has been a great spokesperson for mental health awareness after suffering many physical injuries, brain trauma and the effects of prescription medicines.

2021 Montgomery County AG Fair

September: 

Glenmont then and now (60s and 2021)

Katie Ledecky visits Little Flower School in Bethesda

Ledecky provided words of encouragement to current students at the school while proudly wearing her most recent gold and silver medals from the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held this summer).

She and her Team USA Swimming teammate Phoebe Bacon both attended the school while growing up right here in MoCo.

Ledecky has won 7 Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals, the most in history for a female swimmer. She is also the world record holder in the women’s 400-, 800-, and 1500-meter freestyle (long course), and holds the fastest-ever times in the women’s 500-, 1000-, 1500-, and 1650-yard freestyle events.

The school posted the following message and pictures on its social media:

“Little Flower School Alumna KATIE LEDECKY came back for a visit! Thank you Katie for being an amazing role model and inspiration to our entire Cardinal Community. We are so proud of you! 🥇🏊‍♀️🇺🇸”

October:

Red Light/Green Light

Post Guapo’s Workout

November:

Local P.E. Teacher Recognized at Washington Football Team Game

On-field recognition for Lenny Myers, Kennedy High School P.E. Teacher, who was named educator of the month by Washington Football Team earlier this year.

Lenny Myers was awarded Educator of the Month by The Washington Football Team‘s Black Engagement Network earlier this year.

”Mr. Myers leads from the front. He is an amazing teacher in the classroom at John F. Kennedy High School and his students love and respect him.

His best work is in his community; Mr. Myers has a program for children looking to gain new basketball skills through his program, “Reach Beyond Basketball.” This program provides financial help to to children in the community with scholarships in order to take the burden off of struggling families.”

Tower Records in Rockville

Read our full article about the history of Tower Records in Rockville here.

December: 

Happy 100th Birthday to Kensington man! 

Thai Tanium in Gaithersburg

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