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In and Around Morningside-Skyline 
By Mary McHale 301-735-3451

“Freedom of the Press” bill honors Capital Gazette victims

Maryland Senator Sarah Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) has filed legislation to make June 28 “Freedom of the Press Day” in Maryland, honoring the five who died in the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis.

If it passes, this bill would honor the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects a free press.  And it would be in honor of Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters who were killed June 28, 2018 at the Gazette office, and all Maryland journalists.

I have been involved with newspapers most of my life.  I put out my first “newspaper” in 5th grade (lasted only a couple of days), but I went on to edit my high school and college newspapers.  When we lived in California, I wrote for the Mill Valley newspaper, and since 1976, I’ve written Morningside-Skyline for The Enquirer-Gazette, The Prince George’s Post, and four or five other County papers.

So, the Capital Gazette tragedy was particularly sad for me.  Staff members of such papers work there because they’re devoted to local news and to the communities they serve.


Candlelight service in Morningside for accident victims

An auto accident Feb. 2 took the lives of five children between the ages of 5 and 15 when the 2005 Chrysler Pacifica they were riding in was northbound on Route 301 near Bowie when—for reasons unknown—it veered off the road and struck several trees.

The children killed were identified as Paris Dixon, 5; London Dixon, 8; Rickelle Ricks, 6; Zion Beard, 14; and Damari Herald, 15.  The driver, Dominique R. Taylor of Bowie, and passenger Cornell D. Simon of Oxon Hill were hospitalized with serious injuries.

The victims are all related to each other and to one of the Morningside Town Council Members who made it possible to host a Candlelight service at the Town Hall.

Neighbors and other nice people

Darius Nelley-Stoddard, of Skyline, is performing with the Oxon Hill High School Choir on Saturday, Feb. 23,

5 p.m., at the National Church of God on Bock Road.  He invites you to attend and, if possible, give a $10 donation.

Ana Gutierrez, of Skyline, has developed a web page for Skyline.  I’ll pass long the web address soon.


Changing Landscape

This summer will mark the opening of the newest community practice for the University of Maryland Capital Region Health Medical Group.  The practice will be in the new Medical Pavilion at National Harbor.

The remarkable Newseum building at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW has been purchased by Johns Hopkins, which is going to use it for its Washington-based graduate programs.  The Newseum plans to move elsewhere in the District.  If you’ve not yet been to the Newseum, make plans to go before they move.  It’s amazing, and nowhere else can it be as impressive.


Morningside Memories: 61 years ago

The Owakonze Camp Fire Group held a dance party at the Town Hall on Feb. 24, 1958.  Square dance records with calls were played and basic steps learned.  There were also rock & roll records.  The Camp Fire girls were: Karen Broderick, Beth Abernethy, Barbara Hickmann, Carolyn Mayhew, Patricia Miller, Jan Stocklinski, Jane Tretler, Linda Valentine and Babs Zdobysz.  Next week I’ll list the Bluebirds who attended.


Mirco Snidero, NOAA 

Mirco Philip Snidero, 88, formerly of Camp Springs, died Feb. 8.  In recent years he lived in Dunkirk and was a member of Jesus the Good Shepherd Church where his Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated.

Among his many positions were as Chief, NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) Computer Division, and Chief of ESSA’s Computer Division.  I noted (as I did a little online searching) that Mirco wrote about Data Processing at JNPW (Joint Numerical Weather Prediction).  He had an interesting career.

During the years he lived in Camp Springs, he attended St. Philip’s and was Chairman of the Christian Education Committee.  Also, Mirco and his wife Cornelia held Evenings for the Engaged, a program for couples planning to marry.

Cornelia died in 2009.  Mirco is the father of Jim, Mark, Steve and the late David Snidero, and Cornelia Blankenship, grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of two.  Burial was at Resurrection Cemetery.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Rock Steady Calvert, an invaluable boxing/exercise program specifically geared for people with Parkinson’s.


Anna Wayson Buck, 104 years

Anna Wayson Buck, 104, of Upper Marlboro, whose very name reflects her Prince George’s heritage, died Nov. 19.   She was born March 9, 1914 in Friendship, Md., and graduated from Tracy’s School.

She was a Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro, retiring at 83.  She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and treasurer for its Ladies Auxiliary.  Anna was also a member of Sloggs (slightly older guys and gals).

She was predeceased by her husband Daniel T. Buck, Sr., children Shirley Ann Wyvill, Janet June Jacobs, Daniel Thomas Buck, Jr. and James Reed Buck, three sisters and three brothers.  Survivors include 14 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren.  Services were at Trinity Episcopal with burial in the Church Cemetery.



Happy birthday to Father Bernard Ihrie, Feb. 23; Larry Miller, Feb. 24; Kevin Gray and Sibyl Deily, Feb. 25; Angela Hutchinson and Thomas “TJ” Flaherty, Feb. 27; Terrence Flaherty, Feb. 28; and Gerry Joliffe, Feb. 29 (who doesn't really have a birthday until next year).

Happy anniversary to Clifford and Nancy Lantz, on Feb. 26; and to Freda and Michael McDonald on their 39th, Feb. 28.



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By Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384


“My Black History” by Todd Johnson who lives in Brandywine, Maryland. “John Robert Johnson, my great grandfather”.  John Robert Johnson purchased 70 acres of the Rosemount Plantation in 1901.  John Robert was the son of Richard H. and Elsie Diggs Johnson.  The father of Richard H. was Bernard Matthew Johnson a slave from Nairobi, Kenya. 

John Robert Johnson and his wife Isabelle Pinkney reared 11 children on the Johnson farm.  The family harvested tobacco, raised chickens, cattle, pigs, and vegetables.  John Robert died in 1925 leaving Bernard (Bud) Matthew Johnson, the second son, to become the farm patriarch.

Bud and his brothers continued to work the farm as children.  For most of them, a formal education was sacrificed for the sake of “saving the family farm”.  Bud remained on the farm, until his death in September 1993 raising tobacco, tending the animals, and vegetable garden with seasonal assistance from his siblings.

The Johnson Farm was subdivided in 1975.  It then became John Isabelle Acres where 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation descendants of John Robert and Isabelle Johnson live today.



Join us February 25, 2019 to March 2, 2019 all day for the 2019 CIAA Basketball Tournament.  The Bowie State University Bulldogs will travel to Charlotte, N.C. to compete against 12 other historically Black colleges and universities in the men’s and women’s Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Basketball Tournament.

Prince George’s County Chapter Bowie State University National Alumni Association, Inc. Annual Dinner Dance will be held June 23, 2019 from 4–8 p.m. at La Fontaine Bleue 7963 Annapolis Road, Lanham, Maryland.  $55 donations 15 Tax Deductible contribution. Semi-Formal attire/vendors, entertainment and cash bar.  For more information contact Audrey Johnson 301-922-5384.


“St. Paul United Methodist Church located at 6634 St. Barnabas Road, Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745 is thought to be the oldest black congregation in the county.  In 1867, the congregation acquired land and by 1888 had built a Methodist meeting-house.  They may have been affiliated with an even earlier group of freed blacks who had built their own meetinghouse in the Oxon Hill area in the late 1700s.  A new sanctuary was constructed in 1915 and was later expanded to form the present-day church complex. 



Everyone is invited to join us February 24, 2019, 2:00 p.m. for a Black History Presentation by Gwynn Park High School Students at Nottingham Myers United Methodist Church Family Life Center.  The address is 15601 Brooks Church Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Reverend Constance C, Smith, Pastor.  Reverend Constance C. Smith is the Pastor.



A smoking cessation class will help educate and support participants in their quest to take control of their health and quit smoking now.  The class is offered every Monday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at MedStar Health of Brandywine Community Room 13950 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613.  Registration required.  Cost is $10 one-time fee.  Contact number is 301-374-9098.   



Baden Community Center located at 13601 Baden Westwood Road in Brandywine, Maryland has a licensed before and after School Kid’s Care Program that is available for students of Baden Elementary School.  Recreation programs and classes offered at the center are soccer, basketball, karate, fitness and dance classes including line dance, hand dance and Zumba dance.  Telephone number is 301-888-1500. 



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