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56 cited in Montgomery County texting while driving crackdown


BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County Police took a stand against texting while driving on Tuesday, conducting a distracted driving enforcement sting at River and Goldsboro Roads in Bethesda, Md.

In a two-hour period, officers dished out 56 traffic citations and 22 warnings against drivers. 

The following violations were issued:

Using hands to use phone while driving: 31 traffic citations and 9 warnings

Texting while driving: 4 citations and 4 warnings

Driving on shoulder: 17 citations and 7 warnings

Negligent driving: 1 citation

Driving without a license: 1 citation and 2 warnings

Failure to display registration: 1 citation

Displaying a license plate cover: 1 citation

Texting sting catches distracted drivers

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Drivers, you may want to think twice about reaching for your phone after seeing this.

A texting sting went down in Montgomery County Tuesday morning at River and Goldsboro Roads in Bethesda. Several drivers never saw it coming because the operation involved a police officer disguised as a panhandler.

Montgomery County Police Spokesperson, Capt. Paul Starks said they began the undercover sting towards the beginning of the school year in an attempt to crack down on distracted drivers.

The operations are sporadic and its locations are randomly selected.

Video released of aggressive owl in Bethesda park

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Montgomery County authorities released video Tuesday of an aggressive owl that reportedly attacked several joggers along a popular trail in Bethesda. 

In the video, which was taken Thursday, the owl can be seen briefly dive bombing across the Capital Crescent Trail.

Parks officials have posted signs along the trail about the owl, which has reportedly attacked at least three people.

Experts say the owl may mistake a ponytail for prey and that any attacks are most likely to happen at dusk or dawn.   

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Motorcyclist killed in Bethesda crash

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A motorcyclist was killed in a crash in Bethesda Sunday afternoon, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.

The motorcyclist has been identified as Gary Bird Seward, 52, of Bethesda, police said. 

The crash happened around 12:55 p.m. at Old Georgetown Road and Lone Oak Drive. Police say the crash happened when a 2005 Honda Accord struck a 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle as the car was making a left turn onto Loan Oak Drive. Police say the motorcycle was traveling on Old Georgetown Road. 

Seward was transported to a local hospital where police say he later died. 

The driver of the Honda has been identified as Barbara Ann Wilkerson, 85, of Bethesda. 

Police are continuing to investigate the crash.

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Dozens evacuated due to gas leak in Bethesda

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- Dozens of people were evacuated early Sunday after a gas leak in Bethesda, according to Montgomery County fire.

The gas leak happened around 2:35 a.m. in an apartment building and other homes in the 6800 block of Fairfax Street. Fire officials say the leak occurred after a hit and run driver sheared off a commercial gas meter in the alley next to the apartment building and that led to hazardous gas conditions in several structures.

Residents were evacuated to a Safeway located at 5000 Bradley Boulevard. Fire officials said residents started going back into their homes around 5:40 a.m. and no injuries were reported.

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FOUND: 83-year-old Bethesda woman

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Silver Alert has been canceled for a missing 83-year-old from Bethesda.

Montgomery County police say Ellen Mackey has been found safe and unharmed. 

Police thank the public for their help. 

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Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Pack Light, Pack Right While Traveling by Air This Fall

Fall is a time when millions of people around the country begin to make their travel plans. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the busiest travel times of the year are just around the corner, which include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. There are some great reasons why packing light will help make your trip easier and more enjoyable. And the good news is that it’s not difficult to do, either.

“If you want to pack right when you travel then you really need to focus on packing light,” explains Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of Savvy Travelers. “There’s much less hassle and stress when you pack light and stick to the basics. You can put your focus on your travel, rather than having all of your attention go to dragging around way too much luggage.”

Here are some Savvy Travelers tips for packing light and right for fall and holiday air travel: