Tom Perez Makes Pitch for Becoming DNC Chair; Montgomery County Police Return Packages Stolen from Doorsteps

News, announcements and other useful links for your Friday morning


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Perez shares vision for restoring Democratic Party if elected DNC chair

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez laid out his plan for rebuilding the Democratic Party in a recent interview with the Huffington Post. Perez, a former Montgomery County Council member, is in the running to become head of the Democratic National Committee. He argues that the party's policies are solid, but it needs to invest more heavily in state and local loyalists. He also talked about combating what he sees as Republican-led voter suppression efforts. Democratic Party officials will elect the next DNC chairman in late February. [Huffington Post]

County police return holiday packages pinched from Clarksburg, Germantown homes

Just in time for Christmas, Montgomery County police returned more than 40 packages that had been stolen from Clarksburg and Germantown doorsteps. The packages contained items including Ugg boots, DVDs, a chair and picture frames. Police had arrested three 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old in connection with the thefts on Dec. 13 and 20. Late Thursday, they announced they had arrested two more juveniles suspected of stealing packages. [WTOP]

No fingerprint checks required for Uber, Lyft drivers

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft will not have to run fingerprint-based background checks for their Maryland drivers, state officials announced Thursday. However, the Maryland Public Service Commission did place some new controls over the transportation providers. The commission is requiring the companies to renew background checks on drivers each year, agree to auditing and accreditation and to report any changes in their background check process. Uber and Lyft responded positively to the commission's decision. [Baltimore Sun]

Gaithersburg prepares to implement smoking ban on public property

A smoking ban that covers all Gaithersburg city property will take effect Jan. 1. Vaping is also prohibited under the new restrictions, which have limited exceptions. City leaders passed the ban in October. It applies both to public buildings and property, including parks. [Montgomery County Media]

Sunny day expected; rain possible overnight

The area should stay sunny with temperatures reaching 46 degrees during Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Clouds will roll in as night progresses, and rainfall is possible after 1 a.m.

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