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Morning Notes

By Aaron Kraut

Monday - 3/11/2013, 9:15am  ET

State Senators Push To Give Lockheed Hotel Tax Break — In a highly controversial move, a group of Maryland State Senators on Friday advanced a bill that would exempt Bethesda-based defense contractor Lockheed Martin from paying about $450,000 a year in hotel taxes on its Bethesda training and conference center, which includes lodging. Montgomery County would have to pay back Lockheed $1.4 million in taxes collected since 2010. Lockheed has argued the facility is a corporate training center and shouldn’t be treated as a commercial hotel. Opponents, including some Council members who rejected earlier proposals from County Executive Isiah Leggett, argue the hotel charges non-Lockheed employees to stay there. Councilman George Leventhal (D-At large) said the State measure is “an affront to home rule.” [Maryland General Assembly] [Washington Post] [Maryland Juice]

Tonight: Discussions On Senior Villages, Bethesda-Friendship Heights Bus Route — Two sub-committees of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board are scheduled to meet tonight to discuss the development of senior Villages and the feasibility of a direct bus connection between Bethesda and Friendship Heights. The Villages discussion begins at 7 p.m., the transportation discussion at 8 p.m. Both will take place at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane). [Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center]

Fire Department Gets $1.1 Million Federal Grant — Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services last week announced it received a $1.1 million Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant to replace old cardiac defibrillators. Montgomery County will provide a matching amount of $298,200. At more than $37,000 per unit, MCFRS says the average cost per use of the defibrillators will be less than $8 over the course of the equipment’s life span. [MCFRS]

Penn State Bus From Bethesda Catches Fire, No Injuries — A bus carrying D.C.-area Penn State students back to campus after spring break caught fire in Johnstown, Pa., after departing from Bethesda on Sunday. No one was hurt and a replacement bus took the students the rest of the way. [NBC4]