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Lovettsville Invests In Its Future

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By Nathaniel Stephens

If you have not passed through Lovettsville lately then you may be surprised at the major facelift the town has received over the past year; and if you have, then you are more than acquainted with the traffic jams stemming from the work. That once sleepy little town, mere pit stop for commuters, is now busy with construction crews expanding roads. … Continue Reading

Plan To Reduce Congestion on I-66 Approved

January 7, 2016 Development Comments Off on Plan To Reduce Congestion on I-66 Approved
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The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved new travel choices to ease congestion and improve reliability on I-66 inside the Beltway during rush hours.  Improvements will move more people with fewer vehicles by increasing transit, carpooling and other multi-modal options and allowing single-occupant drivers access to the facility for a toll. 

“After years of exhaustive study and public input, we finally have a pragmatic solution that can be can be implemented quickly and provide real results to improve traffic flow on one of the nation’s most congested roadways,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “The CTB supported the McAuliffe administration’s proposal to deliver reasonable solutions to ease congestion in Northern Virginia.” … Continue Reading

Another Annexation Proposal in for Purcellville

December 2, 2015 Development, News 6 comments
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The Warner Brook Annexation proposal has been submitted to the Town of Purcellville, bringing the current annexation proposals to two.

The Warner Brook annexation proposal is for 131.29 acres. It is located across from Brookfield Mayfair (formerly Autumn Hill) and the address of the property is 17100 Purcellville Road. The property is currently in the county and is zoned JLMA-3 – one house per three acres. If developed at its current zoning it would allow for approximately 43 homes on the property.

The owners of the property are requesting an annexation into the Town of Purcellville for the available utilities which would allow the property to be developed at a much greater density. When community residents asked Jim Herbert, who is representing the owners, to develop the property by-right, he said that the owners want more money and are interested in more density on the property. This is the same answer that the representatives of the Kline property are giving. … Continue Reading

Save Old Town Purcellville Organizer Goes To Court December 4

December 2, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Save Old Town Purcellville Organizer Goes To Court December 4
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Purcellville resident and 21st Street business owner Mary Ellen Stover is ready for the big day. Her attorney Frank Bredimus of Hamilton will be in Loudoun County Circuit Court Friday to argue her August 2015 appeal challenging the decisions of Purcellville’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

The BZA ruled that Town of Purcellville Zoning Administrator, Patrick Sullivan, was correct in his determination that the proposed Vineyard Square project had “commenced” when the developer tore down two small brick historic structures connected to the project. But, Stover’s attorney says the BZA failed to determine whether or not Patrick Sullivan had the authority and jurisdiction to administer and enforce Chapter 54 of the Town Code, which controls such issues. Bredimus will also argue the BZA failed to provide written notice to adjacent property owners, including Mary Ellen Stover as is required, as well as a number of other illegalities. … Continue Reading

Town of Leesburg To Celebrate Opening of Hope Parkway

December 1, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Town of Leesburg To Celebrate Opening of Hope Parkway
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At 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd, members of the Town Council and representatives from Loudoun County, VDOT and K2M will celebrate the opening of Hope Parkway with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony will take place near the intersection of Hope Parkway and Oaklawn Drive.

Construction of the 1,400 linear foot extension of Hope Parkway, from Whipp Drive to Miller Drive, began in June 2015 and is completed less than a year after Governor McAuliffe announced the K2M Global Headquarters expansion. The total cost of construction was an estimated $1.8 million. The Virginia Department of Transportation provided an Economic Development Access Fund grant of $650,000 in conjunction with the construction of K2M’s new global headquarters facility. The Oaklawn development will reimburse the Town for the remaining costs of construction. The design engineer was Paciulli, Simmons & Associates, and the construction contractor was Phillips Construction, LLC. For more information about the project, visit the Town of Leesburg website at www.leesburgva.gov/government/departments/capital-projects/current-projects/streets/hope-parkway-extension.

Denstock Real Estate Investments Eyeing Property in Purcellville

November 4, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Denstock Real Estate Investments Eyeing Property in Purcellville
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In October, Purcellville Vice Mayor Ben Packard disclosed that he and town council member Joan Lehr had met with Denstock Real Estate Investments of Charlottesville to discuss a potential new development near the western entrance to town.

The company is interested in the O’Toole property, located on Main Street across from Crooked Run Orchard. The company is looking into putting luxury apartments on the parcel, which also borders the Southern Collector Road.

Denstock Real Estate Investments describes their focus as “primarily [on] multifamily development,” building “Class A luxury communities.” Per its website, the company claims to have “created significant value for both our investors and our residents,” focusing on establishing apartments near medical facilities.

Other Denstock developments include the 170-unit Meadow Branch Apartments complex in Winchester (under construction), the 155-unit Stonegate Apartments at Zion Crossroads, the 204-unit Apartments at Goose Creek in Fishersville (under construction) and the 348-unit Lakeside Apartments in Charlottesville.

Purcellville Crossroads Proposal Moves Forward

November 4, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Purcellville Crossroads Proposal Moves Forward
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In early October, Vice Mayor Ben Packard proposed to put the Purcellville Crossroads Application on the October 27 Town Council Work Session Agenda for discussion. His reason for doing so was to have any additional questions answered so council could make a decision on whether or not to annex the property. Typically, it is the applicant that requests this process.

Background

Pleasants Kline, along with two other property owners, is requesting that Purcellville annex and bring into town approximately 50.4 acres of farmland rezoned for residential use. The property is currently within the Purcellville/County Joint Land Management area and zoned JLMA-3 (one house per three acres). It is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Berlin Turnpike (Route 287) and Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and along St. Francis Court. … Continue Reading

Defiant Planning Commission Sends Zoning Changes To Town Council

September 30, 2015 Development, News 1 comment
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In a dramatic 5-1-1 vote, the Purcellville Planning Commission has put the ball squarely in the Purcellville Town Council’s court, recommending dozens of sweeping zoning changes fought for tooth and nail by developers. The vote shifts the focus of the debate from the Planning Commission to Town Council meetings and public hearings scheduled to start in October.

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman was the sole dissenter in the Planning Commission’s dramatic volley, voting no on the proposed changes. Planning Commissioners Chip Paciulli, Theresa Stein, Edward Van Istendal, Doug McCollum and Gil Paist, voted yes, with planning commissioner Chris Bledsoe absent for the vote.

At the Planning Commission public hearing Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “A vast majority of the proposed changes will increase the value of a few property owners by granting by right use…while other citizens will lose out on the ability to obtain value added conditions for development that might compliment the lifestyles and environment they cherish in Purcellville … the majority of the residents with whom I have spoken … are recommending that we suspend making these drastic changes to the zoning uses … all energy should be on the Comprehensive Plan review; you have the attention of the citizens so let’s do it.”

A few of the changes proposed by the Planning Commission include:

  • Allowing completely new uses in select districts.
  • Eliminating Special Use Permits for many uses.
  • Increasing limits on restaurant size.
  • Adding big box retail up to 10,000 square feet to the C-4 and C-1 Districts to name a few.

Noted dissenting commissioner Nedim Ogelman, “We said we would not change the purposes of the districts to avoid claims we are engaging in rezoning, yet the draft ordinance amendment before us … is essentially rezoning … We are tasked with advising the Town Council on planning issues. My advice to the Town Council is to listen to what citizens have been telling us in our information sessions, through correspondence, in our public hearing, and in the town survey … that we table the draft zoning use changes until after we have a Comprehensive Plan Review.”
Many citizens spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing including Ed Need who highlighted the negative effects of rezoning.

Developer interests, however, presented a very different point of view. Attorney Mark Nelis, representing Jiffy Lube and others continued to press for a reduction in the number of zoning districts and a reduction in the number of special use permits required for various uses; the goal? – to save his clients time and money.

At the Town Council work session in late September, Councilmember Ben Packard made a motion to put the proposed zoning changes on the Oct. 13 town council meeting agenda.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Councilmember Karen Jimmerson objected, with the mayor noting that over the last three months he had sent numerous questions about the Planning Commission’s long list of zoning changes to Commissioner Gil Paist, but, had received no answers.

Said Mayor Fraser “ … we have a Planning Commission that refuses to answer fundamental questions about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their recommended zoning use changes … There seems to be this continuous push to erect buildings without careful thought about supporting infrastructure and the impact to the surrounding environment … experts in the field of town planning warn [that] it is poor practice and could result in legal trouble for a community to adopt a zoning ordinance first and then write up a town plan.”

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman, town council member Karen Jimmerson, Mayor Fraser and others are also expected to continue to push for a thorough Comprehensive Plan review before any major zoning changes are put in place.

PDH Districts Go Down, More Big Box Stores and Restaurants

August 7, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on PDH Districts Go Down, More Big Box Stores and Restaurants
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You win some you lose some. But, citizens participating in three days of Purcellville Planning Commission public input sessions held their own in expressing concerns about the large number of town zoning use changes being proposed by the commission.
With more than 200 zoning regulations up for debate – covering everything from alterations to the purpose of the Planned Development Housing Districts (PDH) to additional permitted uses in the Commercial, Mixed-Use Commercial, Industrial and other designations – the tenor of the three public input sessions – held July 7, 8 and 9 – reflected the polarized zoning debate taking place in Purcellville, pitting the preferences of most citizens against the special interests of a few. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Crossroads Developers Seek 50+-Acre Annexation

August 7, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Purcellville Crossroads Developers Seek 50+-Acre Annexation
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Developers are requesting that some 50 acres at the intersection of Route 287 and St. Francis Court be annexed into the Town of Purcellville for the purpose of developing an intensive residential and commercial project known as Purcellville Crossroads. Proposed in conjunction with the Tilly’s Entertainment Company, the development would bring in dense commercial and residential uses – including national chain restaurants, a hotel, go-carts, commuter parking and other uses. The area is now predominated by 3-acre residential properties, and farms and wineries consistent with distinctly rural uses. As such, Purcellville Crossroads is drawing the ire of the homeowners and rural businesses in the area. … Continue Reading

“Future Developers Must Follow The Rules Of Law Set Forth In Our Town” Citizen Activist Challenges Vineyard Square Development

July 1, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on “Future Developers Must Follow The Rules Of Law Set Forth In Our Town” Citizen Activist Challenges Vineyard Square Development
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– By Andrea Gaines

Purcellville resident and businesswoman Mary Ellen Stover addressed citizens June 27, as she explained her legal challenge to Purcellville Zoning Administrator Patrick Sullivan’s decision to let the historic downtown project known as Vineyard Square proceed, despite at least two expired Certificate of Design Approval permits.

Stover’s antique shop, Mary Ellen Stover Antiques, is located in a part of historic downtown Purcellville that will be directly impacted by the 5-6 story, mixed-use Vineyard Square development. But, according to Stover, while she opposes the project on principle, believing that its size and scope is inappropriate for the spot and incompatible for historic downtown, the essence of her legal challenge centers on the special treatment being given to developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis.

… Continue Reading

Stage Is Set For Purcellville’s July 7, 8, 9 Zoning Debate

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No-Size-Limit Big Box Stores, By-Right Drive-Thrus And More On Developers’ Wish List

The Purcellville Planning Commission has finalized its agenda for the approximately 229 zoning regulations that will be the subject of three major public input sessions in early July.

The commission’s agenda ranges from uses that will remain unchanged in residential, commercial and industrial zones, to new uses that would now fall into the by-right category, eliminating requirements for public input before a particular project can proceed. These by-right uses include drive-thrus, no-size-limit big box stores, and high-density town center-style developments.

… Continue Reading

Public Asked To Weigh in on Developer Demands for Sweeping Changes to Zoning Map

June 3, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Public Asked To Weigh in on Developer Demands for Sweeping Changes to Zoning Map
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Expanded Big Box Stores, By Right Drive-Thrus, Data Centers and More on Planning Commissioner’s Agenda

Purcellville Planning Commission Chairman Gilbert Paist – under significant pressure from Mayor Kwasi Fraser, Town Council member Karen Jimmerson, Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman and others – is asking for public input on a long and increasingly aggressive list of developer demands for sweeping changes to town zoning regulations.

Paist, serving on the Planning Commission since 2011 and as chairman since 2014, is viewed by the preservation community as decidedly pro-developer, as are many long-standing members of both the Planning Commission and the Purcellville Town Council. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Pie in the Face (with remarks from Ron Paul)

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“In any field, the establishment is seldom in pursuit of the truth because it is composed of those who sincerely believe that they are already in possession of it.” E. T. Jaynes. Everybody prefaces Bernie Sanders name with “pie in …

Asterisk No More

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

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By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

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It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

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By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

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Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

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Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

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Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Chocolate & Cabernet

Sweetheart's Soirée at Breaux Vineyards

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Notaviva Vineyards presents 5th annual "My Funny Valentine" comedy show feat. Jason Weems!

Celebrate Valentine's Day at North Gate Vineyard

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26

Breaux Vineyards February Fourth Friday

27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

Our Love is Here to Stay

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Merlot Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

North Gate Vineyard Wine Dinner with Chef Sebastian Oveysi

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Creation and Evolution in Native American Spirituality

9 Feb 2016

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In celebration of Evolution Weekend, an annual event led by clergy to encourage serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science, St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville has invited Roger and Deborah “Turtle” Swartz to guide a discussion of traditional Native American Spirituality and its wisdom in celebrating human relationship to the earth. In a …

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Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

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There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

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By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

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The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

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On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

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Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

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The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

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The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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