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VDOT To Improve 10 Rural Roads

May 4, 2016 Development, News 1 comment
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Partnership with Preservationists Targets Safer Roads/$13M in Savings
By Andrea Gaines

Starting with a pilot program in 2002, VDOT undertook a major, multi-year initiative to improve the state’s rural road systems. Known as “The Rural Rustic Roads Program,” the initiative is designed to preserve the roads while maximizing VDOT budget efficiencies – addressing nine water management, erosion control, safety, and conservation factors peculiar to rural road systems. When approached as rural road systems in need of better long term maintenance versus “up to code” modernization, VDOT realizes significant costs savings, motorists enjoy safer travel and preservationists can sometimes realize big things on their wish list. The total Loudoun County costs associated with the program is estimated to be approximately $4,336,000. If approached the traditional way, the state estimates the costs at upwards of $17,800,000; for a total cost savings of nearly $13,475,000. … Continue Reading

Town Seeks Input on East Market Street Corridor Future Development

March 22, 2016 Development, News Comments Off on Town Seeks Input on East Market Street Corridor Future Development
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Community members are invited to participate in the planning process by completing a short survey on the Leesburg Listens online forum.

The Leesburg Planning and Zoning Department recently kicked off “Envision East Market Street,” a planning process to reconsider the land use designations within the East Market Street corridor, from the Route 15 Bypass to the eastern Town limits (see map below). … Continue Reading

Help Plan Purcellville Second Round Comp Plan Workshops

March 2, 2016 Development, News Comments Off on Help Plan Purcellville Second Round Comp Plan Workshops
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Everyone interested in the future of Purcellville is invited to attend one of the two public workshops being held by the Purcellville Planning Commission on Saturday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in Town Hall, 221 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville.

Short staff presentations will be given every 30 minutes reporting on the results of the first round of public exercises and research on existing conditions within the town.  Attendees will spend the remaining time moving between stations that each focus on specific areas in and around Purcellville.  The Planning Commission wants to know what the public does and does not like about each area currently as well as what the public would and would not like to see in each area. … Continue Reading

Community Input Charette for Purcellville Crossroads

February 28, 2016 Development, News 7 comments
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March 3, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at The Carver Center – 200 Willie Palmer Way, Purcellville

Pleasants Kline, the applicant of Purcellville Crossroads Annexation application is having a community input charrette March 3 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Carver Center in Purcellville. … Continue Reading

Lovettsville Invests In Its Future

February 3, 2016 Development 1 comment
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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
town of purcellville sign

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
town of purcellville sign

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
town of purcellville sign

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

A Habitable Planet

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“At the moments when we are able to separate ourselves from our daily concerns and ponder deeply, most of us have encountered fundamental questions of our existence as human beings. Where do we come from? What happened before humans appeared …

Choose Joy, Don’t Go Negative

Lunde new

Sometimes life is pleasant and it is easy to smile, other times it is not. The real question is how do you react and live your life when you are going through trials? What do you do when you feel …

Character Outlives Us All

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“Brains are like muscles, you can rent them by the hour, but at the end of the day all you have left is your character.” This statement was uttered by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a phrase his father used …

Foxridge Park

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth- Foxridge Park-1

You know, I can still taste those sausages: The first early-spring bratwurst cooked over an open flame in a beautiful setting among good friends; nothing so surprising, really, in recalling a good meal in classic context. The thing is, though …

Planning for Life Disclosure and Other Family Issues in Estate Planning

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What do we tell the kids? Questions of how much and what type of information to give the children often arise during consultation. The answers depend on the circumstances of each family – the ages and maturity of the children …

A Look Into What Is Learned in High School English

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By Mary Rose Lunde English is the arguably the most important subject for a student in high school to learn. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common — being able to communicate effectively. This is …

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

Isn’t Loudoun Better Than This?

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More than forty years I have watched a rising tide of development flowing from the east across Loudoun. Once it was thought the western mountains would be spared the flood. …

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

May 2016
M T W T F S S
25 26 27

Hamilton Town Hall

28 29

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

30

Lobster Day with Chef Seb at North Gate Vineyard

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

1

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Spring Wine Glass Painting with Penny

2

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

3

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

4

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

5

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

6

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

TGIF @ North Gate Vineyard!

7

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

The Sprouted Spoon Food Truck at North Gate Vineyard

Nathaniel Davis Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

8

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Celebrate Mother's Day at North Gate Vineyard!

Mother's Day Brunch at Breaux

9

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

10

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

11

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

12

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

13

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

14

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Dog Day at Breaux Vineyards

15

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

16

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

17

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

18

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

19

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Senior Caregiver Training

Hillsboro Ruritan Club Dinner Meeting

20

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

21

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Strawberry Afternoon Tea

22

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Land Trust of Virginia Annual Garden Party

BRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

Waterford Concert

23

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

24

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

25

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

26

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

27

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

28

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

A Taste of Paris and View of Normandy at Breaux Vineyards

Annie Stokes Live at North Gate Vineyard

29

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Paella by Carlos at North Gate Vineyard

30

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

31

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

1

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

2

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

3

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

4

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

5

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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Lifestyle

Local Author’s Book Now Affordable for All Students, Teachers and Parents

30 May 2016

Desk in the sky

Dr. Johanna LaFiandra’s book, “The Desk in the Sky” is now available as an e-book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other e-book suppliers for $2.99. After selling the printed version for $19.95, Dr. LaFiandra has reduced the price to make it widely available to the general public in the e-book format. The book can be read with the Kindle, …

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Movies in the Park Return to Ida Lee This Summer

25 May 2016

Leesburg01

“101 Dalmatians” kicks off the season on Thursday, May 26. Get the popcorn ready! The Town of Leesburg will once again be hosting Movies in the Park this summer. This free series will feature an evening movie on the third Thursday of each month throughout the summer, hosted at Ida Lee Park.

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New Concert Series Comes to Purcellville

20 May 2016

brianganz150

On Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 p.m., internationally recognized pianist Brian Ganz will present an all-Chopin recital at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 711 W. Main Street in Purcellville. The recital will feature several of Frédéric Chopin’s studies for solo piano, including the renowned “Revolutionary” Etude, among other works by the Romantic master. Ganz, who recently moved to Purcellville from Annapolis, …

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Around Virginia

Out and About Loudoun and Beyond

The Plains’ charming restaurants, shops and sidewalks.

Five Stone’s Throw Spring and Summer Destinations By Andrea Gaines Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and beautiful mountains to the west – and with easy access to Rt. 95, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 66 – Loudouners have no short list of fun spring places to …

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Update: Remains Located in Shenandoah National Park; Search Efforts Suspended

VSP Photo - 4-21-16 Whiteoak Canyon Trail Entrance VSP

Update: Body preliminarily identified as Nicole K. Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge. The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation includes a note recovered from the car leads investigators to believe there was no foul play involved in her death. ——————– Search efforts in the Shenandoah National …

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Virginia Trooper Shot and Killed at Richmond Bus Terminal

Tpr Dermyer Patrol Car in front of VSP SPHQ

A Virginia State Police trooper has died as a result of his injuries after being shot on March 31 at the Greyhound Bus station in the 2900 block of North Boulevard in Richmond. At approximately 2:40 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Chad P. Dermyer approached a male subject just inside …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

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

ODFCsoccerpics

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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