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Bed and Breakfast Guests Can Learn Cooking with Chef

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The Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn is offering cooking classes with its chef to guests who schedule stays during the weekend of February 24 and 25. Or you can just attend the cooking class without the overnight stays. Friday night of the stay includes a wine tasting with an expert from a local winery and appetizers prepared by the chef. A 3-wineries tour is an option for Saturday afternoon. And a cooking class will be offered on Saturday at which guests will learn from Chef Matt Finarelli in February as well as enjoy a four-course meal. To learn more go to www.briarpatchbandb.com.

Coo-Coo for Cah-COW

November 30, 2016 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Coo-Coo for Cah-COW
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Chocolate – the mind-blowing substance we coax out of the modest cacao bean – is everywhere this time of year. Wafting past our noses from the cake in the oven. Showing up as cookie crumbs in the pockets of our jeans. Catching our eye as those skinnier-than-skinny office mates pop yet more malted milk balls in their mouths. We’re obsessed with this bean, it’s true. We celebrate Chocolate Mint Day on February 19, Chocolate Mousse Day on May 2, and Chocolate Milk Day on July 28. According to an organization called Farm Flavor, there are in fact 30 different dates set aside to pay homage to our love of chocolate. But, here at the Blue Ridge Leader, we are partial to the granddaddy of them all: America’s official Chocolate-Covered Anything Day, which is celebrated on December 16. In celebration of the holidays and this sacred substance, we present to you three tantalizing ways to enjoy the taste of chocolate this month, and any day of the year. … Continue Reading

Here’s To Equal Ice Cream Rights For All

July 6, 2016 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Here’s To Equal Ice Cream Rights For All
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Check me on this. But, isn’t it true that a great big spoonful of ice cream would taste just magnificent right now?

July is National Ice Cream Month, and we Americans have a long and personal history with ice cream – and with the patents to prove it. So, let’s celebrate.

A Brief History Of Ice Cream
According to The Farmer’s Almanac, Emperor Nero enjoyed something like ice cream – shaved ice mixed with fruit. China’s royalty is reported to have enjoyed a dish made with heated, fermented milk, flour and camphor (a spice with a sweet licorice-like flavor). And, ice cream-like deserts were also popular with American colonists, who brought it over from Europe, the nations of which had probably gotten their ice cream basics from either Asia or the Middle East.

But, it was a Ms. Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia who deserves to have ice cream month – and the last century and a half of ice cream consumption – named after her. Johnson patented what she called her “artificial freezer” in 1843 – the basic mechanisms of which used a tub, an inner cylinder, a lid, a crank and a “dasher” (moves the mixture around in the cylinder as it freezes) to create the sweet delight we call ice cream, today.

A Baltimore Maryland dairyman named Jacob Fussell is known as the father of the wholesale ice cream industry, he opened the first commercial ice cream factory in 1851. Italian immigrant Italo Marchiony of New York may have patented the first machine for the making of the waffle cone in about 1903. And, ice cream’s status as a very American dessert was made official during WWII when Mussolini banned the sale of ice cream in Italy, seeing it as a symbol of America.

Dogs Love It, Too
Understanding the influence that inventors from right here had on the ice cream industry might make you love it even more. But, don’t leave you-know-who – your dog – out of the fun and cool deliciousness. So, as we bore into the hot month of July, remember that they enjoy a cool and tasty summer treat as much as we do.

There are a few ingredients in popular ice cream flavors that are not good for dogs (chocolate and raisins, for example are major no-no’s for dogs).

But, having a healthy version of this sweet summer treat around will do both of you a lot of good. Here’s to equal ice cream rights for all!

“Cloud Nine” Ice Cream For Dogs
Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 1 cup of peanut butter, 2 cups of natural plain yogurt, 2 tbsps. of honey.?Instructions: Mash the banana and then stir it into the natural yogurt; warm the cup of peanut butter using a microwave or stove; add the banana, yogurt mixture and honey to the soft peanut butter and mix until everything is combined. Make the ice cream as you normally would, with an ice cream maker or by freezing and mixing as it hardens. (Add sweeteners for humans.)

P.S. Dog ice cream is making its way “across the pond.” A London dog ice cream truck serves its customers two varieties – “Dog Eat Hog World” (ham and chicken sorbet topped with a biscuit) and “Canine Cookie Crunch” (mixed dog biscuits and ice cream). The truck also broadcasts the Scooby Doo theme song as a signal to dogs that they are in the area. Woof! Woof!

May is National Hamburger Month

May 4, 2016 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on May is National Hamburger Month
May Is National Hamburger Month What Is Your Favorite Burger?

Americans consume about 50 billion (beef) hamburgers a year – three burgers per week for every man, woman and child. The oldest burger chain, but the way, is White Castle, started in 1921.

Nobody really knows how hamburgers originated – from a hotdog maker who was trying to innovate a new sandwich, from 12th Century Mongolians who tenderized beef by putting it under their saddles, from the guy who flattened his meatballs and stuck them between two slices of bread, or, from the owner of a little sandwich joint somewhere in Connecticut. … Continue Reading

Focus On: Monk’s BBQ

May 4, 2016 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Focus On: Monk’s BBQ
Focus On Monk's BBQ

Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville focuses on slow smoked, no shortcuts, BBQ. Make sure to check them out every Wednesday for Whiskey Wednesday where 128 of their 130 bottle Rye Whiskey and Bourbon collection is half off. Every Friday and Saturday starting at 8 p.m. they have live music featuring the local musicians. They support the local brewing scene with 16 taps that always feature Virginia and DC craft breweries.

Pictured: from l to r: Mike Jewell, Brian Jenkins and Tim Owen, Photo by Sarah Huntington

Don’t Forget the Pie

December 2, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Don’t Forget the Pie
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This holiday season, don’t forget the pie! Mom’s Apple Pie Company has been selected by Yahoo Travel as the best pie shop in the state of Virginia.

Mom’s is locally owned and specializes in fresh pies using locally grown fruit as much as possible. They have a large variety of pies and since we have tried them all it is hard to decide which is our favorite. All we know is that they are delicious.

Their pies are preservative free and not too sweet – so you can really taste the fruit. Mom’s has three locations: Leesburg at 220 Loudoun St, SE, Round Hill at 35246 Harry Byrd Hwy., and Occoquan at 126A Commerce St.

For more information go to www.momsapplepieco.com.

Photo courtesy of Mom’s Apple Pie

Two Kitchen Cousins Present …

August 7, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present …
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What’s For Dinner? … A Turkey Casserole for You and Your Pooch
– By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

As we celebrate the dog days of August, we look to foods that are as tasty and nutritious for us humans as they are for the family dog.

Here’s a fun one – turkey casserole with rice and veggies. Save it for a special occasion … like your dog’s birthday, or any time you want to remind your dog how much your love them. … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present … Plate To Tempt, Plate To Tease

July 1, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present … Plate To Tempt, Plate To Tease
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– By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

Plating pulls a dish together, using color for visual appeal, showcasing ingredients and revealing the flavors and textures to be enjoyed. It isn’t so much about making something look pretty as it is about making it look appetizing. Here are the basics of good plating, along with some great examples.

Good plating …

Is more than a garnish. Everything on the plate should be edible and compliment the flavors in the dish.

Is simple. Even if the presentation is a bit unstructured and scattered, it has a limited number of features and a decided theme – whether casual or 5-Star.

Showcases the food. Placing a smaller portion of food on a larger plate or platter, and otherwise allowing the food to be the focus of attention can achieve this.

Balances color. The dark and neutral colors of meat, bread and pasta for example, are offset by bright greens, reds, pink, yellow and orange.

Structures the dish. Sometime this means clustering items in threes – with starch at 10 o’clock, proteins at 6 o’clock and vegetables at 2 o’clock; sometimes this means creating a stack or pyramid; sometimes it means using geometric patterns to emphasize contrasts in flavor and color.

Shows creativity. Food stylists say nothing says good plating more than something that surprises – a chilled shrimp accenting a fish dish, a vertical sprig of fresh herb, a beautiful edible flower resting atop a hearty steak.

Fancy Grilled Steak: Make a signature piece of meat, fish or pork the focus of your plate. Here, a filet mignon is dressed with a small pool of gravy, a dried red pepper, julienned fried onion and a spring of thyme.

Rustic Brochette: French or Italian toast rounds – topped with your favorite brochette mixture and garnished with freshly ground black pepper and cherry tomatoes – is simple, rustic and beautiful.

Spaghetti With Mushrooms & Orange: Plate your pasta to reveal its flavors. Here, creamy mushrooms are presented as a topping with strips of orange zest. A spray of savory orange sauce finishes off the dish.

Blue Cheese Burger: For burgers – and any kind of sandwich, really – put the ingredients together in a loose way that lets all of them show … much more appetizing than a regular old closed face sandwich plate.

Sliced Meats & Cheeses: Arranged on a cutting board with some fresh greens and herbs, sliced meats and cheeses look delicious and ready to snack on – on their own or with a cracker or slice of bread.

Pizza: Fresh out of the oven pizza benefits from an added something – a sprinkling of arugula, a drizzle of oil, a chiffonade of basil, a sprinkling of fresh parsley or thyme or a grind or two of fresh pepper.

About Andrea & Lisa: Andrea and Lisa are cousins who grew up on Long Island together. Andrea is a well-know writer for the Blue Ridge Leader & Loudoun Today. Lisa is a private chef who has been making people’s mouths water ever since she started baking fresh muffins for her office mates in New York City.

Two Kitchen Cousins Present a Cool and Spicy Treat for Father’s Day

June 3, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present a Cool and Spicy Treat for Father’s Day
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Andalusia Gazpacho
By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

All Dads agree … there is nothing like a chilled mug or shot glass of salty sweet, citrusy gazpacho on a warm summer evening. Originating in the Spanish region of Andalusia, our recipe for this chilled vegetable soup is perfect with Dad’s a favorite thing from the grill … or as a prelude to a hearty dish of pasta.

Gazpacho provides lots of nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Selenium, Vitamin C and Manganese. It is also a good source of protein and is low in saturated fat. Healthy, not just for Dad, but for all. … Continue Reading

Calling All Kids: Lets Make Popsicles

June 3, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Calling All Kids: Lets Make Popsicles
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Love popsicles? I do. The delicious and healthy kind kids can make at home with summery treats from the garden or local farm stand. The kind that – if the kid doesn’t happen to have a real life popsicle mold – can be made with everyday items from the kitchen like a juice cup, Dixie cup, ice cube tray or cupcake tin.

Popsicles are a – mostly – no rules kind of treat. Just a few things to keep in mind: 1) Freeze your popsicles for a good four to six hours before eating; 2) Let your popsicles freeze for about an hour before you insert your popsicle stick; and 3) To unmold your popsicle, run the container under a bit of warm water. … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present …Cod In Parchment with Citrus Butter

May 6, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present …Cod In Parchment with Citrus Butter
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By Lisa Wasson And Andrea Gaines

The key to success with any dish is picking a good recipe and then repeating it until it’s second nature to you.
Cooking with parchment is one of the easiest ways to guarantee success, particularly when it comes to subtlety of flavor. It may feel intimidating at first, but it is simple, really – easy to prep, easy to cook, easy to serve. In the case of this dish – which translates to “Le Cabillaud dans le Parchemin Avec le Beurre d’Arrume” – it’s also an opportunity to bone up on your French. Enjoy! … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present: Mason Jar Salads – Healthy, Pretty, Convenient and Fun

March 4, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present: Mason Jar Salads – Healthy, Pretty, Convenient and Fun
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By Lisa Wasson and Andrea Gaines

To begin, line up your mason jars (or any wide-mouthed glass jar with a lid) along with your chosen dressing and ingredients. Prepare and season the ingredients as you normally would – slicing, blanching, roasting and shredding – so they are all ready to go. Return pasta, roasted vegetables and other cooked/steamed ingredients to room temperature before layering, and also drain items that come in their own juice – including canned, pickled or marinated vegetables and beans. … Continue Reading

Two Kitchen Cousins Present – Let’s Throw a Winter Chili Party

January 6, 2015 Dine With Us, Lifestyle, Uncategorized Comments Off on Two Kitchen Cousins Present – Let’s Throw a Winter Chili Party
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By Lisa Wasson and Andrea Gaines

If you’re going to be snowed in, there’s nothing better than being snowed in with something savory simmering on the stove and making the house smell delicious.

This chili recipe – meant to satisfy both the vegetarian and the meat eater in your household – fits the bill. It has a deep, spicy flavor and also freezes beautifully. Make extra that you can heat up over a weekend and/or have available for a quick lunch, a weekend afternoon of football or a ready-to-go dinner with a fresh salad and warm bread during the week. This recipe makes about 1-1/2 quarts. The list of ingredients is rather long, but it’s worth the effort. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

2016 in the Books

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(Presented to the Board of Supervisors February, 2017) “The last three years have demonstrated abundantly clearly that there is no change in the long-term trends since 1998. A prediction from 1997 merely continuing the linear trends would significantly under-predict the …

A Rainy Romance

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” – a simple phrase uttered in an acclaimed musical that helped birth a star. The movie’s Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) catches his attention so completely that Don Lockwood (Gene …

Concerned Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, Our 15-year-old son is out of control and we don’t know what to do anymore. He smokes pot and drinks, disobeys us left and right, is truant from school often, comes home whenever he …

It’s Time To Review Your Estate Planning Basics

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Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts. The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It’s widely believed …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: George Marshall Center

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I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so …

Meeting the “Other America”

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By Nicholas Reid Ever since the presidential election last November, there has been a lot of talk about the “two Americas”: coastal and continental America. The many differences between these two sections of the United States are numerous and oftentimes …

The Trump Effect

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“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

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Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

February 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
February 6, 2017 February 7, 2017 February 8, 2017 February 9, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 10, 2017 February 11, 2017

Valentine's Pizza & Champagne

Sweetheart’s Soirée- A Night of Dinner & Dancing

February 12, 2017

Candlelight Concert Fundraiser

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

February 13, 2017 February 14, 2017 February 15, 2017

Bob Brown Puppets: Dragon Feathers

February 16, 2017 February 17, 2017

ARTSPOWER: RAINBOW FISH

February 18, 2017

Wine & Chili Weekend

BALLET THEATRE OF ASHBURN AND EDGE PERFORMANCE COMPANY: MALONE BENEFIT CONCERT

Comedy Night feat. Tyrone Davis

February 19, 2017
February 20, 2017 February 21, 2017 February 22, 2017 February 23, 2017 February 24, 2017

February Fourth Friday

February 25, 2017

Samedi Gras Celebration

February 26, 2017
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017 March 3, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

March 4, 2017

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

March 5, 2017
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Lifestyle

Hillsboro Plans Mardi Gras Celebration on February 25

20 Feb 2017

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Mardi Gras celebration will be held in Hillsboro on Saturday, February 25 as a benefit for the Old Stone Schoolhouse. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Hurricanes and New Orleans drinks, as well as Old 690 beer and local wines will be served in the Garden District Bar. The Cajun Cafe will feature New Orleans cuisine, including King Cakes. …

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Four Young Historians Discuss Civil War Turning Points

2 Feb 2017

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The Mosby Heritage Area Association will hold a talk featuring a panel of four young historians who will discuss turning points in the Civil War. The talk will be held at Unison Methodist Church, 21148 Unison Road, Middleburg, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12. Tickets will be sold at the door or online at www.mosbyheritagearea.org/events for $15 …

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Love In All of Its Forms … Ain’t It Grand

2 Feb 2017

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Americans exchange hundreds of millions of cards on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend some $20 billion to mark the day and demonstrate to friends and family how much we love them – on what marketers call “Love’s Holiday.” Love. It’s a big deal.

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Loudoun County Seal Color

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

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Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

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We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

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By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Walbridge To Run for State Delegate in the 33rd District

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Tia Walbridge announces her run for the District 33 seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Walbridge is a wife and mother of two daughters and an active member of the Round Hill community. “Like many people in our district, my family has found its prosperity in a Virginia-based small …

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Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

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Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

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Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

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Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

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Sports

Woodgrove Gymnasts Advance To States

15 Feb 2017

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Two Woodgrove High School gymnasts have qualified to advance to the Virginia State Championships Saturday, February 18, at Patriot High School in Nokesville. Sophomore River Stone placed fourth in the all-around competition at the 1A-5A North Regional Gymnastics Championships at Park View High School on Wednesday, February 8, which earns …

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Woodgrove Gymnastics Team Places First

1 Feb 2017

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The Woodgrove High School Gymnastics team for placed first at their home meet. The team competed against squads from Loudoun Valley, Park View and Riverside high schools. Seniors Kaycee Delitta and Sarah Snare were honored at the event for their contributions to the team. The Wolverines excelled in individual competition …

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