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Purcellville Town Council Member McConville Takes Job With Bowman Consulting

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Be the first to comment
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At the June Purcellville Town Council meeting, council member Patrick McConville formally announced that he had started a new job with Bowman Consulting.

Founded in 1995, Bowman offers its clients a wide variety of services related to land development, transportation, mining, power and energy, structural design, wastewater, construction management and surveying. It also provides clients with zoning and regulatory expertise at the local, state, and federal levels. While its headquarters are in Chantilly, it has dozens of offices nationwide and operates in 11 other states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

… Continue Reading

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

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News 1 comment
town of purcellville sign

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

Planning Commission Public Input Sessions Zoning District Use Changes

June 22, 2015 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commission Public Input Sessions Zoning District Use Changes
town of purcellville sign

The Town of Purcellville Planning Commission will hold public input sessions on July 7, 8, and 9 to hear comments on proposed changes to the Purcellville Zoning Ordinance regarding permitted and special uses in the R-2 Single Family Residential District, R-3 Duplex Residential District, R-3A Office Residential District, R-8 Townhouse Residential District, R-15 Apartment Residential District, RT Single Family Residential District, C-1 Office Commercial District, MC Mixed Commercial District, C-4 Central Commercial District, CM-1 Local Service Industrial District, M-1 Limited Industrial District, PDH Planned Development Housing, X Transitional District, IP Institutional and Public Use District, and AC Agricultural Conservancy/Commercial District. … Continue Reading

Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increase – Not Good For Our Citizens and Businesses

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government Comments Off on Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increase – Not Good For Our Citizens and Businesses
fraser

By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville

Prior to the decrease in rates last year, our citizens and businesses had experienced over six years of increasing water and sewer rates.  This decrease in rates, although small when compared with the double digit increases Purcellville citizens and businesses faced for years, was well received and deserved.  The question remains – were those increases politically driven or strategically done with a plan to enable us to cover the lower rate?  With the agreed to connection fees from the Mayfair project along with our debt refinancing and restructuring, the lower rates from last year were financially supported by fees throughout the year.  ?In addition, following financial analysis and modeling of our water and sewer operations, our consultant, Municipal & Financial Services Group, recommended no increases or decreases in rates for Fiscal Year 2016, but increases of three percent in water rates and five percent in sewer rate starting in Fiscal Year 2017.   The town paid the Municipal & Financial Services Group over $12,000 for their analysis and recommendation.  A few of our council members, however, have decided to ignore the recommendation of our paid consultants at the Municipal & Financial Services Group and raise rates in this new Fiscal Year. … Continue Reading

Planning Commissioner Raises Red Flag for Second Time

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commissioner Raises Red Flag for Second Time
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Ogelman Challenges Significant Rezonings And “Muzzling” Of Zoning Debate

– By Andrea Gaines

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman is not afraid to put it in writing.

In passionately worded statements entered into the March Purcellville Planning Commission record, Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman called out his colleagues for taking actions in direct contradiction to the Purcellville Comprehensive Plan. Ogelman also challenged one town council member’s characterization of recent proceedings as negative and unproductive, saying “Sometimes we confront positions with which we disagree, but that doesn’t make them negative … I read that as short-hand for trying to muzzle debate.”

Ogelman’s statement comes in response to a long series of Planning Commission and Purcellville Town Council sessions where developers have pushed for sweeping zoning changes via what is essentially a closed door administrative process, versus the public process called for by Comp Plan defenders, including Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Town Council member Karen Jimmerson.

At issue is whether the major changes proposed should happen piecemeal and in contradiction of the Comp Plan, or whether the changes should be delayed to allow the public to participate as part of the plan’s mandated 5-year review.

… Continue Reading

Mike Turner To Run For Supervisor, Ashburn District

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Mike Turner To Run For Supervisor, Ashburn District
Turner_Mike (1)

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Mike Turner has announced he will run for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors seeking to represent the Ashburn District. On his website, www.MikeTurnerForAshburn.com, Turner notes that he is the first resident of Lansdowne Woods, formerly known as Leisure World, ever to run for the county board.

“We all share a common desire to see our neighborhoods grow and prosper,” Turner said.  “We all strive to create a nurturing environment for our children that promises a bright future built upon a high-quality education.  We all support an energetic and prosperous marketplace.  And we have a reasonable expectation of safe and efficient travel everywhere in Loudoun County. These goals are achievable, but only when our elected officials place public service to the families of Loudoun County first above all other considerations. This is my promise to the citizens of Ashburn District: I work for you!  My entire professional life reflects this enduring commitment.”

… Continue Reading

An Interview With Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on An Interview With Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser
kwasifraser

?Where The Town Budget Is … And Where He Hopes To Take It

Loudoun County’s incorporated towns set aside a specific period each year to establish their budgets for the coming fiscal year. The Town Charter and Code of Virginia §15.2-2511 also require that each municipality secure “an annual audit performed by independent certified public accountants of the Town’s financial affairs.”

In Purcellville, a Town Council Strategic Planning Session is held over the summer. Then the annual budgeting process occurs which incorporates the Strategic Plan into a financial plan for the next fiscal year. The following spring, the budget is formally adopted.
Spring 2015 marks the first time Mayor Kwasi Fraser will preside over the adoption of a new budget for Purcellville. The Blue Ridge Leader spoke with Fraser to get his take on what the town’s fiscal priorities should be and how he plans to achieve them.

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Stacks Selected As The Loudoun County Animal Control Chief

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Stacks Selected As The Loudoun County Animal Control Chief
animalcontrolchief

Mark Stacks is the new Chief of Animal Control for Loudoun County. Stacks began his career with the Department of Animal Services in 2005 as an animal care technician, later becoming an animal control officer and then deputy chief.

Stacks has been instrumental in creating the department’s Junior ACO (Animal Control Officer) Academy which provides young people with and overview of the Department of Animal Services and helps them explore the field of animal welfare from the perspective of law enforcement and animal care.  Stacks leads dozens of humane education presentations for school- aged children annually, often with his dog, Roosevelt, by his side.
 
He graduated from Radford University with a degree in biology. Stacks is certified in ice and swift water rescue and is the certified firearms instructor for the department. 
For more information about the Animal Control Division of the Department of Animal Services, visit www.loudoun.gov/animalcontrol.

Purcellville To Host Open Town Hall Meeting

March 13, 2015 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville To Host Open Town Hall Meeting
town of purcellville sign

After having to cancel the first scheduled meeting due to inclement weather, the Town Council and members of staff are preparing for the first Citizen and Business Feedback Session of the year which will be held on Monday, March 16, in the Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to receive feedback from Town citizens and businesses on items that may be of interest to the community. In addition, the Town Council will answer any potential questions that residents and businesses may have in relation to our Town government, programs or projects. … Continue Reading

Bill To Aid Sexual Assault Reporting at Colleges

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Bill To Aid Sexual Assault Reporting at Colleges
Black_Photo

Senate Bill No. 712, which relates to higher education institutions and the reporting of sexual assault, was chief patroned by Sen. Richard Black (R – Loudoun and Prince William), and the bill passed the Senate with a vote of 38-Y 0-N.

Senator Black was a previous JAG Officer in the Army, where he successfully prosecuted countless cases of rape, and earned a reputation of being tough on crime when he was promoted to Chief Prosecutor, heading the Army’s Criminal Law Division, out of the Pentagon.

It was initially a concern that this bill would require victims of sexual assault to come forth and pursue law-enforcement involvement, once a faculty member was told of the assault. … Continue Reading

Hemstreet Presents Proposed Loudoun County Government Budget for Fiscal Year 2016

February 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government Comments Off on Hemstreet Presents Proposed Loudoun County Government Budget for Fiscal Year 2016
FY 16 Loudoun County Budget Presentation

Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet presented a proposed budget for the Loudoun County government for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 16) to the Board of Supervisors today. The budget totals $2.2 billion in appropriations for the general county government and school system. Hemstreet said the proposed budget:

  • Continues progress on the Board’s strategic priorities, including economic development, fiscal responsibility, and transportation
  • Provides increased resources for the Loudoun County Public Schools
  • Provides a performance-based pay increase for the county workforce
  • Allocates staffing and funds to open all new scheduled capital projects
  • Enhances critical public safety services
  • Protects human services safety net programs
  • Incorporates innovative resource allocations to reduce local tax funded-enhancements

“I believe that the budget that I have submitted carries out your vision for Loudoun County and adheres to your strategic priorities while also meeting the needs of our community,” Hemstreet told the Board. … Continue Reading

Reston Style Development and Big Box Expansion on Planning Commission Agenda

February 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, News Comments Off on Reston Style Development and Big Box Expansion on Planning Commission Agenda
town of purcellville sign

By Valerie Cury

Town planning staff is working with the planning commission to review and approve changes to the Planned Development Housing (PDH) district, adding commercial and other uses. Three communities in town are currently zoned as PDH districts: the Courts at Saint Francis, Courtland Square and Village Case. Town staff, along with the majority on the planning commission is pushing for these changes. Staff asserts that the overall purpose of a PDH district is to encourage innovative and creative design, and that adding commercial or mixed residential/commercial multi story buildings would serve this purpose. This is a development pattern common to places such as Reston and Ashburn where for example, condos, commercial and even entertainment businesses are bundled together in one dense development. … Continue Reading

Comstock Sworn-In To the 114th Congress

January 10, 2015 by Contributor Government, News Comments Off on Comstock Sworn-In To the 114th Congress

ComstockCongresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) issued the following statement on being sworn-in to the 114th Congress:
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District in the 114th Congress,” said Congresswoman Comstock. “I am looking forward to working to solve our nation’s challenges as we start the new year. Constituent service will be one of my top priorities, the same way it was for Congressman Frank Wolf. Serving on three influential committees – Transportation and Infrastructure; Science, Space, and Technology; and House Administration, will afford me a seat at the table and allow me to advocate for the many priorities of the 10th District.”

Virginia’s 10th Congressional District stretches from McLean down to Manassas and Prince William County and out through Loudoun, Clarke, and Frederick Counties to the West Virginia border. Congresswoman Comstock serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Science, Space, and Technology Committee; and the Committee on House Administration for the 114th Congress.

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

25 Jul 2015

noerpel150

“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

8 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, We go to the Outer Banks every summer as a family, but our seven-year-old daughter is now freaked out by the reported shark attacks at the Outer Banks. Thanks to her older siblings teasing her about sharks, she …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015

donnawilliamson

By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015

Smith0035

– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

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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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

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Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

July 2015
M T W T F S S
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

5

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

6 7

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

10

Garden Party

11

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

Willie White returns to North Gate Vineyard

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Garden Party

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Barns of Rose Hill Presents Lúnasa

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Friday Night Jazz with Maddy Curtis and Caleb Nei

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Two Pound Sterling Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

25

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Event: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – wood turner Harriet Maloney and photographer J Riley Stewart

The Gifts Within

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Spinners

2

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

blueridge2

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 sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Editorial

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015

kwasifraser

– By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville Many of our fellow citizens are baffled by the proposed increase in our already high water and sewer rates, and not just about the increase that was proposed for the Fiscal Year 2016 but also about the proposed increases over the next nine years. This quote from one of our citizens to a …

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015

artist3

– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015

farmtofork

Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

hillsborojuly3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

1 Jul 2015

wildloudoun

– By Andrea Gaines She feeds the birds. She shelters the mammal. She cools the air, provides us with shade and conserves the water and soil. She is the mighty old oak, an ecosystem unto herself. All except the smallest living things function as an ecosystem of sorts – whether harboring the bacteria and microscopic plants that break down organic …

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Around Virginia

Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

governorsigns

On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia

McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Bipartisan Legislation Hopes To Reduce Wasteful Spending

blueridge2

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have teamed up on a bipartisan proposal to empower federal workers to identify and cut down on unnecessary federal spending. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015 would build on existing law by expanding a program that allows U.S. government …

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Sports

Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015

ULLLpic5

– By Carri Michon The Majors championship game for Upper Loudoun Little League dawned with prospects of stormy weather. Nonetheless, a nice crowd assembled for the pre-game ceremonies in the light rain. Following the announcment of the AL Royals and the NL Pirates teams, the ULLL Hometown Heroes scholarship given …

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WLVBC Ignite Takes 2nd at Tournament

13 May 2015

Ignite Takes Silver at Spring Fling resized

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club U15 Team Ignite placed second at the NVVA 15’s Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, May 10 at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Leesburg. Ignite met the host team, NVVA 15 Fairfax Black, in the finals. “I’m proud of each player for pushing hard through 10 …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

thismonthhistory

– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Letters

Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

3 Jun 2015

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise …

(3 comments)

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