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An Interview With Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser

April 1, 2015 Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on An Interview With Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser
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?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.

… Continue Reading

Stacks Selected As The Loudoun County Animal Control Chief

April 1, 2015 Government, Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Stacks Selected As The Loudoun County Animal Control Chief
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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 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 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 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 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 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.

York Will Not Seek Re-election

January 8, 2015 Elections, Government, Loudoun County, News Comments Off on York Will Not Seek Re-election
Scott Yorkforweb12

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) announced Wednesday during a county Board of Supervisors meeting that he will not seek a fifth term in office this November. York had previously announced late last year that he did plan to seek re-election.

York, who commenced his service first as a planning commissioner, then as Sterling District Supervisor, has led the county board for 15 years as chairman. Over the years he has run for office as a Republican, then as an Independent for one four year term, returning to run again as a Republican.

Leesburg attorney Charles King announced earlier this week that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for Chairman of the Board, presenting York with the prospect of a primary challenge. King recently represented Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R- Sterling) in a legal challenge stemming from a former employee’s allegations of misuse of office.

Mayor Fraser To Present State of the Town Address January 12

January 6, 2015 Government, News Comments Off on Mayor Fraser To Present State of the Town Address January 12
fraser

Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser will present the annual state of the town address for the first time to the citizens on Monday, January 12, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Purcellville Town Hall. The family-friendly address will be followed by a question and answer session. Mayor Fraser is optimistic on the challenges that lie ahead. “As stated in our newly adopted mission statement; as stewards worthy of community trust, we work to discern, define and implement an agenda to nurture and preserve our resident’s quality of life.  Our state of the town address is a step towards garnering that community trust via open communication with our citizens on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are before us, along with our plans to realize the vision of Purcellville where history and progress intersect and people prosper,” said Fraser.

The focus will be on key accomplishments, challenges, opportunities and goals for the next 12 months.  Sign up for the mayor’s town newsletter on PurcellvilleVa.com.

LEx is Here! Loudoun County Launches Loudoun Express Request Online System

December 20, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on LEx is Here! Loudoun County Launches Loudoun Express Request Online System
Loudoun County Seal Color

Loudoun County citizens now have a new way to interact with the Loudoun County government. Residents and businesses are now able to submit requests and questions to county staff through an improved online tool, Loudoun Express Request (LEx). The new tool features an expanded selection of request types, a user-friendly interface and real-time updates from staff. Users of the system are also able to submit photos with their inquiries.

Request types span a variety of the county’s departments and services, including the Departments of Building and Development; Health; Transportation and Capital Infrastructure; Parks, Recreation and Community Services; and more. … Continue Reading

Comp Plan 101

December 10, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on Comp Plan 101
town of purcellville sign

Completed in 2006 after hundreds of hours of public input – including multiple formal public hearings – Purcellville’s Comprehensive Plan, as provided for in Section 15.2 of the Code of Virginia is intended “ … to provide guidance for the coordinated and harmonious development of the territory in accordance with present and future needs and resources that will best promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the community.”

To this end, Purcellville’s Comprehensive Plan – while providing for flexibility through an amendment process – establishes, in broad terms, which areas are suitable for residential development and at what density, which areas are suitable for commercial development of various kinds (professional office, retail, industrial, etc.) and which areas that, based on historic and/or environmental considerations require specific protections. Comp plans also serve as the basis for a town’s zoning code, as these various uses are then controlled via detailed zoning regulations that guide things such as the height and size of buildings, lot sizes, parking requirements, the ratio of landscaping to pavement, etc. … Continue Reading

A Message from Delegate Dave LaRock

December 10, 2014 Government, News, Uncategorized Comments Off on A Message from Delegate Dave LaRock
Dave_larock

With Thanksgiving behind us and the days still growing shorter and colder, I’m thinking ahead to some relaxation time. It’s always nice to be able to sit down by the fire after a workday with a warm drink in hand, and maybe get the chance to read a book to one of my grandkids. I think we all really do appreciate the chance to catch up on what’s going on with friends and family, and there’s something about the cold that literally brings us all closer together! … Continue Reading

Zoning War Coming To a Head

December 10, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on Zoning War Coming To a Head
town of purcellville sign

Mayor Fraser: “I’m Tired of Just Talking about a Comp Plan Review”
– By Valerie Cury

At the November Purcellville Town Council Work Session, Mayor Kwasi Fraser, town council member Karen Zimmerman, and other newly elected officials of the town’s political leadership made their mark as the new “pro planning, pro citizen” contingent in town government.

As discussed, at issue was the legal and practical status of Purcellville’s Comprehensive Plan – whether the town can, at a developer’s request, make significant changes to the zoning designation that applies to specific properties; changes many see as inconsistent with the plan itself. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Ice house, Hot House and Mad House

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Recently, I was asked: “I know we are putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and scientists say that will warm the planet but there were also ice ages and warmer climates in the past before humans so what caused those …

Sugar Crash

Lunde new

Sugar runs inside our body and fuels our very being. In biology they teach us that sugar is really glucose which is broken down in the body to produce ATP (adenine tri-phosphate). So why bring this up? Well, sugar is …

The Art of Memory

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel Still Alice. A movie that not only elicits tears, but naturally incurs reflection. This heartrending movie was the starting point of a personal wrestling with the implications of human memory. Remembering can bring us back to a …

Living in Debt

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Dr. Mike, My husband has issues with money that are hurting our relationship and family. He makes a lot of money, but he spends more than he makes and we are in debt. He can’t just have a luxury car, …

June in the Garden

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Conserve Water, Beat the Heat and Keep Things Blooming By Andrea Gaines It’s getting hot out there. And, there’s nothing more discouraging for a gardener that to come home after a weekend away – or miss a regular watering schedule …

Potoma Wayside

potoma wayside

My advice is: Don’t look straight down; the combination of rushing highway traffic a couple of feet away and, what’s – to me, anyway – a dizzying height, can produce some unsettling sensations. I came to this conclusion after walking …

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

Thank You Purcellville Voters

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I would like to thank you, the Purcellville voters, for your tremendous support of my campaign for Town Council.  I appreciate that so many of you put signs in your …

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

eaglescout

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

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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Calendar

June 2016
M T W T F S S
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Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

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

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

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

Free Gardening Lecture

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19th Annual Cajun Festival & Crawfish Boil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goats at BRNP

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

Bring Dad to North Gate Vineyard

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

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

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

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

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

June Fourth Friday at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

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

Love, He Called It

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

Sip & Paint at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Lifestyle

Troy and Paula Haag Perform at Old Stone School

9 Jun 2016

troy and paula haag 1a

Troy and Paula Haag, will appear on The Gap Stage at the Old Stone School on Saturday, June 18. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Dinner will be sold by Big Mike’s BBQ, drinks will be sold by the glass, and there will be desserts at intermission. Troy and Paula will be joined by Max Haag …

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Here’s To the Colorists, Manicurists and Blow Dry Mavens… Thanks for Listening!

1 Jun 2016

hair color

Sunday, June 26 is Beauticians Day, celebrating the cosmetology and other experts who keep us looking and feeling our best – whether it’s with a haircut and style, a facial, a manicure, or just some quiet and light conversation.

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Wait. Something That’s Really Healthy Can Be Really Fun … Too?

1 Jun 2016

poolsafety2

Parents of small children, and property owners with pools, ponds and other water features know that swimming safety is a must. You need to have clear rules about how ponds, pools and other places are to be used, and when. Safety equipment needs to be up to date and accessible, and it is critical that there be a responsible adult …

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Around Virginia

HUD Awards $2 Million in Housing Counseling Grants To Virginia

Kaine

Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced today that Catholic Charities USA, headquartered in Alexandria, will receive $951,150 in federal funding, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority, located in Richmond, will receive $1,040,918. This nearly $2 million grant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) …

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Four Hop, Skip and a Jump Local Destinations

morven

Last month we encouraged our readers to consider visiting any one of five great destinations within just a stone’s throw of Loudoun’s history-lined borders – Berryville and Harper’s Ferry among them. This month we feature four destinations – two right here in our much-celebrated county, and two just over the …

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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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Sports

The Lady Vikings Earned Back-to Back Conference Title

1 Jun 2016

lvhs

The Lady Vikings earned the back-to back conference title with a 4-1 win over Heritage in late May. The team earned a first round playoff bye finishing first in the conference and then went on to defeat Rock Ridge 12-0 in the conference semi-finals. The Lady Vikings ended their regular …

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Big Baseball Coming To Fireman’s Field

1 Jun 2016

purcellville cannons

Got Your Father’s Day Gift Lined Up Yet? The Purcellville Cannons’ Brett Fuller couldn’t be happier. He’s the owner of one of the most popular teams in the Valley Baseball League. The team, up until recently was called the Charles Town Cannons but now calls Purcellville its home.

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