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Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

February 10, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review
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The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and John Chapman’s plans for the destruction of old town Purcellville.

Now that Mr. Nelis and Mr. Chapman have been given the whip hand to go ahead with their plans without compromising with their fellow citizens, it would behoove them to think twice before they do. They should remember how often and how recently, in government and law, we have seen those who have power force their views, without compromise, down the throats of large numbers of people, sometimes even majorities, opposed to them. They should consider that, by refusing to compromise on a matter solely concerning their financial interest rather than any moral or even legal principle, they contribute further to the ugly winner-take-all attitude too prevalent in our politics and society. … Continue Reading

Purcellville’s Broken Heart

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It is both interesting and so disheartening to read Wikipedia’s description of the place known as Purcellville.

It describes how in 1764 the town’s first known settler, James Dillon made his way here from Buck’s County, Pa. How an “early ox cart track” stretching west from Leesburg toward the Blue Ridge Mountains served as “the nucleus” of the town. How the first recorded business – “a combined store and inn” – arrived in 1799, followed by Purcel’s Store and Post Office, the town’s first stagecoach delivery (1841), a blacksmith’s shop (1848), and the first public school (1883). And, how on March 14, 1908, the town was incorporated by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. … Continue Reading

Is the County’s Word Worth a Plug Nickel?

February 5, 2014 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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Should the county light all of Franklin Park’s playing fields including the ones on the upper plateau, one of the highest elevations in the Loudoun Valley? This was the subject of a recent community meeting held by Blue Ridge Supervisor Janet Clarke and Loudoun County staff as they explained Ms. Clarke’s proposal and the government process for implementing that proposal. However, the proposal raises questions about more than just lights. It also raises questions about citizen trust in government and the validity of promises made by a government to its citizens. In short, how binding is a Board of Supervisors vote two decades ago (a vote that carried the force of law) on a board today? A look at the history of Franklin Park offers one lesson, especially in light of the board’s recent vote on Autumn Hill. … Continue Reading

Steady and Nobull

February 5, 2014 Editorial, Opinion Comments Off on Steady and Nobull
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Introducing our new editorial cartoonist:

 
 
 
 
 



A Citizen-Directed Future for Western Loudoun?– What It Will Take

January 8, 2014 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on A Citizen-Directed Future for Western Loudoun?– What It Will Take
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The Blue Ridge Leader’s View From The Ridge feature was introduced in 1984.?This feature is intended to present to the public our big picture assessment of what is going on in our western Loudoun community – an independent and spirited assessment, free of the special interests that seek to control the day. As we begin 2014, we recommit ourselves to being that independent voice for you.

Why Is An Independent Voice So Important To Western Loudoun?

All communities, even small ones, have centers of power. As the people run their businesses and live their lives, it’s up to government, even if it is a small town council or county board of supervisors, to make sure everyone’s getting a fair shake. And, it’s up to the news media to make sure government is doing its job and conducting its business out in the open, while providing citizens a microphone with which to express their views.

This is critical in a fast growing community such as western Loudoun where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in land deals, residential and commercial development and political favors. And, it is absolutely urgent in a political atmosphere where town councils and boards of supervisors seem more interested in greasing the skids for developers than in serving the public. … Continue Reading

Relief for Dulles Toll Road Users

January 8, 2014 Dear Editor, Opinion 1 comment
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By Delegate-Elect Dave LaRock

Why are Dulles Toll Road tolls rising? Like it or not, as Dulles Toll Road users we have been strapped with a huge share of the Dulles Rail construction costs which, although originally estimated to be $875 million, has increased by 245 percent to $3 billion today.

If you pay the outrageous round-trip toll of $7 to use the often-congested Dulles Toll Road, which now costs the average daily commuter about $1,750 annually, you can look to the center lanes and see drivers who pay zero dollars in tolls zipping along in those free center lanes. Elsewhere, drivers who attempt to cope with soaring tolls by moving onto local non-tolled routes add further to already gridlocked conditions. Regional mobility overall is diminished for local residents, businesses and travelers. … Continue Reading

Hope for Rural Loudoun in the Board Room

January 8, 2014 Editorial, Opinion 1 comment
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By Malcolm F. Baldwin

Let us begin the New Year by crediting Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors with some important 2013 actions benefitting our rural economy.

Earlier this year the board approved the Rural Business Strategy developed by the board-appointed Rural Economic Development Council (REDC, of which I am a member), albeit by narrow 5-4 vote. It later funded the staff assistant position requested by the REDC and the Economic Development Department staff to help implementation. And, it went on to reject a proposed notion of eliminating the REDC as an advisory body.

Further support for rural Loudoun came in December with the board’s consideration of the unanimous planning commission recommendation not to allow new school siting by right in rural zoning districts. Several supervisors reversed previous positions favoring speedier approval of school sites, now seeing benefits of public comments and requirements for board approval of special zoning exceptions for new school sites in rural Loudoun, and possibly elsewhere. The board appears likely to follow its planning commission’s recommendation. … Continue Reading

Bumper Cars on Main Street

January 8, 2014 Editorial, Opinion 2 comments
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By Karen Jimmerson

America’s main streets are on a path to all look the same – the same McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Starbucks and Jiffy Lube. They fill the landscape of our everyday paths. Our lives have been franchised or chained. It is so commonplace that is now seems inevitable, unavoidable, and just a fact of our modern lives. Small towns that used to belong in a Norman Rockwell painting are losing that very real esthetic.

As you drive into western Loudoun, large tracts of open space still embrace you. A drive into neighboring counties and parts of eastern Loudoun, you see tangible evidence of development gone awry. Every few miles, fast food restaurants repeat themselves. Strip malls flank bumper to bumper traffic. Western Loudoun is slowing falling prey to this, and remember eastern Loudoun looked like western Loudoun not too long ago. … Continue Reading

A Few More Facts About The Autumn Hill Development

December 4, 2013 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on A Few More Facts About The Autumn Hill Development
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To continue the discussion at the point where Bob Lazaro and Janet Clarke left off. “Chestnut Overlook residents bought [land] next to something that was already approved, 20 plus years ago.”

Yes, we did. We bought land in a Joint Land Management Area (JLMA) that was governed by the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP). And this area was set in a County that has regulations for all developments in western Loudoun to be on home sites of at least three acres and to be horse properties. This was in place to ensure that the agricultural traditions of the area remain in keeping with its roots within the character of “This Hallowed Ground.” Additionally, Purcellville was a town that at one time outlawed drive throughs. Purcellville was a town that valued its 21st Street, and “Don’t Fairfax Loudoun” was a very popular bumper sticker. The approved 500 unit complex was placed in as a defensive measure because it was so absurd that the town’s people would never want that. The people I knew in town, liked a low crime, low density, rural small town that valued its old family farms and the traditional western Loudoun life. … Continue Reading

21st Street Is Charming and Authentic

December 3, 2013 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on 21st Street Is Charming and Authentic
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Purcellville’s old-town business district on 21st Street is charming and appealing because it is authentic. Many of the businesses have changed over the years, but the exteriors of the buildings have remained essentially the same.

A drugstore becomes a restaurant. A car dealership becomes a furniture store, then a gift store, then a distillery. Part of another auto dealership becomes a storage facility and then a bazaar. A grain mill becomes a restaurant and another mill becomes a bicycle shop and bookstore. On and on, the buildings are adapted and modified in a natural progression to accommodate new enterprises without destroying the basic architectural character of the old town. … Continue Reading

Preserve Our Unique Old Town

December 3, 2013 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on Preserve Our Unique Old Town
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A comment on the proposed 21st Street Project in the historic Purcellville town: This ghastly, tacky, multi-story monstrosity has no place in Purcellville unless the sole object of the development is the generation of maximum revenue for the developers at the prohibitive cost of replacing our charming and unique old town with yet another slice of generic, cookie-cutter suburbia. If this development is permitted, what is left of historic Purcellville will be swallowed whole, leaving little motive to preserve the small remnant that would be left. To add insult to injury, some taxpayer funding will no doubt be required to force us to assist in the destruction of our historic district. This project should be rejected.

D.L. Bell
Purcellville

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

December 3, 2013 Dear Editor, Opinion Comments Off on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
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The good citizens of the Town of Purcellville and the surrounding neighbors have seen few good things happen in and around Purcellville over the past several years. Many people moved here from areas of rapid growth to get away from it all. They liked the small unique character of the town and surrounding community. Now these same people feel the need to move away: Purcellville is becoming “Any town USA.”

Here are some of the reasons: 50 acres of proposed residential and commercial on 287 north of Hirst Road. Travel further south on 287 towards the traffic circle and you have another planned retail area including a gas station, travel south around the traffic circle along the Southern Collector Road, and yet another soon to be planned commercial development. There may be plans to build across from Blue Ridge Middle School, also. … Continue Reading

Autumn Hill/Mayfair – The Real Reason Behind Annexation

December 3, 2013 Editorial, Opinion 5 comments
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In 1991 the County approved the Autumn Hill rezoning request that would allow the development of 492 multi-family residential units just north of Purcellville. The proffers or legal agreements that were approved required that the development be served by town water and sewer service which could only occur if the property were annexed into the town. Since the town refused to annex and provide the utilities, the current landowner sought and received a permit from the Loudoun County Health Department (which is a state agency) to construct an on-site alternative sewage system rather than use town utilities.

The Health Department’s permit expired November 15. The permit stated explicitly that “Any proposed construction or other action in furtherance of or pursuant to this permit shall be subject to and must comply with all applicable state and local ordinances or regulations, including without limitation, any applicable zoning regulations, proffers, or conditions, any applicable comprehensive plan conformance review requirements, and applicable inter-jurisdictional agreements.” … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Superforecasting a Book Review

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The book “Superforecasting” by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner contains a nearly complete list of the attributes of superforecasting, as well as critical thinking. Tetlock’s research empirically confirms the aspects of critical thinking I’ve been discussing in this column. Their …

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

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Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, …

Brotherly Love

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel There he was. A small, innocent being entering the world for the very first time. Can I touch him? Nervously, I lean forward. He seems so perfect, so completely serene. He is loved instantly. The last …

To The Teen Who Feels Alone

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– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m going to do something real here and be honest for a second. In a society where telling someone your deep emotional feelings is considered weak, doing just that seems to be detrimental and could …

Unmotivated Teen

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– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, At our insistence, our 17-year-old son is going to get a summer job. Well, that’s what he agreed to, but we are two weeks into the summer and guess what … he doesn’t …

Time To Add Discipline To Your Good Money Habits

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– By Amy and Dan Smith For many, their 30’s is a time to build a family and a stronger financial future That 30th birthday can be a somewhat traumatic event, but with people living longer, they say 50 is …

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

July 2016
M T W T F S S
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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

TGIF - Jake & the Burtones

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Ken Wenzel Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Yard Sale Benefiting EPIC

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Dancing Through Color

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Paint Your Pint

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

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Lifestyle

Farmers Urged To Be on the Lookout for Marijuana

23 Jul 2016

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Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this is a growing trend,” said Corporal Barbara Owens of the …

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Bluemont Harvest Ball To Be Held on September 17 in Warrenton

20 Jul 2016

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To commemorate the organization’s 40th Anniversary, Bluemont has announces the first ever Bluemont Harvest Ball, to be held on September 17 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Warrantor. This black tie event will feature live music from the Silver Tones Swing Band, dancing, a four-course, seated dinner, an open bar, and a silent auction. Tickets …

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What Do You Do To Stay Cool?

7 Jul 2016

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– By Amanda Clark “To chill out this summer I will spend a lot of my time playing music. During the summer, I have so much free time and I devote as much of it as I can to playing music.” – Michael Preston (Lovettsville) “To chill out this summer I will go to a friend’s house and borrow their …

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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

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

Lessons from Short Hill

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It’s been a little over two weeks since the Commission Permit for the proposed AT&T facility on Short Hill was overruled by the Board of Supervisors. This is just about …

Thank You

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Dear Citizens of Purcellville: As your town council member it is my vision and priority that you feel welcome at your Town Hall and take part in shaping Purcellville’s future …

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 …

Around Virginia

Blood Donors Asked To Help Address Summer Shortage

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Virginia Blood Services is urging Virginians to help replenish an extremely low summer blood supply and asking eligible donors to visit any one of its area Community Donor Centers or mobile blood drives. “Summer is always a challenging time for blood collections,” says Virginia Blood Services Executive Director, Todd Cahill. …

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McAuliffe Announces New Exports for Virginia Lumber Companies To the United Kingdom

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Governor Terry McAuliffe announced new export sales of Virginia wood products to the United Kingdom (U.K.) during a trade and marketing mission to Israel and the U.K. The sales were struck between four Virginia lumber companies and James Latham PLC, one of the oldest and largest wood importers and distributors …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 105 New Jobs in the Town of Berryville and Clarke County

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Handsome Brook Farm, LLC to Invest More Than $6 Million to Establish Egg Processing Operation in Virginia RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that New York-based Handsome Brook Farm, LLC will invest $6.4 million to establish a new pasture raised egg processing operation in the Town of Berryville and …

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Sports

Registration Open For Ida Lee’s Fall NFL Flag Football

7 Jul 2016

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Ida Lee’s Fall 2016 NFL Flag Football League will begin with player evaluations on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.  Players must be registered by Tuesday, July 26, to participate. This fall, Ida Lee’s Leesburg NFL Flag Football House League will have the following age groups:  6-7; 8-9; 10-11; …

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Everyone’s Getting Into Cannons Action!

6 Jul 2016

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Purcellville Cannons? Baseball July Schedule July 9, 7 p.m. at home Covington? July 12, 7 p.m. away Winchester? July 13, 7:30 p.m. Harrisonburg? July 14, 7 p.m. at home Strasburg? July 15, 7 p.m. at home Woodstock? July 16, 7 p.m. away Front Royal? July 17, 7 p.m. at home …

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