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Local Student Recipient of National Hispanic Heritage Youth Award

February 8, 2015 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Local Student Recipient of National Hispanic Heritage Youth Award

A Leesburg student was the recent recipient of a national award for her accomplishments in the classroom and community. Laura Vazquez-Bolanos, a senior at Tuscarora High School, was one of eight Latino high school seniors honored at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s 16th annual National Youth Awards.

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Pictured: Laura Vazquez-Bolanos (left), with Andrea Pecunia from ExxonMobil, accepts the ExxonMobil Engineering and Mathematics Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation during a January 29 ceremony. … Continue Reading

Remembering Jean Sutphin Mohler

February 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Remembering Jean Sutphin Mohler
jeanmohler

Jean Sutphin Mohler passed away January 16, following a valiant struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.  She was born December 12, 1943, to Melvin and Ruth Hatcher Sutphin.  A life-long resident of Lovettsville, Jean graduated valedictorian in 1962 from Loudoun County High School and studied psychology at Mary Washington College.

In 1965, she began her career in education teaching first, fourth and fifth grades at Round Hill Elementary School.  She loved children and considered herself “at home with the most creative creatures in the world.”  She later became a preschool teacher at the Lovettsville Community Center where she was also a member of the Board of Directors.  In 1989, Jean began a second career as a dental assistant for Dr. Kirk Hawn, Dr. Ronald Segall, and Dr. Deirdre Kokel.  Her gentle manner soothed many patients. … Continue Reading

Nick Greer – Finely Polished Beauty

February 3, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Nick Greer – Finely Polished Beauty
nickgreer3

True artists, and true craftspeople, generally have a reason why they decided to use a particular medium and/or approach their work in a certain way. My good friend Reggie Simms for example, loved National Geographic Magazine as a boy. So, at some point, as an adult, he decided one day to paint a series of huge canvases depicting his favorite covers. He “just had to do it.”

Antiques conservator Nick Greer is a little like that. Greer is in love with antiques and old knobs, gold leaf and inlay, wood and vintage glass, ivory and tortoise shell. He marvels at the old way of building things and the spectacular nature of the materials used.

For example, one of his favorite things is the original material known as shellac. Developed in the 16th Century, shellac became known as French polish in the early 1800s. It’s made from the crust, as it were, of Laciffer Lacca, a tiny parasitic bug that lives on certain trees in India and other eastern countries. This form of shellac is sold in flakes that vary from pale orange to dark brown. When Greer restores a time period piece that has this finish, he uses this same material – the polish used perhaps hundreds of years ago naturally bonds with the new material being laid down, authentically restoring the piece. … Continue Reading

Remembering John D. “Buddy” Davis

January 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Remembering John D. “Buddy” Davis
johndavis

John D. Davis, known to family and friends as “Buddy” passed away surrounded by members of his family on December 20.  He will be greatly missed by his wife of 54 years, Kay, three daughters and two son-in-laws, Jennifer-Lynn and Jamie Lee, Melissa and Nima Ebrahimnejad and Kimberly Davis, seven grandchildren, Rebecca, Jacob, Kayla, Samuel, Maya, Emma and Maxwell and his niece Linda Thomson as well as many other nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his sister June Gerber and his Mother Eloise Linthicum.

Davis was born on October 13, 1934, in Keyser W. Va., and moved to the Washington D.C. area as a youngster.  In his early years he developed an interest in music, especially bluegrass.  He was a self-taught musician and luthier (maker of string instruments) who apprenticed under a good friend and mentor Tom Morgan.  He enlisted in the USAF in 1954 with friend Allen Lewis during the Korean War and trained as a jet mechanic.   He was stationed at Andrews AFB.  It was during this time that he met his future wife Kay. … Continue Reading

With the Name “Hammer,” He Was Born To Be a Deputy

January 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People 1 comment
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By Hannah Hager

One could say Bill was born to be a Sheriff’s deputy. With a name like Shellhammer, how could he not have been predestined to live a life laying down the law?

Purcellville resident William “Bill” P. Shellhammer died in his home December 16, aged 80. He was a retired Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputy, a former Vienna Police Department deputy and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served during the Korean War.
These days, if a Sheriff’s Deputy knows you by name it indicates that you are a delinquent or a malefactor who is up to no good. In Shellhammer’s heyday, however, it was a mark of his sharpness of mind. … Continue Reading

Coalition Hires New Manager of Community Relations

January 3, 2015 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Coalition Hires New Manager of Community Relations
Brandon and Norma

Combat-wounded veteran Brandon Boyd joins ranks of leading service organization

The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (Coalition), a leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding the lives of severely wounded veterans of the War on Terror, announced today that Brandon Boyd has been hired as its new Manager of Community Relations. He replaces Jil Hinds, who relocated to Atlanta this summer and now serves in the Coalition’s field operations.

Boyd is a combat-wounded veteran of the United States Army. While on deployment in Iraq in 2008, Brandon suffered a severe TBI, T10 paraplegic and PTSD. After retiring from the Army, Brandon worked at the Pentagon and the Mark Center as the COOP, Emergency Manager and Assistant Security Manager for the Department of Defense. In July 2014, Brandon left the government to found Restoration Homefront, a Virginia-based organization that provides resume-building, jobs, college and housing resources for veterans. … Continue Reading

Betsey Brown Becomes Author

December 30, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Betsey Brown Becomes Author

Americas first pandaBetsey Brown of Leesburg fulfilled her 80 year dream to become an author by writing and publishing a children’s book. America’s First Panda is the true story about Ruth Harkness who in 1936 traveled from New York City to the mountains of China to bring back a baby panda, a bear that few had ever seen or heard about in those days.

The baby Giant Panda named Su Lin which Ruth translated to mean “a little bit of something very cute” was given to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Hayden Harris, Director of the Brookfield Zoo, and grandfather to the late Valeria (A.V.) Symington of Temple Hall Farm Regional Park, Leesburg, was instrumental in helping Ruth Harkness bring Su Lin to America. … Continue Reading

Loudoun Valley Is Where Jones’s Heart Is

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People 1 comment
rodneyjones

By Hannah Hager

If the home is where the heart is, then Loudoun Valley High School is home for Rodney Jones and its students and staff are his family.

A life in education felt like second nature to him because Jones, who is Social Science Department chair and presents lectures on both psychology and modern world history, comes from a long line of educators. His mother is a special education teacher and his father is an assistant principal in Stafford County.

“I like helping,” he said. “I’m big on service. It felt natural to [teach].”

The foundation of teaching stands the test of time – you plan a lesson, teach the class and grade the papers. But, as a graduate student teacher at the University of Virginia where he received both his bachelor’s and masters in history and teaching respectively, Jones discovered that it takes much more than the basics to make a house a home. … Continue Reading

Local Author Writes First Book In Series

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader People Comments Off on Local Author Writes First Book In Series
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Devon Porter, a Virginia farmer and banker, has signed a four-book deal with Prepper Press. The first novel in the series, “After the Crumble,” was released on November 21.

“This book is a labor of love; I’ve been working on it for two years,” Porter said. “I have always loved books in the sci-fi and dystopian genres, and I’m honored to finally make my first contribution.”

The novel touches on several of Porter’s hobbies, such as hog farming, gardening and self-sufficiency. The story is set in Northern Virginia in the year 2037, where Porter merges northern Fauquier and southern Loudoun counties into the fictional “Colton County.” … Continue Reading

For the First Lesson, Listen To Your Inner Voice

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People 1 comment
JessicaMorgan

By Hannah Hager

The path to reach one’s calling in life doesn’t always build at a crescendo, but rather poco a poco – little by little – as we learn to embrace our inherent talent.

Such was the path taken by Jessica Morgan, the director of choral activities and advanced orchestra at Woodgrove High School. Maybe it should have seemed obvious for Morgan to one day become a professional music director; she was a singer at four years-old and a violinist at five.

But, to whom much is given, much is expected and it was perhaps those expectations that initially drove Morgan away from sharing her talents with others. A Winchester native, she started out at James Madison University as a Biology major. However, a little birdy wouldn’t stop singing the song of music in her ear. She tried out for JMU’s School of Music and it’s of little surprise she was accepted. Any initial resistance melted into acceptance and today she realized that her role as teacher also poised her to be a lifelong student of music herself. … Continue Reading

Milan Ball – Tuscarora High School Fashion Design Student

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Milan Ball – Tuscarora High School Fashion Design Student
milan

Milan Ball, Tuscarora High School student, would describe her fashion designs as eclectic. She likes to combine disparate elements and try to make them work together. Her portfolio is evidence of this style. Milan combines a floral mini with an ordinary tank top and ankle boots. She also looks at the ordinary and transforms it. One of Milan’s designs highlights jeans which she has cut and re-styled from the knee down and now ordinary jeans become the perfect backdrop for high heels. The fact that her aesthetic is theatrical comes as no surprise to those who know her. When asked about Milan, Mr. Justin Daniel, Tuscarora HS theater director and teacher said: “Milan is not just a leader at Tuscarora; she is also an asset to the theater department. It is a huge undertaking to design, build and manage costumes for a show and more uncommon to see high school students take on the task. Her dedication and creative designs have made our recent productions a success. Milan is so talented and will go far in the world of fashion design.” … Continue Reading

Contributions for Ray Family

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Contributions for Ray Family
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A fund-raising website has been started by friends and neighbors of Rusty Ray of Purcellville. Ray suffered a stroke on November 12 while on business in Bradenton, Fla. He has partial paralysis on his right side and is currently in a rehab center in Florida; he will likely be released from rehab in early December.

His friends are asking for contributions to help with his long recovery. Contributions are being sent through Pastor David Milam with St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Purcellville and through go fund me at http://www.gofundme.com/RustyRay. Also grocery gift cards or meals are welcome.

FOCUS ON: Mr. And Mrs. Claus

December 10, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on FOCUS ON: Mr. And Mrs. Claus
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Surprise Visit

Mr. and Mrs. Claus found time to stop by Photographer Sarah Huntington’s studio in Purcellville. They are very busy this time of year and have many elves in and around Purcellville, Bluemont and Round Hill who work tirelessly to help. They will be making many appearances in and around the area before they head back to the North Pole to get ready for the big day. Mr. Claus said, “Yes, boys and girls the elves report back telling me who has been naughty or nice.”

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Sustainable Planet

Shell Games

16 Jun 2015

noerpel150

“Let me be very very clear, for us climate change is real and it’s a threat that we want to act on. We’re not aligning with skeptics.” – Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell [1] “What …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Supporting a Transgender Child

1 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, My husband and I are worried because our 14-year-old daughter thinks that “he” is transgendered. It’s true that she’s always been interested in more masculine activities, and this past year she announced to …

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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

benkellog

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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MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

MAIN STREET THEATER: AristoCats

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: READERS THEATER

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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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

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

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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

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

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

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– 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

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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

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– 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 …

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