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Organic Bronzing Lets Your Glow Shine

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Organic Bronzing Lets Your Glow Shine

By Hannah Hager

Aldie resident Jennifer Wignall is shining a different light on the tanning industry. The time has come to ban the act of baking in a tanning bed. Take a moment to wash clean of orange streaks and rinse off the potent stench of chemical-laden creams.
Tanning, at its core, is a practice laced with a tinge of egotism. It’s akin to whitening, waxing or other self care regimes and is not exactly a must-have service. Or is it?

Jennifer was once a lifelong tanning bed user who visited the salons on a routine basis to obtain and maintain a bronzed glow. She loved the way she felt with tanned skin. Years later, after her twins were born and she suffered a bout of Melanoma – of which she has since fully recovered – the entrepreneur decided to drop tanning beds altogether in favor of spray tan. … Continue Reading

Why We Teens Should Care about Politics

June 3, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Why We Teens Should Care about Politics

By Quinn Reichard

I want you to care about politics. So often, it seems like there’s no point. We frequently get news of scandals, gridlock, and power plays — apathy becomes so easy.

I think that at some level, most of us teens know that the government can be changed by the people. It’s hard, though, and it takes time. The slow pace of change causes us to lose interest. … Continue Reading

Double Amputee Parachutes into Lansdowne Golf Tournament

May 5, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Double Amputee Parachutes into Lansdowne Golf Tournament

Participants in a charity golf tournament on April 17 got a special thrill as Dana Bowman, a member of Team Fastrax, America’s Skydiving Team, parachuted into the Lansdowne Resort golf course with an American flag.

Bowman, a retired Special Forces soldier and former member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights, has gained renown as a double amputee who continues to perform at high-profile events. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Family Approaches 1-Year Anniversary of Son’s Police Shooting Death

May 5, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Purcellville Family Approaches 1-Year Anniversary of Son’s Police Shooting Death

Justifiable Homicide Findings Spurring Sierras To Challenge the System

17-year old Loudoun Valley High School student Christian Sierra was shot and killed by Purcellville Police Officer Timothy Hood on May 24, 2014 as he responded to a call that a teenager was threatening suicide. Hood had been on the Purcellville Police Force for just 15 months prior to the incident. Records also show that Officer Hood’s dashboard camera was not functioning at the time and that he was not equipped with a Taser or any other form of non-lethal force. A supervisor and officer were around the corner, but no other officers were on the immediate scene at the time of the shooting, and Officer Hood did not call for back up before exiting his police vehicle. … Continue Reading

Leesburg Sailor Works Far From Home

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Leesburg Sailor Works Far From Home

Seaman Jonathon Dublin from Leesburg untangles a line aboard USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean. The John C. Stennis Strike Group is assessing its abilities to conduct combat missions, support functions and survive complex casualty control situations.

U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago

FOCUS ON: The Angels At The Purcellville Post Office

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on FOCUS ON: The Angels At The Purcellville Post Office

A big thank you! and shout goes to the Purcellville Post Master Wayne Cameron – pictured in in the center with the blue shirt – and the entire hard-working staff at the Purcellville Post Office.

The USPS’ motto – unofficial, by the way – “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” surely held true this winter.

On more than one occasion during our long and hard winter, local post office employees and trucks could be seen throughout the western Loudoun area getting the job done.

FOCUS ON: Chuck and Cindy Izzo, Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Comments Off on FOCUS ON: Chuck and Cindy Izzo, Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials

Chuck and Cindy Izzo, owners of Appalachian Outfitters in historic downtown Purcellville come from a long line of outdoor enthusiasts. Cindy’s grandfather was a “tree surgeon.” Chuck’s father was an avid swimmer and skier, and the family spent every free minute camping, hiking and canoeing.

Army veterans, the couple has taken their talent for the outdoors, self-reliance and health – including Cindy’s fascination with TERRA essential oils – to their newest pursuit, outdoor outfitters with everything you need to get out-and-about this season. See you on the trail, Chuck and Cindy!

Local Artist Wins Award in Plein Air Curacao Event

March 23, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Arts, Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Local Artist Wins Award in Plein Air Curacao Event
Curacao Catherine Hillis paints

Catherine Hillis, of Round Hill, won an award for her painting, Copa Cabana, in the “Plein Air Curacao” (http://www.pleinaircuracao.com/en/) competition held recently. Ms. Hillis, a watercolor painter, was invited to paint in the Curacao competition. The “Honorable Mention” for her painting was one of only three awards presented during the Quick Draw contest, and she was the only American painter to receive an award. The judge was Peter Trippi, editor of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine. The Quick Draw event was held on March 7, and painters were given three hours to complete a painting on site in the town of Willemstaad .
The artists who were selected to participate in “Plein Air Curacao” were from all over the world. They were transported all over the island to paint from February 27 until March 7. The artwork they completed during the week was exhibited for sale in a gallery in Willemstaad.

Hillis is a nationally recognized watercolorist who has been published in many venues and has accrued numerous awards regionally and nationally. She is a respected instructor, speaker and exhibition judge.

The artist has been invited to travel in early April as one of 15 top plein air painters in the “Southeastern Plein Air Invitational” (http://alabama.travel/upcoming-events/5th-annual-southeastern-plein-air-invitational) at the Gadsden Museum of Art in Gadsden, Alabama (http://www.gadsdenmuseum.com/). She will also participate as one of 30 national artists in the “Winter Park Paint Out” (http://www.polasek.org/wppo/home/) at the Albin Polasek Museum near Orlando, FL, in late April.

Hillis’ work can be seen locally at the Gateway Gallery (www.thegatewaygallery.com) in Round Hill, and at Everyday Elegance in Purcellville. Her classes, workshops and exhibits are listed on her website at www.catherinehillis.com.

Hillis Travels for ‘Open Air’ Painting

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People, Uncategorized 1 comment

Round Hill painter Catherine Hillis is one of a handful of international artists invited to paint in “Plein Air Curacao.”  She will be painting in the Curacao competition during early March.  It is a juried event which selects artists from around the world to compete and exhibit their work.

Plein air is a French term meaning “in the open air” and refers to artists who work outdoors and on site. Artists have always painted “en plein air,” but the French Impressionists brought attention to outdoor painting, helped along with the invention of manufactured tubes for paint and the portable easel.  Paintings created on site are lauded for the technical ability of the artists, who generally create art among the elements, and the art is generally noted for its freshness and emotive quality. … Continue Reading

Artist’s Profile: Dale Bright, Wood Turner – Setting the Tree and the Landscape Free

March 4, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Artist’s Profile: Dale Bright, Wood Turner – Setting the Tree and the Landscape Free

“My name is Dale Bright and I am a wood turner. I am passionate about my craft … using a wood lathe and tools to release the natural beauty that is already inside a piece of wood. Mother Nature has done all of the real work. My job is to simply reveal what is inside.”

That’s how this absolutely charming man – a quiet and dignified artist – describes himself and what he does with wood. His end products are some of our most common, everyday things – salad bowls, dinner plates, bottle stoppers, ice cream scopes, pepper grinders, rolling pins. But, nothing about Bright or his talent is anywhere near common nor everyday, except that he learned his craft the old fashioned way – from his grandfather. And, that he takes such common pleasures from it, dotting his Facebook page with pictures of his newborn grandson, Colt, sleeping peacefully in a newly made salad bowl with the caption: “Baby In A Bowl!!! Colton Dale Blankenship on his two-week birthday. The Cherry bowl is 21 inches across and 7 inches high, Colt is a big boy.” … Continue Reading

Remembering Theresa Diane “Dee” McCullough

February 10, 2015 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Comments Off on Remembering Theresa Diane “Dee” McCullough
Theresa McCullough

Theresa Diane “Dee” (Bracebridge) McCullough, 36, unexpectedly returned to her Heavenly Father on January 23, in Norwich, Connecticut. Dee was blessed with a large and loving family. She is survived by her father and stepmother, Bruce and Barbara Bracebridge of Lansdowne, and her five younger siblings, Russ (Robyn) Bracebridge of Burke, Va., Jim (Tory) Bracebridge of Lovettsville, Va., Becca Sommers of Leesburg, Va., Bethany (Thomas) Moore of Ashburn, Va., and Mikki Bracebridge of Lansdowne, Va. She is also survived by her husband, Steven Harold, and their seven children, Corwyn Bryant, Talyn Gwydain, Rowyn Embyr, Aurorya Krystal, Leilanii Brynnyth, Trevyn Leythan, and Lynnette Aryanna, and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends and family too numerous to list. Dee was preceded in death by her mother, Katheryn Ruth (Wooters) Bracebridge. … Continue Reading

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.

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

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

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Sustainable Planet

Trusting Science

14 Nov 2015


“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1] I previously reported [2] on …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Some Thoughts on Veterans Day

13 Nov 2015


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is also a time to reflect and remember with gratitude. America is a free and democratic nation today, …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Phil Bolen Memorial Park

4 Nov 2015


I never knew Phil Bolen as the Loudoun County Government Administrator; I never even got to know him as Director of Parks and Recreation, and I certainly never knew Phil Bolen the teacher and coach at Loudoun Valley High School. …


Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Willisville

30 Sep 2015


You may never feel the urge to travel to this little, unincorporated community; it’s not exactly a conduit for commuter traffic, and there aren’t really any places to shop, or gas up, or procure much of anything else from a …

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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


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

Choosing To Live in the Present

4 Nov 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel I love a good story. I love telling stories and hearing other people’s stories. Our experiences bring meaning to our lives, and help shape us into the people we are today. Yet inherent in storytelling is the …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

Amy and Dan Smith’s Planning for Life: Trusts

4 Nov 2015


A common estate planning device is the trust. A trust is simply an agreement between two people: the person who establishes the trust, who may be called the Settlor, the Grantor or the Trustor, and the person or institution who …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


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


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


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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November 2015

Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Mrs. Lucketts’ Haunted Garden & Playground


Illuminate: an exhibit by fiber artist Susan Trask and mixed media artist Karen Watson

Notaviva Vineyards Haunted Vineyard Tours

Red, White, & Boo!

Steve Potter Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Elementary Drama Camp

4 5 6

Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – painter Karen Hutchison and glass artists David and Dale Barnes


Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

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16 17 18 19 20

The Essential Elvis Tribute Show


Christmas Bazaar

23 24 25 26 27

The Capitol Steps


3rd Annual Bluemont (Juried) Holiday Craft Show

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


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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Good Government Reinforces the Family – Another Perspective

4 Oct 2015


By Malcolm Baldwin Who can disagree with the title to Dave LaRock’s September article in the Blue Ridge Journal – “Good Government Reinforces the Family”? But sadly he largely misunderstands what government has done and ought to do for such reinforcement. Many of his prescriptions would harm families while others would forestall any improvement in family conditions. His conclusions become …



2015 Loudoun 10K Trail Race Raises over $30,000 to Support Boulder Crest Retreat and Our Nation’s Veterans

16 Nov 2015


“I continued to be humbled by our community and all they do to make Boulder Crest Retreat a success. Jim Schatz and his team at Loudoun Road Runners are amazing. This trail run is in alignment with the rural nature of Boulder Crest Retreat and we look forward to the event every year. My personal appreciation goes out to all …

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

By Mark Gunderman The Crux Gloria was erected and dedicated by St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in November 1990. If you’re traveling from Leesburg on Highway 7, passing through Purcellville just west of the Berlin Turnpike exit, you can look to your right and see a majestic metal cross sculpture. Within the cross, the shape of Jesus appears to …

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


The Carver Center is at 200 Willie Palmer Way in Purcellville. Call 571-258-3400 to sign up for the following programs. November 6, Friday Lunch and movie Still Alice 12-2 p.m. (ages 55 and up).  To sign up call 571-258-3459. November 9, Monday AARP Driver Safety Class 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m (ages 50 and up). Pre-registration required. AARP members $15, …

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


Chipmunks are small, beautifully elegant little creatures, with large glossy eyes, a sleek brown body, a short, pointy head, dainty white stripes above and below the eye, and a series of black land white lines down their sturdy little backs. They have a very sweet posture – sitting upright and holding food with their two perfectly formed front feet, while …

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) released the following statement on the current terrorist attacks in Paris: “After September 11, 2001, we tragically learned that al Qaeda was at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them. Again, with the recent murderous terrorist attacks in Paris, we have learned that …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


Statewide data shows increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2013 Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia’s tourism revenues topped $22.4 billion in 2014, a 4.1 percent increase over 2013. In 2014, tourism in Virginia supported 216,949 jobs, an increase of nearly 700 jobs to the previously reported forecast estimate of …

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


By Delegate Dave LaRock Working as the elected Delegate for the 33rd House District has renewed my understanding of the value of a strong family. After decades of raising my family of mom, dad, and seven children and building my family’s business, which provided countless opportunities for mom, dad and …

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


The Don Rose, Sr. Youth Scholarship Fund is seeking financial support to provide scholarships at college, technical or trade school. Applicants from public, private, and home schools are eligible to receive the scholarship, provided they participated in youth sports within Loudoun County. The fund aims to award two $500 scholarships …

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


Ida Lee Park Tennis Center’s Ladies Singles 2.5 Team, Simply Smashing, won the USTA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship tournament, held October 16-18, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club. Simply Smashing members include team captain Beth Cioni, Debbie DeLadurantaye, Jennifer Fox, Robin Haast, Holly McMullen and Deja O’Malley. They train …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– 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

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It’s sad to say that the norm now is to wonder about the next school shooting. For a student it is the most terrifying thing, the next shooter could come at any moment, and any day could be the day that you die. It could be …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– 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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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


The 5th annual Purcellville Halloween Block Party was the best attended to date with an estimated 6,000 descending on 21st street in Old Town this past Friday evening. Costume …

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


My Dad used to say it’s what you do when nobody is watching that counts. Over 80 percent of my “zoning permitted” and “land owner …

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


Recently Gov. McAuliffe proposed $17 round trip tolls on I-66 inside the beltway with Chuck Hedges the Democrat nominee for the HOD 33rd district being …

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