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Woodgrove Girl Scout Earns Gold Award

June 7, 2013 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
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Woodgrove High School senior Alexandra Guendert was recently awarded her Girl Scout Gold Award. Alexandra planted a new landscaped courtyard called “The Grove” at Woodgrove to benefit the entire student body with help from the special needs students.

The courtyard features benches, a pathway, trees, a garden, and stepping stones painted by fellow students.

This project could not have been completed without the help of Woodgrove teacher and project advisor Mrs. Kabernagel, troop leader Sarah Stinger and her scout troop 1579, family, and friends. Money was raised by bake sale fundraisers and donations from local businesses and families.

Alexandra Guendert would like to extend a special thanks to all donors including Blue Mount Nursery, Mr. and Mrs. Forrest from Faith & Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Cook, Browning Equipment, The Paint and Paper Place, BakeCo., Woodgrove SCA, Elegant Limousine Service Corp. , Holly Hoopes SunTrust Mortgage, Home Depot and Giant Food.

Taylor Justice Honored For Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
Left to right, Brion Bell BRMS Principal, Taylor Justice and Delegate Randy Minchew.

Taylor Justice, a seventh grade student at Blue Ridge Middle School was honored May 23 for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Del. Randy Minchew presented Taylor with a commending resolution to recognize her achivement. As part of a team of women participating in the kick-off climb for the organization Climb for Conservation, the nine day trek spotlighted the ‘Snows of Kilimanjaro’ and the conservation of the critically endangered African Black Rhino, which lives right outside Kilimanjaro National Park.

Left to right, Brion Bell BRMS Principal, Taylor Justice and Delegate Randy Minchew.

Kitchen Science Kids – Hey, I See Your DNA

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People 1 comment
sciencekids

By Leah Enright

Our bodies are made of 100 trillion tiny packages called cells. Each cell is like a world within itself, having many parts that work together to do the important job of keeping us alive and healthy. At the center of each cell is a special spot called a nucleus. The nucleus contains a tiny ball of skinny strands called Deoxyribonucleic Acid. DNA is important – it gives cells instructions. If your hair is blonde, red or brown, it’s because your DNA gave those instructions.

Freckles? A big smile? Thank your DNA, which was passed along to you by your parents.

People aren’t the only ones with this special ingredient. in fact, every living thing has it, from you, to that banana in the kitchen, to a giraffe in the zoo.

People did not always know about it. Many scientists worked for a long time to be able to see this mysterious molecule. Now, it is useful for solving crimes, testing food purity and helping doctors understand and treat medical problems.

We can see this special substance too. For our purposes, we’ll use common materials.

Let’s get started:
You’ll need:
1. An adult helper
2. Three strawberries
3. 1 small zip-style freezer bag
4. 1 teaspoon salt
5. 2 teaspoons dish soap
6. 2 clear plastic cups
7. 1 coffee filter
8. ¼ Cup Rubbing Alcohol. (Place the bottle of alcohol in the freezer a few hours before using it, being sure it is clearly labeled). 91 percent alcohol is best, but 70 percent works, too.
9. 1 toothpick or skewer.

What to do:
1. Ask an adult to read through and approve this activity for you.
2. Place the strawberries in the zip style bag, and seal it. (Remove the green tops first).
3. Gently smash the berries in the bag, until they are mostly liquid, then set the bag aside.
4. In one of the plastic cups, mix 2 teaspoons detergent, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ cup of water.
5. Add two teaspoons of this liquid to the bag with the crushed berries.
6. Reseal the bag and gently mash again for a minute, then set the bag aside.
7. Tape the coffee filter onto the top of the other cup, so that you will be able to strain the berry mixture. Let the liquid flow through the filter until you have as much liquid as you can in the cup.
8. Throw the filter away, and add alcohol to your cup, by tilting the cup and letting alcohol dribble down the inside of the cup. Stop when you have about an inch of alcohol.
9. In a few minutes, you will see a white cloudy substance floating in the top of your cup. That is DNA! Use your toothpick to pick it up and examine the strands.
10. When you are finished, it is safe to wash this mixture down the drain.

When scientists examine this substance, they look at the way it is put together. Like a set of blocks, the same pieces can be assembled in different ways, to build different things. Your DNA is special and unique to you – that’s why you don’t look exactly like anyone else.

Now, you’ve seen it, but there is plenty more to learn. Check your library for books on this fascinating subject, and the next time you pass a basket of strawberries, you can say, “Hey-I’ve seen your DNA.”

Leah Enright loves children, art and science, and puts those three together as often as possible. She lives in Round Hill with her husband, children and a shaggy brown poodle named Snoopy.

Sheriff Chapman Invited as Guest Lecturer for FBI National Academy

May 5, 2013 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
SheriffChapman2012

Loudoun County Sheriff Michael L. Chapman was at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Tuesday, as a guest lecturer for students of the 253rd session of the FBI National Academy in the Contemporary Issues in Police/Media Relations class.

During his presentation, Sheriff Chapman discussed high-profile cases that he worked while serving as a Special Agent with the DEA and compared them with some of the issues he faces as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Loudoun County. … Continue Reading

Bill Testa – An Artist “At Home”

May 1, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
Testa painting

By Andrea Gaines

Knowing that local craftsman Bill Testa and his wife see the family’s home as their very own piece of western Loudoun paradise, you are prepared for something special.

But, once inside you realize that you are looking at, not just a very unique space, but an art gallery in the form of one of the most comfortable home environments you have ever entered.

Everything in Testa’s home is very functional. Kitchen cabinets with lots of convenient storage, all in the right place. Perfectly appointed fireplaces in just about every room. A large, two-story sunroom in back that is toasty warm or beautifully cool regardless of the season and decorated with all manner of interesting old farm implements and family memorabilia. A dark and quiet study with wonderful antique furniture and old world paneling. … Continue Reading

Meredith Miller of Purcellville Initiated in National Leadership Honor Society at Mary Baldwin College

April 18, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

Meredith Miller of Purcellville has been initiated into the Laurel Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national honor society in leadership at Mary Baldwin College. ODK recognizes and encourages leadership in five areas of college life: scholarship; social, service, or religious activities and campus government; athletics; journalism, speech, and the mass media; creative and performing arts.

Juniors and seniors students ranked in the top 35 percent of their class and excelling in at least two of the above five categories are encouraged to apply. One member of the faculty, staff, or administration and one alumna/us may be elected each year as well. The Laurel Circle, installed at MBC in 1976, was the first circle of ODK to be established at a women’s college.

Meredith Miller To Join Phi Beta Kappa

April 7, 2013 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

Meredith Miller of Purcellville was tapped for membership in Phi Beta Kappa at Mary Baldwin College’s spring Honors Convocation. Membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, is an emblem of high achievement and exceptional potential conferred upon barely one percent of college seniors nationwide. The Society, founded in 1776, maintains high standards for individual members as well as for the colleges from which members are elected. Mary Baldwin College is one of only 280 institutions to shelter a chapter, Lambda of Virginia.
To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a student must have demonstrated through her or his undergraduate record a commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences that is both broad and deep. In addition to a very high GPA, minimum eligibility requirements include foreign language, mathematics, and laboratory science. Standards for election as a junior are higher than for seniors. The ideal Phi Beta Kappan is a model of intellectual curiosity, academic integrity, tolerance for other views, and a broad range of academic interests.

David Keran of Round Hill Inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

March 21, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to announce that David Keran, of Round Hill, was recently initiated into Phi Kappa Phi – the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Keran is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at Longwood University.

Keran is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Interview with Upper Loudoun Little League President, Norris Beavers

March 6, 2013 by Tim Jon Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
norrisbeavers

If we selected a ‘Mister Loudoun County,’ Norris Beavers would certainly be a top candidate: Middleburg Postmaster for 18 years (retired in 2007), pillar of his church (Emmanuel Episcopal in Middleburg) and long-running President for Upper Loudoun Little League (ULLL). Born and raised in Loudoun County, he attended Lincoln Elementary and Loudoun Valley High Schools. Just think of the local residents he has known in his time, and the lives he has touched: Beavers served as Postmaster for the historic community of Waterford before his tenure in Middleburg, and he worked at the Leesburg Post Office prior to that. He’s held several positions for his local church (vestry member for five terms, cemetery committee chairman, and co-treasurer, not to mention lay ministry member for many years). His service to ULLL includes almost three decades as Board Member, and 13 years as President. No surprise that his three sons all played Little League, as well. Norris Beavers also does some ‘hoopin,’ with about 15 years of refereeing for the Western Loudoun Basketball League, and Board Membership for that organization approaching two decades. We’re happy to share his views on local youth sports, from this recent interview …

Tim Jon: How did you get started in youth sports – and, what do you enjoy most (these days) about being involved in kids’ athletics?
Norris Beavers: With three sons, I wanted them to have a positive experience playing sports. I realize I could make a positive experience for many other kids also. That is what motivates me today.

TJ: Not everybody’s going to be a Ray Lewis or a Roberto Clemente, but team sports can still help in our development. What are your thoughts on this? … Continue Reading

Reggie Simms – Hometown Artist at Heart

March 6, 2013 by Andrea Gaines Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
reggie

All truly great artists have one thing in common: they do the kind of art that they do, not because of some outside force, but because their inner creative spark sends them in that direction, period.

Reginald Simms is that kind of artist.

As a young child, Reggie was fascinated by the covers of National Geographic Magazine. (“I couldn’t get a library card but sometimes they’d ask me to help mend the bindings in old books and magazines,” said Reggie.) And so, today (naturally) he is a man on a mission to paint a set of 12 huge oils depicting in minute detail his favorite covers from the magazine. One of the most iconic magazine covers ever … turned into a breathtaking piece of art. … Continue Reading

Jessica Wilson: Chasing the Light

February 19, 2013 by Andrea Gaines Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment
Jessica Wilson

To sit down with Mt. Gilead landscape artist Jessica Wilson is to know right away that you are in the presence of a really remarkable soul.

The outdoor scenes that surround her mountaintop studio, and the exquisite layers of paint she leaves on her canvases, are really one in the same – broad, sweeping limbs of ancient trees, lichen covered
stone walls, weathered farm buildings – all dancing with subtle earthy colors.

As Jessica describes it, landscape painters “chase the light,” following a process – a path – through shade, shadow, space and structure to create their works of art. And, that concept actually says quite a bit about the artist herself. For, she too has been on quite a journey. … Continue Reading

James Madison University Announces Fall 2012 Graduates

February 2, 2013 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

The following students graduated from James Madison University during the December 15, 2012 commencement exercises:

Kyle Rosel of Round Hill, graduated with a bachelor of business administraton degree in management.
Matthew Martin of Hamilton, graduated with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.

Area Residents Receive JMU President’s List Honors

February 2, 2013 by Contributor Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

The following James Madison University students have been named to the president’s list for the fall 2012 semester:

Elise Sawtelle of Leesburg. Sawtelle is a senior whose major is athletic training.
Seana Sears of Round Hill. Sears is a senior whose major is biology.
Byron Young of Waterford. Young is a sophomore whose major is biophysical chemistry.
Ryan Harris of Purcellville. Harris is a freshman whose major is communication studies.
James Paschal of Leesburg. Paschal is a senior whose major is computer information systems.
Briana Biggs of Lovettsville. Biggs is a junior whose major is interdisciplinary liberal studies.
Samantha Gibson of Purcellville. Gibson is a senior whose major is interdisciplinary liberal studies.
Kathleen Sheehan of Leesburg. Sheehan is a senior whose major is interdisciplinary liberal studies. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

noerpel

The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014

springiscoming

By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

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I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012

Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …

(2 comments)

Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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Events

April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate

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April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"

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April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club

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April 30, 2014

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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May 4, 2014

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …

(3 comments)

Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

Jim_Burton_cropped

In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014

sadiestart

Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014

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At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election

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Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

Frank_wolf

By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting

Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

ulll

Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Letters

Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

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Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …

(2 comments)

Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

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 …

(3 comments)

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