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Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office Investigate Suspicious Devices at South Riding Home

January 3, 2014 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating several improvised explosive devices discovered inside a South Riding home on January 1.

The devices were located by members of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) during the investigation of an unrelated incident inside a single family home in the 43400 block of Quentin Street. During the investigation, Loudoun Sheriff’s Deputies located three (3) improvised explosive devices. The Loudoun County Bomb Squad, as well as representatives of the local division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and additional LCSO representatives responded to the scene. The residents of two adjacent homes were evacuated as a precaution. The families were displaced for approximately four hours.

The Loudoun County Bomb Squad, with the assistance of the ATF secured the devices. The devices were rendered safe at an undisclosed, off-site location, and the scene was cleared around 4:00 a.m. on January 2.

The case remains under investigation by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office. If you have any information regarding this case, you are asked to call the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-737-8600.

LCSO Releases Video Surveillance Still of Suspect in Sterling Bank Robbery

January 3, 2014 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

Detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office have released a surveillance video still of the suspect in the Sterling bank robbery.

The suspect entered the PNC Bank in the 100 block of Free Court shortly after 9:00 a.m. on January 2 and demanded cash. The suspect was described as a White male, approximately 5’8” to 5’10” tall, with a thin build. He was wearing black jeans, a black hat and a gray hooded sweatshirt.

If you have any information regarding the possible identity of this suspect, please call the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

Ashburn Driving Instructor Charged with Sexual Abuse of Two Students, LCSO Seeks Possible Additional Victims

December 28, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office arrested a driving instructor for the sexual abuse of at least two students and believe there may be other victims who have not come forward.

Khawaja S. Vohra, 63, of Ashburn, was charged with taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship and three counts of sexual battery of an adult student. Vohra is the owner and operator of AALI Fastrack Driving School and worked with teenagers across the region.

The first incident was reported in September after the suspect made inappropriate comments to an 18-year-old victim and inappropriately touched her during two driving lessons. During the course of the investigation, detectives learned of a juvenile victim in October. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Police Blotter

December 28, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Public Safety Be the first to comment
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12/19/2013 8:53a.m 200 blk Misty Pond Terrace Domestic Dispute

Police called to the scene of an ongoing domestic situation that had been going on for several weeks. The situation was mediated and the police left when incident had calmed down.

12/19/2013 2:07 p.m. 100 blk. N. 16th St. Assault

Two acquaintances involved in an ongoing dispute that had become physical and one party had assaulted the other. No serious injuries were reported and the injured person was going to seek charges.

12/19/2013 9:13 p.m. 100 blk. Hatcher Ave. Destruction of Property

An off-duty officer observed a vehicle that had been damaged in a possible act of vandalism and reported it to on-duty police personnel. The damage was reported at $100. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Police Department Warns Residents

December 28, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment
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At 3:00 a.m. on December 27, the Police Department was dispatched to a vehicle tempering in the area of Pickwick Dr and Drawbridge Way. The victim of the vehicle tampering got into a physical altercation with the suspect. The suspect was described as a white teenage male wearing blue jeans, a black Nike sweat shirt and had brown hair. Another person of interest with the suspect, was described as a white teenaged male wearing blue jeans, white sweatshirt and sandy blonde hair, ran from the scene with the suspect.

Anyone with any information call the Purcellville Police Department at 540-338-7422.

The Purcellville Police Department reminds all residents to secure their vehicles at all times.

Fourth Suspect in Purcellville Home Invasion Apprehended in Florida

December 2, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment
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The fourth and final suspect in the home invasion robbery at an apartment in Purcellville was apprehended November 22 in Tallahassee, FL. David C. Russell, Jr., 21, of Leesburg, was taken into custody by members of the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

Russell is charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and is being held at the Leon County Jail in Florida.

Earlier this month, detectives worked with members of the Harrisonburg Police Department to locate and apprehend 20-year-old Dean W. Ballard. He was taken into custody on charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was being held without bond at the Rockingham Harrisonburg Regional Jail. In October, detectives arrested Jordon L. Harwell, 29, of Sterling, and John C. Barwis, 23, of Ashburn. Harwell and Barwis are charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and are held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond. … Continue Reading

Outside Gas Leak in Leesburg

November 25, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

At approximately 7:30 a.m., Friday November 22, a construction vehicle working at the intersection of Sycolin Road and Tavistock Drive damaged a gas control valve operating a large diameter, pressurized gas line. Fire and Rescue units from Leesburg, Lansdowne and the Loudoun County Hazardous Materials Team responded to the scene. The leak resulted in the temporary closure of Sycolin Road between Battlefield Parkway and the Leesburg Airport while Washington Gas worked to mitigate the leak. Offices at 803 Sycolin Road were temporarily evacuated as a precaution and access to nearby properties was delayed.

The leak was contained and repairs performed by approximately 9:30 a.m. Sycolin Road was subsequently reopened to thru traffic and access to affected properties has been restored.

No injuries to civilian or fire-rescue personnel were reported.

Purcellville Police Blotter

November 25, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment
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11/15/13 – 9:27 p.m. – 1000 block of S. 20th St. – Narcotic Violations, Liquor Violation and Tobacco Violation – 3 juveniles were detained and later released to their parents.
11/17/13 – 12:30 p.m. – 400 block of Crosman Ct. – Nonviolent Family Dispute – Complaint worked by police and resolved.
11/17/13 – 6:51 p.m. – 17000 block of Strathallen Ct. – Nonviolent Family Dispute – Complaint worked by police and resolved.
11/18/13 – 10:58 p.m. – 200 block of Hackley Ct. – Nonviolent Family Dispute – Complaint worked by police and resolved.

Fire Marshal’s Office Lifts Open Burning Ban at Midnight Tonight

November 22, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

Effective 12:00 a.m., Friday November 22, 2013, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) is lifting the temporary open burning ban for Loudoun County as the fire danger level has dropped for the next several days. We will now be operating under the Fall/Winter Open Burning Guidelines through February 14, 2014 unless otherwise dictated by the Loudoun County FMO.

To determine the fire danger level, weather data from National Weather Service stations and local forestry offices is analyzed every morning. This analysis results in a predicted fire danger level and a class of day assigned. This may drive the need for a local burn ban to be enacted when the fire danger is high or a class three day. The fire danger level is predicted to be a class one up to a class two for the next several days; hence the local burn ban is being lifted.

For a detailed explanation of the Fall/Winter Open Burning Guidelines, visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal. For additional questions or information, please contact the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office directly at 703-737-8600.

Sheriff’s Recent Personnel Moves Uncover Possible Embezzlement

November 20, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal affairs investigation in conjunction with a Virginia State Police criminal investigation, into allegations of embezzlement in the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation began in late October this year after a restructuring of LCSO personnel. The embezzlement allegations were uncovered immediately after Sheriff Chapman restructured units within the Criminal Investigations and Patrol Divisions. As soon as Sheriff Chapman was notified of the potential criminal activity, he contacted the Virginia State Police and requested that an independent investigation be conducted. As no criminal charges have yet been filed, the Sheriff’s Office cannot disclose the name or names of any LCSO employees under investigation. At this point, one employee has been placed on administrative leave. Any further criminal investigation announcements are expected to come from the Virginia State Police.

LCSO Joins Instagram to Reach out to Younger Audience

November 16, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

In an effort to further reach out to the community, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office announced the agency is now on Instagram at www.instagram.com/loudounsheriff. The social media site will allow the agency to share pictures and video of featured cases and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office events. “In an effort to reach out to all areas of the public, we wanted to further connect with the young adults in our community,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “We believe Instagram is one social media platform that can help us make this connection,” he added. The Loudoun Sheriff’s Office currently utilizes several social media sites in an attempt to reach out to a wider audience. … Continue Reading

Wednesday Brings Three Fires for Loudoun Fire-Rescue Crews

November 16, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

Three separate, unrelated working fires Wednesday, November 13 kept fire and rescue units from across Loudoun County busy.
The first incident occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. when units from Middleburg, Aldie and Philomont responded to a call for a structure fire at 17 Federal Street in Middleburg. When fire crews arrived on scene, they found two HVAC units on fire behind the structure. Crews quickly extinguished the fire, preventing it from extending into the affected structure. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office deemed the fire accidental in nature, caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. Damages are estimated at $15,000. … Continue Reading

Caring for Our Seniors: Preventing Falls

November 6, 2013 by Contributor Public Safety Be the first to comment

As families gather together over the holidays and begin to plan the year ahead, a topic that often comes up is how to ensure parents and other seniors get the right care and live as independently as possible as they age. This is part one of a three-part series that will discuss various topics that might come up as a family gathers around the holiday table and looks at the issue of how to care for their loved ones.

Falls are the number one cause of injuries, hospital visits, and deaths among Americans 65 years and older. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014


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


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


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


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), …


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


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"


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


April 30, 2014

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

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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.

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View From the Ridge

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

4 Mar 2014


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 …



Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014


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 …



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

9 Apr 2014


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


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


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


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


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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Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014


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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Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014


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

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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 …


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 …



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