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Patrick Henry College Wins Seventh National Moot Championship

February 1, 2013 by Contributor News, Schools 1 comment

Patrick Henry College has fended off its competitors to once again snatch the American Collegiate Moot Court Association National Championship.

After a win over a team from the College of Wooster last week, the small private college in Purcellville secured its fifth consecutive national championship, defending its reputation as the school to beat.

Patrick Henry College (PHC) is a private, independent college with an Evangelical Christian basis that focuses on teaching classical liberal arts and government. The college was accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. … Continue Reading

Middleburg Academy Hires Long-Term Leader

January 28, 2013 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Middleburg Academy Hires Long-Term Leader

The Board of Trustees of Middleburg Academy, Loudoun County’s only independent, coeducational, college preparatory high school, has completed its long-term leadership succession planning with the hiring of Colley W. Bell III as the next Head of School. Mr. Bell, currently Head of School at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, begins his tenure on July 1, 2013 under an initial five-year employment contract.

Middleburg Academy’s current Head of School, Dr. Ronald P. Sykes, will remain in his position through June 30, 2013, working closely with the incoming Head, the Board of Trustees, and administrative team to ensure a smooth transition in the six-month preparation for new leadership under Colley Bell. … Continue Reading

Lincoln Elementary on the Chopping Block Again?

January 11, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools 4 comments
Lincoln Elementary School  sign

By Andrea Gaines

The possible closing of Lincoln Elementary – one of the Loudoun County’s smallest and oldest schools – was one of the hottest topics at this week’s Loudoun County’s School Board discussions. The school serves 136 students and is approximately 86 years old.

The discussion took place in the context of the board’s Capital Assessment Preservation Program, which outlines the school district’s maintenance priorities for the next five years. The program calls for $310,000 worth of upgrades and improvements to the Lincoln Elementary building, including a new fire alarm system ($70,000), a new electrical system ($200,000) and the replacement of seven rooftop HVAC units ($40,000). Most of the improvements are needed to satisfy county safety and electrical codes.

The issue of closing of many of the county’s smallest schools – also some of the county’s oldest schools ¬– has surfaced regularly over the last several years. In each case, community opposition to the closings won the day. … Continue Reading

Blue Ridge Middle School Solar Installation Ceremony

December 5, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Blue Ridge Middle School Solar Installation Ceremony

The Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville celebrated the installation of the six solar light poles that adorn the lower parking lot with a brief ceremony and plaque presentation. The Solar Poles represent substantial work and focus from past principal, Roberta Griffith, past PTOs, Dr. Hatrick and Loudoun County Public Schools, Purcellville’s Mayor and town council, as well as the entire Blue Ridge Community. The installation of the poles culminates years of fundraising to bring not only light to the lower parking lot, but further the school system’s mission of conservation and smart campus energy use. … Continue Reading

Woodgrove High School Shines On It’s Academic

December 5, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Woodgrove High School Shines On It’s Academic

Woodgrove High School recently appeared on It’s Academic, the Washington, DC high school quiz program now in its 52nd season. The program aired on NBC on December 1. Woodgrove’s team members are seniors Christopher Miller, Carolyn Saunders, and junior Julia Heiser.

This was Woodgrove’s second consecutive appearance on It’s Academic, having won their first round competition during the 51st season.
Woodgrove bested the other teams (Stonewall Jackson High School from Manassas and the School Without Walls from Washington, DC), winning by a 200 point margin. Woodgrove will tape the next round playoff game in spring 2013.

Christopher Miller is a second generation It’s Academic team member. His mother, Gwen Poore Miller, was on Loudoun Valley High School’s first It’s Academic team in the 1970s. Woodgrove’s Academic Team is coached by teachers Louise Spicer, Robert Kane, and John Lanham.

Local Teacher Uses Technology with Traditional Approach to Learning

November 30, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Local Teacher Uses Technology with Traditional Approach to Learning

“The great bug study had begun in our classroom. The students began creating their scientific drawings with paper and pencil and were getting frustrated with erasing; Aha!”

This is a quote from Loudoun Country Day School kindergarten teacher Angie Cross as she presented for the third time at the largest gathering of early childhood educators in the world, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the NAEYC Annual Conference and Expo, held in Atlanta, Georgia, from November 7-10. She specifically talked about how she and her students have not only learned how to integrate iPads into their daily learning in the classroom, but they use it side-by-side with traditional approaches, creating a learning environment that is unique to this age group and built on the success of combined approaches. … Continue Reading

Loudoun Valley Veterans Club to Hold Especially Meaningful Celebration

November 7, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools Comments Off on Loudoun Valley Veterans Club to Hold Especially Meaningful Celebration
veterans day photo

By Andrea Gaines

Veteran’s Day celebrations take many forms, from the quiet graveside service to the marching bands and potluck dinners. This Veteran’s Day, which the nation will celebrate on Friday, November 9 will be marked in an especially significant way by the Loudoun Valley High School (LVHS) Veterans Club as the school welcomes guest speaker and 2003 LVHS graduate Sgt. Rob Jones. A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jones lost the lower half of both legs as he was trying to disarm an IED (improvised explosive device) in 2010. Crushed but not broken, Jones went on to win a gold medal in the 2012 London Paralympics with rowing partner Oksana Master, an orphan from Ukraine who was brought to the United States in 1997. … Continue Reading

Vikings Through the Decades

October 21, 2012 by Contributor Schools Comments Off on Vikings Through the Decades

To celebrate Loudoun Valley High School’s 50th Anniversary, “Vikings Through the Decades” has been published and is currently available to students, parents, faculty and staff, the community and alumni.

The 28-page color booklet covers major school events throughout the school’s history and includes remarks by coaches on the school’s state championship teams, a listing of the school’s principals and their tenures, community and school ties and so much more.

An outcome of The Senior Project, an initiative in the 2011-2012 school year, the booklet was produced primarily by 2012 graduates Kristina Anderson and Chloe Spillane, who were also the 2012 yearbook editors. In the winter they planned the publication and its design, while sorting through materials saved over the years.
After the completion of Advanced Placement exams in May, they worked full-time the two and half weeks prior to graduation interviewing, writing and placing content. They continued their work on the project into the summer until leaving for college. In August, 2013 Saga Editor Katie Pownall picked up the project, polishing it and working on the proofs this fall. Both Anderson and Spillane are studying communications at Virginia Tech. … Continue Reading

Virginia Students Continue to Outperform Peers Nationwide on SAT

September 25, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Virginia Students Continue to Outperform Peers Nationwide on SAT

Participation and Performance of Commonwealth’s Ethnic Groups Also Increase

Virginia’s 2012 public school graduates outperformed their peers nationwide on the SAT college-admissions test, according to results released today by the College Board. The commonwealth’s graduating seniors achieved at higher levels than public school students nationwide on all three SAT subsections:

  • The average reading score of 508 for Virginia public school students is 17 points higher than the national average.
  • The average mathematics score of 510 for Virginia public school students is five points higher.
  • The average writing score of 492 for Virginia public school students is 11 points higher.

In addition, Virginia public school students in all ethnic groups that the College Board reports, — American Indian, Asian, African American, Hispanic and White — outperformed their peers nationwide on all three SAT subsections.

… Continue Reading

“Fore the Wolverines” Hits the Links at Stoneleigh Golf & Country Club

September 20, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on “Fore the Wolverines” Hits the Links at Stoneleigh Golf & Country Club
WWABC 2nd golf Bill Zeleski Stephen Renner Mike Briel Curt Prosser Sept 17 2012

Eighty-eight Wolverine fans and golfers teed off bright and early Monday morning, September 17 at Woodgrove’s home course, Stoneleigh Golf and Country Club in Round Hill, to compete in the Second Annual “Fore the Wolverines” Golf Tournament. All proceeds from the tournament fund Senior student-athlete scholarships and other activities that further the mission of the WWABC. The weather was great, the course was gorgeous, and a good time was had by all! Aside from the tournament itself, the event featured a silent auction, raffle items, door prizes, breakfast, snacks and a delicious lunch catered by Stoneleigh.

Western Loudoun boasts amazing golfers proven by the tournament’s 3-way tie for the team with the lowest score – 59. The tie was broken by comparing back nine scores, and the winners were: … Continue Reading

Board of Education to Revisit ESEA Objectives

August 30, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Board of Education to Revisit ESEA Objectives

Board of Education President David M. Foster said today that he will ask the board at its September 27 meeting to revisit annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for mathematics achievement that were set in July using a methodology approved by the US Department of Education (USED). The methodology was included in Virginia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Request, which waived certain No Child Left Behind-era mandates, that was approved by USED on June 29.

“The timeline for reviewing Virginia’s request necessitated both the Board of Education and USED approving a methodology for setting annual objectives for student subgroups before results from the rigorous new mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests were available,” Foster said. “Now that we know the impact of the 2011-2012 tests on the mathematics AMOs, USED, Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright, Secretary of Education Laura Fornash and I agree that the board should revisit the methodology in order to set more aggressive annual goals for raising subgroup achievement and closing achievement gaps.” … Continue Reading

Yearly Tuition Increases at Virginia Colleges Fall to Decade-Low

August 15, 2012 by Contributor News, Schools Comments Off on Yearly Tuition Increases at Virginia Colleges Fall to Decade-Low

Average increase of 4.1 percent in 2012 is less than half of 10-year average; Down from 7.9 percent Last Year; Tuition at Virginia Schools had Increased by 91 percent over Last Decade

Drop in Tuition Increases Made Possible by $230 Million Additional Investment in the 2012-14 Biennial Budget

As students prepare to return to campus for another year, Governor McDonnell and other higher education leaders today announced that Virginia undergraduates at public colleges and universities in the Commonwealth this fall will experience the lowest tuition and mandatory fee increase in a decade. The announcement comes as the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) releases its annual report on tuition and fees at public higher education institutions. Joined by members of the General Assembly, students, representatives from the State SCHEV, college presidents and Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation, and Investment Tom Farrell, Governor McDonnell announced that the average tuition increase of 4.1 percent represents a 3.8 percent drop from last year’s increase of 7.9 percent. This year’s low tuition and fee increases were possible due in large part to the continued commitment of reinvestment by Governor Bob McDonnell and the 2012 General Assembly’s allocation of $230 million in additional general fund support to Virginia’s public higher education institutions in the 2012-14 biennium. The Governor and General Assembly’s reinvestment in higher education will help public institutions meet the goals of the ‘Top Jobs’ Virginia Education Opportunity Act of 2011, landmark legislation that calls for an additional 100,000 college graduates by the year 2025. … Continue Reading

Back to School Transition

August 3, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Schools 1 comment

By Cynthia Hayes, Ph.D

The beginning of a new school year is a challenging time for the whole family. However, a little preparation and forethought can make a word of difference in helping the shift to go smoothly and can also help children feel secure and look forward to their school year.

?Sleep schedule-The easiest way to support your child’s transition to an earlier bedtime is to make it gradual. For example, if a child’s summer bedtime is 9:30, but she needs to turn in by 8:00 on school nights, parents can help her to make the change over several weeks. The first week she could shift to 9:00, then the second week, to 8:30, and finally to 8:00. … 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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21st Street... 2012 Election... 2015 Election... Aldie... Aldie Elementary School... Amy V. Smith... Andrea Gaines... Andrew McKnight... Appalachian Trail... Armed robbery... Ashburn... Ask Dr. Mike... Attorney General Cuccinelli... Autumn Hill... Babe Ruth World Series... Ball Property... BAR... Barbara Comstock... Barns of Rose Hill... Behind the Scenes... Benjamin Packard... Berklee College... Bethany Anne Decker... Bill Druhan... Bluemont... Bluemont Concert Series... Bluemont Fair... Blue Ridge Middle School... Blue Ridge Wildlife Center... Bob Lazaro... Bob Ohneiser... Boulder Crest Retreat... BRMS... Business... Butterfly Gourmet... Campaigns... Carl Fischer... Caroline Greer... Carver Center... Catoctin Creek... Catoctin Creek Apartments... Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.... Chairman Scott York... Charlie Clark... Christian Sierra... Christkindlmarkt... Column... Columns... Committees at a Glance... Corcoran Brewing... Crooked Run... Dave LaRock... Dave Williams... David La Rock... Dear Editor... Delegate Joe T. May... Development... Dine With Us... Dominion Power... Donna Williamson... Don Rose... Doug McCollum... Down Syndrome Association... Dulles Greenway... Dulles Rail... Dulles Toll Road... Ebola... Editorial... Environment... Equestrian... Events... Faith... Farm and garden... Fields of Athenry... Fourth of July... Franklin Park... Franklin Park Arts... Frank Wolf... Furnace Mountain Band... Gabriella Miller... Geary Higgins... George Allen... GLBR... Gold Award... Gold Cup... Good Shepherd Alliance... Gov. McDonnell... Governor McAuliffe... GSA... Halloween... Halloween block party... Hamilton... Hamilton Day... Hamilton Elementary School... Hampden-Sydney College... Hannah Hager... Hannah James... Harris Teeter... Hill High Store... Hillsboro... Hillsboro Elementary School... Hillsboro Farmers Market... Hirst Road... HUBZone... Humane Society... Hunt Country Gourmet... Hurricane Sandy... Ida Lee... Inova... James Bonfils... 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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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Good Cheer – an exhibit by the artists of Arts in the Village Gallery


Good Cheer – an exhibit by the artists of Arts in the Village Gallery


Good Cheer – an exhibit by the artists of Arts in the Village Gallery


Good Cheer – an exhibit by the artists of Arts in the Village Gallery


Good Cheer – an exhibit by the artists of Arts in the Village Gallery

Eighth Annual Lovettsville Christkindlmarkt

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Good Cheer – an exhibit by the artists of Arts in the Village Gallery

Eighth Annual Lovettsville Christkindlmarkt

Christmas Concert

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 …



Mosby Heritage Area Association Recognizes Three Heritage Heroes

28 Nov 2015


The Mosby Heritage Area Association, the Northern Virginia Piedmont preservation and education organization, has selected three individuals to receive the organization’s annual Heritage Hero Award. The Heritage Hero award is given to individuals or groups in the Mosby Heritage Area who have demonstrated stewardship responsibility over many years. The awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, December 8, at 5:30 …

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Breakfast with Santa

28 Nov 2015


Bring the kids and enjoy breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 12 from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the Between the Hills Community Center at 11762 Harpers Ferry Rd, Purcellville (Neersville). A delicious menu of eggs, sausage, home fries, sausage gravy and biscuits, pancakes,a special french toast dish, coffee cake, fruit, and more. Free will offering. Call 540-668-6504 for more …

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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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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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Middleburg Wins State Championship

28 Nov 2015

Middleburg Academy volleyball

Middleburg Academy’s Girls’ Volleyball team won the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association Division 2 state championship at November 11th’s finals. The 3-0 victory over Peninsula Catholic (#2) capped a season for the Dragons who finished with an impressive 30-2 record. Key wins in their season were home and away victories …

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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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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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