“Nichols: The Last Hardware Store” Debuts May 14

April 30, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Business, News, Our Towns Comments Off on “Nichols: The Last Hardware Store” Debuts May 14
Nichols0039 copy use

Locally-Filmed and Produced Documentary Part of Purcellville Virginia Heritage Day Celebrations
By Andrea Gaines

Since 2008, the Lincoln Studios film crew (Sarah Huntington, Peter Buck and Drew Babb) have been filming “Nichols: The Last Hardware Store” in Purcellville, Virginia and the surrounding Northern Virginia/Washington DC area.

“We have devoted thousands of hours to the project, relying exclusively on ‘sweatequity”,” notes Drew Babb. With the photography and filming complete, the team is beyond excited to be headed into the editing room and hopes the public will fall in love with the final product. … Continue Reading

Ask Dr. Mike

April 28, 2011 by Contributor Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Ask Dr. Mike

Dr. Mike,

My husband and I are taking our three children to Disney World this Summer. We’ve waited as long as we have because our youngest son has autism, and we know the experience may be over stimulating for him. He’s a great kid but reacts to long waits and loud noises. We certainly do not want to deprive our son (or other children) of the Disney experience, but acknowledge that we have to be careful with how we approach this. Do you think our seven year old son can handle Disney, and do you have any tips for us?

S in Leesburg … Continue Reading

Real Estate Ticker

April 27, 2011 by Contributor Development, News Comments Off on Real Estate Ticker

By Heather Elias

There has been so much talk in the national media about the dismal real estate market across the country. Let me be clear about this…you can’t forecast the real estate market on a national level any more than you can create a national weather forecast. All real estate is local, based on supply, demand, and local economic conditions. Here’s how things are looking in Loudoun right now…

That’s three years worth of data for median price. The top line is single family homes, and the bottom line is the combined condo/townhome market. Pretty steady, huh? Median condo/townhome pricing has risen from around $255,000 in April 2009 to roughly $285,000 two years later; by my math that’s an 11 percent increase in two years. Single family homes have gone from $545,000 in April 2009 to about $555,00 now, which is only a two percent gain…but again, this is taking a snapshot across the county, so certain neighborhoods and home types could be outperforming (or underperforming) others. Given the volatility of the market (and the huge drop in home prices) from 2006 to 2008, I’d consider stability or a gain of a couple percent a win. If you are thinking about making a move this year, reach out to a real estate agent and get market data specific to your situation, so that you can make informed decisions. … Continue Reading

Transparency Matters

April 27, 2011 by Contributor Opinion Comments Off on Transparency Matters


By Kelli Grim

In January 2007 reports of FBI investigations into the activities of various Loudoun County officials shook public confidence in their local government. This exacerbated already existing public concerns regarding the significant levels of campaign contributions from individuals, companies, and organizations with matters before the Board, the appointment of individuals with fiduciary interests to Board advisory committees and commissions, and an overall lack of transparency in the land use decision-making process. Between 2006 and 2007, both jointly and individually, Supervisors Jim Burton, Sally Kurtz, Lori Waters, and Chairman Scott York, attempted to address these issues. Their efforts were met with mixed success. … Continue Reading


April 27, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Sushi's Corner Comments Off on Hairbows

Nelly, do you even believe these photos of us?

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 a little more than I could handle – but remembering doggy dungeon I kept a smile on my face through it all. Maybe I didn’t like it but I could tell Laino and Bernie loved having us all doggied up for the family photo’s.

It was clear those two ornery barn cat’s Hokie and Mountie were quite jealous, as they did not rank high enough to be included in the family photos. Sammy the Bull and his favorite lady cow, Miss Ashley, could have cared less as they mooed softly together and munched their way across the green pastures towards the creek bed. Upon their arrival they were greeted by old Gnarly Gander and the Goose Gang.

Mrs. Zaza was busy cleaning, ruffling and fluffing her long Sabastapol curly goose feathers. The only thing she was missing by the creek bed was a full length mirror in which she could see herself. Her three baby goslings floated nearby admiring how gorgeous their Mama was. … Continue Reading

The Stink Bugs Are Coming … The Stink Bugs Are Coming

April 27, 2011 by Valerie Cury Public Safety Comments Off on The Stink Bugs Are Coming … The Stink Bugs Are Coming

When a United States congressman hosts a conference about an insect, you know there’s something serious going on. Last Monday, April 18, 2010, Congressman Frank Wolf held a forum at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) problem. I am sure you all know the bug we are talking about; they have infested most of our homes over the past year. At Woodgrove, presentations were given by two experts in the field, one from the Department of Agriculture the other from an associate professor of entomology at Virginia Tech, which described the threat of the BMSB in detail. Our conclusion after hearing this talk and a previous one at the 4 H Club in Leesburg is that the BMSB invasion is a major agricultural problem that can affect the economy of the United States. Yes, you heard that right; the BMSB can affect the economy if immediate steps are not taken to control the problem. … Continue Reading

Tinkering … Rearranging … Rewording

April 27, 2011 by Contributor Editorial, Opinion, Uncategorized Comments Off on Tinkering … Rearranging … Rewording


By Kelli Grim

The Town spends a great deal of time tinkering, rearranging and rewording all the ordinances, every regulation, zoning law, building height and setback, façade, window pane, sidewalk width and site plan – all of the nitpicking details that are supposed to make the town run smoothly, create an atmosphere of consistency and purpose, and lend some sort of harmony and vision to the Town.

It’s a great deal of time wasted. Despite all the reams of paper, the numerous drafts, the meetings and discussions, the town routinely and capriciously overturns or completely ignores its own regulations. … Continue Reading

Are We Saving Trees or Saving Face?

April 27, 2011 by Valerie Cury Editorial, Opinion, Uncategorized 1 comment


In the April 2011 Purcellville Citizen’s Update (a publication of the Town of Purcellville) there was a photo of a rotted, hollow core tree trunk that had been removed from Fireman’s Field in March 2011.

A caption for the photo in the Update reads “An example of the rotted out, hollow core and limbs of the trees that were removed.”

Staff and reporters from the Blue Ridge Leader and Loudoun Today were in fact on site the day the trees were taken down. Of the 15 trees that were removed, there was only one tree that was hollow (or rotted), and one other that was slightly hollow. (Staff had watched as all of the dozen or more trees were first taken down, and then hauled away. The photos below were taken that day.) … Continue Reading

Hawks Fly into Franklin

April 26, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Hawks Fly into Franklin

Country Gospel Performers, “The Hawks” will present a concert to benefit VSA arts of Loudoun County on Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 p.m. at the Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville. Admission is a suggested donation of $20, and tickets can be reserved by calling 540-338-7973.

Lisa and Duane Hawk met in September of 1981 at a college that teaches blind students the art of piano tuning and repair. Duane was in the second year of a two-year course, and Lisa was in her first year. Duane came back to his home town of Palmerton, PA to start a piano tuning and repair business and the couple married in September of 1983.

Music has always been an important part of life for both Lisa and Duane. As they got to know each other in college, they discovered that both liked to play and sing country and gospel music. That love of music continued after marriage. The Hawks started taking small entertaining jobs to supplement their income. The number of jobs they took grew quickly.

Lisa plays the piano and Duane plays the guitar. Both of them sing.

VSA Arts of Loudoun County’s mission is to provide creative opportunities to people with disabilities in an inclusive community, through the performing and visual Arts.

Admission is a suggested $20 donation and can be reserved by calling 540-338-7973.

Waterford Old School Construction to Begin July 1

April 26, 2011 by Contributor News, Our Towns Comments Off on Waterford Old School Construction to Begin July 1

The Waterford Foundation announced today that construction will begin on July 1, 2011 on the new Waterford Old School auditorium.

“None of us who stood in the yard of the Old School on that cold January day in 2007 will ever forget the sight of the fire that damaged the Old School and destroyed the auditorium,” said Bonnie Getty, president of the Waterford Foundation. “It has been a long four years of fundraising and planning, but I am thrilled to announce that last night the Board of Directors voted unanimously to move forward with the rebuilding of the Old School auditorium.” … Continue Reading

Loudoun Challenges Effort To Revive Controversial Outer Beltway

April 26, 2011 by Contributor Development, Loudoun County, News, Uncategorized Comments Off on Loudoun Challenges Effort To Revive Controversial Outer Beltway

Fights Potential Diversion of Critical Transportation Revenues

Loudoun County residents and members of the County Board of Supervisors have discovered that Secretary Connaughton and two members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) have sought to revive the controversial Western Bypass and make it a top priority for funding as a new “Corridor of Statewide Significance.” Several residents attended Monday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting to speak in favor of a Loudoun County Board of Supervisors resolution which:

  • Protests the CTB’s lack of public process;
  • Calls for extensive consultation with the county; and,
  • Calls for a focus on the county’s much more critical transportation needs in terms of east-west travel.

… Continue Reading

Extreme Science: Is Ocean Acidity Harming the Copepods?

April 26, 2011 by Contributor Columns, Sustainable Planet, Uncategorized Comments Off on Extreme Science: Is Ocean Acidity Harming the Copepods?

Reprinted courtesy of Climate Central

This week’s article is by Ceri Lewis a young scientist working on the Catlin Arctic Survey. Her specialty is Copepods a remarkably delightful creature. Once on top of one of the Maritime Alps in France, my buddy and I decided we were living large compared with Rupert Murdoch who had financed our trip. Well what goes around comes around. I am unabashedly jealous of Ceri Lewis and all the other scientists who get to do this great science in the Arctic. Lewis’ article was originally published on April 18, 2011 at Climate Central [1]. Photo credits: Ceri Lewis/Catlin Arctic Survey. – Tony Noerpel

By Ceri Lewis, Catlin Arctic Survey Ice Base scientist

This is the second in a series of blog posts from scientists taking part in the third-annual Catlin Arctic Survey. … Continue Reading

Why Do They Do It?

April 26, 2011 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle, Uncategorized Comments Off on Why Do They Do It?

By Meredith Bean McMath

What would it take to get you on the stage? A million bucks? For most of us that’s would be a yes. And maybe not even then…. But for many others, all it takes is an invitation. Why? What makes a performer tick? Why would someone put in hundreds of rehearsal hours and risk public humiliation just for the chance to stand up there and give us their all? Here in Loudoun we have around a dozen theatre companies, several ballet, dance, theatre and music studios, chorale groups, music groups and bands, an opera company, a ballet company, and a symphony orchestra; clearly this is a great place to ask the question. And so I did.

I put it out there on Facebook, and the answers came in a rush. Three themes quickly floated to the top: performers perform for the sake of personal challenge, the chance to explore new worlds, and a strong desire to share something amazing with an audience. … 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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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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December 2015
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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


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


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

Come paint with us at Breaux Vineyards


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


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

Chorus of the Old Dominion Holiday Concert and Sing-A-Long

Chorus of the Old Dominion Holiday Concert and Sing-A-Long


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

Holiday Brunch at Breaux Vineyards


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


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


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

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


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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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