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Take Two Comes to Town

January 2, 2013 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Take Two Comes to Town

Take Two? It’s a first! Two Loudoun leading ladies and local directors, Karlah Hamilton Louis and Dolly Stevens will showcase songs from their professional careers and double the fun by performing both January 11 and 12.

From “Another Op’nin’ to “So Long Dearie,” the show is packed with songs from Annie to Chicago to Mame and tied together with a humorous storyline about two dueling divas who show up to audition for the leading lady role. Each tries to convince the casting director that she is best for the part. … Continue Reading

“Christmas Carol” Likely to Become a Loudoun Institution

December 8, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on “Christmas Carol” Likely to Become a Loudoun Institution
The Ghost of Christmas Past (Molly Warndorf) points to memories that Scrooge (Phil Erickson) doesn't want to see. (Photo by Jim Poston.)

By Mark Dewey printed with permission from The Shenandoah Press

There’s a moment in Once Upon A Christmas Carol that appears to be a mismatch. Phil Erickson, who plays Scrooge, is trying to hide from apparitions and regrets, those sisters. He has laid himself back down in his bed and covered his head with the quilts. Molly Warndorf, who plays the Ghost of Christmas Past, has to make him get up. Erickson is an accomplished, prodigious actor whose charisma tends to dominate the stage, and Warndorf is an eighth-grade girl who played a munchkin at Harmony Middle School once. Asking her to bully him would not appear to be a good idea.

I expect the moment to ring false, and I cringe as it approaches because I’ve been liking the play so well and I want to keep liking it, but I doubt a one-time munchkin little girl can generate enough personal power to roust Phil Erickson, even if he cooperates. Why not give that task to somebody like Shawn Malone, who’s bigger than the bed Erickson’s hiding in, and whose experience with Not Just Shakespeare, Inc. is even more substantial than his person? And he’s right there in the middle of the cast — a couple of scenes earlier he picked up Drew Hare and wrapped him around his waist with one arm. I’d make that guy kick Erickson’s butt out of bed. … Continue Reading

The Polka Dots: Uppity Women

July 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on The Polka Dots: Uppity Women

By Carol Morris Dukes

“We are uppity women.”

Sisters Aislin and Nora Kavaldjian are also Polka Dots. If you’re not familiar with them, a brief bio on their website perhaps says it best: “Once upon a time, two girls were born. Soon they started singing. Their friends came over to play. The rest is history.”

Most girls their age are caught up in the traditional mysteries and challenges of adolescence. Aislin and Nora, on the other hand, are focused, driven and deeply committed to a craft. … Continue Reading

Local Songwriter Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders Band Live CD

July 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Local Songwriter Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders Band Live CD

Features Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Founding Member ­– Les Thompson

By Carol Morris Dukes

In the 15 years of music since leaving his corporate engineering career, singer/songwriter and guitarist Andrew McKnight has heard one question from fans more than any other; “when will you make a live record?”. And the answer always was “when I find the band that I am comfortable with to capture the energy of the songs in a different way than a solo performance,” he says.

That time has arrived with One Virginia Night (OVN), a limited edition live CD and bonus DVD set with his band Beyond Borders, which also features founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson. … Continue Reading

Bluemont To Return to Loudoun Courthouse for 31st Year In Leesburg

June 15, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Bluemont To Return to Loudoun Courthouse for 31st Year In Leesburg

The Bluemont Concert Series announces its return to the Old Loudoun Courthouse for its 31st year of summer concerts in Leesburg. The Martinsburg Jazz Orchestra will kick off Bluemonts summer concert series on Sunday, July 1 at 7:00 p.m. Bluemont is excited to return to the Old Loudoun Courthouse, located at 18 East Market St., the historic home of Bluemont concerts in Leesburg. … Continue Reading

Lyric Opera Announces Principal Auditions

June 13, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Lyric Opera Announces Principal Auditions

Loudoun Lyric Opera announces principal auditions for the November 2012 performances of Domenic Cimarosa’s Italian comedy, Il Matrimonio Segreto (“The Secret Marriage”) and principal and chorus auditions for our February 2013 performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta, The Mikado.

Auditions will take place on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29 from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Leesburg United Methodist Church, 107 West Market Street, Leesburg, VA. Singers are asked to bring one song in English if auditioning for The Mikado. Professional singers are asked to bring an additional aria in Italian from the late 1700’s if they are also auditioning for Il Matrimonio Segreto. An accompanist will be provided. There is a $10 accompanist fee for principal role auditions, but no charge for students and choristers. Please bring sheet music. … Continue Reading

Melissa Wright, the Burgoo and the Return to Roots Music

June 6, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle 3 comments
Alison Krauss (l) with Melissa

By Carol Morris Dukes

Bluegrass music is intrinsic to our area. Virginia natives have a long and storied relationship with that special sound that found its roots in our Celtic ancestors who originally populated the Appalachian regions of our country. In spite of that history and connection, mountain music, our regional “Roots” music, is not a genre with a mass following; least of all from the under 30’s crowd. But wait a minute, folks. We in Northern Virginia can run—but we can’t hide from our hillbilly legacy. … Continue Reading

Dark Tide (2012)

June 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Dark Tide (2012)

Halle Berry, Jeff Martinez, Ralph Brown,

Very Disappointing

Shark Whisperer Kate (Halle Berry) needs to go back into the water to pay bills. She lost a crewman years ago and blames herself. She takes on Brady (Ralph Brown) a millionaire who wants to swim with the great whites, but outside the cage. This can’t be good. … Continue Reading

LONESTAR to Headline Clarke County Fair Bluegrass Highlight: Dailey & Vincent

June 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on LONESTAR to Headline Clarke County Fair Bluegrass Highlight: Dailey & Vincent

Multi-platinum country music group, LONESTAR, will be the feature entertainment at the 58th Annual Clarke County Fair on August 18 in Berryville. The Texas-bred band is on a 20th anniversary tour and is known both for their strong country roots as well as their multi-genre crossover appeal that has led to success on the pop/rock charts. Lonestar has had an impressive list of hit singles on the country charts, including ten #1 hits such as “Amazed”, “No News”, “What About Now”, “Mr. Mom” ,“Tell Her” and “I’m Already There.”

Lonestar will perform the closing evening of the Clarke County Fair on Saturday, August 18 at 8:30 p.m. Track seats cost $30 and grandstand seats cost $25. Tickets go on sale June 2 at the Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds and will be available at the Fair Ticket Office every Saturday and Sunday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tickets can also be ordered via mail. For tickets and information call 540-955-2530 or 540-955-3755 or visit www.clarkecountyfair.org for an order form. Ticket prices do not include the gate admission of $7. … Continue Reading

Couple Partners With Franklin Park to Host Concerts

June 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Couple Partners With Franklin Park to Host Concerts
Bill and Cheryl Buncephoto June

By Carol Morris Dukes

Cheryl and Bill Bunce were avid music lovers before they met, but their shared enthusiasm and similar musical tastes brought them together both as a couple, and as partners in their new production venture, Buncearoo.

With a superb entertainment venue located at Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center, the Bunce’s decided to bring headlining musicians to Purcellville, blending well-known national talents with local burgeoning musicians, under the auspices of their own production company.

Their idea not only brings star attractions to our area, but promotes the rising talents of local musicians by allowing them to open for these acts—-a boon for the rising swell of outstanding area artists. … Continue Reading

Bag It—Is Your Life Too Plastic?

May 24, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Bag It—Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Award Winning Film at Franklin Park Arts Center

The Purcellville Committee on the Environment in conjunction with the American Conservation Film Festical will be showing the award-winning film, “Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?” on Friday, June 15 at the Franklin Park Arts Center. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. – tickets $5 at the door. We guarantee you’ll be surprised just how plastic your life really is. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 540-338-7973. … Continue Reading

Polka Dots To Perform At Franklin Park Arts Center

May 24, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Polka Dots To Perform At Franklin Park Arts Center
polka dots

Local favorites, The Polka Dots, will provide a performance at Franklin Park Arts Center on Saturday, August 16 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 540-338-7973.

The Polka Dots are a lively acoustic group from Lovettsville, Virginia. Sisters Aislin and Nora Kavaldjian and local favorite Kris Consaul deliver a fun-filled, fast-paced, unique set featuring numbers from yesteryear to next year. Selections include old time, vaudeville, gypsy swing, and early jazz tunes, with original compositions as well. Their eclectic mix of tunes, combined with a penchant for quick instrument switches and smooth three-part harmonies endear the Dots to audiences of all ages. This is a show you won’t want to miss! … Continue Reading

Loudoun Symphony Orchestra Announces Loudoun’s Got Talent Finalist Concert

May 17, 2012 by Contributor Behind the Scenes, Lifestyle Comments Off on Loudoun Symphony Orchestra Announces Loudoun’s Got Talent Finalist Concert

10 Extremely Talented Finalists to Compete for Scholarships Awards on May 27

The Loudoun Symphony Orchestra will hold the Loudoun’s Got Talent! Finalist Competition Concert at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 27 at Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, Virginia. Loudoun’s Got Talent! gives Loudoun County high school-aged student musicians, both vocal and instrumental, the chance to compete for $1,750 in scholarship awards. In the initial round of auditions held on May 5, 2012, a panel of judges selected ten finalists to compete in a Finalist Showcase concert from the 35 entrants. … 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... James Madison University... Janet Clarke... Jim Burton... JMU... Joe May... John Chapman... John Flannery... Joshua's Hands... Jr.... Karen Jimmerson... Keith Melton... Kelli Grim... Kitchen Science Kids... Kwasi Fraser... Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital... Ladies Board Rummage Sale... Lansdowne... Latanger N. Gray... LCHS... LCPL... LCSO... Leadership Loudoun... Leah Enright... Leesburg... Lime Kiln Road... Lincoln... Lincoln Elementary School... LINK... Loudoun BOS... Loudoun Country Day School... Loudoun County... Loudoun County Animal Services... Loudoun County BOS... Loudoun County Fair... Loudoun County Fairgrounds... Loudoun County Fire and Rescue... Loudoun County Government Reform Commission... Loudoun County Master Gardeners... Loudoun County Sheriff... Loudoun County Treasurer... Loudoun Interfaith Relief... Loudoun Lyric Opera... Loudoun Master Gardeners... Loudoun Sketch Club... Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy... Loudoun Youth Volleyball... Lovettsville... Lucketts... LVHS... Lyme Disease... Malcolm Baldwin... Mark Dewey... Mark Gunderman... Mark Nelis... Mark Warner... Mary Baldwin College... Mary Daniel... Mary M. Bathory Vidaver... Mary Rose Lunde... Mayor Kwasi Fraser... Mayor of Purcellville... Meredith McMath... Metro... Middleburg... Middleburg Academy... Middleburg Film Festival... Mitt Romney... monarch butterflies... Morven Park... Mosby Heritage Area Association... Music... MWAA... Nichol's Hardware... Nicholas Reid... NoVa West Lacrosse... Oatlands... Odyssey of the Mind... Old Dominion Valley... Open Burning Ban... Opinion... Patrick Henry College... Phyllis Randall... Police Blotter... Polka Dots... Potomac Falls High School... President Obama... Public Safety... PUGAMP... Purcellville... Purcellville Board of Architectural Review... Purcellville Business Association... Purcellville Crossroads... Purcellville First Friday... Purcellville Library... Purcellville Planning Commission... Purcellville Police... 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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

2 3

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

9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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

30 1 2 3 4 5

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 …



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

16 Nov 2015


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

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Purcellville Cross Serves as Beacon of Hope for Highway Travelers

9 Nov 2015

Crux St. Francis de Sales

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

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Carver Center November Events

4 Nov 2015


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

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Wild Loudoun

Wild Loudoun: of Chipmunks and Chestnuts

4 Nov 2015


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

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Around Virginia

Comstock Speaks on Syrian Refugees


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

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Tourism Revenues Topped $22.4 billion in 2014


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

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Good Government Reinforces the Family


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

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Funding Sought for Scholarship for Loudon Students Participating in Youth Sports

4 Nov 2015


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

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Leesburg Ladies Tennis Team Wins State Tournament

4 Nov 2015


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

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov 2015

Lunde new

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

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Thank You for Another Successful Halloween Block Party

4 Nov 2015


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

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Ethics in Campaigning and Voting

1 Nov 2015


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

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$17 Dollar Tolls-Ouch!

27 Oct 2015


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

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