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Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office Determines Lawford Drive Fire Accidental

March 13, 2014 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the fire that destroyed a single-family home on Lawford Drive in Leesburg early Sunday morning was accidental, due to improperly discarded smoking materials. Damages to the home and neighboring homes are estimated at $670,000.

At 5:10 a.m., Sunday, March 9, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call for a house fire at 406 Lawford Drive, SW in Leesburg. Fire and rescue crews from Leesburg, Hamilton, Lansdowne, Aldie, Purcellville, Ashburn and Lucketts responded to the scene.

Fire department personnel arrived to find a two-story, single family house fully involved. Due to the possibility of fire extension to homes on either side, a second alarm was issued to protect the exposures. It was determined that the fire started on the exterior of the house, extending into the attic via the siding, before burning downward. With the fire’s extensive spread, firefighters established defensive operations and worked aggressively to extinguish the fire. Units remained on the scene for an extended period of time putting out hot spots and performing salvage and overhaul. … Continue Reading

Leesburg to Hold 2nd Annual Youth Career Expo – March 29

March 4, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Events, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

On Saturday, March 29, the Town of Leesburg will hold the 2nd annual Youth Career Expo at ProJet Aviation, located at the Leesburg Executive Airport – 957 Sycolin Road SE, Leesburg. The hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“The Expo focuses on career opportunities for college and high school students who are just entering the work force,” explained Leesburg Town Council Member Kelly Burk.  “At the Expo, there will be tremendous full-time entry-level positions, as well as part-time and summer job opportunities right here in Leesburg and Loudoun County. Often young people don’t know where to start when looking for a job. The Expo will bring the employers with jobs to one location to make the job search easier,” continued council member Burke. … Continue Reading

Loudoun County Fire-Rescue System Applauds Efforts of Local Loudoun Boy in Toys for Tots Campaign

December 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Lifestyle, People Be the first to comment

Friday, December 6, various members of the Loudoun County Fire-Rescue System, the Loudoun Co. Marine Corps League and the Loudoun Co. Local Firefighters IAFF Chapter 3756 gathered at the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company while 11 year old Matthew Newcomer dropped off hundreds of toys he’s collected for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Matthew and his family have actively participated in the campaign since 2006 and have donated thousands of toys for the less fortunate children in our area. Matthew continues to go above and beyond to grow his collection campaign year after year. Aside from reaching out to family and friends for help, he has enlisted the assistance of the Loudoun County Public School System and recently opened up the family home as a donation center complete with a train city for donating individuals to enjoy. … 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.

Holiday Tree Lighting at Village at Leesburg

November 16, 2013 by Contributor Events, Lifestyle Be the first to comment

Santa arrives by horse-drawn carriage at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 29 to welcome the community to the Holidays at Village at Leesburg celebration. Santa Claus will be joined by Dickens carolers, a stilt walker toy solider, strolling entertainers and musicians. During the afternoon festivities people can take a free carriage ride and join Santa at 5:00 p.m. to count down for the illumination of the Christmas Tree.

The Christmas Tree and twinkling lights throughout Village at Leesburg will create a traditional holiday setting for unique attractions, including the only Snowzilla Mega Slide in the U.S. and SnowGlobe Live. The unique opportunity to take a toboggan ride down the inflatable slide and pose for a keepsake holiday photo inside the giant SnowGlobe will draw visitors from throughout the east coast to Village at Leesburg, located at 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE in Leesburg, VA 20175. … Continue Reading

Leesburg Street Milling and Paving Work Scheduled To Begin on September 23

September 20, 2013 by Contributor Development, News Be the first to comment

The Town of Leesburg will begin its Fiscal Year 2014 street resurfacing schedule during the week of September 23, 2013. Part of the Town’s regular streets maintenance program, milling and paving is a surface replacement process that eliminates existing pot holes and creates a smooth new road surface. Milling and paving extends the life of the Town’s streets and is done on any particular street about once every ten to fifteen years.

The road surface replacement process takes place in two steps. First, the top 1 to 1½ inches of asphalt is milled or ground off the street. Then, a new overlay of hot-mix asphalt is applied to the street, creating the new pavement surface. Typically, milling will be done on one day and paving will be done on the next day. During milling and paving operations, crews will close one lane of the street at a time, so motorists should expect delays. In addition, no on-street parking will be allowed during the scheduled milling and paving operations. … Continue Reading

Town of Leesburg Personal Property Tax Bills Due Monday October 7

September 18, 2013 by Contributor News, Our Towns Be the first to comment

Residents reminded not to remove permanent decals from vehicles

The Town of Leesburg recently mailed 2013 personal property tax bills to taxpayers. Payment is due to the Town by Monday, October 7.

In addition to the tax due on personal property, taxpayers also pay a $25 annual license fee often referred to as the “decal fee”. Residents are reminded that they should not remove the permanent decals from their vehicles.

The Town encourages taxpayers to avoid waiting in line at Town Hall by paying online, mailing their payments, or paying by phone. Late payments will be assessed a penalty of ten percent on any unpaid balance. Interest of ten percent per annum will be added to any unpaid balance beginning November 1, 2013. … Continue Reading

Information Sought in Leesburg Pipe Bomb Incident

August 21, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

On August 20, 2013 at 9:48 p.m., the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received numerous calls reporting a loud explosion in the area of Olympic Boulevard and Kings Mill Street in the River Creek Community in Leesburg. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office responded and located an exploded pipe bomb on the golf course nearby. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are investigating the bombing.

Fire Marshal Investigators would like to hear from anyone that saw anyone suspicious in the area around the time of the explosion or anyone who has any information regarding the incident or the person(s) responsible for the explosion. Information can be provided by calling 703-777-0637 or callers wishing to remain anonymous can call Loudoun County Crime Solvers at, 703-777-1919 or toll free at 1-877-777-1931.

Chancellor Street House Fire Displaces Family

July 11, 2013 by Contributor News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

At approximately 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 9 fire-rescue personnel from Leesburg were dispatched for a fire alarm at 901 Chancellor St. SW in Leesburg. Upon their arrival, the fire crew encountered visible smoke coming from the front of a two story, single family dwelling and upgraded the assignment to a house fire. Additional fire department units from Leesburg, Hamilton, Moorefield and Purcellville responded to the incident.

Fire-Rescue personnel were able to quickly locate and extinguish an active fire in the kitchen of the residence. Although the fire was extinguished quickly there was moderate smoke damage to the rest of the residence. The homeowners were not present at the time of the incident however the home was equipped with an alarm monitoring system which alerted authorities to the fire.

Two fire department personnel were treated on the scene for minor injuries and transported for further evaluation. The families’ dog and cat were rescued by fire crews and treated with oxygen before being turned over to Animal Control for additional care. They are reportedly in stable condition.

The residents who were displaced by the fire will be staying with family friends. Damages are estimated at $50,000 and the cause is under investigation by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Town of Leesburg Announces 23rd Annual Independence Day Parade Winner

July 10, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns Be the first to comment

The Town of Leesburg’s 2013 Independence Day parade was held on Thursday, July 4, through historic Leesburg. Spectators of all ages filled King Street to see patriotic floats, animals, classic cars and more.

The parade also featured the sixth annual Patriot Cup competition, sponsored by Leesburg Today. This year’s winner was the Paxton Campus. Located in Leesburg, the Paxton Campus is home to several advocacy programs that support individuals with disabilities and their families. This competitive category is awarded to the top patriotic entry, with the winner’s names engraved onto the Patriot Cup. The Cup will be on display at the Leesburg Town Hall. … Continue Reading

Roosters Men’s Grooming Center Celebrates Grand Opening of New Leesburg Location

June 23, 2013 by Contributor Business, News Be the first to comment

On Friday, June 28, 2013, at 2:00 p.m., Roosters Men’s Grooming Center will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of their new location at 521 East Market Street in the Bellewood Commons Shopping Center. Leesburg Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd will officiate the ribbon cutting, along with Tony Howard, President and CEO of the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce.

The Roosters Men’s Grooming Center in Leesburg is the franchise’s second Loudoun County location. Owners Amy & Larry Hall also own a Roosters Men’s Grooming Center in Ashburn.

“We were met with such an overwhelmingly positive response when we first opened in Ashburn that our dream to open a second location in Loudoun County is now becoming a reality,” said owner Larry Hall. “We are thrilled to become active members of the Leesburg business community.” … Continue Reading

Aerial Roof Rescue in Leesburg

June 7, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Public Safety Be the first to comment

At approximately 8:15 a.m., June 4, fire and rescue units from Leesburg were dispatched to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) building located at 825 East Market Street for a fall on the roof. Upon their arrival, crews found an adult male suffering from a head injury after a ground level fall on the roof of the multi-story building.

Due to the patient’s location access was limited and an aerial rescue operation was initiated. The crews on the roof immobilized and packaged the patient while the truck company prepared their equipment for the aerial rescue. The patient was placed into a Stokes basket and using the bucket of the ladder truck, carefully lowered to awaiting firefighters and paramedics. Once on the ground, the patient was transported to an awaiting Aircare helicopter and taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment.

To view video from the aerial rescue, visit http://bit.ly/FAAroofrescue.

Leesburg to Host Job “Match Making” Event

May 30, 2013 by Contributor Business, News Be the first to comment

New job opportunities for HUBZone residents offered by businesses seeking HUBZone certification.

On Tuesday, June 4, the Town of Leesburg will hold a HUBZone “match making” event, from 12:00pm to 3:00pm, at the Hampton Inn located at 117 Fort Evans Road NE. The event is designed to help HUBZone businesses find qualified HUBZone residents to hire, as well as help businesses interested in locating in the HUBZone find office space.

“This event is a great opportunity for Leesburg’s HUBZone residents to meet employers who are looking specifically to fill jobs in the very near future,” said Marantha Edwards, Leesburg’s Economic Development Director. “There will be a wide range of job opportunities, from field work to data entry to technology jobs available.” … 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

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.10.56 AM

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

Morven Park
17263 Southern Planter Lane
Leesburg, Virginia 20176

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

Village at Leesburg Shopping Center
1601 Village Market Blvd #100
Leesburg, Virginia 20175

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

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May 4, 2014

Heritage High School
520 Evergreen Mill Road
Leesburg, VA 20175

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

town of purcellville sign

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


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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