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July Purcellville Town Council Meeting and Work Session

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By Nathaniel Stephens

On July 12, the newly elected Purcellville Town Council held its first meeting as the official body representing the people of the Town. Key meeting topics and issues included:

Appointments:
The council appointed these individuals: Kelli Grim to the Planning Commission, Chris Bledsoe to the Economic Development Advisory Committee, Ryan Cool to the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Arts Council, Karen Jimmerson to the Tree and Beautification Committee and Nedim Ogelman to the Board of Architectural Review. (Council Member Doug McCollum declined an appointment to the Arts Committee.) Council Member Karen Jimmerson was appointed Vice-Mayor. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Council Meeting and Work Session

June 1, 2016 Committees at a Glance, News Comments Off on Purcellville Council Meeting and Work Session
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By Nathaniel Stephens

The Purcellville town council meeting May 10 discussed three issues of important business: Awarding a contract for the creation of a promotional video for the town, deciding on ticket pricing and discounts for residents in the upcoming Wine and Food festival, and deciding how the council will address complaints brought against a council member by a citizen. … Continue Reading

Fraser Wins Purcellville – Big

May 6, 2016 Elections, News 2 comments
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Bledsoe, Cool, Grim And Ogelman Win Town Council

On Tuesday May 3, incumbent Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser won his re-election bid beating out two term Council Member Joan Lehr with 70.87 percent of the vote. Fraser received 1,090 votes to Lehr’s 440.

“I think it’s a clear mandate. The people have spoken, said Fraser. “This is a council we can work with. We’ve put four people in place, and we all have the same vision, which is to listen to the voice of the citizens.” … Continue Reading

Chris Bledsoe Announces Bid for Purcellville Town Council

March 2, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Chris Bledsoe Announces Bid for Purcellville Town Council
Bledsoe

Chris Bledsoe, a thirteen year resident of Purcellville, has formally announced his candidacy for Purcellville Town Council in the May 3 elections. After receiving confirmation from the Board of Elections, he is the first Purcellville Town Council candidate to qualify.
Bledsoe states, “After numerous requests and after many discussions with neighbors and small business owners in Purcellville, I have decided that now is the right time to seek a seat on the Town Council. … Continue Reading

Chris Hamilton Announces Run for Purcellville Town Council

February 3, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Chris Hamilton Announces Run for Purcellville Town Council
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On January 16, Chris Hamilton launched his campaign for a seat on the Purcellville Town Council. Instead of holding a traditional kick-off rally, he walked door to door talking to residents about his message of helping Purcellville stay Purcellville for the next generation. “I’m focused on representing the people and guiding the town forward based on principles, not politics,” said Hamilton. … Continue Reading

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman Announces Bid for Town Council

February 3, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman Announces Bid for Town Council
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Nedim Ogelman, a Purcellville Planning Commissioner, on February 1 launched his campaign for a seat on the Purcellville Town Council.

“I look forward to continuing to serve Purcellville and adding another voice of leadership and expertise to our Town Council,” said Ogelman. “As a planning commissioner, I have gained an understanding of the complexities of our Town and its governance, including its capabilities and limitations.” … Continue Reading

Vice Mayor Packard Resigns Purcellville Town Council

January 13, 2016 Government, News 1 comment
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At the Purcellville Town Council meeting Tuesday, January 12, Vice-Mayor Ben Packard submitted his resignation which he said would be effective at the end of the council meeting. He said he had been looking at other options and would be listing his house on the market in February. He said that he had planned to live in Purcellville for 15 years, but his plans had changed. Additionally, he said that he had to deal with a health problem and would be in surgery the next day, January 13.

In his resignation letter which he did not read, he said, “As I have mentioned informally to several friends over the last few months, I have been exploring housing options. As this is not a move of necessity, but choice, I did not feel it appropriate to make any comment over the dais until I crossed a certain point in the process where I felt confident that things were going to move forward.” In his letter he also said that he would rather resign before the budget process starts.

At the end of the meeting the Town Council voted to appoint Council Member Patrick McConville Vice Mayor.

Defiant Planning Commission Sends Zoning Changes To Town Council

September 30, 2015 Development, News 1 comment
town of purcellville sign

In a dramatic 5-1-1 vote, the Purcellville Planning Commission has put the ball squarely in the Purcellville Town Council’s court, recommending dozens of sweeping zoning changes fought for tooth and nail by developers. The vote shifts the focus of the debate from the Planning Commission to Town Council meetings and public hearings scheduled to start in October.

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman was the sole dissenter in the Planning Commission’s dramatic volley, voting no on the proposed changes. Planning Commissioners Chip Paciulli, Theresa Stein, Edward Van Istendal, Doug McCollum and Gil Paist, voted yes, with planning commissioner Chris Bledsoe absent for the vote.

At the Planning Commission public hearing Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “A vast majority of the proposed changes will increase the value of a few property owners by granting by right use…while other citizens will lose out on the ability to obtain value added conditions for development that might compliment the lifestyles and environment they cherish in Purcellville … the majority of the residents with whom I have spoken … are recommending that we suspend making these drastic changes to the zoning uses … all energy should be on the Comprehensive Plan review; you have the attention of the citizens so let’s do it.”

A few of the changes proposed by the Planning Commission include:

  • Allowing completely new uses in select districts.
  • Eliminating Special Use Permits for many uses.
  • Increasing limits on restaurant size.
  • Adding big box retail up to 10,000 square feet to the C-4 and C-1 Districts to name a few.

Noted dissenting commissioner Nedim Ogelman, “We said we would not change the purposes of the districts to avoid claims we are engaging in rezoning, yet the draft ordinance amendment before us … is essentially rezoning … We are tasked with advising the Town Council on planning issues. My advice to the Town Council is to listen to what citizens have been telling us in our information sessions, through correspondence, in our public hearing, and in the town survey … that we table the draft zoning use changes until after we have a Comprehensive Plan Review.”
Many citizens spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing including Ed Need who highlighted the negative effects of rezoning.

Developer interests, however, presented a very different point of view. Attorney Mark Nelis, representing Jiffy Lube and others continued to press for a reduction in the number of zoning districts and a reduction in the number of special use permits required for various uses; the goal? – to save his clients time and money.

At the Town Council work session in late September, Councilmember Ben Packard made a motion to put the proposed zoning changes on the Oct. 13 town council meeting agenda.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Councilmember Karen Jimmerson objected, with the mayor noting that over the last three months he had sent numerous questions about the Planning Commission’s long list of zoning changes to Commissioner Gil Paist, but, had received no answers.

Said Mayor Fraser “ … we have a Planning Commission that refuses to answer fundamental questions about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their recommended zoning use changes … There seems to be this continuous push to erect buildings without careful thought about supporting infrastructure and the impact to the surrounding environment … experts in the field of town planning warn [that] it is poor practice and could result in legal trouble for a community to adopt a zoning ordinance first and then write up a town plan.”

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman, town council member Karen Jimmerson, Mayor Fraser and others are also expected to continue to push for a thorough Comprehensive Plan review before any major zoning changes are put in place.

Public Hearings

September 2, 2015 Committees at a Glance, News Comments Off on Public Hearings
town of purcellville sign

Planning Commission And Town Council This Month
The Big Giveaway

At the Purcellville Town Hall on Thursday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m., the first of two public hearings on the proposed zoning use changes will occur to amend sections of the zoning ordinance. One big change to the C-1 District is to allow for the addition of general retail sales to this district which is along Hirst Road. Currently not allowing for “big box,” this district’s use is being proposed to up to 10,000 square feet and a special use permit for anything above. The stated purpose of the C-1 District is to provide for planned office parks, offices, and similar business buildings and is limited to office support uses – in attractive surroundings with types of uses, structures, plantings, and signs so controlled as to be generally compatible with medium or low density residential surroundings. According to the spring Town of Purcellville 2008 minutes, a pharmacy was allowed, but it was supposed to be located in an office building, not stand alone. In fact, the current Comprehensive Plan does not allow for uses like “big box” retail. Some of the current proposed additions for this area are: Retail sales, child care, financial institution, fitness center, hotel, parking lot and structure, recreation facility, and temporary food trucks and trailers. Further, Special Use Permits (SUPs) are proposed to be eliminated for eating establishments. … Continue Reading

First Meeting of New Administration Foreshadows Change

August 6, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on First Meeting of New Administration Foreshadows Change
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Town Council Divided, But New Mayor Fights for Fresh Approach

The new Purcellville Town Council and Mayor held their first meeting, a work session, on July 22.

The meeting began with the new administration first discussing and then voting to go into closed-session to conduct interviews of six candidates for two vacancies on the Planning Commission.

The vote for the closed session was 4–3 with council members Lehr, McConville, McCollum, and Packard in favor of the closed session, and with Mayor Fraser, Jimmerson, and Nave voting to keep the interview process open to the public. … Continue Reading

June 17 Swearing In – Purcellville New Mayor And Council – Terms Begin July 1 –

July 3, 2014 Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on June 17 Swearing In – Purcellville New Mayor And Council – Terms Begin July 1 –
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Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Loudoun County Circuit Court delivered the oath of office to Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser, and Council Members-Elect Karen Jimmerson, Doug McCollum and Ben Packard. Father Escalante, from Saint Francis De Sales gave the invocation. Former Purcellville Mayor Eric Zimmerman delivered opening remarks and told the newly elected members that they represent all the citizens of the town.
The swearing in ceremony ended with Clemens telling the attendees that the new council members are “accountable to you.”

… Continue Reading

Proposed Code Changes Delayed

July 3, 2014 Development, Government, News Comments Off on Proposed Code Changes Delayed
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Public Pressure Pushes Decision To New Mayor And Council

The outgoing Purcellville Town Council held sway over a loud and angry crowd in a packed meeting on June 24 as it considered whether to make significant changes to amend town code Section 54-78. In the end, the decision was delayed until the next Town Council meeting, when Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser and a new Town Council will have taken office. Section 54-78 controls the expiration dates of what are known as “Certificates of Design Approval” (CDAs) by the town’s Board of Architectural Review related to the demolition of historic structures, site plans, zoning permits, and other construction-related documents.

While the town’s public hearing notice for the proposed code changes did not specify that these changes related to the 100,000 plus square feet mixed use Vineyard Square development, the majority of citizens attending the meeting clearly believed otherwise.

… Continue Reading

Purcellville Town Council Loosens Employees As Candidate Rules

March 4, 2014 Government, News 4 comments
town of purcellville sign

Many localities require that town employees desiring to run for elected office take an unpaid leave of absence while campaigning. They also require that, if elected, the employee resign their original position. Laws such as these prevent potential conflicts of interests. For example, a newly elected member of a town council might serve as a member of law enforcement while at the same time, now voting on budgetary matters related to his/her job as a police officer. Or, an individual who, as a town employee and member of the town council might feel pressured to vote on town matters in a certain way.

At the Purcellville Town Council Worksession on February 25, council members voted unanimously, with Mayor Bob Lazaro absent for the vote, to repeal Purcellville’s Town Code Section 42-41 (Political Activity). This would allow a town employee to serve on town council, for example, without resigning their original job with the town. Earlier in the month the town manual was also changed so that a town employee would not be required to take an unpaid leave of absence while running for political office. Lt. James Rust of the Purcellville police force is running for town council. Under the new rules, Rust is not required to take an unpaid leave of absence while campaigning, and if elected, he can still hold positions on both the police force and the town council.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Hundreds Will Join 20th Annual Butterfly Count August 6

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By Andrea Gaines How Is a Butterfly Like a Rainbow? Scientists recently discovered that some butterfly wings contain tiny structures called gyroids that diffract or break up light into the colors of the spectrum. You may also have seen this …

Your Retirement Plan B

Smith0035

Take the time to design an alternative retirement plan should retirement come earlier than expected. Imagine this. You’ve spend decades working, saving, and planning for your version of the ideal retirement. Your company was just acquired, and your boss is …

Learning Patience As a Camp Counselor

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By Mary Rose Lunde They say that one of the biggest blessings is being a teacher. It is also one of the hardest. Explaining to nine-year-old kids how to build a fire is one of the most challenging things I’ve …

Remembering the Man Who Never Forgot

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “God is God because He remembers.” The implication being that the defining element separating humans from God is the Divine’s inability to forget. Elie Wiesel was defined in part by his willingness to remember, along with his …

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Balch Library

Thomas Balch Library

By Tim Jon Solitude, peace, and quiet: Not exactly the first three adjectives I’d choose to describe the greater portion of downtown Leesburg, although its charms do shine through even on the busiest of weekday afternoons. The last morning I …

Superforecasting a Book Review

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The book “Superforecasting” by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner contains a nearly complete list of the attributes of superforecasting, as well as critical thinking. Tetlock’s research empirically confirms the aspects of critical thinking I’ve been discussing in this column. Their …

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

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Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

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Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

August 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
August 1, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 2, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 3, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 4, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 5, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 6, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

OysterFest & Roussanne Release!

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Doug Parks

August 7, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 8, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 9, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 10, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 11, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 12, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 13, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 14, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 15, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 16, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 17, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 18, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 19, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 20, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Lucketts Fair

Live Music: Stealing Dawn

August 21, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Lucketts Fair

August 22, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

AUDITIONS

August 23, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 24, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 25, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 26, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 27, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Fabulous Hubcaps

August 28, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 29, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 30, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 31, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

September 1, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 2, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 3, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Snaggy Mountain Boys

September 4, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

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Lifestyle

Winchester Plans Patsy Cline Music Festival Labor Day Weekend

11 Aug 2016

Patsy Cline

The Patsy Cline Music Festival will be held Labor Day weekend in her hometown of Winchester, Va. in honor of the legendary singer’s birthday anniversary on September. 8. Celebrating Patsy Cline sponsors the celebration that begins with a block party from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of the Patsy Cline Historic House, 608 S. Kent St. Music will …

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Vigil for Lost Promise to Remember Loved Ones Lost to Drugs

11 Aug 2016

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Residents and local leaders are encouraged to join the many families, friends and community groups to share the light of their loved ones lost to drugs. The Vigil for Lost Promise will be held Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Drugs: Cost and Consequences Exhibit (DEA Museum), located at 750 Miller Dr. …

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August Is National Peach Month: Eat a Peach in Salad

3 Aug 2016

peach

Are You Kidding? No. A nectarine and a peach are basically the same species. Nectarines are bald peaches, in effect. In early cultivation, nectarines occasionally appeared on peach trees, the result of a recessive allele, the fruit from which were then cultivated as nectarines. Peaches are also part of the rose family. No wonder why we like all three, so …

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Lessons from Short Hill

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It’s been a little over two weeks since the Commission Permit for the proposed AT&T facility on Short Hill was overruled by the Board of Supervisors. This is just about …

Thank You

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Dear Citizens of Purcellville: As your town council member it is my vision and priority that you feel welcome at your Town Hall and take part in shaping Purcellville’s future …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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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 …

Around Virginia

Land Trust Receives Large Donation

land trust

On August 22, The Land Trust of Virginia received a $10,000 gift from the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, based in Herndon. The presentation of this grant was part of the Foundation’s official launch event, held at Selma Plantation in Leesburg. Notable speakers included Sharon D. Virts, FCiFederal Founder and Chair, …

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Farmers Urged To Be On The Lookout For Marijuana

marijuana

Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this …

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State Senators Investigate University of Virginia’s $2.3 Billion Operating Surplus

Uva-logo

Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach), are calling for an investigation into disclosures that the University of Virginia has accumulated a $2.3 billion operating surplus, now titled a “Strategic Investment Fund,” that is significantly larger than the Commonwealth’s own cash reserves. Both senators agree that the …

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Sports

Let’s Make Some Memories

3 Aug 2016

baseball

American Legion Baseball At Fireman’s Field, August 3 – 7 By Andrea Gaines American Legion Baseball is here at Fireman’s Field in a big way, featuring five consecutive blockbuster Mid-Atlantic Tournament games – August 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Our local Leesburg Post 34 Rangers had some nice wins …

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Registration Open For Ida Lee’s Fall NFL Flag Football

7 Jul 2016

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Ida Lee’s Fall 2016 NFL Flag Football League will begin with player evaluations on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.  Players must be registered by Tuesday, July 26, to participate. This fall, Ida Lee’s Leesburg NFL Flag Football House League will have the following age groups:  6-7; 8-9; 10-11; …

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