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This Week in Loudoun

News Briefs

<sh>Public Participation Process

<bt>The Board of Supervisors tabled at its March 18 meeting an approval of the public participation process for remapping and zoning ordinance revisions, required with the July 2001 adoption of the county’s 20-year comprehensive plan.

The process includes public overview sessions of the existing zoning ordinance, the Facilities Standards Manual and the Land Subdivision Development Ordinance, along with overview presentations of the revision process and several public information sessions.

Board members requested staff compile a more representative and inclusive list of members for the focus groups than the list presented at the meeting, which excluded representation from suburban homeowner associations and others in the community.

In other business, County Administrator Kirby Bowers announced the fire and rescue system was converted last week to a 800-megahertz system for operations and that the Sheriff’s Office was converted to the system a month ago.

<sh>Sterling Man Charged in Dispute

<bt>On March 18, Sheriff's deputies were called to the 45300 block of Gable Square in Sterling, responding to a stabbing. Deputies arrived on the scene and met with a male subject and determined that they were dealing with a domestic violence incident.

The male subject reported that he was having a verbal argument with his wife and decided to leave the residence to calm down. When he left, he took a folding buck knife that belonged to him. The subject left the house and decided to return to retrieve some clothing when a physical altercation ensued with his wife, a 20-year-old female. The brother of the wife, a 25-year old male, interjected in an attempt to stop an assault. The husband, identified as Derwin Bernardo Pellesco, 21 years of age, removed the knife from his pocket and stabbed the brother in the back, according to the Sheriff's Office. During this attack the wife intervened and received a stab wound to her hand. Both the wife and her brother were transported to Loudoun Hospital Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Criminal Investigators responded to the scene, recovered the weapon used and arrested Pellesco. Pellesco was charged with one count of malicious wounding and one count of unlawful wounding. Pellesco was arraigned in the General District Court on March 19 and is being held in the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on no bond.

<sh>Townhouse Fire Ruled Accidental

<bt>The Fire Marshal's Office has determined that the Feb. 22 fire that damaged a Sterling townhouse located on Butterwood Falls Terrace was accidental and was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. The fire resulted in approximately $50,000 damage to the townhouse and an adjacent townhouse.

Due to the extent of the damages to the house, a family of four was displaced pending repairs to the townhome.

<sh>Health Department Updates Rules

<bt>The state Department of Health has updated the regulations governing restaurants. The new regulations, which took effect on March 1, require permit holders to designate a person with specific responsibilities for food safety. Employees must report to the "person in charge" about their health and activities as they relate to diseases that are transmissible through food. The new food regulations are available on the Virginia Department of Health web site at www.vdh.state.va.us/oehs/food/regs-table.htm.

<sh>Loudoun Increases Child-care Info

<bt>Loudoun County government has expanded its official web site, www.loudoun.gov, to include more information about child care services in Loudoun County. Now parents can find a greater number of child care resources including camps being offered by the Loudoun County department of parks, recreation and community services and child care provider referrals from the department of social services. The site also provides information about the April 27 Loudoun Child Care Fair.

<sh>Commission to Review Moorefield

<bt>An update on the Moorefield Station Transit Oriented Development application will be presented to the Planning Commission on Wednesday, April 3 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the County Government Center, located at 1 Harrison Street, S.E., Leesburg.

<sh>Man Assaulted and Robbed

<bt>On March 22 ,Sheriff's deputies were called to the 21700 block of Filigree Court in Ashburn, responding to an assault. Deputies arrived and met with a male victim who had reported that he had been assaulted and robbed. Deputies learned that the victim had been in the District of Columbia for the evening, socializing at a nightclub. The victim had become aquatinted with two females and five males. After leaving, the victim got into a burgundy Ford Crown Victoria with the five male subjects and they were following the females to an unknown address in Ashburn. While enroute to this location the victim became involved in a verbal argument with the male subjects. The suspects stopped their car in the area of Loudoun County Parkway and Farmwell Road and physically assaulted the victim and then took his leather coat and wallet. The victim fled on foot to a nearby business where a call was made to 911. The victim was transported to Loudoun Hospital Center where he was treated for cuts and bruises to his face and hands. Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

<sh>Fire Consumes Three Trucks

<bt>On March 24, Fire-Rescue Services received a 911 call reporting a fire behind 42382 John Mosby Highway. Fire and rescue personnel from Arcola, South Riding, Aldie, and Middleburg responded to the scene. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered three parked tractor-trailer trucks, containing refuse, fully involved. The fire was controlled and completely extinguished within about an hour.

The cause of the fire, which resulted in an estimated fire loss of $350,000 - 400,000 to damaged vehicles, remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal's Office.

<sh>Fuel Leak on Silcott Springs Road

<bt>On March 23. Fire-Rescue Services received a 911 call reporting fuel leaking from a storage tank at 18815 Silcott Springs Road. Fire and rescue personnel from Philomont, aided by units from Round Hill, Purcellville, and the county's Hazardous Materials Response Team, responded to the scene. Upon arrival firefighters discovered an overturned diesel fuel storage tank leaking product near an on-site stream. An environmental firm was summoned to the scene to perform site clean up following the spill, which was estimated at 150 gallons by an investigating representative of the Fire-Marshal's Office.

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<sh>Bills from the Internet

<bt>A teacher in Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn recovered two $100.00 bills from a 13-year-old male student on Feb. 15. The student was revealing the bills to other students but made no attempt to pass them as real money. The bills were produced from a website that the juvenile accessed from his home computer. On March 19 the computer of the juvenile was seized. Since November 2001 the Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division has received twelve cases of counterfeit currency for investigation.

<sh>Double Stabbing

<bt>On March 18, Derwin Bernardo Pellesco, 21 years old, stabbed his wife's 25-years old brother in the back. When the 20-years-old wife interjected she received a stab wound to her hand. Before the stabbing began, Pellesco had having a verbal argument with his wife. The wife and her brother were transported to Loudoun Hospital Center. Pellesco was charged with one count of malicious wounding and one count of unlawful wounding.

<sh>Attempted Melicious Wounding

<bt>On March 21 a 17-year-old male student in Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn attacked an 15-year-old male student with a paring knife. The older student attempted to stab the younger student twice in the upper back but the knife bent in the process. The school safety specialist intervened and subdued him. The student was arrested and admitted to the Juvenile Detention Center.

<sh>Help youth understand

<bt>The Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center is participating in a national performance-based standards project. 96 facilities across the country are participating in the effort to improve conditions of confinement in youth correction and detention facilities. The Center has been involved with performance-based standard since March 2001. It has helped youth understand the rules of the facility and their rights to due process as well as developing staff procedures to have youth complete school work while in their cell for disciplinary reasons.

<sh>Moszak wants to help

<bt>Loudoun County's new Environmental and Historic Resources Program is under way with Mark Moszak as the program's administrator. Moszak will administer the Environmental and Historic Resources Program. "Part of my job will be to help ensure that the environmental and cultural resources objectives contained in the Revised General Plan are implemented," Moszak said. Visit www.loudoun.gov/general/redistrict.htm for more information.

<sh>Black opposes hotel tax for PDR's

<bt>On March 18, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' Finance Committee voted to divert transient occupancy taxes to help fund escalating costs of the purchase of Development Rights program. The county estimated that this controversial program will cost taxpayers $36.6 million over the next six years.

Virginia law provides that the Transient Occupancy Tax must promote tourism, travel, or business that generates tourism. Virginia law provides that the Transient Occupancy Tax must promote tourism, travel, or business that generates tourism. "Claiming that PDR's enhance tourism is a stretch," said Delegate Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun). "PDR's shift money from working class families to multi-millionaires. For the most part, the chosen recipients of this money never intended to develop their estates anyway. The PDR program has degenerated into a series of political paybacks," said Black.

Black, who is an outspoken opponent of the PDR Program, expressed annoyance at the latest proposal that would divert tourism funds to pay for PDR's. "Hotels collect the Transient Occupancy Tax with the understanding that those funds will help promote tourism. Diverting that money to repay wealthy supporters of the Board of Supervisors is wrong, " Black said.

<sh>Gas Leak

<bt>On March 25 Loudoun County Sheriff's office responded to Algonfian Parkway and Lynahaven Square for an outside gas leak. Fire and rescue also responded and verified that a gas main was rupted by ongoing construction. Due to this event Algonkian Parkway was closed between Cascades Parkway and Middlefield Drive. Police were assisting traffic until the repair was complete.