<sh>Elem. School Boundary Meeting

<bt>The third boundary meeting for the new northeast Centreville elementary school will be held Thursday, Dec. 12, from 7:30-10 p.m. at Rocky Run Middle School, 4400 Stringfellow Road in Chantilly. The school is being built in the Centreville Farms community, off Route 29 and Stringfellow Road, and is earmarked to alleviate overcrowding in other area elementary schools.

The public is welcome to participate and have input in the process of drawing the boundaries for this school, which will open in September 2003. For more information, visit

<sh>Battlefield Bypass Meeting

<bt>A public hearing will be held Dec. 12, from 5-8 p.m., on the location of the Route 29 Manassas National Battlefield Park Bypass. It will be held at the Holiday Inn at the I-66/Route 234 intersection in Manassas. There will be a presentation at 6 p.m.

<sh>Tri-County Parkway Meeting

<bt>A meeting about the location of the Tri-County Parkway connecting Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties will be held Friday, Dec. 13, from 5-8 p.m. at Westfield High School, 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. (Last week's snowstorm forced postponement of the meeting originally scheduled for Dec. 5).

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will make a presentation at 6 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to present preliminary alternatives which address the transportation problems and needs within the study area.

<sh>Special Election Tuesday

<bt>A special election to choose the state delegate who'll represent the 40th District will be held Tuesday, Dec. 17. Running for the seat vacated by former 40th District Del. James K. "Jay" O'Brien are Democrat Carol Hawn, Republican Tim Hugo and Independents Mark Calhoun and Joe Oddo.

<sh>Centreville Community Coalition

<bt>The Centreville Community Coalition (for safe and drug-free kids) will meet Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 10 a.m. at Centreville High. Call Debbie Martin at 703-802-9454.

<sh>WFCM Needs Volunteers

<bt>Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) plans to open its Chantilly food pantry for needy families, on Wednesdays, from 6-8 p.m. But volunteers are needed to help staff it.

"We gave out 46 percent more food last year [than the year before], and this year looks as if it will top that amount, if the first-quarter trends [continue]," said WFCM Executive Director Dorothy Fonow. "Our Saturday appointments fill up very quickly, and people working during the week cannot get to the pantry during the Tuesday and Thursday daytime hours."

Anyone who can spare a few hours, once a month, may call 703-988-9656. Said Fonow: "By allowing people to come to the pantry once a month, we are helping them to stretch their budgets a little further to cover other essential bills."

The community may also help in other ways. A laptop computer is needed for WFCM's Shepherd Center clothes closet and food pantry. The organization is also seeking people with computer experience to assist in rebuilding donated computers for low-income families. It could even serve as a project for high-school students in need of community-service hours. Call Fonow at the above number; if after hours, press box 5.

<sh>Sen. O'Brien Sworn In

<bt>Clifton's James K. "Jay" O'Brien was sworn in last Thursday, Dec. 5, as the 39th District senator. Prior to being elected senator, he served for more than a decade as the delegate representing the 40th District.

The ceremony took place in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol. "I am honored to represent the constituents of our district," said O'Brien. "I look forward to the many opportunities of this office and I am ready to continue my work as a public servant."

O'Brien ran for this post after the 39th was redistricted and its former senator, Madison Marye, resigned. He will fill out the remainder of Marye's term and will run for re-election next year.

<sh>Stray Cat Bites Girl

<bt>Fairfax County Animal Control is investigating an animal bite that occurred last Friday, Dec. 6, at 12:30 p.m. in Centreville. A stray gray cat bit a 12-year-old girl while she was near the Barnesdale Path cul-de-sac. She received four puncture wounds to her left hand and was treated by a doctor. Anyone with information about the cat or its owner is asked to call Animal Control at 703-266-6490.