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News In Brief

<mh>Selected Enforcement on Parkway

<bt>Officers from the Franconia, West Springfield, Fair Oaks and Reston District stations, as well as motor officers from the Operations Support Bureau, will be participating in increased traffic enforcement on the Fairfax County Parkway. Now through Feb. 8, officers will be running stationary radar as well as moving enforcement in an effort to decrease the number of speeders and accidents on the parkway. Last year, there were more than 1,000 accidents on the Fairfax County Parkway, three of which caused four deaths.

<mh>Couple Robbed

<bt>Fairfax County police are investigating the robbery of a 42-year-old Springfield-area woman and her 40-year-old husband that occurred in the 7900 block of Northumberland Road in the Springfield area about 9:15 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26. The victims arrived at their residence and were getting out of their car when a man approached the woman and pushed aside her 8-year-old son. The woman grabbed her son, and the man brandished a handgun and demanded her purse. The victim relinquished her purse, and the suspect fled on foot. The victim's husband attempted to chase the suspect but was unsuccessful. The suspect is described as black, 20 years old, 6 feet 1 inch tall, and weighing 185 pounds. He was wearing a black knit cap, black sweat shirt and black jeans. No one was injured.

<mh>Rabies Alert

<bt>A Fairfax County Police animal control officer responded to George Mason University, located at 4400 University Drive in the Fairfax area, in reference to a sickly raccoon, which had been euthanized by campus police about 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23. When the animal control officer responded, the dead animal was taken to the Fairfax County Health Department Laboratory, where it tested positive for the rabies virus. No known animal or human contact was made with the raccoon.

<mh>Split Rate Taxation Bill

<bt>On Thursday, Jan. 24, the full House voted 73-26 to pass House Bill 239, a measure sponsored by Del. Chap Petersen (D-37th), which would allow Fairfax City to split its real property tax rate between raw land and improvements. The City Council will have the ability to set two different tax rates: one for the land itself and a lower rate for any structures on it. The bill now goes before the state Senate.

On Tuesday, the Rules Committee voted to pass over to the 2003 session Petersen's bill to allow televised coverage of General Assembly. The committee voted 10 to 7 on HJ 128, which had the support of Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Charles Sydnor, president of Commonwealth Public Broadcasting.

"There is interest on the supply side to put this thing out there," said Petersen. "The only thing in my opinion that is standing in the way is an attitude that somehow it is wrong to have the General Assembly on TV."

<mh>Bolvin Gains Education Role

<bt>In his second term in the Virginia House of Delegates, Del. Tom Bolvin (R-43rd) was appointed chairman of the House Education Sub-Committee on Teachers and Administrative Actions, which focuses on issues regarding teacher accreditation, hiring policies, school board actions, and general personnel and administrative policies.

<mh>Volunteer Service Awards

<bt>Volunteer Fairfax announces the call for nominations for its 10th annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards, “A Salute to Volunteers.” The public is invited to nominate individuals and groups who have volunteered noteworthy time, energy and expertise to meet community needs. Businesses, individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, schools and civic groups are encouraged to submit nominations. All nomination forms must be received by 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 25. Call Volunteer Fairfax at 703-246-3460, or visit www.volunteerfairfax to receive a nomination form.

Nominees and award winners will be recognized at a breakfast ceremony on Tuesday, April 23, at the Hilton McLean, Tysons Corner. The cost of the breakfast is $25 per person, with invitations to be mailed in early March. For more information about this and other Volunteer Fairfax programs, call 703-246-3460.