<sh>Murder Suspect Arrested
<bt>Fairfax County police last week arrested Charles Wesley Helem, 32, of 8100 Pointer Lane, Manassas, charging him with the Aug. 6 murder of a Chantilly mother of two. The woman, Patricia Bentley, 38, of Brookfield, was found dead in the upper level of her townhouse. Police say she died of asphyxiation.
Bentley was a single mother of two boys, 8 and 15. Since May 1996, she drove a school bus in South Riding for Loudoun County Schools. On Monday, Sept. 16, police straight-indicted Helem, a truck driver, before the grand jury; they arrested him at work, Wednesday, Sept. 18, at a delivery site. He was held without bond in the Adult Detention Center while waiting for his court date to be set.
<sh>Leesburg Man Dies in Pedestrian Accident
<bt>A Leesburg man died on Monday, Sept. 23, from injuries he received in an early-morning accident in the area of Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) just east of Golf Club Drive.
The victim, Alvin Woodward, 23, was walking towards Leesburg at approximately 4:56 a.m. on Monday when he was struck by a 1994 Mercury being driven by Judy Painter, 58, of Ijamsville, Md.
Painter, who was driving west on Route 7 in the center lane, struck Woodward as she merged into the right lane to take the Route 15-north interchange. The victim was airlifted to the Inova Regional Trauma Center at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died that afternoon.
Earlier that morning, Woodward had been transported to Loudoun Hospital by Loudoun Rescue for a possible broken arm. He was returning to Leesburg on foot when the accident occurred.
There are no charges pending against Painter at this time.
<bt>On Sept. 19, at approximately 2:46 a.m., Loudoun County Sheriff's deputies responded to the 43200 block of John Mosby Highway in South Riding for a report of an armed robbery.
On arrival, deputies learned that two suspects had entered the 7-Eleven convenience store. They allegedly brandished weapons and removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the register. They then reportedly forced the two store employees to leave the store and placed them in a fenced-in area near the store's dumpsters. The suspects then left the area on foot.
The two suspects were described as being of Middle Eastern descent. One of the suspects, who was armed with a handgun, wore a blue and white striped shirt and a light blue cloth material over his face. The second suspect, who was armed with what was described as a "long gun," wore a black shirt, black pants and a black cloth material over his face.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Investigator Grau of the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.
<sh>Sterling Man Accused of Stabbing
<bt>On Monday, Sept. 16 at about 4:24 p.m., Loudoun County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the Holiday Inn at Holiday Drive and Route 7 for a report of a stabbing.
Deputies met with a 19-year-old Herndon man, who stated that at 3:30 p.m., he was leaving work in the 45000 block of Underwood Lane in Sterling when he was allegedly assaulted by a co-worker.
The victim alleged that Francisco Olivia, 46, of Sterling, was waiting for him in the parking lot with a knife. When the victim approached Olivia, he allegedly swung the knife in the victim's direction. At that time, the victim tried to defend himself and received a cut to his hand.
Olivia was located and charged with malicious wounding. He was released on a $4,000 unsecured bond.
<sh>School Board Member Organizes Fund-Raiser
<bt>Loudoun County School Board member Frederick Flemming (Leesburg) helped organize a fund-raising project for the Loudoun Education Foundation.
Flemming established the first annual Loudoun Education Foundation Golf Classic, which will take place Monday, Sept. 30 at the Belmont Country Club. Tee off time is at 9 a.m.
The tournament generated about $88,000 and is expected to bring in $66,000 to $67,000 in net profits. The funds will be used for college scholarships, summer school programs for needy children, recognition functions for outstanding educators and students and to support teacher mini-grants.
<sh>Distraction Theft Alert
<bt>The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is investigating numerous distraction thefts that have occurred in the eastern part of the County. The thefts usually involve two or more subjects who distract a victim, usually a female, while an accomplice removes the wallet or credit card from the victim's purse.
The suspects often frequent restaurants, grocery stores and other commercial businesses. In these particular cases, the suspects are described as being Hispanic.
This past June, Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson issued a warning to Loudoun residents informing them these types of thefts were on the increase in the County. Anyone who believes that he or she has been a victim of a distraction theft, can call the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-777-1021.
<sh>Police Conduct Probation Check
<bt>On Sept. 18, the Loudoun County Court Service Unit (Juvenile Probation and Parole), members of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office (Community Policing Division, Criminal Investigations Juvenile Division, School Resource Officers, Communications and Transportation Division) and the Leesburg Town Police conducted unannounced probation checks.
The joint effort, know as Operation Accountability, checked on 61 juveniles and adults on probation and parole with the Juvenile Court Service Unit. The operation resulted in the arrest of two juveniles. The arrests were for probation violations including testing positive for alcohol and marijuana. Five juveniles were also arrested on outstanding detention orders for both misdemeanor and felony charges.
<sh>Registration Deadline Oct. 7
Anyone wishing to vote in the upcoming Nov. 5 election must be registered to vote by Monday, Oct. 7. Voter registration application forms are available on-line through the Virginia State Board of Elections Web site at www.sbe.state.va.us; at the Office of the Loudoun County General Registrar, 26-C Fairfax Street, S.E. in Leesburg; Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles locations; Loudoun County public libraries; community centers and the offices of the Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue, Treasurer, and Department of Social Services.
Qualified Virginia voters who are overseas can request that their absentee ballot be sent to them by e-mail. Completed ballots can be returned by mail or commercial delivery service and must be received by Election Day, Nov. 5. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31.
Due to redistricting, a voter's polling place may have changed. Voters can find out where to vote through the State Board of Elections Web site at www.sbe.state.va.us by using a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
For more information about voting in Loudoun County, including the offices and issues on the November ballot, visit the Loudoun County Web site at www.loudoun.gov/government/voting.htm or call the Office of the General Registrar at 703-777-0380.
<sh>Missing Ashburn Children Found
On Thursday, Sept. 19 at approximately 7:28 p.m. Loudoun County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 19900 block of Fieldgrass Square in Ashburn, for a report of two missing female juveniles. Deputies learned that a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old were outside playing together when, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a parent of one of the girls noticed that they were missing. The two girls had not been seen for approximately two hours.
Deputies from the Sheriff's Office Field Operations Division began a door-to-door canvass of the surrounding neighborhood.
At approximately 7:55 p.m., members of the divisions of Criminal Investigations, Special Operations, Community Policing, and the K-9 Unit were notified to respond to the scene and assist in the search of the area. The Virginia State police Helicopter was also dispatched to respond to the area to provide air support in the search.
Members of the Community Policing and Special Operations searched nearby fields with use of Mountain Bicycles and All-Terrain Vehicles. The Sheriff's Office also received support from members of the community.
At approximately 9:45 p.m., the mother of the 7-year-old juvenile received a telephone call from her daughter stating she was at a friend's house in the neighborhood. The Sheriff's deputies made a contact a few minutes later and discovered that both of the female juveniles were safe and sound at a neighbor's home.
<bt>A photo appearing in Sept. 11 Loudoun Connection contained the incorrect caption. The caption to the photo, which showed a woman swimming with her dog, should have read: "Debbie Lazarus of Ashburn Village wears her clothes in the Ashburn Village Outdoor Pool to play catch with Sasha, a purebred German shepherd. Lazarus, a volunteer for the German Shepherd Rescue League, participated in the First Annual Ashburn Village Doggie 4K-9 Walk and Swim on Sept. 7."
<cal2>7:30 p.m.: Open Space Advisory Committee Meeting - Parks & Recreation Program Room, fourth floor, Government Center.
<cal2>3 p.m.: Industrial Development Authority - Loudoun County Government Complex.
6 p.m.: Planning Commission Work Session - Planning Commission Conference Room.
7:30 p.m.: Board of Zoning Appeals Public Hearing - Board Room.
<cal2>5 p.m.: The Loudoun County Health Department's Division of Environmental Health has scheduled an additional workshop in an ongoing effort to obtain public comment on proposed revisions to the county's on-site sewage disposal ordinance. The workshop for Alternative System Owners will meet in the Hamilton room on the second floor of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg. For more information, call the Division of Environmental Health at 703-777-0234.
5:30 p.m.: Public Workshop on Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Loudoun County citizens have a chance to help shape a countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan by attending a public workshop on the project at Potomac Falls High School, 46400 Algonkian Parkway in Sterling. For more information about the project, visit the Loudoun County government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/compplan/bikeped.htm or call the Department of Planning at 703-777-0246.
<cal2>6:30 p.m.: School Board Meeting - North Street Administrative Office, 102 North St. N.W., Leesburg.