Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

<sh>Board Evaluates Hatrick

<bt>Superintendent of Schools Edgar Hatrick will be earning a salary of $183,750 during fiscal year 2004, as decided by the School Board at a closed session June 18.

The School Board conducted the annual evaluation following an open session where board members commented on Hatrick’s performance and announced the terms of his compensation package for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

"The role of a superintendent has often been compared to a CEO of a company," said chairman Joseph W. Vogric (Dulles). "As Dr. Hatrick has pointed out, it is quite different. The role Dr. Hatrick plays is far more important than a CEO of a corporation. The stakeholders happen to be children." Vogric added that Hatrick’s "other job" is maintaining the largest school construction effort in Virginia.

Hatrick's package includes a $15,000 contribution to a deferred annuity, a $5,000 contribution to a life insurance policy and a $750 per month automobile allowance in lieu of a county vehicle that includes the cost of repair and mileage.

In FY '03, Hatrick’s package included a salary of $175,000, a tax–deferred annuity of $15,000 and a contribution of $5,000 to a life insurance policy.

Vice chairman John Andrews (Broad Run) said the FY '04 compensation package did not exceed the upper range of the salary increase given to teachers, which ranged between 4.2 and 5 percent.

The board approved the compensation package 7-1 with Warren Geurin (Sterling) voting no and Frederick Flemming (Leesburg) absent.

Hatrick, a 1963 graduate of Loudoun County High School, is completing his 37th year of service to the public schools. He was appointed superintendent in 1991 and his current four-year contract ends June 30, 2006.

<sh>Possible Car Jacking in Sterling

<bt>A possible car jacking that began in Sterling and ended in Tysons Corner the afternoon of June 19 is under investigation by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

The incident began around 1 p.m. when, according to the Sheriff's Office, an unknown male jumped into a parked vehicle as the driver sat in the parking lot of the Dulles Crossing Plaza. The subject told the victim to take him to Tysons Corner and he wouldn't get hurt.

The subject later fled the vehicle at the Moore Cadillac dealership in Tysons Corner. The subject never displayed a weapon during the incident and the victim was uninjured.

The subject is described as a black male, approximately 30 years of age with a shaved head. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and tan pants. He is further described as being 6 feet in height and having a medium build.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Investigator Koontz of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

<sh>Burglary in Sterling

<bt>Members of the Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary that occurred June 19 at the Bowl America in Sterling. According to the Sheriff's Office, the overnight burglary on Woodson Drive saw unknown subject(s) enter the bowling alley sometime between 1-5 a.m. The subject(s) removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the businesses safe and an ATM located in the building.

Anyone with information regarding any of these incidents should contact Investigator Craig or Investigator Miller of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

<sh>Ashburn Teen Injured

<bt>An 18-year-old Ashburn woman was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital June 19 after her vehicle ran off of the roadway and flipped over. The woman, Ashley Groh, was traveling north on Old Ox Road (Route 606) near Thunder Road shortly after 4 p.m. when the 2002 Ford Explorer she was driving ran off of the side of the road, according to the Sheriff's Office. The victim overcorrected sending the car down an embankment causing the vehicle to roll over. The victim was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

<sh>Waterford Preservation

<bt>U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-10) and U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) recently submitted letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in support of the Waterford Foundation's grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmland Protection Program. The Waterford Foundation, a 60-year-old, nonprofit organization seeking to preserve the historic Village of Waterford, applied for the grant in an effort to purchase 144 acres within the village from the developer. Should the parcel become developed as currently planned, Waterford's National Historic Landmark status will be lost.

For more information on the campaign to save Waterford, visit www.waterfordva.org or contact The Waterford Foundation at 540-882-3018.

<sh>Barn Fire Accidental

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshall's Office has determined that the June 19 fire that destroyed a barn on Gulick Mill Road in Leesburg was accidental due to a light ballast igniting nearby combustibles. On Thursday, June 19, around 4:50 p.m., Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Services received a 911 call for a barn fire at 21036 Gulick Mill Road in Leesburg. Fire and rescue personnel from Leesburg, Ashburn, Hamilton, Aldie, Round Hill and Sterling responded to the scene. Upon arrival firefighters discovered heavy fire coming from the roof of a two-story barn. The fire, which resulted in approximately $90,000 damage, destroyed the two-story seven-stall barn. The business owner safely evacuated four horses that were in the barn at the time of the fire. There were no injuries as a result of this fire.

<sh>Workforce Housing Issues

<bt>The Loudoun County Economic Development Commission (EDC) has presented its recommendations on how to address local work force housing issues to the Board of Supervisors.

The recommendations are included in an EDC report, "Workforce Housing: Affordable Housing to Strengthen Loudoun's Business Community," presented to the Board June 16.

The recommendations include:

* Establishing a Housing Advisory Board;

* Establishing employer-assisted housing programs;

* Re-energizing the linked deposits affordable housing program, which requires that banks that wish to receive deposits of the county's general funds provide affordable housing loan programs in exchange;

* Attracting nonprofit housing development partnerships;

* Partnering with the Loudoun County Industrial Development Authority;

* Expanding the revitalized real estate tax exemption program;

* Amending Loudoun's Affordable Dwelling Unit Program; and

* Establishing a Loudoun Housing Trust to provide a funding source for affordable housing initiatives developed by the county, nonprofit developers, for-profit developers and partnerships.

The board voted to forward the recommendations to the Economic Development Committee for further discussion and recommendation to the full board.

A copy of the report is available from the Department of Economic Development by calling 703-777-0426.

<sh>Nominations Deadline Extended

<bt>Loudoun County’s Education and Workforce Committee (EWC) is seeking nominations for its second annual Education Leadership Award. The deadline for nominations has been extended to July 15. The award will be presented at the Economic Development Commission (EDC) VIP reception in November.

The award is given annually to an individual, group or organization, which demonstrates leadership and achievement in the fields of higher education, work force development, continuing and adult education, or public school administration. The EWC created the Education Leadership Award to recognize excellence in areas related to education, but for which no recognition is available.

A committee of the EDC, the Education and Workforce Committee’s mission is to ensure that the educational resources of Loudoun County are appropriate at all levels to the learning needs, cultural expectations and work force requirements of the community. A subcommittee of the EWC will review nominations for the award and screen recipients; the subcommittee is chaired by Stewart Edwards, Loudoun Academic Center, Marymount University.

Nomination forms are available by writing to EDC, Attn: Education Leadership Award, c/o Pam Treadwell, Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, 1 Harrison Street, Fifth Floor, Leesburg, VA 20177; e-mail ptreadwell@loudoun.gov; or call 703-777-0427.

<sh>Health Care Commission

<bt>The Board of Supervisors has established a health-care commission to help shape the local health-care system in a way that enhances and ensures the health of all residents.

The Loudoun County Health Care Commission's goals include developing a consensus on strategies to improve the health of the community and to increase the value of the local health-care system for the entire community.

Permanent commission members will include the chairman of the Board of Supervisors or a designated board member as well as representatives of hospitals serving county residents. Other permanent commission members will be representatives of the Fire and Rescue Commission and the Loudoun County Departments of Economic Development, Fire and Rescue, Health, Social Services, and Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse; Loudoun County Public Schools and the coalition of Loudoun towns.

Members serving staggered terms will represent citizens, the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and the business community, primary-care and specialty-care physicians, health-related nonprofits, long-term care/assisted living, the faith community and higher education.

The commission, which will continue the work of the Loudoun Health Care Task Force, is expected to meet by Oct. 1.

<sh>Garage Theft Warning

<bt>Since June 1, there have been five burglaries in Loudoun County due to residents inadvertently leaving their garage doors open. Four of these incidents have occurred in the Lowes Island area. Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson is reminding residents to never leave windows, sliding glass doors, and garage entrances open when not at home.

In 2002, Sheriff's deputies investigated 49 burglaries where intruders entered an open garage door. So far this year, the county has had 22 cases of burglary due to residents leaving their garage doors not secured. Residents should also be aware to never leave vehicles unlocked, especially if there is a garage door opener in the vehicle.

<sh>Home Improvement Scams

<bt>Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson is once again asking residents to remain on the lookout for a group known as the "Travelers." This professional group usually goes door to door in neighborhoods offering to resurface driveways or work on roofs "for great prices," only after the work is completed and money collection is due will the price be substantially higher. They will often use intimidation on the victims to get their money. The Travelers may also use another method, burglarizing a home and stealing cash, jewelry and/or silver.

One event last week outside of Leesburg has led investigators to believe the group is back in the area. Investigators believe there are victims in the county who may not realize that they have been taken advantage of or even burglarized.

According to the Codified Ordinances of the County of Loudoun section 828.04, a peddler, solicitor or canvasser must first register with the county Sheriff.

Anyone who believes he or she may have been a victim of the Travelers or anyone with information regarding the group, call the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

<sh>Information Sought in Burglary

<bt>Crime Solvers is assisting Loudoun County Sheriff's Investigators in the investigation of a commercial burglary in Round Hill. According to the Sheriff's Office, in the overnight of June 10, between midnight and 2:30 a.m., unknown subject(s) entered the Amoco Gas Station through a front bay window. Inside, the subject(s) removed an undisclosed amount of cash from the store's register.

Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for the information that leads to the subjects' arrest and indictment.

Anyone with information about the identity of these subjects is asked to call Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

The caller will never have to give their name, just the information that they want investigators to know. The caller will be assigned a number that is specific to the information that they provide, and this caller number is the key to getting the cash reward. The caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, from the Crime Solvers Organization if the information provided leads to the arrest and indictment in this case.

<sh>Liberty Festival Precautions

<bt>The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents who plan on attending Loudoun County’s Liberty Festival on Saturday, July 5, that fireworks and alcohol are strictly prohibited. According to the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County the use or discharge of fireworks, firecrackers, explosives or rockets of any kind is prohibited in any park, recreation area or community center, unless the activity is sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Sheriff's Office is also recommending to residents who are driving to the Dulles Town Center event that they travel by using either the Dulles Town Center exit off of Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) or by using the Nokes Boulevard entrance from Sully Road (Route 28).

<sh>Adult Day Care Gains Grant

<bt>The Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging, a Division of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, has been awarded a grant in the amount of $72,106 from the Virginia Department for the Aging. The grant, made available under the Virginia Respite Care Grant Program, is for enhancement of adult day care services in the county.

The agency will use the money to purchase a 20-passenger bus with special features to support transportation of disabled elderly residents of western Loudoun to adult day-care services. Currently, no public transportation is available for these seniors to the County's licensed Adult Day Center in Leesburg. A second licensed Adult Day Center is planned as part of the future renovation of the historic Carver School in Purcellville. For more information, contact the Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging at 703-777-0257.

<sh>County Programs Honored

<bt>Loudoun County has received two 2003 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The programs recognized with awards include the Reverse Commute Bus Service of the Office of Transportation Services, and the county’s Frontline Customer Service Forums.

The Reverse Commute Bus Service provides a direct, low-cost connection between the West Falls Church Metrorail Station in Fairfax County and two major employment sites within Loudoun County, the campuses of MCI and America Online (AOL). The program was instituted in Sept. 2002 in partnership with the Virginia Regional Transportation Association (VRTA).

The Frontline Customer Service Forums were initiated and organized by an interdepartmental team composed of frontline employees. The forums give the employees the opportunity to network, exchange ideas, identify the organization’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to customer service, develop strategies for improvement, and learn about county programs, processes and issues.

<sh>Operation Accountability Continues

<bt>Three juveniles and one adult were arrested June 18 during Operation Accountability. The Loudoun County Court Service Unit (Juvenile Probation and Parole) working in conjunction with the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and Leesburg Town Police conducted unannounced probation checks on 60 juveniles and adults on probation and parole with the Juvenile Court Service Unit.

The arrests were for probation and parole violations including testing positive for alcohol and marijuana. Four juveniles were also arrested on outstanding detention orders.

Of the eight offenders taken into custody during the operation two were released into the Supervised Release Program, one placed at the Youth Shelter, four were continued in secure detention and one was released on bond.

This was the 17th time that Operation Accountability has been conducted in Loudoun County during the past four years. The program is designed to ensure that juveniles and adults on probation and parole are following their rules of probation and parole.