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Week in Loudoun

Substitute Teacher Sentenced

<bt>A former Loudoun County substitute teacher will spend up to three months in jail for having inappropriate sexual contact with two 15-year-old students, according to a court document.

Juvenile and Domestic Court Judge Avelina Jacob accepted a plea agreement that dismisses a felony charge of indecent liberties with a child against Mousa Hishmeh, 22, in exchange for his guilty plea to two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He was sentenced to 180 days in jail on each count, with 240 days suspended, Commonwealth Attorney James Plowman said. Hishmeh must submit to a psycho-sexual evaluation and follow all recommendations of his probation officer.

He was banned from teaching or coaching again or contacting the victims, the record said.

Plowman said Tuesday that the disposition was fair "given the facts we had to work with and the inherent difficulties you always have in dealing with juvenile victims and witnesses. The subject matter of the case makes it that much more sensitive to people of that age."

Hishmeh was a substitute teacher and coach of three sports at Dominion High School in Sterling. He was arrested in March. The plea agreement was filed recently in Juvenile and Domestic Court in Leesburg.

<1b>Ñ Andrea Zentz

<sh>Planning Meeting Changed

<bt>The county's Planning Commission has rescheduled a community input meeting concerning Valley Run Estates to

7 p.m., Thursday, July 29, at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church, 43987 John Mosby Highway in Chantilly. The purpose of the meeting is to hear public comments and suggestions on a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan concerning Valley Run Estates, which would potentially change the planned land use of certain areas south of Route 50 near the Fairfax County line from business to residential. The applicant-initiated Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM) process allows citizens an opportunity to suggest new land uses for their property outside the Board of Supervisors' periodic review of the Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning Commission invites interested parties to participate in this interactive workshop. For more information, contact the Department of Planning at 703-777-0246 or e-mail at dop@loudoun.gov.

<sh>Gun Safety Kits Available

<bt>Project ChildSafe, a nationwide firearms safety education program, has donated more than 1,000 gunlocks to the Loudoun County SheriffÕs Office to prevent gun accidents. The safety kits, which include a gunlock, will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Administration Building, 21641 Ridgetop Circle, Sterling, between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Sheriff's Office will also be handing out the safety kits at events throughout the county during the upcoming summer months.

<sh>County Government Ranks Top 10

<bt>Loudoun County has been named one of the top 10 most technologically advanced governments in the United States by the Center for Digital Government. In the category for counties with populations between 250,000 and 499,999, Loudoun placed seventh.

Through the county's Web site, www.loudoun.gov, citizens can do everything from read minutes of the last Board of Supervisors meeting to pick an animal to adopt from the county shelter. Prince William County tied for first in the category for the second year in a row.

<sh>New Bus Schedule

<bt>The Loudoun County Commuter Bus Service will operate on a new bus schedule effective July 6. A total of 19 buses will be on the route; including an early morning bus, a later morning bus, and an early afternoon bus; from the West Falls Church Metro back to Loudoun County. The schedules are available on the Loudoun County Web site at www.loudoun.gov/transportation/mass.htm.

<sh>Townhouse Fire Accidental

<bt>The Fire Marshal's Office has determined that the early Sunday morning fire in the 20800 block of Miranda Falls in Great Falls Forest was accidental. The fire, which resulted in an estimated $500,000 damage was due to improperly discarded ashes from a barbecue grill.

According to the Fire Marshal's Office, around 8:01 a.m., Sunday, July 4, Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Services received a 911 call for a structure fire at 20833 Miranda Falls. Fire and rescue personnel from Sterling, Loudoun County and Fairfax County responded to the scene and found heavy smoke coming from the front of the townhouse and heavy fire toward the rear of the townhouse extending upward from the deck.

The bulk of the fire damage was to the upper floor and roof of the townhouse, however there was smoke and water damage to adjacent units and one townhouse located to the rear sustained damage to its siding from heat from the fire.

The resident of the home has been temporarily displaced pending repairs to the home. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries and one firefighter was transported to Loudoun Hospital Center for treatment of an ankle injury.

<sh>Drug Treatment Court begins

<bt>The Loudoun County Adult Drug Treatment Court held its first session June 9 in the Loudoun County Circuit Court.

The drug-court model is a specially designed docket within the court system that focuses on substance-abusing offenders. The model combines judicial intervention with comprehensive treatment and probation supervision. In addition, the prosecuting and defense attorneys, as well as law enforcement play roles on the treatment team. Drug courts focus on the coordination of services among each of these agencies and other educational, vocational and social services entities.

<sh>Seeking Name Suggestions

<bt>The Board of Supervisors is seeking recommendations from the public concerning the naming of a county building, school, road, park or other facility in honor of former President Ronald Reagan, who died June 5 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Interested citizens are invited to provide input at the next Board of Supervisors public hearing at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 13 in the Board Room of the County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E. in Leesburg.

Comments and suggestions may also be sent to by e-mail to bos@loudoun.gov or by fax to 703-777-0421. Citizens may also leave recorded messages on the Comment Line, 703-777-0115, or they can call the Board office at 703-777-0204. Mail may also be sent to: Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Fifth Floor, P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg, VA 20177-7000.

<sh>New DUI Requirements

<bt>Defendants convicted of driving under the influence in Loudoun County are now required to attend a Victim Impact Panel. The panel is comprised of individuals who have lost a family member or had a family member permanently disabled as the result of a crash in which the driver was impaired. The defendants are required to listen to the panelists and complete a writing exercise about what they learned, which is forwarded to the General District Court judges.

The defendants in Loudoun County who must attend a Victim Impact Panel are those convicted of the charge of driving under the influence first or second offense, as well as those convicted of reckless driving reduced from driving while under the influence first or second offense.