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News Briefs

<sh>Gas Station Robbery in Merrifield

<bt>According to a Fairfax County Police release, a gas station attendant was robbed at gunpoint on Aug. 25, in the Merrifield area. Two men entered the Mobil gasoline station located at 3070 Gatehouse Road about 1:07 a.m. and approached the teller. One man displayed a handgun and demanded that the 47-year-old Annandale-area man open the cash drawer, while the second suspect went outside and acted as a lookout. The gunman grabbed money from the drawer, and both men left the store. They were last seen getting into a maroon-colored sport utility vehicle. The employee was left unharmed. The two suspects were described as being in their 20s, both of medium build and height, both had black hair and brown eyes, and they were wearing oversized white T-shirts and gray sweat pants. The gunman had a goatee. Anyone with information about this incident or the suspects involved is asked to call police at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 1-800-673-2777. Callers may remain anonymous.

<sh>Marshall Band Tag Day

<bt>Members of the George C. Marshall High School Statesman Band will be knocking on doors throughout Vienna, Tysons Corner and Falls Church on Sept. 11 and 18, seeking donations for the band's Tag Day fund-raiser. Donations are fully tax-deductible, and all money raised goes directly to the band for repair and replacement of instruments and equipment, instruction, special clinics, uniforms and competition fees. Contributions may also be mailed to George C. Marshall High School, Attn: Bryan Baldwin, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043. For more information, call 703-242-1561.

<sh>Homework Help Available

<bt>Beginning in September, the Fairfax County Public Library, in partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools, offers live online homework assistance for students in the fourth grade through early college. This free service is available daily from 2-10 p.m. and features live tutors who can help with math, science, social studies and English. Spanish-speaking tutors are also available and can assist with math, science and social studies. Tutors include certified teachers, college professors, professional tutors, graduate students and undergraduates from well-known universities. For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library. For tutoring, visit the Web site and click on the Live Homework Help Link, and follow the directions.

<sh>Labor Day Closure

<bt>Vienna Town Hall will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6., for Labor Day. Trash will be picked up as usual that day for town residents on the Monday collection route.

<sh>Academic, Vocational Scholarships

<bt>The Herb Block Foundation offers at least 50 community college scholarships annually to Washington, D.C.-area high-school graduates pursuing either academic or vocational training. The program is designed to serve high-school graduates, first-year college students or those who went to work after high school and now wish to resume their studies. Applications and supporting documents must be received by Dec. 1, 2004. High-school counselors and financial aid directors at schools in the area are provided with application forms and brochures. For additional information, call 609-771-7878.

<sh>Playwright Workshop at GMU

<bt>George Mason University's Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) sponsors a mentoring program and competition for all Fairfax County high-school playwrights. Selected applicants will work with a professional playwright, director or dramaturg on play development during the fall. At the end of the mentoring program, the students will submit their final plays to TFA's First Light Festival Competition for High School Playwrights. The winning entry receives a professional five-day workshop and public reading at this year's First Light Festival on Saturday, March 19. Runners-up will have selected scenes read at this event. To apply, print the application form from the TFA Web site (www.gmu.edu/cfa/tfa) and mail it with a two-page writing sample to First Light Festival, Theater of the First Amendment, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 3E6, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. All application forms must be received no later than Sept. 27. Selected applicants will be notified by e-mail. For more information, e-mail kneshati@gmu.edu and include "First Light Festival" in the subject line.