Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Teens Arrested in Probation Checks

<bt>Five juveniles were arrested Saturday, Sept. 25, as a

result of Operation Accountability, a joint effort of unannounced probation checks by the Loudoun County Court Service Unit, Juvenile Probation and Parole; the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Leesburg Town Police.

The agencies conducted the probation checks on a total of 90 juveniles and adults on probation and parole with the Juvenile Court Service Unit.

The arrests stemmed from probation and parole violations including testing positive for alcohol and marijuana. One juvenile was detained on outstanding detention order.

This was the 22nd time that Operation Accountability has been conducted in Loudoun County during the past four years. This program ensures that juveniles and adults on probation and parole are following their rules of probation and parole.

Of the five offenders taken into custody during the operation three were released into the Supervised Release Program, one placed at the Youth Shelter, one was released to parents.

<sh>Teen Stabbed

<bt>A reported stabbing during the overnight Sunday, Sept. 26 has Sheriff's investigators searching for five suspects believed to be involved in the assault.

Deputies were called to the Lansdowne Campus of Loudoun Hospital just before noon Sunday after a 19-year-old Ashburn man came into the emergency room suffering from stab wounds.

The victim told deputies that shortly after midnight Sunday he was walking with his girlfriend in the area of Potomac Station Drive and Silverwood Terrace just outside of Leesburg when they noticed five Hispanic males on a picnic table. A few of the suspects allegedly began yelling at the couple when the victim shouted back. The suspects then approached and assaulted the victim; one of the suspects pulled a knife and stabbed the Ashburn man several times.

The victim says he then returned home and treated his wounds before his father took him to the emergency room nearly 12 hours after the incident occurred. The victim was treated and released from the hospital Sunday.

The case remains under investigation by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division.

<sh>Two Arrested on School Grounds

<bt>A report of a suspicious vehicle at a Loudoun

high school Wednesday, Sept. 22, has led to the arrest of two Northern Virginia men on trespassing and weapons violations charges.

Deputies found Kobie Jabar Ellis, 20, of Sterling, and Marques J. Blackwell, 22, of Great Falls, driving around the parking lot of Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville shortly after 9:30 a.m. Ellis and Blackwell were arrested after they agreed to a consent search of the vehicle. Deputies allegedly found a knife and a small amount of unspent bullets hidden in the car.

Ellis was charged with trespassing on school property, possession of a knife on school property and possession of a concealed weapon and was held on a $1,500 bond. Blackwell was charged with trespassing and

possession of a knife on school property and held on a $1,000 bond.

<sh>Clerk To Cease Passport Services

<bt>Starting Nov. 1, anyone who needs a passport will have to find it elsewhere than the Loudoun Clerk of the Circuit Court's office in Leesburg.

Each year, the office had prepared passports for more than 2,000 Loudoun residents, with 2,300 so far in 2004.

"Passport services have never been mandated by the code of Virginia," said Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Circuit Court. "Most clerk's offices have ceased passport services because it's not mandated."

By making the change, Clemens said, his already over-stretched staff will be able to focus on mandated services. The increase in the number of post offices in Loudoun in recent years means that residents have more options for procuring passports than they did in the past, he added.

Post offices that offer all passport services are Ashburn, Middleburg, Potomac Falls and Purcellville. The Leesburg Post Office will begin providing services in the near future.

<sh>At Last, Tax Cut for Clean Cars?

<bt>A staff oversight led to a failure to implement the county's award-winning 2003 tax cut for drivers of "clean fuel" cars, such as electric-gas hybrids.

The taxes on a clean fuel car would be $.01 per $100 of assessed value, compared to the current rate of $4.20 per $100. The cut, which was approved by the previous Board of Supervisors for inclusion in the proposed 2004 budget, caused the county to win a Trendsetter award by Clean Air Partners and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

The tax cut was not properly advertised, however, and could not be included in the 2004 budget.

Supervisor Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge), the originator of the proposed cut, has resurrected the proposition, which will be discussed further at the next Finance Government Services Meeting to be held following the Oct. 5 Board of Supervisors meeting.

<sh>Board Members Wanted

<bt>The Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association Board of Directors is looking for individuals to fill vacancies on the board with one-, two- and three-year terms. Applications must be received by Oct. 8, elections will be held during the annual meeting in February, and service begins July.

Currently there are eight openings, however, some of those may be filled by current board members applying to serve a second term. Persons interested in the board positions are required to submit a resume outlining heir business/professional career including any information dealing with tourism-related experience. Special business skills, such as marketing, fund-raising, communication skills, community involvement should be included. Three business references should accompany the resume along with a response to three business references should accompany the resume along with a response to the statement: "My service on the LCVA Board of Directors will help the LCVA and tourism in Loudoun County because É." The response should be no longer than one double-spaced, typed page.

Submissions should be sent to 222 Catoctin Circle, S.E., Suite 100, Leesburg , VA 20175-3732. For information contact Greg harp, 703-771-2170 ext. 14.

<sh>Lightning Ignites Fire

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed that a fire, which resulted in approximately $250,000 worth of damage in a Leesburg Airport hanger was due to lightning.

Around 6:23 p.m., Friday, Sept. 17, Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Services received a 911 call for a structure fire in the 900 block of Sycolin Road in Leesburg. Fire and rescue personnel responding to the Leesburg Airport discovered a 100 foot by 500 foot metal hanger well involved. Due to the extent of the fire, a second alarm was issued.

Fire and rescue personnel were able to bring the fire under control shortly after 7 p.m. The fire resulted in extensive damage to a portion of the hanger and destroyed an airplane inside it. The fire also caused smoke damage throughout the rest of the structure and at least one other aircraft. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

<sh>Rally for John Kerry

<bt>A Loudoun-for-Kerry family-oriented rally will take place Sunday, Oct. 3, from 3-6 p.m., at Fox Ridge Park on Catoctin Circle in Leesburg. The rally is in support of new leadership for America and will feature food, entertainment and speeches. For more information, contact info@loudoun-for-kerry.org or visit the www.loudoun-for-kerry.org.

<sh>Advisory Committee Seeks Members

<bt>The Rural Economic Development Council, a Board of Supervisors appointed advisory committee, seeks members to represent seven rural industry positions and two at-large positions. Members will represent agribusiness, banking and finance, equine industry, horticultural industry, production agriculture, rural-based business and the wine industry in addition to the at-large positions. Successful applicants will be recommended to the Board of Supervisors for appointment to a two-year term beginning in 2005.

The purpose of the council is to promote the economic growth and vitality of Loudoun County's agricultural, horticultural, and equine industries; to furnish information and provide recommendations to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors relative to programs and policies affecting the economic growth and development of Rural Loudoun County and to provide a forum through which agricultural industry and rural business sector leaders meet to exchange ideas and experiences relative to rural economic development practices and polices.

Letters expressing interest in serving on the Rural Council may be sent to the Department of Economic Development, P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg, VA 20177 by Oct. 15. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Louis Nichols, agricultural development officer at 703-777-0426 or Loudounag@aol.com.

<sh>Personal Property Taxes Due

<bt>The personal property tax deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Payments postmarked after Oct. 5 will incur interest and a 10 percent late payment penalty. Interest accrues on both the tax and late payment penalty at a rate of 10 percent annually. The penalty date will not be extended for bills where assessment questions have been filed with the Commissioner of the Revenue.

This payment is the second installment of the semi-annual tax. The state phase-out of the car tax remains at 70 percent of the tax and has been directly deducted from taxpayers' bills. This applies to those vehicles used for personal use only and for the first $20,000 of assessed value. Visit the Web site www.loudoun.gov for payment options, office locations and hours.

The personal property tax relief program for the elderly and disabled is administered by the Commissioner of Revenue. Contact that office for more information at 703-737-8557.

Contact the Loudoun County Treasurer's Office at 703-777-0280 or e-mail taxes@loudoun.gov if bills have not been received.

<sh>Election Deadlines Approaching

<bt>The last day to register to vote in the November election is Monday, Oct. 4. Residents who are already registered to vote must notify the General Registrar of any change in their name or address in order to remain a qualified voter. This also must be done by Oct. 4 in order for voters to be eligible for the November election.

The deadline to apply to vote an absentee ballot by mail is Thursday, Oct. 28, while the deadline to apply to vote an absentee ballot in person is Saturday, Oct. 30.

Beginning Oct. 18, the General Registrar's office at 26-C Fairfax Street, S.E. in Leesburg will offer extended hours for absentee voting and will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. The main office will also be open on the two Saturdays prior to the election, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, for absentee voting from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

From Oct. 18 through Oct. 30, absentee voting will also be available at the Senior Center at Cascades, 21060 Whitfield Place in Sterling, near the Eastern Loudoun Regional Library. Hours will be Monday through Friday from 4-8 p.m. and on the two Saturdays prior to the election from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

More information about voting procedures, including links to registration and voter update forms and a list of polling places, is available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/government/voting.htm or by calling 703-777-0380.

<sh>Fire Prevention Week

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office wishes to remind citizens that Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 3-10. Fire Prevention Week is a national campaign that falls annually during the week of Oct. 9, commemorating the disastrous Great Chicago Fire. It is intended to draw special emphasis to fire safe practices that should be used throughout the year.

This year's national fire prevention theme is "Test Your Smoke Alarms." Roughly 70 percent of home fire deaths result from fires in homes that have no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Chief Fire Marshal Keith Brower advises that in addition to having working smoke alarms and testing them, placement in the home and knowing what to do when the alarm sounds are just as important. "At minimum, homes should have working smoke detectors on every living level, located nearby to sleeping areas. Residents should also conduct exit drills from the home. The goals here include having at least two ways out of every room in the home, particularly sleeping areas, and to have a common gathering point outside to account for everyone's escape. An escape ladder is also recommended to facilitate escape from rooms on the second story or higher levels," he said in a release. Another past national campaign theme, "Change your clock, change your battery" is also recommended. This year clocks are changed from Daylight Savings Time to Eastern Standard Time on Oct. 31. Finally, residents should consider replacing any smoke detectors that are 10 years old or older.

For more information related to fire safety, contact the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Services at 703-777-0333 or visit the county's Web site at http://www.loudoun.gov.

<sh>Upcoming Meetings

<bt>The following meetings are held at the Loudoun County Government Center at 1 Harrison Street in Leesburg.

Monday, Oct. 4:

Planning Commission, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 5:

Board of Supervisors, 9:30 a.m.; Finance Government Services Meeting, 15 minutes after board meeting.

School Board, 6:30 p.m., Curriculum and Instruction Committee, Douglas School, Leesburg

Wednesday, Oct. 6:

Fiscal Impact Committee Meeting, 3 p.m. Loudoun County Government Center.

Tuesday, Oct. 12:

School Board, 8 a.m., Career and Technology Education Committee, Monroe Technology Center, Leesburg

School Board, 3:30 p.m., Finance, Construction & Site Acquisition Committee, Board Conference Room, North Street, Leesburg

School Board, 4 and 6:30 p.m., Board Meeting Room, North Street, Leesburg