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Week in Loudoun

Child Safety Seat Check Scheduled

<bt>Feb. 13-19 is Child Passenger Safety Week and the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is encouraging parents and care givers to buckle up their children, on every ride and

to educate children about safety in and around vehicles.

On Feb. 17, from 1-4 p.m., the Loudoun County Sheriff's

Office will be holding a child-safety seat check in the parking lot of the Harmony United Methodist Church in Hamilton to help emphasize the importance of safely transporting children throughout their childhood.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, riding unrestrained is the greatest risk factor for death and injury among child occupants of motor vehicles. In Virginia during 2003, 14 children under the age of 14 died and 561 were injured as a result of being unrestrained in a motor vehicle crash.

Despite the efforts of conscientious parents who use child- safety seats, many are unaware that they are using the seats incorrectly. Parents can help establish safe patterns of behavior by making sure that children age 12 and under always ride buckled up or in properly installed child-safety seats or booster seats in the back seat.

Rear-facing seats should never be placed in the front seat of a motor vehicle equipped with an airbag. It is important for parents to make sure that anyone who transports their child does so properly.

The Sheriff's Office encourages parents to put children around ages 4 to 8 years old and under 4 feet 9 inches tall in booster seats. A booster seat positions the lap and shoulder seat belts correctly, low over the hips and upper thighs and snug over the shoulder.

For more information on child passenger safety, call the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Traffic Safety Unit, Crash Team at 703-771-5798.

<sh>Route 7 Meetings

<bt>Members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors representing the Route 7 corridor between Countryside Boulevard and Dranesville Road will be holding community input sessions Tuesday, Feb. 22 and Wednesday, Feb. 23, from 7-9 p.m., to discuss a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)/Loudoun County study currently underway to review traffic operations and alternatives for

improvement in the Countryside Boulevard to the Dranesville Road section of the Route 7 corridor. VDOT representatives will provide an overview of the study. The Board members will solicit citizen input on problems and suggested solutions for improving traffic flow on Route 7 between Countryside Boulevard and Dranesville Road.

The session Tuesday will be held at Dominion High School, 21326 Augusta Drive, Sterling, in the cafeteria. This meeting will focus on the Route 7 area between Potomac View Road east to Dranesville Road.

The session Wednesday will be held at River Bend Middle School, 46240 Algonkian Parkway, Sterling, in the auditorium. This meeting will focus on the Route 7 area between Potomac View Road west to Countryside Boulevard.

All members of the public are invited to attend the meetings.

<sh>Turn in Old Phones

<bt>The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Victim/Witness Program in the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney are working together to collect old cell phones, which will be converted into emergency service phones and handed out to victims of domestic violence.

To date 20 victims of domestic violence have received the reprogrammed cell phones ensuring help was only a phone call away.

In 2003 the Sheriff's Office made 271 arrests in domestic violence cases that involved assaults, up from 233 arrests the previous year. Last year alone deputies responded to more than 1,520 calls for domestic disputes, an average of four calls each day.

The victims who have received the phones may not have been otherwise able to obtain a cell phone and are now able to call 911 in an emergency.

Victims will not only be able to use the phone to dial 911 but it is also programmed to call the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline, which provides crisis intervention and support.

The organization Secure the Call, a nonprofit group in Maryland, assists in the collection effort and performs the work necessary on behalf of the agencies.

Residents can take their old cell phones to a number of drop-off sites in Loudoun including most of the community centers in the county and all of the senior centers. Loudouners in and around Leesburg can also take their old cell phones to the Sheriff's Office Administration Building located at 39 Catoctin Circle, the Victim Witness Office located in the courthouse on 18 East Market Street, the Loudoun County Administration

Building located on Loudoun Street and the Shenandoah Office Building on 102 Heritage Way.

A Web site, www.givecellphones.com, is available with more information on Secure the Call.

<sh>Detention Center Honored

<bt>The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University recently awarded the Innovations in Government award to facilities throughout the country for their participation in the Performance-based Standards programs. The Loudoun Juvenile Detention Center (LJDC) was one of those honorees. The LJDC has been involved with performance-based standards since March of 2001 and is one of only 96 facilities across the country and the only one in Virginia participating in the project.

<sh>Clark Retiring

<bt>John J. Clark is retiring as director of transportation services for Loudoun County, effective March 1.

Before being named the county's first director of transportation services in October 2001, Clark was with the Department of Public Works and Transportation in Montgomery County, Md., from 1975-2001, serving as

acting deputy director for transportation policy.

Clark has a master's degree in urban planning from Hunter College and a master's degree in transportation engineering from Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962-1965.

<sh>Voucher Program Receives Award

<bt>For the fourth year in a row, Loudoun County Social Services' Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Division has received an "Outstanding Performer" rating from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The rating is based on audits of all segments of the HCV program during fiscal year 2004. Based on identified indicators, HCV received the number of points necessary to receive the

designation from HUD.

The Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal program that provides rental assistance to people who meet the income requirements.

Anyone interested in applying for HCV can do so on the third Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. by calling or going in person to the Housing Services Office in the Shenandoah Building at 102 Heritage Way, N.E. in Leesburg. Those who meet the requirements are placed on a waiting list for services that may be available in the future.

<sh>Upcoming Meetings

<bt>Wednesday, Feb. 9

* 4 p.m., LCPS health advisory board, Douglass Support Facility, 407 E. Market St., Leesburg.

* 7:30 p.m., Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents (LEAP), Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn.

Thursday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m.

LCPS gifted advisory committee, Tolbert Elementary School, 691 Potomac Station Drive, N.E., Leesburg.

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

LCPS special education advisory committee, Douglass Support Facility, 407 E. Market St., Leesburg.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

* 6:30 p.m., LCPS legislative/policy committee, board conference room, 102 North St., N.W., Leesburg.

* 7 p.m., LCPS technology steering committee, board meeting room, 102 North St., N.W., Leesburg.

Thursday, Feb. 17

* 8 a.m., LCPS school-business partnership executive council, board meeting room, 102 North St., N.W., Leesburg.

* 7:15 p.m., LCPS minority student achievement advisory committee, Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn.

Monday, Feb. 21

Presidents├Ľ Day ├É All schools and administrative offices closed.