2004: The Year in Review

2004: The Year in Review

<cl>Jan. 8, 2004 Issue Date

<hdr15>Smith, School Board; Hart, Planning Commission

<lst>The Sully District's Kathy Smith begins serving as Chairman of the Fairfax County School Board. Also Virginia Run's Jim Hart is appointed an at-large member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

<cl>Jan. 15, 2004

<hdr15>Young Hero, 6, Is Honored

<lst>Austin Urban, 6, of Hampton Chase is honored by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department for quickly getting help after his 63-year-old neighbor fell off a ladder, head-first, onto his driveway. The boy's quick action helped save the man's life.

<cl>Jan. 22, 2004

<hdr15>Accused Killer Is Caught in China

<lst>Zesheng Wang, 43, formerly of Herndon, is captured in China and charged with the July 6, 1999 murder of his former girlfriend, Serena Fang, 35, of Centreville's Heritage Estates community.

<cl>Jan. 29, 2004

<hdr15>Year in Jail for Dad Who Shook Infant Daughter

<lst>Mauricio Calquin, 23, of Centreville, is sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to take parenting and anger-management classes after causing "life-threatening, internal injuries" by shaking his 2-month-old daughter.

<cl>Jan. 29, 2004

<hdr15>CUMC Gets Two New Pastors

<lst>Centreville United Methodist Church gets two new pastors, Don Carlton and Samantha Jessee. They replace the Revs. Bert Sikkelee, who retired and Tim Tate, who now heads a church in Williamsburg.

<cl>Feb. 12, 2004

<hdr15>Woman and Sons Help Car-Crash Victims

<lst>Jody Ryan Kemp and sons Chris, 12, and Jack, 14, of Hampton Chase come to the aid of a woman and her toddler Feb. 3 after their car flips over on black ice on Compton Road. They witnessed the accident, called 911 and helped pull the woman and her child to safety.

<cl>Feb. 19, 2004

<hdr15>Community Mourns Jack Hunter's Death

<lst>Local residents mourn the death of Jack Hunter, 79, who died Feb. 6 of complications from a stroke. He lived in Centreville more than 40 years and was a lifetime member of the Centreville Volunteer Fire Department.

But he was especially known for establishing Hunter Hardware, which he ran in Centreville from 1951 to the late 1980s. In its heyday, people from all walks of life gravitated there to discuss politics and news of the local area.

<cl>Feb. 26, 2004

<hdr15>Chantilly Father of 3 Killed on Parkway

<lst>Emeka Rowland Nwosu, 48, of Chantilly's Winding Brook community, died on the Fairfax County Parkway after a hit-and-run driver struck his vehicle. He had developed car trouble while on his way home from a friend's house and had pulled his Toyota Camry onto the shoulder of the road.

Using his cell phone, he called some friends for help and was waiting for someone to arrive when a large, heavy-duty Ford Pickup truck smashed into the rear end of the Toyota. The impact ejected Nwosu from the vehicle and he died at the scene. Police have still been unable to find the driver of the truck.

<cl>March 4, 2004

<hdr15>Westfield Principal Rumberger to Leave the School

<lst>After being Westfield High School's principal for the first four years of its existence, Dale Rumberger announces he's leaving to become the first principal at the new South County Secondary School in Lorton. Later on, Mike Campbell is named the new principal at Westfield.

<cl>March 4, 2004

<hdr15>Barber Shop Closes After 49 Years

<lst>After 49 years of cutting hair, making friends and exchanging confidences with customers, the Centreville Barber Shop announces it will close for good on March 31. Located in the Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center, it had a dedicated clientele, but its financial problems were too great to overcome.

<cl>March 25, 2004

<hdr15>Wittmann Leaving The Chantilly Academy

<lst>John Wittmann, known as the father of The Chantilly Academy, announces his retirement after 32 years with Fairfax County Public Schools and 11 years at Chantilly High.

Through his efforts, The Chantilly Academy integrated career, education and academics with the expectation that college would follow. He is now principal of a new technology, engineering and science magnet high school in High Point, N.C.

<cl>April 1, 2004

<hdr15>Centreville Principal Pam Latt Retires

<lst>After 30 years in education — 29 of them with Fairfax County Public Schools — Pam Latt announces she'll retire as principal of Centreville High. She took the helm in December 1993 and introduced a raft of new programs and time-management ideas while there. She's now assistant principal of a small high school in North Carolina.

<cl>April 8, 2004

<hdr15>Centreville Man Indicted for D.C. Hit-and-Run

<lst>Juan Miguel Mendez, 23, of Centreville is indicted in Washington, D.C. Superior Court for the Sept. 15, 2003, hit-and-run death of a Leesburg woman.

The victim was Denise Marguerite Henderson, 50, and authorities say he allegedly struck her with his vehicle in the District — while she was a pedestrian in a crosswalk — and then ran over the body and drove away. Police charged him with negligent homicide. He was convicted Dec. 20 in D.C. Superior Court.

<cl>April 22, 2004

<hdr15>St. Andrew Lutheran Church Celebrates 25 Years

<lst>St. Andrew Lutheran Church celebrates its 25th anniversary with a special service and dinner. Sharing the pulpit with current pastor Dennis Hagstrom was the Rev. Linn Opderbecke, who led St. Andrew for 18 years before moving to New Hampshire and another congregation in May 2000.

<cl>April 22, 2004

<hdr15>Residents Fight for Bluebells

<lst>Some two dozen local residents walk through Bull Run Regional Park to admire the largest stand of bluebells on the East Coast in full bloom. They did so because, if the Centreville alternative for the planned Tri-County Parkway is approved, these delicate flowers and their surroundings will be decimated — paved over by a six-lane highway.

The Tri-County Parkway is proposed to link Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, improving traffic flow while reducing congestion. But its roughly 10-mile alignment through Fairfax County goes south of Route 29 in Centreville, takes a nearly 90-degree jag eastward and then turns south again to bisect Bull Run Regional Park and the residential area along Bull Run Post Office Road north.

<cl>April 29, 2004

<hdr15>Coach Sentence in Sex-Crimes Case

<lst>On April 23 in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Bernie McHale, 42, of the Penderbrook community, is given a five-year suspended sentence for custodial indecent liberties with a child. The victim was a girl who McHale used to coach in soccer and sexually assaulted while she was between the ages of 16-18.

At the time of his sentencing, McHale was also served an arrest warrant from the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). Since he was a citizen of England and was convicted of a felony, he was now at risk of being deported.

<cl>April 29, 2004

<hdr15>Park Dedicated in Honor of Rachel Crossett

<lst>Friends, relatives, neighbors and local dignitaries gather to dedicate Rachel's Park in Centreville's Pleasant Hill community. Named in honor of Rachel Crossett, who died of cancer in July of 2001 at age 6, the park was renovated and renamed for Rachel. Spearheading the efforts was Sally Spaulding, with help from Richard Smith, Hal Strickland and others.

<cl>April 29, 2004

<hdr15>Walk for Shea Raises $20,000

<lst>Nearly 600 people participate in the seventh-annual Walk for Shea, in honor of Virginia Run resident Shea Megale, 8 1/2, who has spinal muscular atrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy. The proceeds go to research.

<cl>May 6, 2004

<hdr15>Clifton Mayor Chesley Re-Elected

<lst>Clifton Mayor Jim Chesley was re-elected to office. The election actually ended in a 60-60 tie between him and challenger Judy McNamara, but a recount at Fairfax County's Electoral Board gave Chesley the victory. In addition, elected to the Town Council were Brant Baber, Lev Buller, Trisha Robertson, Mac Arnold and Margo Buckley.

<cl>May 6, 2004

<hdr15>Village Green Is Proposed

<lst>Sully District Supervisor Michael R. Frey, architect Bill Robson and property owner and local resident Dennis Hogge propose a Village Green for Centreville's Historic District. Later on, a citizen's committee is formed to discuss and determine the vision that local people have for the Historic District.

<cl>May 13, 2004

<hdr15>Chantilly Man Charged With Raping Teen

<lst>Stacey O. Tibbs, 34, of the Chantilly Mews community, is facing as much as life in prison after being charged with raping a 14-year-old Chantilly girl. However, he is released from the Adult Detention Center on $3,500 bond, four days later, and fails to appear for any of his succeeding court appearances. He still remains at-large.

<cl>May 20, 2004

<hdr15>Girl is Easter Seals Poster Child

<lst>Amy Feuerberg, 14, of Virginia Run, is the 2004 Easter Seals poster child for Virginia. With a joy and zest for life, she plays CYA Challenger baseball, loves swimming, does Special Olympics bowling, reads and loves going to the movies. Doctors have never been able to specifically diagnose what caused her significant physical and mental impairments, but she has a special ability to touch people's hearts.

<cl>May 20, 2004

<hdr15>Police Officers Ride to Support Fallen Heroes

<lst>Local police officers are among some 500 of their colleagues who participate in the 250-mile Police Unity Tour in support of slain police officers. The three-day bike tour raises money and awareness for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

<cl>May 27, 2004

<hdr15>Mike Campbell Named Westfield Principal

<lst>Westfield High Assistant Principal Mike Campbell is named new principal at the school to succeed Dale Rumberger, who's opening the new South County High School in Lorton. Campbell has been at Westfield since it opened in 2000.

<cl>June 10, 2004

<hdr15>Chantilly High Wins Wachovia Cup

<lst>For the sixth time in 10 years, Chantilly High wins the Wachovia Cup for academics. It came in first out of all 140 AAA schools — and by a huge margin. It amassed 240 points; its nearest competitor, Westfield, had 165 points.

The Wachovia Cup for Academics is awarded for excellence in particular Virginia High School League (VHSL) activities — magazines, newspaper, yearbook, theater, scholastic tests, forensics, debate and creative writing.

<cl>June 10, 2004

<hdr15>Peter Noonan Named Centreville High Principal

<lst>Former Lanier Middle School Principal Peter Noonan is named as new principal of Centreville High. On July 1, he takes the helm there after long-time Principal Pam Latt retires. He and his family live in Clifton.

At the same time, Centreville High receives national recognition for its students' academic achievements — including those with disabilities. It's honored by the Good High Schools project.

<cl>June 10, 2004

<hdr15>Colin Powell Visits School Named After Him

<lst>Secretary of State Colin Powell comes to Colin Powell Elementary in Centreville to cut the ribbon during the school's official dedication ceremony. Local government and School Board officials also attended.

<cl>June 17, 2004

<hdr15>Trucker Convicted for Emily Cella's Death

<lst>The Pennsylvania trucker who caused the Aug. 2003 death of Centreville High grad Emily Cella is convicted in Stafford County Circuit Court of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving.

Cella, almost 20, was driving her Toyota on I-95, on her way back to Mary Washington College, when he slammed his tractor-trailer into the back of her car.

The jury recommended that the trucker, Dale Kreider, 33, be sentenced to four years in prison for his crimes and he is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

<cl>June 17, 2004

<hdr15>All Three Local High Schools Win Cappie Awards

<lst>Westfield High receives the Best Play Cappie award for "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." Centreville High's Sarah Villyard won Lead Actress in a Musical for "Fame — The Musical," and Chantilly's Marley Monk and Greg Scali won a technical award for Best Set for "Don't Drink the Water." Westfield's sophomore Branson Reese was honored for Best Comic Actor in a Play. The ceremony was held at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

<cl>July 8, 2004

<hdr15>Jim Oliver Named Mountain View Principal

<lst>Former Centreville High teacher and administrator Jim Oliver is named principal of Mountain View School. He'd been assistant principal there since July 2003 and replaces former principal Barbara Gernat.

<cl>July 15, 2004

<hdr15>Cohen is New GBE Principal; Pearson Moves to Cluster VII

<lst>After 15 years as principal of Greenbriar East Elementary (GBE), Rebecca Pearson becomes coordinator of Cluster VII. She is working there under Lillian Lowery, who is the new Cluster VII director, overseeing Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax high schools and their feeder schools. Taking over the helm as GBE's new principal is Linda Cohen who was formerly an assistant principal at Navy Elementary.

<cl>July 22, 2004

<hdr15>Harry Crouch Gets WWII Medal

<lst>Long-time Clifton resident Harry Crouch, 83, was presented with a World War II medal by the French government. The honor came 60 years after Crouch helped take the Town of St. Lowe twice for German forces during July 1944. Crouch was stationed in France on D-Day under Gen. George Patton. Besides this newest honor, Crouch has already received several U.S. awards — four Bronze stars, one Silver star and one Bronze star for service beyond the line of duty.

<cl>July 29, 2004

<hdr15>Rhein Is New Principal at Willow Springs Elem.

<lst>Liz Rhein becomes the new principal of Willow Springs Elementary, replacing Sandra Culmer, who retired after 30 years with Fairfax County Public Schools and moved to Greensboro, N.C., to head an elementary school there. Rhein comes to Willow Springs after serving as assistant principal at Cardinal Forest Elementary.

<cl>Aug. 26, 2004

<hdr15>Centreville Gambling Ring Busted

<lst>Fairfax County Police charge a Centreville couple and a Maryland man with conducting an illegal gambling operation out of a townhouse in Centreville's Bryarton community. "The people running it were clearing about $40,000 a month," said police spokesman Bud Walker. "They were playing card games such as poker and blackjack."

Charged were husband and wife Bradley L. McLaughlin, 27, and Jeanna M. Anderson, 26, both of Centreville, plus McLaughlin's father, Dexter L. McLaughlin, 52, of Ellicott City, Md. They're all due to appear in court later this month.

<cl>Sept. 9, 2004

<hdr15>27 Months Prison for 12 Crimes

<lst>Alesha Saunders, 23, of Manassas is sentenced Sept. 3 in Fairfax County Circuit Court to 27 months in prison for 12 financial crimes in the Centreville area. Her crimes included forgery and credit-card theft and embezzlement — causing a loss of nearly $31,000 to other people and businesses.

Among her crimes were thefts of checks from mailboxes in Centreville's Sully Estates community. She was also convicted of the May 2003 hit-and-run of a Chantilly man on I-66 at Route 123.

<cl>Sept. 9, 2004

<hdr15>Wright to Head Chantilly Academy

<lst>Doug Wright is named the new administrator of The Chantilly Academy. Wright, 39, taught technology education at Rocky Run Middle School, was assistant principal at Chantilly High and a subschool principal at Westfield High.

He replaces former Academy administrator John Wittmann, who retired and moved to North Carolina.

<cl>Sept. 16, 2004

<hdr15>Centreville Area Holds 911 Remembrances

<lst>With words, flags, songs and candles, local residents remember 911. The events begin Friday morning, Sept. 10 with a special ceremony at Liberty Middle School and continue Saturday afternoon, Sept. 11 with a tribute during the Centreville Day festivities. The events culminate that night with a candlelight vigil in Sully Station.

<cl>Sept. 16, 2004

<hdr15>New Pastor at Pleasant Valley UMC

<lst>The Rev. Will White is named new pastor at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church. He replaces the former pastor, David Goodpasture, who was reassigned to a church in Christiansburg. White, 41, and wife Donna, a teacher at Ashburn Elementary, have two sons, Joe, 7, and Ben, 5.

<cl>Sept. 30, 2004

<hdr15>Adult Store Opens at Centreville's Crossroads

<lst>To the surprise of local residents, MVC Latenight DVD opens up for business right in the heart of town — at the intersection of Routes 28 and 29 in Centreville. Although such a business in that site is legal because of the zoning, it evokes anger from residents concerned because it's so close to Centreville's Historic District, a preschool, a daycare center and five churches.

<cl>Sept. 30, 2004

<hdr15>Jury: 36 Years for Man's Death

<lst>Following a three-day trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, a jury recommends Quentin J. Jones be sentenced to 36 years in prison for the Nov. 2003 vehicular death of a 40-year-old Centreville man.

Jones, 25, of Triangle, was being pursued at the time by police for speeding when he crashed his car into that of Soo Chang Yang of the Belle Pond community.

Police charged him with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, speeding to elude and DUI. They said he was driving in excess of 90 mph through the City of Fairfax. Jones is still awaiting sentencing.

<cl>Oct. 21, 2004

<hdr15>Fire Destroys Home in Country Club Manor

<lst>A fire sweeps through the top floor of a home in Centreville's Country Club Manor community in the wee hours of Oct. 18, causing an estimated $300,000 damage. Fire investigators say discarded smoking materials caught the deck on fire and flames quickly spread through the house.

<cl>Oct. 28, 2004

<hdr15>Chantilly High Grad Receives Medal for Iraq Valor

<lst>Trey Cram, 24, a 1998 Chantilly High grad, is recommended to receive the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "V" for Valor. The honor comes in recognition of his work in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

Its for "heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as squad leader, Company B, 3rd Assault Amphibious Battallion," according to the accompanying citation.

<cl>Nov. 4, 2003

<hdr15>CUMC Celebrates 150th Anniversary

<lst>Centreville United Methodist Church (CUMC) celebrates its 150th anniversary with a special worship service, an anniversary program and a potluck lunch. Attendees include current and past members and pastors.

<cl>Nov. 11, 2003

<hdr15>CPMSAC Holds 20th Anniversary Event

<lst>The Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee (CPMSAC) celebrates its 20th anniversary, Nov. 7, at the Hyatt Fair Lakes with a special dinner and ceremony. Founder Shirley Nelson was the special honoree.

The organization helps tutor and encourage minority students to do better academically and encourages their parents to get involved in their education. It serves four high schools, five middle schools and 21 elementary schools in the local area.

<cl>Nov. 11, 2004

<hdr15>Sydnor Is Principal of Year

<lst>Liberty Middle School Principal Audra Sydnor is named Principal of the Year for 2005 for Fairfax County Public Schools. She was also given the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

<cl>Nov. 11, 2004

<hdr15>6 Months Jail for Friend's Death

<lst>Chantilly's Greg Moldenhauer, 26, is sentenced in Fairfax County Circuit Court to six months in jail for DUI involuntary manslaughter. He crashed a car Dec. 13, 2003 while driving his friend Tommy Bolt, 27, to his home in Chantilly's Brookside community.

The two were best friends and had been celebrating Bolt's 27th birthday just prior to the tragedy. However, Moldenhauer was considered by the Bolts to be a member of their own family, and they didn't want him to serve any jail time at all.

<cl>Nov. 18, 2004

<hdr15>7 Months Jail for Hit-and-Run

<lst>Edward Sliter, 21, of Fairfax, is sentenced Nov. 12 in Fairfax County Circuit Court to seven months in jail for felony hit-and-run. On April 24, Sliter struck a 32-year-old West Virginia father of two with his vehicle along Route 29 in Fairfax.

The victim was trying to walk back to his hotel after attending an outdoor recreation trade show at the Dulles Expo Center, but had gotten lost. Sliter's actions severed the man's left arm, but Sliter did not stop or seek help for the man. Instead, he left the scene and went home.

<cl>Dec. 2, 2004

<hdr15>Turkey Trot Breaks All Records

<lst>The Virginia Run Turkey Trot held on Thanksgiving morning was the most successful of all time, attracting nearly 3,400 people to its 5K race and 2K walk. It also raised nearly $50,000 for Life With Cancer, Inova Health System's slate of nonprofit programs for cancer patients and their families.

<cl>Dec. 9, 2004

<hdr15>Teens Slash Inflatables in Va. Run

<lst>Residents of Virginia Run and nearby communities are both saddened and angered after marading teens vandalize their inflatable Christmas decorations.

<cl>Dec. 9, 2004

<hdr15>Sant Nirankari Mission Approved

<lst>After eight months of wrangling and compromising, the Sant Nirankari Mission is approved by the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The church intends to build a 12,152-square-foot place of worship in the middle of Chantilly's Pleasant Valley community.

Neighbors vehemently opposed it, claiming that it was too large for their neighborhood and required a left-turn lane from Route 50 south onto Pleasant Valley Road. But VDOT isn't requiring the mission to build a turn lane.

<cl>Dec. 9, 2004

<hdr15>Centreville Elementary Holds 10th Anniversary

<lst>With songs, speeches and a special outdoor ceremony, Centreville Elementary celebrates its 10th anniversary at its current location on Green Trails Boulevard off Route 28.

<cl>Dec. 16, 2004

<hdr15>Udvar-Hazy Center Is a Year Old

<lst>The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Annex — the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly — celebrates its one-year anniversary on Dec. 11. The public meets astronaut Fred Haise, views a new IMAX film, sees aircraft on display and views the large space artifacts in the recently opened McDonnell Space Hangar. Since it opened on Dec. 15, 2003, the center has welcomed 1.6 million people.

<cl>Dec. 16, 2004

<hdr15>Huge Mixed-Use Project Proposed at Fairfax Center

<lst>A gigantic mixed-use project is proposed for the northwest intersection of Waples Mill Road and Lee Highway near Ridge Top Road in Fairfax. Proposed on an 18-acre site are 200,000 square feet of offices, 54,000 square feet of retail and 448 residential units.

<cl>Dec. 23, 2004

<hdr15>Our Neighbor's Child Helps 545 Families

<lst>Our Neighbor's Child, a local volunteer organization providing clothes and toys to needy families at Christmas, delivers these items to 545 families — including 1,500 children. Spearheading the efforts of some 200 tireless volunteers is Executive Director Kelly Lavin of Centreville's Hunt Chase community.