Great Falls this Week

Great Falls this Week

<sh>Arrest Made in 1978 Murder

<bt>Fairfax County police made an arrest Tuesday in a murder that occurred at the Tysons Corner Holiday Inn in 1978.

Wilbert Abney Jr., 55, of Plymouth Meeting, Pa, turned himself in to police Tuesday morning, according to police reports. He was married to the victim, 25 year old Mona Lisa Abney, when she was found dead in a hotel room on January 28, 1978 according to police.

"This was a cumulative effort of re-interviewing people who knew Mona Lisa Abney combined with re-evaluating evidence and DNA comparison," said Sergeant Richard Perez of the Fairfax County Police Department. "We've always been in contact with Mr. Abney, but once we looked at the interviews we had and the evidence we had, we were able to make the arrest."

Wilbert Abney being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. A court date had not been set by presstime.

<sh>>McElroy, Feldman, Dunn Elected

<bt>Elections for the McLean Community Center's Governing Board were conducted at McLean Day on Saturday. Over 530 votes were cast, according to Bill Bersie, executive director of the board.

Elected to three year terms were Charisse McElroy, who received 367 votes; Nyka Jasper Feldman, receiving 297 votes and Sean A. Dunn, who received 293 votes.

Also elected to one year positions were high school seniors Hillary Sanders of Langley High School and Jessica Richardson from McLean High School.

<sh>Hometown Celebration Preparation

<bt>Great Falls Friends is already preparing for the annual Fourth of July Hometown Celebration, to be held in the Great Falls Village Center. Festivities will include a 5K walk/run, a baby parade, an Independence Day parade, games, food and activities for adults and children. Parade floats, group participants and large vehicles should register their intent to participate. To register or get more information, contact Andrew Pendergrass at 703-757-8560, ext. 207, e-mail or visit the Great Falls Library to complete a registration form.

Great Falls Friends is seeking nearly 75 volunteers to assist with the celebration. Volunteer by contacting Felicity Tagliareni at 703-404-4254 or

<sh>Policing Intersections

<bt>Officers from the McLean District Station have begun a traffic initiative to keep intersections clear, encouraging drivers not to "block the box." An electronic message board has been posted for several weeks at designated areas to educate the public about their legal obligation to keep intersections clear of vehicles. Officers are targeting their enforcement efforts at intersections with the most prevalent violations of traffic laws, ticketing offenders at the intersections of Leesburg Pike and Idylwood Road, Leesburg Pike and Pimmit Drive, Dolley Madison Boulevard and Old Dominion Drive, and Chain Bridge Road and Old Courthouse Road. Beginning on May 12, enforcement has been conducted primarily during the evening rush hour and continues for two weeks.

<sh>Potomac River Sojourn

<bt>Paddlers from across the region will join local communities and elected officials in the fourth annual Potomac River Sojourn — a week-long paddling expedition designed to elevate local awareness about the need to restore and protect the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

The trip begins July 8 with kick-off festivities and dinner at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va. and continues downstream to Riverbend Park in Great Falls through July 16. Throughout the week, paddlers will take part in educational programs, riverside camping and meetings with elected officials. The Sojourn is coordinated by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.

Registration is open until June 11. Paddlers should contact Jamie Alberti at 202-466-5633 or visit The daily registration fee is $45 for adults and $25 for youth. Registration is limited. Sojourners can take part for a day or two of the trip or spend the entire week on the river.

<sh>Fresh Air Fund Seeks Host Families

<bt>Each summer the Fresh Air Fund gives summer vacations in rural and suburban communities to inner-city children. The Fund is seeking households to host a child from a low-income neighborhood in New York City for two weeks or more. To learn more, call Cynthia Kronlage at 703-426-1616, call the Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit

<sh>Governor's Screenwriting Competition

<bt>The Virginia Film Office will be sponsoring the 15th Governor's Screenwriting Competition. Only Virginia residents may submit screenplays. Each script must contain either Virginia locations or locations that could reasonably be expected to be found in Virginia. Scripts must be approximately 100-130 pages long, typed and submitted in a standard screenplay format. Screenplays are first read by Virginia judges, and finalists are selected and submitted to a second panel of judges who are currently working professionally in the entertainment industry. Three winning screenplays are then selected and each writer awarded a prize of $1,000 at the Virginia Film Festival in October.

Submissions will be accepted at the Virginia Film Office, 901 E. Byrd St., Richmond, VA 23219-4048. Screenplays must either be hand-delivered to the office by 5 p.m. on June 10 or postmarked on that day. Notification of results will be made on or around October 14. For more information call 800-854-6233 or visit

<sh>Cell Phone Drive

<bt>In order to fight domestic violence and combat community crime, the Virginia Crime Prevention Association and the Allstate Foundation, along with the Wireless Foundation and local law enforcement agencies, have launched a statewide public-private partnership drive to collect used cell phones. Known as the Call to Protect program, the new initiative urges Virginia cell phone users to donate old cell phones and batteries in specially marked boxes at participating Allstate agencies. All Call to Protect phones are pre-programmed to dial 911 and usually one or two non-emergency numbers like a domestic violence shelter. Members of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association donate free emergency airtime. All cell phone donations are tax-deductible. To print a tax receipt visit There is one participating Allstate location in McLean: 6845 Elm St., Suite 103. For more information call 804-231-3800 or e-mail

<sh>Nominations Sought for Elly Doyle Service Awards

<bt>Nominations will open on May 20 for the Elly Doyle Park Service Awards. The annual award, sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority and established in 1988, recognizes outstanding volunteer service by groups and individuals in support of Fairfax County parks and park programs. Nominations close on July 8. The award honors the past service of Ellamae Doyle, a former member of the Park Authority Board and well-known activist.

Anyone may offer a nomination. Current members of the Board of Supervisors, Park Authority Board and paid park staff are ineligible to receive the award. Recipients will be honored at a reception and volunteer recognition celebration on November 18. For more information or to receive an application form, contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or visit

<sh>Riverbend Park Seeks New Volunteers, Leaders

<bt>Adult volunteers are needed to work in several different volunteer positions at Riverbend Park, located along the Potomac River in Great Falls.

Volunteers-on-duty are needed to work at the front desk greeting visitors and orienting them to the park, responding to questions, registering people for programs and answering the phone. Weekday and weekend opportunities are available. Program leaders are needed weekday mornings to help with children’s programs by leading activities, guiding trail walks and assisting with planning.

No experience is necessary, and all training is provided. For more details or to apply, visit or call Jim Dewing at 703-759-9018.