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Week in Loudoun

Pool at Park Closed

<bt>The main pool at Algonkian Park will not be able to open due to a number of broken return lines under the pool and deck, according to officials with the Northern Virginia Park Authority. These are plastic pipes that return the filtered and chlorinated water to the pool. According to the experts called in to help diagnose the problem, at some point after the pool was cleaned and it was filled, the pool shell shifted. This slight shifting cracked the plastic pipes and the staff is still working to locate all of the damage.

The park will be able to open the Downpour section of the pool facility. This shallow-water section features a bucket periodically dumping 500 gallons of water over a structure full of squirters and fountains. For more information, call the pool at 703-430-7683 or visit www.nvrpa.org.

<sh>Property Taxes Due

<bt>The real property and business personal property tax deadline is Monday, June 6. Any payment not received or postmarked by this date will be assessed a 10 percent penalty. This payment is the first installment of the semi-annual tax.

Payment can be made at the Leesburg Office located at the Government Center, 1 Harrison St., on the first floor or the Eastern Loudoun office located at the Loudoun Tech Center, 21641 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 104. Payments may be made by check, cash, or credit card. There is a fee when using a credit card. Payment may also be made online with a credit card or e-check at www.loudoun.gov.

Customer service representatives will be available by telephone at 703-777-0280 to answer any questions about tax information and to accept payments.

Real estate 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. Questions regarding real estate assessments should contact the Assessor's Office at 703-777-0290.

<sh>Fire Ruled Accidental

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office stated that a fire that occurred Monday, May 30, resulting in an estimated $175,000 damage to a townhouse in Ashburn was accidental. The fire started when smoking materials discarded in plastic bucket on the deck ignited. The fire then spread quickly throughout the home.

According to the report, around 3:55 p.m., Loudoun County Fire-Rescue received a call for a structure fire at 44103 Paget Terrace in Ashburn. Fire and rescue personnel arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and fire coming from one of the townhouses. During an initial search of the home, Lt. Matt Murphy of Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Services rescued the family dog, who was brought to safety outside and was later reunited with his owners. As a result of the damages from the fire, the two residents of the townhouse have been displaced. Working through the Loudoun County AFTER the Fire Program and the American Red Cross, temporary shelter and assistance was provided to the residents and their dog. There were no injuries as a result of this fire

<sh>Sterling Man Charged

<bt>A Sterling man is charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor after he led deputies on a nearly 20-minute pursuit through Western Loudoun Thursday night, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

According to SheriffÕs reports, the pursuit began along Route 9 when shortly after 11:30 p.m. Eric Matthew Harnois, 30, ran a stop sign at Cider Mill Road. A deputy initiated a traffic stop on Harnois' pickup truck but the driver refused to stop and continued eastbound on Route 9 at a high rate of speed, the sheriffÕs office said. The truck continued to attempt to elude authorities driving south on Route 704, west on the Route 7 bypass and then back down Route 704 again. Harnois eventually turned onto Piggott Bottom Road where, at one point during the chase, he drove his vehicle off of the roadway and through fields, the sheriffÕs office said. Once back on Piggott Bottom Road and was heading west, he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree.

The fleeing driver ran from his vehicle into a wooded area where a Sheriff's Office K9 unit tracked him into a creek where he was hiding. Harnois continued to run through the creek, striking the dog and attempting to assault two deputies during the chase, according to the report from th sheriffÕs office.

Rescue personnel were dispatched to the scene and Harnois was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital for observation. He was treated and released into the custody of the Sheriff's Office.

Harnois remains held without bond at the Loudoun Adult Detention Center. He is charged with felony disregarding a law enforcement officer, felony assault of a law enforcement officer, felony resisting arrest, felony assault of a law enforcement animal and driving on a suspended license.

<sh>Fire Displaces 22

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire that damaged three townhouses in Sterling Tuesday, May 24. According to the report, around 6:49 p.m., Loudoun County Fire-Rescue received a call for a structure fire at 20 Wedgedale Road in Sterling. Upon arrival the units found smoke and fire coming from the townhouse. The fire resulted in an estimated $350,000 damaged. The unit at 20 Wedgdale received heavy fire damage, the two adjacent units located at 18 and 22 Wedgedale sustained moderate damage. One patient was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Twenty-two people were displaced from the three townhomes. The American Red Cross provided assistance for 16 of the residents. The remaining six residents are staying with family and friends.

<sh>Three Injured

<bt>Three motorcyclists are recovering from injuries after a two-motorcycle accident shortly before 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 27, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Leia Schlegel, 23, of Catlett, Va., was riding a 1998 Honda motorcycle westbound on Harmony Church Road (Route 704) approximately 7/10 mile west of Route 15 where she was attempting to turn left into a driveway. Schlegel was riding in a group of approximately six motorcyclists, which were pulling off the road to allow another motorcycle that had become separated from the group to catch up.

Reginald Maddox, 26, of Manassas, was riding a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle westbound when he is alleged to have crossed the solid yellow lines into the eastbound lane in an attempt to pass several cars in the westbound lane, according the the sheriffÕs report.

His wife, Stacy Maddox, 22, also of Manassas, was riding behind Reginald Maddox on the Suzuki. Witness accounts of the incident indicated that Maddox attempted to brake prior to the Suzuki striking Schlegel's Honda in an angular fashion. Reginald Maddox and Stacy Maddox were both then ejected off of the Suzuki, over Schlegel and the Honda and tumbled to a rest. Schlegel's Honda went onto its right side striking the road surface where Schlegel then tumbled into the grassy shoulder.

Reginald Maddox was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital and was last listed in stable condition on Monday. Stacy Maddox and Leia Schlegel were transported to Loudoun Hospital Center, Cornwall Campus and were treated and released.

All three motorcyclists were wearing DOT-approved safety helmets with a full-face shield. Additionally, the riders were wearing protective motorcycling clothing.

Charges in this case are currently pending.

<sh>Information Wanted

<bt>Sheriff's Investigators are seeking information in a strong-arm robbery that occurred last Saturday, May 21, in Ashburn.

According to the report, two teenagers were riding their bikes home from Junction Plaza when around 10:15 p.m. three white males approached them. The suspects pushed the two teens off of their bikes and demanded that the teens turn over their valuables. The suspects took one of the teen's wallets and then got onto the bikes and headed west on Claiborne Parkway towards Ashburn Farm Parkway. The suspects were described as three juveniles, approximately 5 feet 6 inches in height, according to the sheriffÕs report. One of the bikes is an orange mountain bike with the second bike is a navy blue BMX-style bike.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Investigator H. Craig of the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

<sh>Deer Causes Accident

<bt>A Sheriff's Deputy received minor injuries Wednesday, May 27, after he swerved to miss a deer and struck a utility

pole, according to the county Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Terry Daniel, 27, was on routine patrol and was driving on Hay Road just west of Ashburn Road shortly before 9:30 p.m. when a deer ran out in front of his patrol vehicle. Daniel swerved to miss the deer and lost control on the soft shoulder of the roadway and struck a utility pole. A preliminary investigation shows that speed does not appear to be a factor, however, the day's rainy weather may have contributed to the accident, according to the sheriffÕs report.

Daniel was taken to Loudoun Hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries. The patrol vehicle, a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria, is expected to be a total loss. The accident caused several homes to be without power in the community and the roadway was closed until the following morning as Virginia Dominion Power made repairs and restored power.

Deer related accidents continue to be on the rise in the county. Last year the Sheriff's Office worked 302 vehicle accidents involving deer. Between 1999 and 2003 the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office saw a 36 percent rise in traffic accidents involving deer on county roadways.

The Sheriff's Office reminds residents that car-deer crashes occur year-round but be especially alert in the fall and spring. Signs are placed at known deer crossing areas to alert drivers of the possible presence of the animal. Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If a driver sees one deer cross the road, chances are there are more behind.