<sh>Shaken Baby/Manslaughter Case to Grand Jury

<bt>The manslaughter case against a 38-year-old Centreville grandmother is moving forward in the legal system. The woman is Heather Thomas of 14822 Millicent Court, in the London Towne community.

Fairfax County police believe that she shook her newborn granddaughter so hard that she killed her. And on Jan. 13, they charged her with manslaughter. The infant, Crissmis Noelle Reese Jones, was born Dec. 30 and was just five days old when the tragedy occurred. (The child's mother is 19).

Paramedics were called to Thomas' home, Jan. 4, around 6 a.m., because the baby was unresponsive. She was taken to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and pronounced dead. According to police, "An investigation determined that the baby died of head trauma due to Shaken Baby Syndrome."

Thomas appeared last Friday, April 7, in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and, at that time, the charge against her was certified to the grand jury for possible indictment.

<sh>Chantilly Community Coalition

<bt>The Chantilly Community Coalition will meet Monday, April 17, at 4 p.m., in the conference room of the Chantilly Regional Library. Call Carol Hoffman at 703-378-6155.

<sh>Frey at WFCCA Quarterly Meeting

<bt>Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) will be the guest speaker at the quarterly meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA). It will be held Monday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. Also slated for that evening are WFCCA Land-Use and committee chair elections.

<sh>Westfield Community Coalition

<bt>The Westfield Community Coalition will meet Tuesday, April 18, at 1 p.m., in the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. Call Nancy Bennett at 703-266-2370.

<sh>WFCCA Land-Use Meeting

<bt>An application by T-Mobile is on tap for the next meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee. It's set for Tuesday, April 18, at 7 p.m., in the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. T-Mobile wants to co-locate cell-phone antennae on some utility poles along Braddock Road, but first needs county approval.

<sh>Cuccinelli's Road-Congestion Bill

<bt>Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37th) has announced legislation aimed at increasing highway capacity and reducing congestion in Northern Virginia. Sen. Jay O-Brien (R-39th) and Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-34th) are co-patrons.

The bill would allow the existing Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) to collect variable rate tolls to pay for new roads or to improve existing roads. Currently, the NVTA has no authority to raise any taxes or revenues, including tolls. "Unreasonable commute times rob our economy and hurt our families," said Cuccinelli. "This legislation will make dedicated transportation funds to improve Northern Virginia roads available."

The General Assembly is currently in a special budget session. Legislators have spent much of their time debating whether to increase taxes or re-prioritize general fund dollars to address traffic gridlock.

"Roads must not be held hostage for tax increases," said Cuccinelli. "This legislation provides practical congestion relief through user fees while protecting Virginia families from more taxes."

<sh>Free Carseat Inspections

<bt>Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections, Thursday, April 20, and Tuesday, April 25, from 5-9 p.m. each day, at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. They’ll make sure the carseat is correct for the child’s age, height and weight, the child is securely placed in the seat, and the seat is properly installed in the vehicle.

No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves, so the technicians may properly inspect and make adjustments, as necessary. Call the Sully District Child Seat Information line (703-814-7000, ext. 5140) to confirm dates and times. For additional child seat inspection times throughout Fairfax County, call the Fairfax County Operations Support Bureau at 703-280-0559.

<sh>Clifton Candidates' Forum Slated

<bt>A candidates' forum for those running for office in the upcoming Clifton election will be held Sunday, April 23, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the Clifton Town Meeting Hall, 12641 Chapel Road in Clifton. The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area (LWVFA) and the Clifton Betterment Association (CBA) are co-sponsoring the event.

It's a way for Clifton residents to obtain information about the candidates and their stands on issues important to the town. Following introductory statements, candidates will be asked to respond to questions from the audience. Sherry Zachry, LWVFA president, will be the moderator.

<sh>Meals on Wheels Needs Drivers

<bt>The Fairfax Area Agency on Aging "Meals on Wheels" program is in immediate need of drivers to deliver meals, Monday through Friday, to senior adults living in Fairfax County. Volunteers who speak Vietnamese are also needed.

The job involves picking up meals at specified sites between 10:30 a.m.-noon and delivering them to seniors by 1 p.m. Drivers may choose to deliver meals on a daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or substitute basis. Call the Fairfax AAA Volunteer Intake Line at 703-324-5406 or e-mail

<sh>Role Models for Children

<bt>Volunteers are needed throughout Northern Virginia to be positive role models for children who currently have an incarcerated parent. Mentors meet with children two hours per week. Weekly meetings are supplemented by monthly group recreational activities. The only qualification required is a desire to help a child in need.

To sign up for the mentor training session at the Center for Multicultural Human Services in Falls Church, call Ellen Klene, Volunteer Program manager, at 703-533-3302, ext. 107, or see

<sh>Blood Donations are Sought

<bt>The Inova Blood Donor Center in the Centremed I Building on Route 29 in Centreville (across from the Centreville Multiplex Cinemas) is in urgent need of blood donations — especially O positive or negative, as well as A and B. They're accepted Tuesday-Friday, noon-8 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. For an appointment to give blood, call 703-322-1970, or drop in at your own convenience.

<sh>WFCM Needs Donations to Help Local Needy Families

<bt>Each month, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) provides food, personal-hygiene and cleaning items to some 300, low-income, working families of all races and religions in western Fairfax County. Its food pantry and clothes closet are at 13981 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly, and it's in great need of donations from the community.

The 10 most-needed items are: Cooking oil (22-34-ounce bottles), flour, (2-5-pound sizes), complete pancake mixes and syrup, juices (preferably concentrate), spaghetti sauce, feminine-hygiene products, deodorant and laundry detergent. Food and personal-product donations are accepted Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at WFCM's back door.

WFCM's thrift shop is open to the public, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Clothing, household items, miscellaneous donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the back door. Call 703-988-9656 with questions or to volunteer, or see