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Week in Loudoun

Surplus Store Open

<bt>Laptop computers and bicycles are the featured items for the next opening of the Loudoun County Surplus Store, Saturday, April 29.

In addition to normal office items such as computers, desks, and chairs, the store features unclaimed items confiscated by the Sheriff's Office, such as bicycles and sporting equipment. Some of the more unusual items recently have included a karaoke machine and a balance beam.

Typical prices at the store range from $2 to $90 depending on the item.

The Surplus Store is open on the first, second and third Friday and the last Saturday of each month. Operating hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The store is located at 14 Cardinal Park Drive, Suite 106, in Leesburg.

Directions and photographs of merchandise are available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/surplus.

<sh>Ribbon Cutting

<bt>Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services will hold a ribbon cutting and open house at Arcola Community Center Saturday, April 29. The ceremony marks the relocation of the center to its new temporary home at 24328 Goshen Road in Aldie. The public is invited to the event scheduled for 10 a.m.

The relocation is an interim move since the center will be located in the future Dulles South Multipurpose Center upon completion of the planned facility. Arcola Community Center is fully operational following the move with recreational and educational activities, programs and special events for all ages.

<sh>Market Open

<bt>Farmers markets throughout Loudoun County are scheduled to open May 2, according to the Loudoun Valley Homegrown Markets Association. Residents in Cascades, Leesburg, Middleburg, Lovettsville, Purcellville, South Riding and Sterling will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh products from local farmers, including fruits and vegetables, flowers, fresh breads and baked goods and meat products.

The new Lovettsville-Leesburg market will operate, from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings; the Purcellville market will be open, from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday evenings; the Middleburg market will operate, from 8 a.m.-noon on Saturdays; the Leesburg market will operate, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays; the Cascades market will operate, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sundays. The South Riding market has a new day and time, 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays. The Sterling market, which operates, from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays, will not open until June 1.

<sh>Tax Deadline Looms

<bt>The personal Property tax deadline is Friday, May 5. Any payment not received or postmarked by that date will be assessed a 10 percent penalty. This is the first installment of the semi-annual tax. The state's portion, is based on a fixed dollar reimbursement Ñ 59 percent Ñ and has been directly deducted from taxpayers' bills. It applies to those vehicles used for personal use only and for the first $20,000 of assessed value.

Payments by check, credit card or cash can be made at the Leesburg Treasurer's Office, located at the Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg, VA 20175; or the Eastern Loudoun office, at the Loudoun Tech Center, 21641 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 104, Sterling, VA 20166. Online payments can be made at www.loudoun.gov. There is a convenience fee when paying by credit card or no charge when using E-Check.

Both offices will remain open until 6 p.m. Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5. Customer service representatives will also be available the extended hours, 703-777-0280. Questions regarding the assessment of a vehicle should be directed to the Commissioner of Revenue's Office, 703-777-0260.

<sh>Donate Old Phones

<bt>The Loudoun Sheriff's Ashburn Community Policing Office in the Ashburn Village Pavilion is the latest location for residents to drop off old or unwanted cell phones and help secure the call for victims of domestic violence. The program, a joint effort between the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Victim/Witness Program in the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, collects old cell phones and converts them into emergency service phones. The phones are then handed out to victims of domestic violence by the Loudoun County Victim/Witness Program.

In 2005 the Sheriff's Office made 346 arrests in domestic violence cases that involved assaults. Last year deputies responded to more than 1,388 calls for domestic disputes, an average of nearly four calls everyday.

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. The old cell phones are reprogrammed by the nonprofit organization to only dial 911 and to call the Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline, which provides crisis intervention and support.

Other drop-off sites in Loudoun include most of the community centers; all of the senior centers; the Sheriff's Office Administration Building, 39 Catoctin Circle, Leesburg; the Victim/Witness Office, 18 East Market St., Leesburg; the Loudoun County Administration Building located on Loudoun Street and the Shenandoah Office Building, 102 Heritage Way, Leesburg.

<sh>Still Under Investigation

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office has determined that the townhouse fire at 43150 Katama Square in South Riding was incendiary in nature.

An incendiary fire, as defined by NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, is one that is deliberately ignited under circumstances in which the person knows the fire should not be ignited. The guide is the basis for the training for all certified fire investigators in the commonwealth of Virginia.

The March 28, fire destroyed that home and spread to several other homes resulting in approximately $2 million damage. The occupant of the home, who was severely burned in the fire, is still listed in critical condition at the Washington Hospital Center Burn Unit.

The fire remains under investigation by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office.