<sh>Vienna Presbyterian Grows Up ... and Out
<bt>Only about a year after the groundbreaking, renovations at Vienna Presbyterian Church are largely completed. About 52,000 square feet have been added, bringing the building to almost 85,000 square feet. New additions include — but are not limited to — classrooms, a computer lab, libraries and a "fellowship hall."
Construction continues on the basement level, and balconies are yet to be built around the sanctuary.
<sh>Blood Supply Impacted by Winter Weather
<bt>The recent winter storm has caused the cancellation of several community blood drives and countless blood donor appointments across Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. These cancellations, coupled with the fact that many blood donors have failed to show up for their scheduled appointments, have resulted in more than 400 units of blood going uncollected, according to the Red Cross. An immediate recovery from this shortage is critical to ensure that the needs of patients in local hospitals will not be impacted. Consequently, the Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Blood Region of the American Red Cross is issuing an urgent plea for an immediate response from both whole blood and platelet donors. Whole blood donors are asked to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE, and platelet donors can call 1-800-272-2123.
The Red Cross is also in search of area businesses, churches, community groups and civic organizations to come on board as blood drive sponsors. For information about holding a blood drive, please call 1-800-787-9282, ext. 4925.
<sh>Oakton House Fire
<bt>Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire at approximately 5:40 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 in the Oakton area of Fairfax County. The two-story, single-family home is located on Saddle Crescent Circle.
First arriving firefighters reported smoke coming from the side of the home. The fire was brought under control in approximately 20 minutes. There were no injuries.
The fire displaced three residents, and damage is estimated at $150,000. According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental and originated in a manufactured metal chimney.
<sh>School Custodian Charged with Sexual Battery
<bt>On Friday, Feb. 10 at approximately 3:40 p.m., a 10-year-old Fairfax area-boy was walking down a hallway at Oakton Elementary School. A 39-year-old custodian touched the boy inappropriately as he walked by, according to police reports. The victim told his teacher, and police were called. On Monday, Feb. 13, Tito Paniagua of Centreville was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery, said police. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
<sh>Fresh Air Fund Seeks Host Families
<bt>Close to 5,000 New York City children visit volunteer host families in the Northeast for two weeks or longer each summer through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Town program. Hosts help children from low-income neighborhoods in New York City experience the simple summer pleasures of the suburbs.
There are no financial requirements, and the host family can choose the age and gender of their visitor. First-time visitors range in age from 6 to 12 and can be invited back through the fund until age 18.
Contact Cynthia Kronlage at 703-426-1616, call the fund at 800-367-0003, or visit www.freshair.org.