Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun


<bt>An article in the Feb. 15-21 edition of the Loudoun Connection regarding the local public hearing on Dominion Virginia Power's proposal to construct a new transmission line provided an incorrect date for a State Corporation Commission hearing in Richmond. The correct date is March 27. More information about the proposal can be found on the county's Web site, www.loudoun.gov/issues/power.htm.

<sh>Meeting Rescheduled

<bt>The Board of Supervisors Transportation/Land Use Committee meeting originally scheduled for Feb. 27, was rescheduled to Friday, March 3, at 1 p.m., in the Lovettsville Room of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E. in Leesburg.

More information about the board's standing committees, including a link to meeting packets, is available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/bos/comm.htm.

<sh>Name Change

<bt>The Loudoun County Public Library Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to change the name of the Eastern Loudoun Regional Library to the Cascades Library. In addition, the address has also been changed from Sterling to Potomac Falls. The decision came after library customs were surveyed about changing the name to reflect the area where the branch is located. The Cascades Library is located at 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls.

<sh>Food Drive

<bt>For the second year in a row, U.S. Postal Service letter carriers will pick up nonperishable food donations left by customer mailboxes. Food will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank and local needy organizations such as day-care centers, nursing homes and faith-based organizations.

The food drive will be Saturday, March 4-Saturday, March 11. The food items will be consolidated and then delivered to the Capital Area Food Bank Warehouse in Lorton.

Customers may also drop off items for the food drive at local post offices. Other sponsoring organizations of the Capital Area Food BankÕs Harvest for the Hungry include Safeway, Coldwell Banker Stevens Brokerage, Clear Channel Radio and WUSA TV 9.

<sh>Bomb Threat

<bt>Authorities evacuated the Loudoun County Government Center Monday, Feb. 27, following a bomb threat.

According to authorities, shortly before noon a phone called was received from an unidentified male stating there was a bomb in the building. As a precaution all employees of the Government Center were immediately evacuated.

Canine units from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office; the Loudoun County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management; the Fairfax Police Department and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority conducted a thorough search of the five-story building located at 1 Harrison St., S.E., in Leesburg, but no suspicious items were found. The building was cleared shortly before 3 p.m. and employees were allowed to return to their offices.

The Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an ongoing investigation into the bomb threat. Anyone with information about the identity of the caller is asked to call Investigator J. Russ at 703-777-0475 or place an anonymous call to Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. There is a possible cash reward up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment.

<sh>Accidental Fire

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office has determined a fire that damaged a home in Ashburn Sunday, Feb. 26, was accidental. The fire, which resulted in approximately $250,000 damage, was due to improperly discarded ashes from a fireplace.

According to the press release, around 11:35 p.m., Sunday evening, fire and rescue personnel were dispatched to a house fire at 43430 Golden Meadow Circle in Ashburn Farms. The initial reports from the 911 callers reported some type of explosions. Arriving units found the garage well involved and fire extending up the side of the house to the attic area. The fire was knocked down with much of the living area sustaining heavy smoke damage but structurally sound. The reported explosions were later learned to be two 20-pound propane cylinders in the garage.

The two homeowners were evaluated for smoke inhalation on the scene but didn't require transport to the hospital.

In addition to the damage to the home, two vehicles, which were parked in the garage, were destroyed as a result of the fire.

The Loudoun County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management's "After the Fire Program" and the American Red Cross, provided assistance to the family who is staying with neighbors.

<sh>Man Sentenced

<bt>A Sterling man was sentenced to one year in prison Thursday, Feb. 23, for an indecent exposure case stemming from a September 2005 arrest in Ashburn.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Christopher J. King, 33, of Sterling, was in convicted in Loudoun County Circuit Court. This is his fourth conviction for indecent exposure.

Under Virginia law, the offense becomes a felony when the offender has at least two prior convictions within the previous 10 years.

According to the Sheriff's Office, King was previously convicted in Loudoun General District Court in December 2001, Fairfax General District Court in June 2002 and Loudoun Circuit Court in September 2004.

Judge James H. Chamblin sentenced King to four years in prison, with all but approximately six months suspended. The judge also imposed an additional six months for King to serve that he revoked from his previous indecent exposure sentence. King will be placed on supervised probation for 10 years upon his release.

<sh>Daycare Operator Sentenced

<bt>A Loudoun family daycare operator who left nine children alone for an hour last April pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty Thursday, Feb. 23.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Lisa Proctor Rickard, 38, of Sterling, will be sentenced May 31, on two charges of cruelty and injuries to children, both Class 6 felonies.

The children were found home alone April 28 when members of the Virginia Department of Social Services and Loudoun Child Protective Services came to the residence in the 47730 block of League Court for a follow up on an unrelated complaint. The inspectors got no response at the residence and went to the rear of the home where they heard a child start to cry. Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene and were about to force entry when Rickard arrived home.

The children, who ranged in age from 9 months to 3 years, were found in their cribs in a dark room in the home. All of the children were fine and were safely returned to their parents.

<sh>Two Burglaries

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is investigating two overnight burglaries Thursday, Feb. 23; in both cases the residents of the home were alerted that there was an intruder in the home by their dog.

The first incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. in the 43860 block of Laurel Ridge Drive in Ashburn. According to the Sheriff's Office, a female resident was awoken by her dog barking. The woman went towards the kitchen and saw a black male, in his mid-20s to early 30s going through her purse. The woman ran back upstairs and called authorities. It was later determined the man took several credit cards from the victim's purse. The suspect in this case is further described as being more than 6 feet in height with a medium build. He was also said to have a shaved head. The suspect appears to have entered the home through the unsecured exterior and interior garage doors.

Approximately one hour later a Leesburg man heard his dog barking inside his residence in the 43200 block of Canal Creek Place. According to the Sheriff's Office, the man went to the top of his stairwell where he noticed a subject run out the front door of the home. Nothing was taken from the home and there were no signs of forced entry.

Anyone with information about either of theses cases is asked to contact Investigator Harper the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information provided leads to an arrest and indictment the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>Seeking a Suspect

<bt>Sheriff Investigators are looking for an unknown man who grabbed a woman outside of her home and exposed himself in Ashburn Thursday, Feb. 23.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred around 7 p.m. as the 60-year-old victim was unloading packages from her vehicle and taking them into her house in the 47100 block of Navajo Drive in Ashburn. The victim was reaching into her vehicle when the suspect grabbed her from behind. The woman turned around to see an unknown white male who then exposed himself. He then fled towards Ashbrook Commons Shopping Center.

The suspect is described as being in his 40s or early 50s, more than 6 feet in height with a heavy build and salt-and-pepper colored hair. He was wearing a black, short-sleeved polo style shirt with white lettering across the front. He was also said to be wearing dark-colored pants.

Anyone with information about the possible identity of the suspect is asked to contact Investigator S. Coderre of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may contact Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

<sh>Burning Ban

<bt>The Loudoun County Fire Marshal has issued burning restrictions under the authority of ¤307.2.2 of the Loudoun County Fire Prevention Code. Burning may be prohibited at anytime under this section whenever atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.

These restrictions limit open burning of brush, limbs and tree trimmings to the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight. Fires must be attended at all times. Furthermore, residents contact the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0637 to report that the location and time of the controlled burn. In the event that high winds or other conditions increase the danger, they will be informed at the time of call of any additional restrictions or prohibitions. The local restrictions mirror those issued by the Virginia Department of Forestry Feb. 15, and will be in effect until midnight, April 30.

Burning of household trash, commercial waste or any items not generated on site are prohibited under Solid Waste regulations.

Local ordinances are in place in the towns of Leesburg, Lovettsville, Purcellville and Round Hill that prohibit open burning within the corporate limits of these towns.

<sh>Seeking Comments on Grant

<bt>On Dec. 30, the U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, announced the availability of grant funds to state and local governments through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG). This program allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their local needs and conditions.

The grant funding distribution is based on crime statistics as well as law-enforcement expenditure data. Out of the $5,747.380 allocated to 32 jurisdictions in Virginia and the Department of Criminal Justices Services, Loudoun County is eligible to receive $27,619.

One of the grant requirement is that an opportunity to comment be provided to the public concerning the grant and the individual jurisdictions plan for the award. The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office will submit an application to the U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, requesting to utilize the full award to purchase electronic classroom training aid equipment for the Patrol Division. Public comments on the grant may be directed to Sgt. Eric Prugh at eprugh@Loudoun.gov.

<sh>Extended Hours

<bt>The Loudoun County Assessor's Office is extending its hours of operation to answer telephone calls from property owners who have questions about their 2006 assessments. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Feb. 28-March 16, staff members will be available to answer phone calls until 7 p.m. The telephone number for the Assessor's Office is 703-777-0290.

Information about the assessment process in Loudoun County, including a series of frequently asked questions, is available on the county government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/finserv.

<sh>Parvo Update

<bt>In response to recent cases of canine parvovirus at the Animal Shelter, Loudoun County Animal Care Control is taking steps to prevent the spread of the disease and to ensure the safety of both the dogs in the shelter and the county dog population.

If anyone is thinking about surrendering a dog to the Animal Shelter, they are asked to keep it in their home for another 10-14 days to minimize the risk of exposure to the disease. If a person must surrender a dog during this time, bring all veterinary vaccination records. Call the Animal Shelter at 703-777-0406 for more information.

To download the American Veterinary Medical Association's brochure on Parvovirus, visit http://www.loudoun.gov/animals. Copies are also available at the Loudoun County Animal Shelter.

Parvovirus cases are usually seen in the spring and fall, and the warm weather this winter may be contributing to the rise in cases seen around the area in the past two months.