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Highlights of 2005

Highlights and headlines of 2005 include:

* Herndon added more homes to its community, including: 37 townhouses along Grant and Van Buren Streets to be built by Winchester Homes; Herndon Neighborhoods LLC — a subsidiary of Stanley Martin Companies — is scheduled to build 74 residential units, 55 townhouse and 18 single family homes, on the now vacant land along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, Pearl, Nash and Van Buren Streets. An additional lot will be left vacant in this development for the relocation of the Yellow House from its existing spot behind the Adams-Green Funeral Home; 16 townhouses to be built along Locust Street by Doll Homes; the second phase of condominiums and townhouses to be added to the existing Fortnightly Square developments, to name a few.

* Herndon's youth were given additional places to go after school with the opening of the Vecinos Unidos/Neighbors United Safe Haven in April 2005, and the recent opening of the Boys & Girls Club at Hutchison Elementary School. Herndon's Parks and Recreation Department applied for and was accepted to participate in a "Kids At Hope" program geared to teaching residents active with area youth that all children can succeed.

* Council member Ann Null and husband Daniel were cited for an overcrowding violation because they were renting out an apartment above their garage to non-family members. Although they promptly remedied the violation, Null was the first council member to be cited in violation of the town's zoning code while in office, resulting in some residents to ask for her resignation.

* McNair Elementary School received a new principal, Stephen Hockett, who was also named Principal of the Year for 2004-05 for his work at Hunters Woods Elementary School in Reston.

* After months of discussions and meetings with Fairfax County Public School officials, Floris Elementary School staff, students and parents learned that the school's Japanese Immersion program would be phased out in the next few years. Students interested in Japanese Immersion could transfer to neighboring Fox Mill Elementary School, according to FCPS officials.

* Trying to combat overcrowding violations in town, the Town Council approved the hire of two new community inspectors in 2004. In the last year, while the overcrowding numbers appear to be on the rise, inspectors have been able identify more violations than previous years, while also closing more cases than previous years. As a result of increased overcrowding violation penalties, three area property owners were found guilty of criminal misdemeanors for violations on their property in 2005.

* Two MS-13 gang members, Alirio Reyes, 27, Osmin Heriberto and Alfaro-Fuentes, 25, were sentenced to life in prison for the May 16, 2004 murder of 17-year-old Herndon High School student Jose Sandoval. The two fled to Los Angeles after the murder until members of the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested them in June 2004.

* Former Herndon High School student Derrick Battle, 18, was found guilty on two counts of unlawful wounding for the Jan. 14, 2005 beating of a former Herndon High School student and gang member at the Dulles Park Shopping center. Carl Kenneth Prioleau, a Herndon High School student, was also found guilty of maiming or malicious wounding for bringing an aluminum baseball bat to the scene and for participating in the fight. Prioleau was sentenced as an adult to 10 years in prison, with eight years and six months suspended. He is scheduled to remain on active probation for eight years.

In light of the seven months Battle remained in the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center awaiting his trial, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge David Stitt suspended his jail time which could have been up to 10 years.

After the incident, the 17-year-old victim of the beating plead guilty in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to carrying a machete in a separate incident in May, three months after his recovery.

* Herndon and Fairfax County officials held a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the completion of the latest Senior Center in May 2005. The new center is connected to the Harbor House through a covered walkway and offers a place for area seniors to play pool, participate in planned events, play cards, exercise or just mingle. The center was created in partnership between the town and Fairfax County.