Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Tax Relief Meetings

<bt>Bob Wertz, Loudoun's Commissioner of the Revenue, will be holding information sessions during March and April to explain the county's tax relief program and answer residents' questions.

Loudoun's property tax relief program for the elderly and disabled fully exempts property owners from real-estate taxes on their home and lot up to 3 acres and may cut their car taxes in half.

Residents must be 65 years of age or older or totally and permanently disabled and meet certain household-income and net-worth criteria. For real-estate relief, household income must be less than $72,000 and net worth must be less than $340,000. For personal-property relief, income of the owners of the vehicle must be less than $52,000 and net worth must be less than $195,000.

First-time applicants must file an application by Dec. 31. For more information see www.loudoun.gov/cor/tred.htm or contact the Tax Relief Division of the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office at 703-737-8557 or trcor@loudoun.gov. Personal assistance is available to applicants in both the Leesburg and Sterling offices.

The current program schedule is as follows. Additional sessions may be scheduled.

* Friday, March 24, 3-4:30 p.m., Purcellville Town Hall, 130 E. Main St., Purcellville.

* Friday, March 31, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg.

* Tuesday, April 4, 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m., Cascades Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling.

* Tuesday, April 4, 2-5 p.m., South Riding Town Hall, 43055 Center St., South Riding.

<sh>Constituent Chat

<bt>Chris West, regional representative to U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), will hold office hours at the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg, March 23, from 10 a.m.-noon. Constituents can come to discuss issues facing the area and to seek help for anyone having problems with a federal agency. Constituents may call West at 703-244-7261.

<sh>Academy Day

<bt>Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10), along with the other members of the Virginia congressional delegation, will sponsor the 19th annual Academy Day Saturday, March 25, for students interested in attending one of the nation's service academies.

The program will be from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., in Reasoner Hall on Quantico Marine Corps Base, Prince William County. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

Representatives from the Naval Academy, the United States Military Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy and the Coast Guard will be on hand to explain the admission process and answer questions. Information on ROTC programs also will be available.

For more information regarding Academy Day or directions to Quantico, contact Suzanne Grimsley in Wolf's office at 703-709-5800 or 1-800-945-9653.

<sh>Town Hall Meeting

<bt>Virginia Del. Chuck Caputo (D-67) will hold a town-hall meeting Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m.-noon, at the South Riding Town Hall, 43055 Center St. Virginia Sen. Mark Herring (D-33) will be his guest. Both Caputo and Herring will report on the General Assembly legislative session. Any questions may be directed to Lu Ann Maciulla McNabb, legislative assistant, at LA@delegatecaputo.com or at 703-476-6944.

<sh>Grants Available

<bt>Loudoun County is accepting requests from individuals or organizations for fiscal year 2008 funding through the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act-A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), formerly the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.

To be eligible for SAFETEA-LU Transportation Enhancement program funds, proposed projects must be directly related to surface transportation.

County staff will review requests for SAFETEA-LU Transportation Enhancement funds during April and May, with a public hearing on project submissions expected to be held July 11, followed by Board of Supervisors' endorsement of recommended projects Sept. 19. The county will submit the final grant applications to the Commonwealth Transportation Board by Nov. 1.

Application forms may be obtained from Alice Vlad in the Department of Management and Financial Services at 703-737-8186 or avlad@loudoun.gov. The requests for funding should be sent to Alice Vlad, Loudoun County Department of Management and Financial Services, P.O. Box 7000, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg, VA 20177. The deadline for submissions is March 27.

<sh>Rail Meeting

<bt>The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project has made several design refinements as it has progressed through preliminary engineering.

The Federal Transit Administration has worked with the project team to prepare an environmental assessment that describes the potential environmental effects that could result from these changes. Visit www.dullesmetro.com to view the complete environmental assessment.

The public has an opportunity to review this document and submit comments, either in person, 7 p.m., March 28, Kilmer Middle School, 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna; or in writing to Karl Rohrer, Deputy Project Director, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, 1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 600, Vienna; e-mail eacomments@dullesmetro.com.

All written comments must be received by April 11. Include your name, address and organization affiliation in all correspondence.

<sh>Toddler Injured

<bt>On the afternoon of March 10, a 15-month-old toddler suffered minor injuries after falling to a brick patio from a second-story window in Ashburn. Police responded to a single-family home in the 22790 block of Allison Way in the Brambleton community around 3:45 p.m. The toddler was apparently leaning against a screen when it gave way. After being airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital, she was listed in stable condition. After being held overnight for observation, she was released on Saturday, March 11.

<sh>Final Suspect Caught

<bt>The seventh and final suspect in a group called the Òbumper car thievesÓ turned himself over to authorities Wednesday, March 8, according to the county Sheriff's Office. The arrest stems from a series of auto thefts in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Jose Luis Fuentes, 21, of Arlington, is charged with five counts of grand larceny and five counts of conspiracy to commit grand larceny. He had initially left the area and warrants were issued for his arrest in February.

In three separate incidents from December to January eight vehicles were stolen in Loudoun. All but one of the cars was a Honda. The stolen cars were taken from the Sterling area and then raced up and down the back roads of western Loudoun. Seven of the cars were left abandoned in the area; in one case the car was set afire. The races themselves left the vehicles heavily damaged and resulted in nearly $100,000 in damages.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Joseph D. Demarino, 18, of Falls Church; Jason Molinares, 18, of Falls Church; Ada Elizabeth Ramos, 18, of Falls Church; Juan David Hernandez-Lopez, 18, of Falls Church; a 16-year-old from Fairfax and a 17-year-old from Falls Church were charged in February. All of the suspects have been charged by the Loudoun SheriffÕs Office with five counts of grand larceny and five counts of conspiracy to commit grand larceny. They have also been charged with multiple felonies in Fairfax County.

Fuentes was held at the Loudoun Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.

<sh>Single-Vehicle Crash

<bt>A Maryland man remains hospitalized after a single-vehicle crash Wednesday, March 8, on Route 28 near the W & OD Trail crossover.

According to the county Sheriff's Office, Christopher D. Moen, 31, of Frederick, Md., was driving south on Route 28 in Sterling shortly after 7 a.m. when his 2003 Toyota pickup left the roadway and struck a guardrail. The vehicle then careened back across three lanes of traffic before striking a barrier wall and then turned on its side and slid for more than 500 feet.

Authorities believe Moen may have suffered from a medical emergency prior to the crash. He was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital where he is being treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

<sh>Teens Charged

<bt>Three teens are facing charges after they allegedly entered a Sterling home in February while the residents were out of town on vacation, according to the county Sheriff's Office.

The three Sterling teens, ages 15, 15 and 16, have been charged with burglary, grand larceny and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the home in the 300 block of Bradford Court around 9:30 p.m., Feb. 25, after a neighbor saw three subjects, who appeared to be juveniles, hanging around outside of the residence.

The neighbor chased one of the subjects who ran to green king cab pickup truck. Cash and a bottle of prescription medication were removed from inside the home.

An investigation led authorities to the identities of the three teenage suspects.

<sh>Suicide Prevented

<bt>Traffic had to be stopped on the Route 7/15 bypass and Dry Mill Road Sunday, March 12, after a 22-year-old Leesburg man threatened to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge, according to the county Sheriff's Office.

A Sheriff's deputy was driving into the Town of Leesburg for roll call around 7:15 p.m. when he noticed a man crouched down beside a concrete barrier of the Dry Mill Road overpass. The deputy asked the man if he was alright and the man threatened to jump.

The Route 7 bypass and Dry Mill Road were closed down in both directions by units from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and the Leesburg Police Department. A trained negotiator with the Sheriff's Office established a rapport with the man who continued to threaten to jump.

Sheriff's deputies were able to subdue the man using a less lethal kinetic energy device Ñ discharged beanbag Ñ approximately 40 minutes after he was discovered on the bridge. The man was standing on the interior wall of the bridge when the device was deployed. He was taken into custody by members of the Sheriff's Office and the Leesburg

Police Department.

The man was taken to Inova Loudoun Hospital under an Emergency Protective Order by the Leesburg Police Department.