Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Joint Meeting

<bt>State Sen. Mark R. Herring (D-33) and Del. Joe T. May (R-33) will hold a joint town-hall meeting to discuss and receive citizen comments on the recently concluded General Assembly regular session and the upcoming special session, which has been called by Gov. Kaine to address budget and transportation issues.

The joint town-hall meeting will be held in the Board of Supervisors meeting room on the ground floor of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., in Leesburg, Thursday, March 30, at 7 p.m.

<sh>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 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>Town-hall Meeting

<bt>Del. David Poisson (D-32) will hold an end-of-session town-hall meeting, at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 1, in the Jefferson Room at the Leisure World Clubhouse in Lansdowne.

Poisson will discuss legislation considered in this year's General Assembly, with an emphasis on transportation. Poisson will be accompanied by Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer, who will update residents on Gov. Tim Kaine's transportation plan.

Inform the gate attendant that you are attending Del. Poisson's town-hall meeting.

<sh>Oceanographer Program

<bt>Robert Ballard, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, will describe some of his notable deep-sea discoveries as well as how scientists can motivate students by bringing the thrill of discovery and exploration into the classroom, Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m., at Dominion High School, 21326 Augusta Drive, Sterling. U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10), in conjunction with Loudoun County Public Schools' new Academy of Science, is hosting the free program. Students of all ages and their parents are invited. For ticket information, contact Wolf's Herndon office at 703-709-5800 or online at www.house.gov/wolf.

<sh>Center Relocated

<bt>The Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services announces the relocation of Arcola Community Center, effective March 20. The new street address is 24328 Goshen Road, Aldie, VA 20105. This is an interim move since the community center will be located in the future Dulles South Multipurpose Center upon completion of the planned facility. For additional center or program information, call 703-327-3111.

<sh>Suspect Charged in Abduction

<bt>A Leesburg man is held without bond after he took an infant and mother hostage in the bedroom of a residence in the Lansdowne on the Potomac community early Friday morning.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Vong Pra Meuandane, 25, of Leesburg, was charged Sunday, March 26, with abduction, three counts of assault and battery and obstruction of justice.

Deputies responded to the home in the 18770 block of Kipheart Drive in Leesburg around 4:45 a.m., March 24, after receiving a 911 call of a possible hostage situation. The 911 caller, who was inside the home, stated that the victim's boyfriend had a gun and was holding her hostage in a bedroom with a 1-year-old child.

Members of the Sheriff's Office Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Sheriff's Hostage Negotiator's were called to the scene. Prior to their arrival the man exited the bedroom around 5:15 a.m. and displayed a cell phone as if it were a gun. As deputies approached him and ordered him to the ground he charged at a deputy. The man physically resisted their efforts to arrest him. He was eventually taken into custody after a struggle that lasted several minutes.

A loaded pistol was recovered from the bedroom.

The suspect was taken to the Lansdowne Campus of Inova Loudoun Hospital based on his disorderly behavior.

Meuandane remains held at the Loudoun Adult Detention Center in Leesburg.

<sh>Residents Displaced

<bt>A house fire at 105 Buckeye Court, in the Forest Ridge

section of Sterling left four residents displaced, according to the Fire and Rescue Services. The fire, which was reported at approximately 7:10 p.m., March 16, resulted in approximately $500,000 damage. A neighbor from nearby Almay Court reported the fire, which was visible at that time from the home's exterior. Three of the residents who were home at the time escaped with no injuries and firefighters were able to rescue a family pet.

Fire and Rescue responders arrived to find heavy fire conditions on the second floor and roof area. The fire was under control within 30 minutes, however responders remained on the scene for another three hours to ensure the fire was fully extinguished. One firefighter received minor burn injuries to the neck and was treated on the scene.

The fire is under investigation by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office. The residents were provided assistance by the Red Cross and the County's Office of Emergency Management.

<sh>Fatal Crash

<bt>A crash involving a car and a motorcycle Thursday, March 23, in Ashburn took the life of a Loudoun man.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Dustin Marshall Vancamp, 23, of Ashburn, was riding a 2006 Kawasaki northbound on Belmont Ridge Road around 9:15 p.m. when he collided with a 2006 Hyundai Sonata. The Hyundai, driven by Carmelo Martinez Jr., 43, of Ashburn, was making a left-hand turn from Gloucester Parkway onto southbound Belmont Ridge Road when the vehicles collided.

Vancamp was thrown from the motorcycle and received life-threatening injuries. He was wearing a helmet. Vancamp was taken to the Lansdowne Campus of Inova Loudoun Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact DS S. Allen of the Sheriff's Office Crash Investigation Unit at 703-771-5798.

<sh>New Equipment

<bt>The Loudoun Crime Commission (LCC) presented the county Sheriff's Office with a $3,900 check last week that will be used to purchase a Nighttime Optical Thermal Imaging Camera (NOPTIC).

The thermal-imaging equipment acts as an extra set of eyes for deputies when attempting to locate suspects who are fleeing from authorities into the dark of the night. The NOPTIC camera can also be used for night-time surveillance or to detect heat from recently parked vehicles whose drivers may be involved in criminal activity.

The Loudoun Crime Commission is a nonprofit membership organization focused on crime prevention and reduction in our community.