Week in Loudoun

Week in Loudoun

Seeking Information

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's assistance in locating a man wanted for embezzlement from a Sterling shoe store.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Faheem Francis, 38, used his position at a Payless Shoe Store to embezzle money from the store safe and bank bag. The thefts allegedly took place between April and July of 2006. Francis used to live in the Cascades Commons apartment complex in Sterling and is believed to still be in the area.

Anyone with information about Francis' whereabouts is asked to contact Investigator B. Ochsman of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous, contact Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

<sh>Dulles Meeting

<bt>Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) will be hosting a community meeting at the Broadlands Nature Center, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. This meeting is to serve as an informal work session between Snow and the citizens of the Dulles District to discuss matters of importance and concern for the year ahead. Items of specific interest are the upcoming county budget negotiations as well as a discussion of issues regarding needed infrastructure and community services in the Dulles District.

<sh>Community Meeting

<bt>There will be a community meeting on Route 7 traffic improvements Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m., at the Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place in Cascades.

The Board of Supervisors will be on hand to answer questions about improvements such as adding lanes and improving intersections, Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio said. Anyone who lives or works along Route 7 is invited to ask questions and share their input.

<sh>Budget Proposal

<bt>Loudoun County Administrator Kirby M. Bowers will present the proposed fiscal plan for the general county government and school system for Fiscal Year 2008 to the Board of Supervisors at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13. The presentation will take place in the board room of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St., S.E., Leesburg.

As part of the budget process, the board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed FY '08 fiscal plan beginning at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28. Following a dinner break, the public hearing will resume at 6:30 p.m. Both sessions will take place in the board room. An additional public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 1, if needed. In addition, the board plans to hold several budget work sessions in March. The board is expected to adopt a budget and the county's 2007 tax rates in April.

More information about the Loudoun County budget is available online at www.loudoun.gov/budget.

<sh>Candidates Forum

<bt>The grassroots citizens group HelpSaveLoudoun will hold the first in a series of ÒCandidatesÕ ForumÓ town hall-style public meetings Monday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m., at the Loudoun County Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place, Cascades. The topic of discussion will be the negative effects of illegal immigration in local communities and what is being done by local and state elected officials to solve the problems.

Greg Ahlemann, candidate for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff, and incumbent Sheriff Steve Simpson have confirmed they will participate in the forum. Robert Bruton, candidate for the Republican nomination for Catoctin District Supervisor will participate, and his opponent, Geary Higgins, has been invited.

The series of meetings will continue throughout 2007, providing an opportunity for local voters to meet with candidates for office and for candidates to learn of their constituentsÕ opinions on issues related to illegal immigration. Every seat in the Virginia legislature and most local elected posts will be up for re-election in November and HelpSaveLoudoun is inviting all local candidates at every level to participate in the public meetings.

Future candidatesÕ forum meetings will be held Monday, March 26, 7 p.m., location to be determined; and Monday, April 16, 7 p.m., at Cascades Library in Sterling.

<sh>Reported Gunfire

<bt>The Sheriff's Office is investigating reported gunfire in the Sterling area early Monday, Feb. 5.

Deputies responded to the 45900 block of Waterview Plaza around midnight where a 23-year-old female reported she was in the parking lot of the TGI Friday's Restaurant when she observed an unknown subject discharge several rounds from a firearm at another unknown man. A light-colored car fled from the scene toward Route 7.

A canvass of the area by sheriff's deputies resulted in the discovery of several shell casings. Area hospitals were contacted and there was no information on any victims of gunshot wounds. The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact Investigator K. Fognano of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-777-0475. If the caller wishes to remain anonymous, contact Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

<sh>Assessments to Be Mailed

<bt>The Assessor's Office will mail the 2007 real estate assessment notices in mid-February. The assessment notice includes information about the assessment and taxation process. Information regarding the review and appeal process is also included. The notice also provides information on programs such as Land Use and Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled.

The Code of Virginia requires that reassessments be made at 100 percent of fair market value. The date of value is Jan. 1 of each tax year. Real property tax bills are based on the real property assessment and the real property tax rate. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors sets the real property tax rate each year during the budget process.

More information, including 2007 Assessment Review Application forms and answers to frequently asked questions, is available on the Loudoun County Government Web site at www.loudoun.gov/assessor.

<sh>Teens Fund Dead

<bt>A preliminary autopsy has determined the two missing Maryland teens who were found dead Friday afternoon in a rural section of western Loudoun County died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Office of the Medical Examiner in Fairfax County made the ruling Monday, Feb. 5. Although the case remains an active investigation it appears the two teens took their own lives.

This information is being released due to the widespread coverage of the case. Further details on this investigation will not be released as is the policy of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office regarding suicide cases.

Sheriff's deputies were called to a rural section of Loudoun County near the West Virginia line around 2:15 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2, for a report of a suspicious vehicle. The Subaru wagon was discovered by some people who were four-wheeling in the area. Deputies later confirmed that the vehicle was the same car that had been tied to the missing teens.

County investigators confirmed late Friday night that the two victims were 16-year-old Rachel Smith and 18-year-old Rachel Crites. The two teens were located inside a vehicle that was registered to the Crites family.

The vehicle was located along a power line easement near the area of Shady Lane off of Route 9. Both of the females were found inside the car. The two teens were last seen Jan. 19 and were supposed to be going to see a movie in Georgetown. Montgomery County detectives from the Family Crimes Division had been searching for the two teens.