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Send announcements, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Matthew Razak at 703-917-6457. For additional listings, visit www.connectionnewspapers.com.

Jonathon Malycke, son of Dan and Joy Malycke of Purcellville, has received appointments to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. He received a nomination to the Air Force Academy by U.S. Sen. John William Warner (R) of Virginia. U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) nominated Jonathon to the Naval Academy and the United States Air Force Academy.

Malycke will graduate from Notre Dame Academy of Middleburg, Va., in June. While taking five advanced placement courses his senior year and maintaining a 4.0 average during his high-school career, scored in top 95 percent in Virginia and U.S. on SATs, Jonathon has also given 25 hours of community service per year, was president of Science Club, co-captain of the golf team, National Honor Society member and a 2007 Presenter for the Greater Washington, D.C. Area Junior Science & Humanities Symposium at Georgetown University. He has attended the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy 2006 summer seminars, was an American Legion Boys State of Virginia delegate and Boys Nation finalist, played varsity baseball, junior varsity basketball and varsity golf.

Del. Thomas Rust (R-86) has been honored by the Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education, known as ÒVirginia FREE.Ó The group is comprised of business representatives from a variety of industries and from all regions of Virginia. Each year, Virginia FREE issues evaluations of incumbent legislators based on a number of criteria. Del. RustÕs 2006 Cumulative Business Rating was 76, which places him among the top 10 in the Virginia House of Delegates. In the Effectiveness category, Rust scored a 67, which places him 12th in effectiveness out of the 100 members of the

House of Delegates. Rust was also recognized for a bill he introduced that Virginia FREE found especially important, dealing with municipal waste regulations.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) appointed Marguita K. Brooks of Loudoun County to the Governor's Motorcycle Advisory Council.

4-H members in Loudoun County participated in a public speaking and presentation contest Saturday, Feb. 17. The following members who took home top honors: Mary Beth Mitchell with her presentation on How to Make Lavender Bath Salts in the Junior Division and Samantha Sweitzer with her presentation on Your First Pet Rabbit Care and Keeping in the Senior Division.

Suzanne Szanyi of Broad Run, Cheryl Tait of Ashburn, and Bethany Blackwell of Ashburn were selected as Hokie Ambassadors for Virginia Tech's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Hokie Ambassadors is an all-volunteer student organization that provides tours for prospective undergraduate students and their families, log hundreds of volunteer hours in support of undergraduate admissions at Virginia Tech.

La Voz of Loudoun, a 501 (c)(3) community-based nonprofit organization, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from Loudoun County government to hire its first executive director, Middleburg resident Michelle McKnight. Raised bilingual and bicultural in the Republic of Panama, McKnight has a wealth of experience bridging Spanish and English-speaking cultures. A trained translator and interpreter, she holds a master's degree in Spanish Language and Literature from the American University in Washington, D.C.

Shannon Groves, 16, of Ashburn, was named one of two of Virginia's top youth volunteers for 2007 by The Prudential Spirit Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. As a state honoree, Groves will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and a trip in May to Washington, D.C., for several days of national recognition events.

Groves, a senior at Broad Run High School, has been testing the water quality of local ponds and streams every month since June 2004 to determine their pollution levels and provide useful information to governmental water-management agencies. She was nominated by her school.

Renae Smith of Sterling was been named to the Dean's List with High Distinction, for students with a GPA between 3.85-4.0, at Grove City (Pa.) College. She is the daughter of Lt. Col. John and Jana Smith. She graduated from homeschooling in 2004.

More than 170 guests, including Congressman Tom Davis, Dels. David Poisson, Joe May and Tom Rust celebrated Valentine's Day at the first ever Heart to Heart Ball Feb. 17 to raise funds to help CrisisLink expand crisis and suicide prevention services for Loudoun youth and families. The ball raised $17,000.

The following students were recently named to the Dean's List or President's List at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.: Kathryn Brown, Jesse Burns, Sarah Carlson, Diana Gallup, Mary Hester, Carrie Ingalls, Andrew King, Sommer Long, Kelly McAdow, Diana Muncaciu, Benjamin, Roth, Kerri Spaulding.

Air Force Airman Robert L. Muse has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Dowell and Leigh Muse of Phillips Drive, N.W., Leesburg. Muse is a 2005 graduate of Loudoun County High School, Leesburg.

Loudoun County Animal Care & Control took home three awards at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's 2006 Animal Services Awards. The department received nine total award nominations in various categories.

Jenny Swiggart, advanced animal care & training coordinator, won the Adoption Award for her work in furthering dog adoptions at the Animal Shelter.

Animal Control Officer Aaron Wheatley received the Domestic Animal Rescue award for rescuing an elderly chocolate Labrador retriever that had fallen off the Potomac River overlook at Balls Bluff Regional Park.

And, the entire animal care staff of the Loudoun County Animal Shelter was awarded the Animal Care Award for its dedication to the animals in their care.

Air Force Airman Jaswant S. Khanna has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Rajinder Khanna of Marsden Court, Sterling.

Khanna is a 2006 graduate of Fairfax High School.

Gary M. Clemens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, announces that his office has been recognized by the State Compensation Board for exceptional court debt collection practices in fiscal year 2006. The study conducted by the State Compensation Board revealed that the Loudoun County Circuit Court is one of 14 Circuit Courts in Virginia that had debt collection rates that exceeded the statewide average for four consecutive fiscal years.

The National Conference Center announces the appointment of Kurt J. Krause as general manager, who has more than 20 years of hospitality experience.

Maureen Hempenius, a member of the Loudoun Volunteer Services Board of Directors, presented Mary Lacy Grecco, a sophomore at Potomac Falls High School, with a Certificate of Appreciation, honoring her as Student Volunteer of the Month. The presentation took place at Potomac Falls High School, in front of Mary Lacy Grecco's peers, her family and school staff.

Members of Leadership Loudoun, an organization devoted to discovering, inspiring and connecting Loudoun's leaders, met with Gov. Tim Kaine (D) and other elected officials last month, as part of Leadership Loudoun's annual trip to Richmond.

This year, 18 members went to Richmond Feb. 20, and in addition to meeting with the governor, they also met with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Del. Joe May (R-33), Sen. Mark Herring (D-33) and Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer.

Army Pfc. Daniel M. Reilly has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

He is the son of Mark and Sheila Reilly of Jefferson Drive, Sterling. Reilly is a 2003 graduate of Potomac Falls High School.

Jory Z. Ruscio of Leesburg, was named to the Alpha Epsilon Lambda honor and leadership society at Virginia Tech. He is receiving his Ph.D. in genetics, bioinformatics and computational biology.