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Drawn from the 15 community newspapers published by Connection Newspapers.

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Fairfax Station and Mount Vernon: Arcadia’s veteran farmers-to-be report for first weekend training

Clifton Hoffler is embarking on his third career. A resident of the Greenbelt, Md. area, Hoffler spent 21 years in the U.S. Army, serving in Iraq twice, before transitioning into government sales. In 16 months, he will be a certified culinary chef.

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Combined Commissions for Women Host Human Trafficking Awareness Event in Fairfax

Thirty years ago, “Jen” was lured into a pornography ring and sexually abused by a man who initially pretended to be her friend.

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Burke, Lorton, Mount Vernon and Springfield: Kegs of Kerri’s Cure special ale kick within hours

Golden afternoon sun gleamed in through windows and lit up cold, grey cinder blocks, faces already beginning to blush after a beer or two, and lush flowers atop large barrels in memory of Kerri Rose. Rose and her husband Matt, Mount Vernon residents, own Forge Brew Works in Lorton. In August of 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. Kerri was also pregnant.

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Fairfax: Connect or Not Connect?

Commission hears two hours of testimonies, mostly against 164-foot monopole in Fairfax neighborhood.

William Stefan asked the Fairfax County Planning Commission to pardon his nerves, evident in his voice as he talked about his Fairfax home of 23 years.

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Mount Vernon: Officer Helps Freezing Child

PFC Chris Mamalis of the Mount Vernon District police station helped rescue a freezing nine-year-old boy from his neighborhood while off-duty on Jan. 21.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Supporting UCM

The Bishop Ireton High School Swim and Dive Team is conducting monthly collection drives for UCM’s Food Pantry during its 2015 - 2016 season. Above, Swim Team Captain Emma Klein at UCM is making a delivery of tuna, rice, and other staples on the Friday morning before the blizzard hits. For information about donations to UCM’s food program, visit www.ucmagency.org.

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Mount Vernon: Skydiver Wins Gold at Championships

West Potomac High School graduate Trevor Woods won a gold medal last month at the 2015 U.S. Parachute Association National Collegiate Parachuting Championships, held at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales.

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Mount Vernon Brief: Seeking To Reduce Gun Violence

About 30 members and friends of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church lobbied state representatives in Richmond for stronger state gun laws on Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Jan. 18.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Block Advisors Opens

A ribbon cutting and grand opening for Block Advisors, 7584 Telegraph Road, was held Thursday, Jan. 14, by Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce.

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Alexandria: Ethics Reform Roils Council

Progressive transparency or potential witch hunt?

One month into her term as mayor, Allison Silberberg got the process started on enacting a new set of ethics reforms. At its Jan. 28 meeting, the City Council voted to approve an Ad Hoc Study Group to examine ethics reform. It’s the first legislative step forward on an issue Silberberg had put forward as a centerpiece of her election last year. But on the rest of the council, feelings toward the new committee were a little more tepid, some even drawing parallels between Silberberg’s ethics reform and McCarthyism.

Snowzilla Summit Ahead

Board names Fairfax County Animal Shelter for Michael Frey.

“What a difference a week makes,” said County Chairman Sharon Bulova (D), in case anybody had moved on from the 29.3 inches of measured snow at Dulles Airport during last week’s blizzard.

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Racing for Cure

Project CUREage hosts Fun Run at Burke Lake Park.

Neither chilly temperatures nor snowy trails could deter nearly 100 runners who participated Sunday morning in a Fun Run at Burke Lake Park to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

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Alexandria: Two Republicans Enter Race Against Beyer

Incumbent gains Republican opponents.

It’s been a little over a year since U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8) took office, and both the first term congressman and his political opposition have been busy in that time.

Alexandria History: Creating the PBS Civil War Series ‘Mercy Street’

An interview with Filmmaker and Executive Producer Lisa Wolfinger.

The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history with a death toll of 750,000, according to recent studies — more than twice the number of American troops killed in World War II and two percent of the population in the 1860s. If a similar number of Americans died in a war today, the toll would reach about 7.5 million. And two-thirds of Civil War deaths were from illness.

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Alexandria: NAACP To Honor Local Church Leader

The Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley to receive national award.

The Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) in Alexandria was recently named a recipient of the 2016 NAACP Chairman's Image Award, “an award presented to individuals and organizations using their platforms to be agents of change in their communities.”

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