Bonnie Hobbs

With more than 25 years experience in journalism, I’ve written and edited newspapers in California, North Carolina and Virginia. In California, I worked for a weekly paper in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’m from originally.

In North Carolina, I worked two years (1990-92) at the Sun Journal, a daily paper in New Bern. There, I covered county government, commercial fishing – which is a big industry there – and the Gulf War.

New Bern is near the Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, so I did lots of stories on the effects the war had on the wives and children left behind while the husbands and dads were fighting in Iraq. As one elementary-school teacher told me, “If one child’s father or mother is killed, the security for the rest of the students is shattered.”

In addition, my photographer and I were lowered by helicopter onto the USS Iwo Jima as it returned to port in Morehead City after deployment. I got to interview the sailors and Marines aboard ship and experience, firsthand, their welcome back by local residents who greeted them in the water in hundreds of small boats to escort them home.

I also interviewed parents of Marines killed in the war, as well as a Marine pilot whose aircraft had been shot down overseas. He spoke about what went through his mind while parachuting into the desert and what happened to him while he was a POW. Luckily, it was toward the end of the war and he was eventually freed to return home.

I also worked three years for the Prince William Journal, covering the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, as well as a slew of criminal cases. And I’ve been with Centre View for almost 19 years, covering Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fair Oaks and Fair Lakes. For the past few years, I’ve also covered Fairfax and some of Lorton and Fairfax Station for the Connection.

Recent Stories

City of Fairfax to Tackle Affordable Housing

Basically, the City of Fairfax’s affordable-housing policy is a work in progress. The City does have a policy but, as its leaders are finding out, it could use some tweaking. It has a flexible policy that between 5 and 12 percent of the total units built should be designated as affordable. But it makes a difference whether these homes are earmarked for those making 80 percent of the City’s median income of $107,000, or 60 percent.

'Not Guilty’ Pleas in Fairfax Crimes

Jesse Matthew slated for March 2015 trial.

On Oct. 20, a Fairfax County grand jury indicted Jesse L. Matthew Jr. in connection with a 2005 attack on a 26-year-old City of Fairfax woman. Last week, he officially entered his pleas in Circuit Court, and now the case against him is moving forward in the judicial system.

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Fairfax City Residents, Businesses Ask for More Affordable Housing

There was standing room only last week when residents and elected officials poured into Fairfax Baptist Church’s fellowship hall to discuss affordable housing in the City of Fairfax. And that church’s pastor, the Rev. Henry Brinton, got right to the point.

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Chantilly: Standing Together

Poplar Tree Elementary School teachers and staff gather together to take a stand against bullying during the school’s recent Bullying Awareness Day.

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Centreville: It’s Time for Turkey Trot

A great way to burn calories before Thanksgiving dinner is to participate in the Virginia Run Turkey Trot. This year’s 26th annual 5K race and 2K fun walk will be held Thursday morning, Nov. 27.

Chantilly Roundups

Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections Thursday, Nov. 20, from 5 p.m. to dusk, at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly.

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Centreville: Four Helpings of Comedy and Drama

Centreville High’s One-Act Play Festival.

Comedy, drama and four plays for the price of one are all on the bill at Centreville High. Its One-Act Play Festival is set for this Friday-Saturday, Nov. 21-22, at 7:30 p.m. in the school theater. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Centreville: Life with Cancer Helps Families

An interview with Vanessa Spiller.

Most years, the Virginia Run Turkey Trot is dedicated to a community resident who’s died of cancer in the months preceding the race. But this year, it’s being held in honor of those affected by cancer.

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Oakton High School Presents 'Fahrenheit 451'

Featuring a cast and crew of 35, Oakton High presents the thought-provoking drama, “Fahrenheit 451.” The curtain rises Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 20, 21 and 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door only.

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‘We Need to Keep Our Children Fed’

Vienna CROP Walk raises more than $30,000.

Many of those participating in Vienna’s 10th Annual CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk had done so for several years. Others, like resident Martha Nichols, were walking in it for the first time.

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