Bonnie Hobbs | Staff

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

A Tale of Drug-Dealing, Money and Murder

On March 15, 2001, Centreville High grad Danny Petrole, 21, was shot and killed outside his Bristow townhouse. The crime involved drug-dealing and money, and the shooter – Chantilly High grad Owen Barber IV, 21, who pleaded guilty in court – received 38 years in prison.

Wolfe Sentenced to 41 Years in Prison

Convicted of the March 2001 murder of Danny Petrole.

Except for the prosecutors, no one involved in Justin Wolfe’s murder sentencing last week left the courtroom happy. The victim’s family still grieves a son, Wolfe’s family continues to have a hole in it and Wolfe, himself, has decades more to serve in prison.

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WFCM Seeks Community’s Help Providing Backpacks

Hoping to furnish them for 2,000 local schoolchildren.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) is once more collecting new backpacks for local students in need. It hopes to provide nearly 2,000 backpacks for qualified, low- income children attending 23 different schools in the Centreville, Chantilly and Westfield high school pyramids, plus Mountain View High.

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Fairfax City: Two Residents Honored with Mayor’s Awards

Fairfax City Mayor Scott Silverthorne honored two residents last week with special Mayor’s Awards.

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Fairfax City: Cops and Kids Having Fun

City of Fairfax police held their second annual Cops and Kids Day, on July 13. Children learned safety lessons, saw SWAT team, K-9 and motorcycle-riding demonstrations and enjoyed popcorn and ice cream.

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Chantilly: Pirates and Mermaids and Parrots, Oh, My!

Chantilly High presents funny and swashbuckling children’s play.

An 8-year-old boy’s pirate adventures on the high seas will elicit laughter in Chantilly High’s children’s show, “Pirates! Theodore Thud and the Quest for Weird Beard.”

Chantilly: Jason Deal Selected as Officer of Month

Each month, the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Sully District Police Station honors one of the station’s officers for his or her outstanding service to the police and to the community. And Officer Jason Deal was selected as Officer of the Month for May.

‘76 Trombones Led the Big Parade’

Centreville resident has a leading role in “The Music Man.”

When fast-talking Harold Hill comes to River City, Iowa with a grand plan to create the finest band in America, the townspeople are thrilled. But straight-laced librarian Marian Paroo thinks it’s all just a scam.

Fairfax City: Paul VI Theater Director Katherine Miller ‘graduates.’

After 13 years at Paul VI High, Theater Director Katherine Miller is retiring – but don’t tell her that. “I’m not retiring,” she said, “I’m graduating.”

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Making History Come to Life

For Andrew Dilworth, Rocky Run’s “iWitness to History Day” came full circle. “I went to this program as a student here,” he said. “I’m a substitute teacher at Rocky Run this year and I was hired full-time as an eighth-grade civics teacher for the coming year.”

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