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

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‘Don’t Be Afraid to be Different’

Robinson grad performs in “Shrek the Musical.”

A big green ogre, a princess, a wisecracking donkey and a love-struck dragon – they’ll all be onstage when The Alliance Theatre’s Summer Stars program presents “Shrek the Musical.” And right there with them will be Robinson Secondary graduate Spencer Boyd.

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The End of an Era

After 33 years, Robinson’s Chip Rome retires.

It’s the end of an era at Robinson Secondary: Legendary Theater Director Chip Rome has retired. In 1981, he became the fourth drama teacher the school hired that year, and he more than provided stability. He spent all 33 years of his FCPS career there.

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Hosting Safetypalooza

Boy Scouts, professionals teach children how to avoid trouble.

Thanks to 15-year-old Boy Scout Alex Battani, several local children know more about bike, bus and fire safety, as well as avoiding strangers. A rising junior at Westfield High, he put on a Safetypalooza at the Sully District Police Station. Also participating was police Crime Prevention Specialist Tara Gerhard, with that station, plus firefighters from the Springfield District Station and members of the Blue Suit Pacers Cycling Team.

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Creative Dance Center, Pat Mitchell Unite

Spotlight Theater Camp starts Aug. 4.

There’s a new, local theater program with a familiar face at the helm. Westfield High grad and theater alumnus Pat Mitchell is partnering with Creative Dance Center (CDC) to put on Spotlight Theater Camp. The camp will run Aug. 4-8, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at CDC, 14155-E Sullyfield Circle in Chantilly. For more information and to register, go to www.cdctheater.com. Mitchell’s excited about it and is hoping for a good turnout.

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‘Brothers, Neighbors, Friends’

Chantilly resident installed as officer with The Knights of Columbus.

Eric Latcheran, 27, of Chantilly’s Poplar Tree Estates community, has Down syndrome. Yet his intellectual disabilities don’t stop him from leading a full life.

Community’s Help Needed for Immigrant Children

The Centreville Labor Resource Center (CLRC) is collecting donations for the 70 immigrant children and 15 young mothers.

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‘Realizing that Being Different Is OK’

Vienna, Oakton residents perform in ‘Shrek the Musical.’

A big green ogre, a princess, a wisecracking donkey and a love-struck dragon – they’ll all be onstage when The Alliance Theatre’s Summer Stars program presents “Shrek the Musical.”

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‘They’re Thinking Beyond Themselves’

They’re of Indian descent, so they’re helping Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), which works mainly in India, Pakistan and Nepal.

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Oak Hill Resident in ‘Shrek the Musical’

A big green ogre, a princess, a wisecracking donkey and a love-struck dragon – they’ll all be onstage when The Alliance Theatre’s Summer Stars program presents “Shrek the Musical.”

Apartments, Retail Planned: Kamp Washington Triangle

Fairfax City Council concerned about density, affordability.

It’s still a work in progress, but Novus Fairfax Gateway LLC hopes to transform part of the Kamp Washington triangle between Fairfax Boulevard and Lee Highway into a modern, community-serving, mixed-use project.

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