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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‘You Just Have to Believe’

Local girl competes in national solo ice dancing championship.

Just 15, Paul VI sophomore LaDan Nemati has a full plate. From November-February, she skates with a synchronized skating team in Delaware; and during the spring, summer and early fall, she does solo ice dancing.

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‘[This] Will Change Our Lives’

Community, Paisano’s unite to purchase an accessible van.

Last Friday, Sept. 12, was a night when dreams came true. On Centreville High’s football field, the Wildcats trounced West Potomac, 54-0. And on the sidelines at halftime, Centreville senior Juwaan Espinal, 17, was presented with an accessible van.

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Attending Classes in Korea

Fairfax Academy student will spend school year there.

Normally, Serena Gregory would have just begun her last year at Chantilly High, caught up in the excitement of new classes, old friends and the thrill of being a senior. She’d also be playing volleyball, basketball and lacrosse for the Chargers. Instead, the former Korean-language student at the Fairfax Academy is now in another part of the world, spending the school year in Korea.

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Remembering America’s Fallen Heroes

Each year, the firefighters of West Centreville Station 38 honor the firefighters who died in the 9/11 tragedy in New York by placing flags outside their station.

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In Solemn Remembrance

Local bugler plays ‘Taps’ in honor of the Sept. 11 victims.

Throughout Virginia and the U.S., people commemorated last Thursday’s 13th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Locally, Theodore Smith, an 83-year old volunteer with Bugles Across America, did it in his own, special way.

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‘In Charge of Your Own Little World’

Featuring 45 tables of trains and train accessories, a “train doctor” who repaired broken trains and an operating layout built by three boys, the Train Collectors Sale and Show was held Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Vienna Firehouse.

Residents Still Upset about Follin Lane

Want Town Council to become more involved before project starts.

The Town of Vienna plans to widen Follin Lane from two to three lanes, level the grade of the road at the Hine Street intersection and remove the brush.

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A New Face at Laurel Ridge

Tonya Cox takes the helm as principal.

Born in Norfolk and raised in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County, Tonya Cox figured she’d either go into education like her mother or ministry like her father. Then, while in college, she substituted for her mother, during spring and summers, and was hooked.

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Attending Classes in a Foreign Country

Fairfax Academy student will spend school year in Korea.

Normally, Serena Gregory would have just begun her last year at Chantilly High, caught up in the excitement of new classes, old friends and the thrill of being a senior.

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Residents Speak Out on Maple Avenue

Second public hearing on proposed, new zoning district.

One thing about Vienna residents – when they care about something, they’re not shy about making their feelings known. And that’s exactly what they did during an Aug. 18 public hearing on the proposed Maple Avenue Corridor (MAC) zoning district. A standing-room-only crowd of some 150 people packed the Town Council meeting room, while still more watched the proceedings on a TV in the hallway. And at the outset, Mayor Laurie DiRocco explained the MAC’s goals.

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