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Bonnie Hobbs

Stories by Bonnie

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Oak Knolls Project Makes Big Changes in Fairfax

New proposal swaps apartments for condos.

There’s a plan afoot to redevelop the Oak Knolls Apartments. But the proposal has changed significantly since it was presented last spring to the Fairfax City Council.

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Big Changes Planned for Lotte Market in Fairfax

New façade, better parking, less big trucks and traffic.

For many years, the Lotte market in Fairfax has been a popular grocery store, especially with its Asian customers. But its exterior has been an eyesore to the public.

Team Members Teach Children with Autism

Besides participating in robotics competitions, team Robowiz also did community outreach via the START (Spreading Technology And Robotics Together) program. It partnered with the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) to encourage children with autism to develop an interest in robotics.

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‘You Start with a Box of Metal’

Local robotics team heads to two state championships.

It’s a big deal when a team, academic or athletic, reaches the state championships. But it’s even more impressive when that team does it in two, different states. Meet team Robowiz – 10 local students who’ve reached that level in both Virginia and Maryland. The eight boys and two girls live in Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax and are in grades eight through 10.

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‘The Sidewalk Will Increase Safety’

City Council Votes to Improve Section of Roberts Road in Fairfax

Pending receipt of the necessary funds, the west side of Roberts Road in Fairfax – between Main Street and Sager Avenue – will be getting a new sidewalk, curb and gutter. The Fairfax City Council approved this action at its Jan. 13 meeting. Not all the residents are happy about it and not all the Council members are in agreement. But in the end, it’s believed that the project will make the city more walkable and this portion of Roberts Road safer.

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Thousands Throng to City of Fairfax

Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival was Feb. 7-8.

Meals for Young Minds

The Chocolate Lovers Festival Committee is again supporting the Fairfax Kiwanis Meals for Young Minds Program with multiple, food drop-off locations during the festival. This program provides meals to local, elementary-school students who don’t have food to eat on the weekends.

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Chocolate Cookbook and Valentine

It’s always fun to bring home souvenirs from the Chocolate Festival, and two of them are the official, Chocolate Lovers Festival Cookbook and the annual, commemorative Valentine.

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‘It’s Such a Good Fit’

Naomi Project joins Our Daily Bread to help struggling mothers.

For the past 19 years, the nonprofit Naomi Project of Northern Virginia has worked with high-risk, pregnant women and new mothers to help them have healthy pregnancies and babies. It’s now become a program of the nonprofit Our Daily Bread (ODB) and, on Jan. 22, the two groups celebrated their union. “It’s a natural offshoot of what we’re already doing with moms,” said ODB spokeswoman Heather Webb. “This is another way that we can help them build families and get on a better financial footing.”

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Pancakes, Candy, Fudge, Ice Cream and More

Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is Feb. 7-8.

Get your sweet tooth ready – the 23rd annual City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is this weekend, Feb. 7-8. Featuring delicious, chocolate fun for both children and adults, the event includes a Taste of Chocolate, a Chocolate Challenge, musical performances, a chocolate movie – “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” – fairy tales, a fire-safety puppet show, face-painting, a Chocolate Caper mock trial, cupcake-decorating, magic, juggling and open houses in historic buildings.

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Fairfax’s Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival Feb. 7-8

Heaven for chocolate aficionados – that’s the City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival. And this year’s 23rd annual extravaganza is set for Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 7-8. The scrumptious and fun-filled weekend features everything from a competition to see who can make the most beautiful and creative chocolate sculptures, cakes and cupcakes to a chocolate-themed movie and a luscious sampling of chocolate treats from area vendors. It’s also a chance to buy mouthwatering presents for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Festival Event Schedule

Saturday, Feb. 7

Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fire Station 3, 4081 University Drive Join the Kiwanis Club of Fairfax for its Chocolate Lovers Pancake Breakfast. The menu features pancakes (regular and chocolate chip) and sausage. Coffee, juice and milk also will be served.

A Children’s Classic Comes to Life

Fairfax Academy student has lead role in “Beauty and the Beast.”

A beloved children’s story comes to life when Centreville High presents the Disney musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” And playing one of the lead roles is senior Nick Ingargiola, who attends the Fairfax Academy for musical theater. “The actors have just blown me away,” said Director Mike Hudson. “We had a preaudition last May, and we had no idea we’d get this level of talent. About half the kids are choral students, but we’re also blessed with theater students who can sing.”

Open Houses, Exhibits during Festival

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main St., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., This building was constructed in 1873 with bricks made at the Farr property across Main Street. The oldest brick, two-story, school building remaining in Fairfax cost just $2,750 to build. Stop in for chocolate treats while learning about the City’s colorful history; free admission.

‘It’ll Be Another Challenging Year’ in Fairfax County

Frey discusses the state of the Sully District.

Money — and the lack of enough of it to do everything needing to be done — is at the heart of Fairfax County’s problems. And Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) doesn’t expect the situation to change anytime soon.

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Computers, Radios, Vehicles, Firearms Center Renovation

Pardiny makes his pitch for budget funds.

Everyone wants a piece of the City of Fairfax budget pie, including the Police Department. Below are some of the items its leader requested during a Dec. 2 joint work session of the City Council and Planning Commission. The first thing on Police Chief Carl Pardiny’s FY 2016 CIP list was money for information technology. “We’re replacing the department’s 22 servers and office computers, plus the mobile laptops used by the officers in their cruisers,” he said.

Bleachers, HVACs, Tile, Paving, Walls and Roofs

Noonan explains the City schools’ needs.

At the recent, joint meeting of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission, Schools Superintendent Peter Noonan detailed the City Schools’ five-year CIP. “We have outstanding students and teachers and world-class facilities,” he said. Yet several needs still exist, including the following:

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Claudette Ward of Centreville: 80 Years Young

Family, friends celebrate her birthday on Sunday.

More than 100 family members and friends gathered Sunday afternoon, Jan. 18, in Centreville United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall to celebrate Claudette Ward’s 80th birthday.

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Chantilly: Otal Named Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Brookfield’s Otal Honored

Brookfield Elementary counselor Carole Zendle wanted to nominate Kathleen Otal, the previous school year, for the FCPS Elementary School Counselor of the Year. But, saying she doesn’t do her job for recognition, Otal wouldn’t let her. This school year, though, Otal — also at Brookfield — relented. Zendle nominated her and Otal won.

Phony Stamps in Fairfax: Two Years Probation

A local businessman has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. He is Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax.

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Equipment Replacement and ADA-Compliancy

Parks and Recreation and Historic Resources offer CIP proposals.

With an eye on the upcoming City of Fairfax budget decisions, various department heads recently presently their FY 2016 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) wish lists to a joint work session of the City Council and Planning Commission.

Fire Department Presents Planned Capital Projects

They include fire station, training-center needs, plus traffic preemption.

During a Dec. 2 joint work session of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission, Fire Chief Dave Rohr presented his department’s proposed FY 2016 CIP (Capital Improvement Program). He said the funds are needed for three projects.

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Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey Not Running for Reelection

‘You reach a time where change is appropriate.’

After giving his State of Sully address Monday night, Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) said his next words almost matter-of-factly. “Regarding the upcoming elections in November, I will not be seeking reelection,” he said. “You reach a time where change is appropriate, and that time has come for me.”

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Was Downtown Traffic Switch Successful?

City Council hears results of professional study.

To create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown area, in August 2006, the City of Fairfax reconfigured Main and North Streets from one-way to two-way. Now, though, the City Council wants to know whether it was a good decision or if it’s been detrimental to the Old Town area.

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Christmas Comes to the Hanley Shelter

Police officers from the Fair Oaks District Station, plus students from Chantilly and Centreville high schools, helped bring Christmas to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter. On Dec. 19, they brought new, unwrapped toys to the Fairfax shelter, which serves mothers and young children.

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Fairfax Academy Students Create Own Horror Films

All three levels of the Professional Television Production classes at the Fairfax Academy recently presented original horror films they created based on only two sentences given to them by their teacher, Matthew Balthrop, a new addition this year to the Fairfax Academy family.

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Four Plays to Offer Drama and Comedy

Fairfax High presents Winter One-Act Festival.

Both comedy and drama will take the stage when Fairfax High presents its student-directed, Winter One-Act Festival. The curtain rises Thursday-Friday, Jan. 8-9, at 7:30 p.m. Four plays are offered; tickets are $5 at the door.

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‘Children Are Going to Love These Books’

Scout donates original works to Hanley Shelter.

Eagle Scout projects are all about helping people, and Garrett Anderson’s project certainly fits the bill. Thanks to his efforts, children staying at the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter now have 11 new and original books to read and enjoy.

Centreville Man Charged with Murder

Three days after a Centreville man was killed in his home in the Meadows community, Fairfax County police have charged one of his roommates with his murder.

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Protecting Dogs in the City of Fairfax

City Council passes one-hour maximum tethering ordinance.

When the Fairfax City Council last week passed one of the most stringent tethering laws in the state, it pleased many residents and animal advocates. “It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of work,” said Fairfax resident Tim Parmly, who directs an equine-welfare group. “It’s an ordinance much-needed to protect the dogs in this City.”

It’s Four Lanes All the Way from Chantilly to Centreville

Newly widened Stringfellow Road opens to traffic.

It’s been a long time coming but, on Monday, Dec. 15, Stringfellow Road became four lanes all the way from Route 50 in Chantilly to Route 29 in Centreville. And the newly widened section opened to drivers six months ahead of schedule.

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ONC Volunteers Make Like Santa’s Elves in Centreville

Volunteers with Our Neighbor’s Child gathered up and packaged Christmas gifts, Dec. 11, for nearly 800 local families.

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Ho Ho Holiday Show in Chantilly

Westfield High’s children’s theater presents its annual “Ho Ho Holiday Show,” Friday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m.

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Holiday Mischief at the North Pole

Encore presents musical show, “3 Days ’til Christmas!”

Reindeer, elves and dancing snowflakes are all part of the holiday joy in Encore Theatrical Arts Project’s upcoming musical extravaganza, called “3 Days ’til Christmas!” it’ll be presented at NOVA’s Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike in Annandale.

Centreville and Chantilly Roundups

Volunteer opportunities, free services, updates on road closures and other important community information for the Centreview community.

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Stone’s Panther Drop-Off, Community Help ONC in Centreville

The nonprofit, all-volunteer Our Neighbor’s Child (ONC) is collecting presents for local families in need to give to their children on Christmas. To donate new clothes or toys, or to help with the deliveries, this Sunday, Dec. 14, email Volunteer@ourneighborschild.org.

‘Every Storm Has its Challenges’

City of Fairfax prepares in advance for snow removal.

Because last winter was so severe, the City of Fairfax had to remove a larger amount of snow and ice than it had anticipated. Staff cleared nearly 40 inches of snow, costing $502,000 and causing a drain on city resources.

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Christmas Cookies, Carols and Crafts

Children enjoyed lunch with Santa, Christmas music and holiday crafts, Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Sherwood Center in Fairfax.

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Holiday Mischief at the North Pole (and in Annandale)

Encore presents musical show, “3 Days ’til Christmas!”

Reindeer, elves and dancing snowflakes are all part of the holiday joy in Encore Theatrical Arts Project’s upcoming musical extravaganza. Called “3 Days ’til Christmas!” it’ll be presented at NOVA’s Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike in Annandale.

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Redemption through the Power of Love in Chantilly

Chantilly High presents “A Christmas Carol.”

A timeless, holiday classic comes to life when Chantilly High presents Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.”

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Ushering in Holiday Season in Centreville

CVHS presents choral concert.

Centreville High’s Choral Department will present its annual Winter Concert on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the school theater. The concert is free to all, and refreshments will be served afterward.

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‘Dream Come True’ for Lamb Center

City Council paves way for move to new site and building.

Since 1992, The Lamb Center in Fairfax has served as a place of refuge for the poor and homeless. It’s a daytime, drop-in shelter providing hot meals, showers, laundry services, and recovery and employment counseling.

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Fairfax City Council Supports Lamb Center Project

During the Nov. 18 public hearing on The Lamb Center’s request to move to a new building in a different part of Fairfax City, people spoke on both sides of the issue.

Tell Teens ‘Things Will Get Better’

Fairfax High hosts meeting about youth suicide.

In light of recent suicides by students from Fairfax, Woodson and Langley high schools, Fairfax High hosted a meeting Nov. 19 to discuss the problem and search for solutions. The idea was to begin an ongoing exchange between parents, students, staff, community members and mental-health professionals.

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Vienna Community Center Renovation Details Revealed

Slated to open in April 2016, the enlarged and renovated Vienna Community Center will be a state-of-the-art facility with a new, regulation-sized gym. And on Nov. 17, the Vienna Town Council approved its revised site plan.

Vienna Making Plans for 125th Anniversary

Town of Vienna was founded in 1890.

The Town of Vienna’s 125th anniversary is next year, and plans to commemorate it are already beginning. In fact, the Town Council has already allocated $10,000 for it.

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Patient First Facility Heading to Fairfax

Will also provide inter-parcel access to shopping center.

Patient First is opening a walk-in medical facility in the City of Fairfax. It got the go-ahead last Tuesday, Nov. 18, from the Fairfax City Council, following a public hearing.

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Chantilly: ‘She Eats, Sleeps and Breathes Music’

Chantilly High student to perform with Army’s All-American Marching Band.

Chantilly High senior Mari Takeda has an extra-special reason to look forward to the holidays. On Jan. 3, 2015, she’ll join an elite group of musicians who’ll perform at halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

A Holiday Classic Comes to Life in Fairfax

“A Christmas Carol” offers dinner and a play.

A holiday classic comes to life in an intimate, dinner-theater setting when the City of Fairfax Theatre Co. and Truro Anglican Church present “A Christmas Carol.” Guided by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Ebenezer Scrooge will take a journey leading to his transformation and redemption.

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Centreview: Briney Honored As Officer of Month

PFC Shannon Briney has been a Fairfax County police officer for 12 years and, for the past three, she’s been assigned to the Sully District Station.

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