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Bonnie Hobbs

Stories by Bonnie

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Fairfax: Four People Share Their Own Stories

They tell how the Lamb Center changed their lives.

During the Lamb Center’s banquet last week, the center’s assistant director, Patti Brown, said the guests inspire her every day. Four of them then shared their stories with those attending the event.

Fairfax: ‘A Place Where Hope Is Restored’

Community celebrates the Lamb Center’s blessings.

Each year, the Lamb Center in Fairfax holds a celebration banquet to acknowledge and appreciate its many blessings. This year, more than ever, it has a great deal to celebrate, and it did so last Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Waterford in Fair Oaks.

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Seeing the Childhood of an Iconic Character

Chantilly High presents “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

Most people are familiar with the story of “Peter Pan,” but don’t know how he became the boy who never grew up. So Chantilly High is telling his prequel in its upcoming play, “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

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Gathering Against Hunger

They measure, weigh and package food for Stop Hunger Now.

Besides feeding the soul, churches can also feed the body — literally. And on Sunday, Sept. 25, members of Centreville United Methodist Church (CUMC) did just that.

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ONC, Kim Recognized at Centreville Day

Each year, the Centreville Day Planning Committee recognizes individuals or organizations making a difference in Centreville. This year’s awards, presented by Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) on Saturday, Oct. 15, went to Yom Chu Kim, Citizen of the Year, and Our Neighbor’s Child (ONC), Nonprofit Citizen of the Year.

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Fairfax: ‘It’s a Place that Feels Like Home’

Cobbdale Assisted Living opens in Fairfax.

Cobbdale Assisted Living opened Sept. 1 in the City of Fairfax. But instead of being in an industrial-looking facility, it’s in a renovated home in a quiet, established, residential neighborhood.

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Centreville: ‘A Great Resource in our Community’

CIF event celebrates diversity, honors achievement.

The Centreville Immigration Forum (CIF) is dedicated to helping local immigrants find work and better their lives. So it was fitting that the theme for its second annual dinner was “Celebrating Our Global Community.”

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Come One, Come All to Centreville Day

Fun-filled, community celebration is this Saturday.

A fusion of community camaraderie, history and fun for all ages, the 24th annual Centreville Day celebration is this Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., in Historic Centreville Park, 5714 Mount Gilead Road (off Braddock Road, across Route 29 from the IHOP).

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Fairfax: Three Properties Are Recognized

Homeowners receive Residential Appearance Awards.

When it comes to homes, looks count – and three properties in the City of Fairfax were recently honored with Residential Appearance Awards. They were presented during the Sept. 13 City Council meeting by Kirk Holley, chairman of the Community Appearance Committee.

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Fairfax Fall Festival is Saturday, Oct. 8

Promises entertainment and fun for all ages.

The City of Fairfax is the place to be this Saturday, Oct. 8, for the 40th annual Fairfax Fall Festival. (Rain date, Oct. 9). Admission is free and the live music will continue after dark. Vendors will be there from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the carnival runs until 8 p.m. and musicians will jam in Old Town Square until 8:30 p.m.

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City of Fairfax Honors Skeins

Names basketball court in Ratcliffe Park in his memory.

Harold Skeins was 78, but he was a fixture at Ratcliffe Park, happy to play basketball there as often as he could. His three-point shot was legendary, and he could hold his own with players young enough to be his grandchildren.

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Centreville Day: Parade, Pets, Music, Children’s Games

24th annual Centreville Day is Saturday, Oct. 15.

It’s time for sweaters, autumn leaves, pumpkin-spice lattes — and Centreville Day. This year’s event, the 24th annual, will be Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., in Historic Centreville Park, 5714 Mount Gilead Road (off Braddock Road, across Route 29 from the IHOP).

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Fairfax: Music, Food, Crafts, Carnival and Fun

Fairfax Fall Festival is Saturday, Oct. 8.

Autumn is on its way and so is the 40th annual Fairfax Fall Festival. It’s set for Saturday, Oct. 8, in downtown Fairfax and admission is free. Vendors will be there from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with the carnival running until 8 p.m. and musicians performing in Old Town Square until 8:30 p.m. (Rain date, Oct. 9).

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Got a Hankering for Craft Beer?

Chantilly’s first annual BrewFest will quench that thirst.

Take six breweries, four bands, four food trucks, add a large dash of fun and the result is Fairfax County’s first-ever Craft BrewFest.

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First Lady Comes to GMU, Campaigns for Clinton

Speaks on Hillary Clintons 'lifelong record of public service.'

Excitement filled the air when First Lady Michelle Obama addressed an enthusiastic crowd, last Friday, Sept. 16, at GMU’s Johnson Center. Speaking on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, she urged everyone to vote and called Clinton the only qualified candidate in the race.

Fairfax: Federal Funds Coming to Fire Department

Money is earmarked for training and staffing.

Two, good-sized chunks of money are coming to the City of Fairfax and its Fire Department, courtesy of the federal government. The funds are to be used for staffing and training.

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Paul VI Site Challenge: Striking Right Balance

One plan preserves part of school; other creates a replica.

Since Paul VI High School will leave the City of Fairfax in 2020, plans are underway to redevelop its 18.5-acre site along Fairfax Boulevard. And last Tuesday, Sept. 6, developer IDI Group Cos. presented two possible design concepts to a joint work session of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission.

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Chantilly: Fast-Food Restaurant Proposed

Chantilly Place Shopping Center needs county’s OK for drive-through window.

A new, fast-food restaurant is planned for the Chantilly Place Shopping Center on Willard Road, east of Route 28. It just needs Fairfax County’s approval for a drive-through use associated with it.

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Policing with Compassion

Building trust between residents and police.

Most residents aren’t even aware that Fairfax County has a Communities of Trust (COT) Committee. But it held a Town Hall Meeting last Saturday, Sept. 10, at Centreville Baptist Church with the theme, “Communities Working Together: Justice, Unity and Peace.”

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Popular Car Show Comes to Fairfax

Will be held on Labor Day on University Drive.

Labor Day in the City of Fairfax will be anything but ordinary. That’s because, for the first time ever, the hugely popular Clifton Lions Club Labor Day Car Show has moved to the City.

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Chantilly: From 80 Students to 625

Walker reflects on the camp’s strengths.

Lawrence Walker retired in 2012 after being Franklin Middle School’s band director for 28 years. But each summer, he returns to direct its Band and Orchestra Camp.

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Chantilly: ‘You Make Friends and Learn a Lot’

Franklin Middle holds 30th annual Band and Orchestra Camp.

Daniel Starykh has been playing trumpet for a year and came to Franklin Middle School’s 30th annual Band and Orchestra Camp so he could improve. Happy with his decision, he said, “My teachers are really nice and they help a lot.”

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Fairfax: Looking Toward the Future

Multifamily homes and redevelopment.

Several development projects are either proposed or in the works in the City of Fairfax and its environs. Below are details about some of them:

Chantilly: Frey To Lead Study Group

Dulles Suburban Area Study Advisory Group formed.

For the first time in 23 years, the Dulles Suburban Center is getting a thorough review. Work has already begun to document what’s there now and consider recommendations for potential land-use changes and future development. And now, Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) has established the Dulles Suburban Area Study Advisory Group to help with this task. She’s also named former Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey as its chairman.

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Fairfax: Stombres Takes the Reins – For Now

Appointed interim mayor until after a February 2017 special election.

Before an overflow crowd Tuesday night, the Fairfax City Council named former City Councilman Steve Stombres to serve as interim mayor.

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Fairfax: Remembering Harold Skeins

Family, community remember Harold Skeins.

Some 60 people gathered Sunday night on the basketball court in Fairfax’s Ratcliffe Park for a candlelight vigil in memory of Harold Skeins.

Chantilly: Big Day for Eric Latcheran

Chantilly resident proud to wear Knights of Columbus uniform.

Eric Latcheran, 29, of Chantilly’s Poplar Tree Estates community, is a busy person. He holds down two jobs, performs in bands, has strong friendships — including a girlfriend — and raises money for Best Buddies, which promotes friendships with and jobs for people with intellectual disabilities.

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Centreville/Chantilly: ‘Inspiration’ to Animal Shelter

Local girls raise money for the facility.

Tara Sankner and Shelby Mysel are two youths with big hearts and a love for animals. And for the second year in a row, they held a fundraiser for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

‘Getting Arrested … a Blessing’

Former gang member reveals what that life is really like.

According to police Capt. Bob Blakley, “Eighty percent of the property crimes in the Sully District are gang-related or done by their affiliates. And even a higher percentage of the violent crimes here are done at the hands of gang members – and that’s a huge problem. This year, we’ve had three, drive-by shootings into occupied dwellings, one in Chantilly and two in Centreville.”

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Fairfax: City Residents Have Their Say

Surprise, sadness in aftermath of Silverthorne’s arrest.

Scott Silverthorne was front and center at every City of Fairfax ribbon-cutting, new business opening, fundraiser and just plain fun event like Rock the Block or Fido Fest.

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Fairfax: Small City, Big Scandal

Mayor arrested in sex-for-meth police sting.

If someone tossed a live, hand grenade in the middle of Fairfax, it potentially wouldn’t have caused as much damage or such utter shock and amazement as the news that Mayor Scott Silverthorne was arrested. And not for a traffic infringement, but for a felony involving group sex with men in exchange for drugs.

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Fairfax Snapshot: Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

On Saturday, Aug. 6, some 800 children cooled off at the Double Bubble Run in Van Dyck Park. They frolicked in bubbles, ran through obstacles and zipped down a 50-foot-high, inflatable, shark waterslide.

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Fairfax: Roof Fire Breaks Out at University Mall

Firefighters respond to Bangkok Golden Thai Restaurant.

Often, when there’s a fire at a restaurant, it starts in the kitchen. But a fire last week at a Thai restaurant in University Mall started on the roof, through no fault of the restaurant, at all.

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Centreville/Chantilly: Building Trust in the Community

Residents, police and firefighters join together during National Night Out.

Hot dogs, ice cream, water games, laughter and fun were all part of last week’s annual National Night Out celebration in the local area. It was held Tuesday evening, Aug. 2, and enabled community residents and public-safety personnel to meet each other, mingle and share some time together in a happy and relaxed atmosphere.

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Police Charge Clifton Man with Murder

Caterer dies from stabbing after E.C. Lawrence Park wedding.

Weddings are normally happy affairs that don’t end in tragedy. But an argument over folding chairs after a Saturday wedding in Chantilly’s Ellanor C. Lawrence Park resulted in a woman’s death and a man being charged with murder.

Fairfax Mulls New Name, Logo and Slogan

To fine-tine and promote City's identity.

Should the City of Fairfax change its name to Fairfax City? What should its new logo look like? What shape should it be, and what colors? These and other questions have been under consideration by the City Council as it determines the City’s brand and identity.

Fairfax: Firearms Training Center Is Moving Forward

Will give local police a more modern firing range.

The current firearms training center for the City’s Police Department was built in 1985 of cinderblock and wood. It has six firing lanes, a small classroom, a weapons-cleaning area and a office that doubles as an armory.

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Chantilly: ‘A Great Addition to Our Community’

New townhouse development is coming to Chantilly.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors put out the welcome mat last week for a rezoning that’ll bring two dozen new townhouses to Chantilly. The community will be at Elmwood and Vernon streets and will be called Rockland Village Green.

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Centreville: Infusion of Cash for I-66/Route 28 Improvements

Agency allocates $300 million for I-66/Route 28.

Good news for drivers who take the I-66/Route 28 exits and entrances in Centreville — and in this area, that’s pretty much everyone. A fix for the congestion, especially during rush hours, just took a giant step toward becoming a reality.

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Fairfax: Students Win Silver Medals at Nationals

They participated in an FCCLA competition in California.

When local students Christian Heiche, Chloe Kim and Laura Stravach flew home from California recently, they did so with something new around their necks – silver medals.

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.”