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Jeanne Theismann

Stories by Jeanne

Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet Dies at 61

Longtime Old Town resident Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet died Dec. 18, 2013 at her home in Alexandria.

Santa's Helpers

BFSPA makes holidays bright for area children.

BFSPA makes holidays bright for area children.

Firefighters and Friends collect more than 3,500 toys for area children.

Christmas came a few days early for more than 100 children from local Head Start programs as they picked out toys during the annual Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue toy drive Dec. 17 at Penn Daw Station 11.

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New Year’s Eve

First Night makes Alexandria the place to be.

Billed as the largest family-friendly New Year's Eve party in the greater Washington area, more than 100 live performances will take place throughout Old Town as part of First Night Alexandria, a day-long event filled with entertainment and culminating with a fireworks finale over the Potomac River along the waterfront.

Santa's Helpers

SSSA students donate to Firefighters and Friends toy drive.

Students from St. Stephens and St. Agnes Upper and Middle School donated more than 300 toys and gift cards as part of the 2013 Firefighters and Friends annual Holiday Toy Drive.

Deck the Halls

Vintage ornaments recapture holiday magic for Old Town resident.

The Christmas tree as we know it today dates back to the 16th century. But until the mid-1800s, they were mostly decorated with edibles like fruits and nuts. That's when German entrepreneurs based in the glassblowing center of Lauscha had the idea to begin producing decorative tree ornaments made out of blown glass.

‘Tis the Season

Greed, ghosts and redemption in LTA’s ‘A Christmas Carol.’

It’s a tale nearly as old as time: The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is ethically and emotionally transformed after being haunted by visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come in the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol," now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Let There Be Light

'A Christmas Story' wins Best in Show.

Crowds lined Alexandria's waterfront Dec. 7 as nearly 40 boats cruised the Potomac River to take part in the 14thAnnual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.

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Vola Lawson Dies at 79

Former City Manager was a trailblazer for women, minorities.

In the midst of the turbulent race relations of the 1960s, a proper Southern Belle from Atlanta joined the Urban League in picketing Alexandria's City Hall, where the Confederate flag still flew proudly above Market Square. Little did the young bride know just how much her courage and leadership would help shape the next five decades of the city's history.

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Shop ‘Til You Drop

More than 30 female artisans will showcase their crafts Dec. 8 at the 16th Annual Women’s Holiday Art Show in support of the City of Alexandria’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

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43rd Scottish Walk Weekend

Be prepared as pipes, plaid and pageantry fill the streets of Old Town Dec. 7 during the 43rd annual Scottish Walk Parade, the centerpiece of a weekend of holiday events that includes a Holiday Marketplace, Designer Tour of Homes and Taste of Scotland cocktail reception.

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Thinking Small

White House Drug Czar visits Holy Cow.

White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske paid a visit to Del Ray's Holy Cow restaurant Nov. 30 as part of President Barack Obama's initiative to support “Small Business Saturday.”

Toys for Tots

Firefighters partner with Marine Corps in annual toy drive.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will once again partner with the U.S. Marine Corps in the annual Toys for Tots program and are asking residents to drop off new, unwrapped toys at their neighborhood fire station.

Tales of Triumph

Dominion Power's Johnson launches new book.

Sherman Parker was only 14-years-old when he was selected as one of two African American students to desegregate King George County schools in rural Virginia in the 1960s. Shunning a police escort, he still remembers the angry crowds that greeted him on his first day of school.

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Above and Beyond

Four honored for volunteer service.

Volunteer Alexandria presented the 19th annual Evening in the Heart of Alexandria Awards Oct. 25 in a tribute honoring the exceptional volunteer service of four individuals.

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Lois L. Walker Dies at 73

Memorial service is planned for Oct. 26.

There was never any doubt that Lois Walker cared about the City of Alexandria, a place she called home for over 40 years. On Sunday, Oct. 13, the former City Council woman died in Kayseri, Turkey after contracting pneumonia while on vacation. She was 73.

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Circle of Stars

USO honors top corporate donors.

The USO of Metropolitan Washington honored its top corporate sponsors Oct. 4 at the 10th Annual Stars and Stripes Night gala, naming 37 corporate donors to its 2013 Circle of the Stars.

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Digging into the Future

Construction moves forward at The Exchange at Potomac Yard.

Mayor Bill Euille and U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) joined City of Alexandria officials as the JBG Companies and MidAtlantic Realty Partners held a ceremonial groundbreaking Oct. 9 to officially launch The Exchange at Potomac Yard, a mixed-use development along the Route 1 corridor in Alexandria and Arlington. “Unlike the folks on Capitol Hill, we are moving ahead and keeping people working,” said JGB managing partner Matt Kelly, referring to the federal government shutdown. The first phase of the 19-acre development will include two multi-family communities with a combined 65,000 square feet of retail and nearly 400,000 square feet of office space. The Alric, with 323 residential units, broke ground last February with occupancy expected in September of 2014. “This project is about a future generation of Alexandrians and Northern Virginians,” said Moran, who also made a reference to the lack of productivity on Capitol Hill. “This will be part of a new community where residents can live, work and shop without having to deal with extended traffic interruptions.”

'Del-Ray-Geous'

DRA artists express spirit of Del Ray.

The Del Ray Artisans held an opening night reception Oct. 4 for its latest exhibit, “Del-Ray-Geous,” a members-only show of works that expresses each artist's impressions of the spirit of the Del Ray community. “I tried to capture the unique architecture and feel of the Del Ray community,” said artist Durell Hope, whose colored pencil drawing on display featured the Del Ray Café restaurant. “There is so much vibrancy to this community. It's a very special place and I hope my work reflects that.”

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Healthy Advice — Free

Alfred Street Baptist Church’s community fair offers screenings, immunizations and seminars.

More than 300 people turned out Sept. 28 for the 2013 Alfred Street Baptist Church Community Health Fair, where free health screenings, immunizations and seminars were offered as part of an effort to increase and promote health awareness.

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Review: ‘Come Blow Your Horn’

The American Century Theater dazzles with Neil Simon classic.

It’s been more than half a century since Neil Simon’s “Come Blow Your Horn” made its Broadway debut, launching one of the most successful playwriting careers in the history of the American stage. Filled with what would become Simon’s trademark wisecracking repartee, the autobiographical portrait of a young man leaving home to experience the swinging single lifestyle of the ’60s is performed to perfection by The American Century Theater at Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two in Arlington.

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Review: A Stitch in Time

Powerful “Gee’s Bend” debuts at MetroStage.

It’s officially known as Boykin, Ala., with a population of 275. But the former slave plantation on the banks of the Alabama River gained prominence as Gee’s Bend, an isolated African American community known for the role its folk art quilts played in the struggle for Civil Rights.

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Review: Mean Girls

"The Children’s Hour” at Port City Playhouse.

In 1809, a girls’ boarding school opened in Edinburgh, Scotland, closing a few months later amid rumors involving two of its teachers. The decades-long lawsuit that followed was the inspiration for playwright Lillian Hellman, who more than a century later penned the critically acclaimed “The Children’s Hour,” now playing at Port City Playhouse.

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One Step at a Time

TC grad makes 3,600-mile run for veterans.

When Brendan O'Toole was in high school, he and his friends repeatedly watched “Forrest Gump,” with O'Toole joking that one day he was going to recreate the film character's run across the country. For most young men, the conversation would end there but for O'Toole, a 2007 graduate of T.C. Williams, it was just the beginning.

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Life in the Farce Lane

Cooney’s “Caught in the Net” opens at LTA.

Few will ever compare Ray Cooney to Shakespeare. The king of British bawdiness doesn’t pretend to be the Bard of high-brow literature, but as Britain’s recognized “master of farce,” Cooney’s comic genius is unmatched and on display in “Caught in the Net,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria. Written as a sequel to “Run for Your Wife,” “Caught in the Net” is a fast-paced farce that finds taxi driver John Smith juggling two families in different parts of London. When his teenaged children discover each other on the internet and decide to meet, John’s already complicated life descends even further into disarray.

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For Fallen Heroes

Post 24 hosts newest Medal of Honor recipient.

The Medal of Honor is the U.S.’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. On Aug. 26, Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter became one of only 79 living recipients of the award during a whirlwind day that began at the White House and ended at American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria. “It’s an honor and privilege to have a Medal of Honor recipient at our Post,” said Commander Jim Glassman at a private dinner welcoming Carter, his family and members of his unit to the historic Old Town American Legion building. “We not only welcome Sgt. Carter but also his fellow soldiers whose bravery during the Battle of Kamdesh kept the outpost from being overtaken.”

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All in the Family

Trio rocks Hard Times Café.

After a 20-year absence in Alexandria, the female trio of Huxtable, Christensen and Hood took to the stage Sept. 8, performing to a capacity crowd at Hard Times Café in Old Town. Cheering on the group were Hard Times founders and brothers Jim and Fred Parker, husband of vocalist Carol Christensen, along with their sons Ned and Jonathan Parker. “I think I'm the only Parker without any musical talent,” laughed Ned Parker, whose brother Jonathan is a professional jazz saxophonist. “I guess that's why I'm taking the tickets at the door.”

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Remembering Those Who Serve

First Lady marks Patriot Day at Fort Belvoir.

First Lady Michelle Obama marked the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with a visit to the new USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir.

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Leader Of The Pack

Firefighters distribute 2,400 backpacks to children in need.

Children receive backpacks from local firefighters

'Service Above Self'

Peter Knetemann is 86th Rotary Club president.

“Rotary … seems to attract a neat kind of person. Our members are looking beyond themselves and that's what sets us apart.”

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The Mane Attraction

Firefighters to hold Cuts for Kids Days.

Students from throughout the region will be treated to free back-to-school haircuts thanks to Alexandria and Fairfax County firefighters who are sponsoring the third Cuts for Kids Days Aug. 26-28 at area recreation centers.

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Wickedly Witty

Additional shows added for LTA’s ‘Avenue Q.’

They sing, they dance and — OMG — they even have sex. They’re the potty-mouthed puppets (and their human counterparts) of “Avenue Q,” the Tony Award-winning musical now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Oh, What a Night

National Night Out celebrates 30 years.

Thousands of residents turned out across the city Aug. 6 as Alexandria celebrated the 30th anniversary of National Night Out, a program designed to promote neighborhood spirit and law enforcement-community partnerships in the fight against crime.

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Obituary: Claude 'Buzzie' Harris

Rotarian, former Little League commissioner dies at 81.

It was 1957 when Claude “Buzzie” Harris first laid eyes on Nancy Cooper at a party at George Washington University.

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Puppets for Puppies

LTA musical to benefit local animal charities.

With an abundant use of profanity and episodes of "full puppet nudity," the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q” is not the usual fare from The Little Theatre of Alexandria. But when the storied theater company debuts the Sesame Street-style show July 27, each performance will serve as a fundraiser for several local animal charities.

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TACT Celebrates Traditional and Same-Sex Marriage in 'I Do, I Do'

The times they are a-changin’. When "I Do! I Do!" first opened on Broadway in 1966, the musical by the “Fantasticks” duo Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt was a hit. Based on Jan de Hartog’s popular 1951 play "The Fourposter,” the show chronicles a half-century in the life of a successful marriage.

Piece of Cake

It was a party 264 years in the making as Alexandria celebrated its birthday July 13 with a day of fun and entertainment that culminated with a fireworks display over the Potomac River accompanied by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's playing of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Bench Warmers

Local judge spearheads Substitute Judges Institute.

Attorneys from across Northern Virginia gathered July 9 at Manassas Regional Airport to participate in the Institute for Substitute Judges, a seminar designed by Alexandria General District Court Chief Judge Becky Moore to provide intensive training to better prepare attorneys to serve on the bench.

City To Host National Road Racing Championships

12 km course to include Del Ray, Old Town.

Elite runners from around the world will take to the streets of Alexandria Nov. 17 when the city hosts the .US National Road Racing Championships, a 12-kilometer race that will serve as the finale to the USA Running Circuit series.

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ACVA Bids Farewell to Merrie Morris

ACVA, business community bid farewell to Merrie Morris.

The Alexandria business community turned out in force at the Athenaeum June 20 to bid farewell to Merrie Morris, the longtime director of membership and public affairs for the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

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EagleBank Lands in Old Town

Newest branch opens at 277 S. Washington St.

More than 175 people from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and local business community joined EagleBank in celebrating the official opening of its latest branch with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on June 19 at the bank's facility in Old Town. “It's great to be back in Alexandria,” said EagleBank vice president and branch manager Ed Velarde, who returns to the area following 15 years of commercial banking experience with J.P. Morgan in New York.

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And All That Jazz

Fostering the Future cruise benefits Fund for Alexandria's Child.

More than 225 people donned their finest Great Gatsby attire aboard the Cherry Blossom riverboat for the 10th anniversary of the Fostering the Future cruise June 27 to benefit the Fund for Alexandria's Child.

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Chamber Awards Spotlight Acts of Valor

Laboy, Weismann among honorees for heroism.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce recognized first responders from the Alexandria Police Department, Fire Department and Office of the Sheriff at the 27th Annual Valor Awards held June 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Legion Installs New Officers

Glassman to lead veterans organization.

Vietnam veteran Jim Glassman was sworn in as the new Commander of American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria during a June 12 ceremony to install the organization's 2013-2014 slate of offices and board members.

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Thousands Attend Food and Wine Fest

2nd annual Food and Wine Festival attracts thousands.

More than 5,000 people attended the second annual Alexandria Food and Wine Festival June 22, which was held in the Carlyle District of Alexandria.

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Let the Music Play

10th anniversary Garden Party cultivates ASO support.

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's 10th annual Garden Party drew more than 175 people to the Belle Haven home of Isin and George E. Ludlow June 20 in an event that capped the 25th anniversary celebration of Maestro Kim Allen Kluge.

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‘Twentieth Century’ a wild ride at LTA

Oscar Jaffe has a problem. Following a string of flops, the theatrical impresario is desperate to find a financial backer, a hot script and a dazzling leading lady. He finds all three aboard the Twentieth Century, a luxury train and the latest comedy farce now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Miracle League Ends Season with Festivities

The 2013 Spring Miracle Baseball League completed its season June 1 at the Kelley Cares Miracle Field with Uncle Slam from the Potomac Nationals baseball team on hand for the closing game festivities.

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Firefighters Praise Two Jefferson-Houston Students

Jefferson-Houston students receive AFD certificate of appreciation

Firefighters from Stations 208 and 209 paid a visit to Jefferson-Houston Elementary School June 12 to present a certificate of appreciation to a brother and sister for their composed handling of a 911 emergency call during a life-threatening situation.

Uncommon Valor

Chamber to honor first responders; Weissman posthumously receives Gold Medal.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce will recognize 21 first responders from the Alexandria Police Department, Fire Department and Office of the Sheriff at the 27th Annual Valor Awards to be held June 13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.