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Mercia Hobson

Stories by Mercia

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Cool Clear Water Beckons in Reston

RA opens select pools; lifeguards needed.

No one knew if it would happen this summer, but it did. Following state and local Phase 2 safety guidelines, Reston Association (RA) opened four pools to Registered Pass holders on Monday, June 29.

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Love & Unity Prayer Rally Held in Herndon

Not changing the narrative, changing the atmosphere.

In the Town of Herndon, population 23,000, faith-based organizations gathered with the Town's police force.

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Ready or Not, Here Comes Phase 3 in Fairfax County

Tracer data sparse; COVID clusters threaten.

Fairfax County, along with the rest of the state, is expected to enter the third phase of reopening on Wednesday, July 1.

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Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Paid Family Leave

Helping County employees meet family demands and employment responsibilities.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Paid Family Leave for County employees during its June 23, 2020 Board meeting.

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Remote or In-School Learning in Fairfax County

County families should respond by July 10.

School reopens for Fairfax County Public Schools students in eight weeks. That means that families in the 10th largest school division in the United States have until Friday, July 10, to respond with their enrollment choice for the entire 2020-21 school year.

Honoring the Confederacy Does Not Honor Black Lives

Seven descendants of Confederate colonel support renaming of Mosby Woods Elementary.

As mass movements across the United States and Virginia respond to generations of police brutality and systemic racism by toppling Confederate statues and holding protests, members of the Fairfax County School Board are using their power to effect change.

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Contracted Locally, Makers Sew 45,000 Face Masks

New jobs for unemployed and new revenue stream for nonprofit.

Unthinkable scenarios happened in early March. The COVID-19 pandemic hurled itself into Northern Virginia; small and large businesses shuttered and unemployment rates escalated.

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Black Lives Matter Banner Stolen from Reston Church

Theft reported Juneteenth 2020.

A large banner reading Black Lives Matter was reported stolen along with its supporting posts on Juneteenth 2020 from church grounds of the Unitarian Universalist Church Reston.

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Don't Touch the Veggies in Herndon

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in place as Herndon Farmers Market reopens.

The 2020 Herndon Farmers Market, operated under Fairfax County Park Authority, opened for the season later than normal, not on the usual third Thursday in April, but on June 18.

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Scenario 1, 2 or 3: What Will It Be in Fairfax County?

2020-21 school plans presented to the County School Board.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) presented their preliminary recommendations for the 2020-21 school year to the Fairfax County School Board on Monday, June 15, during its work session.

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Confederacy is Part of History, Not the Future

School board continues renaming process for County high school.

"School names will reflect an inclusive and respectful learning environment as outlined in our One Fairfax policy," said Lee District School Board Representative Tamara Derenak Kaufax, Fairfax County Public Schools.

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Resilience and Recovery

Cornerstones holds ‘A Virtual Town Hall with Fairfax County Officials.’

Three words characterize Cornerstones' work: stability, empowerment and hope. On Monday, June 8, the nonprofit organization held a Virtual Town Hall with Fairfax County officials from the Dranesville and Hunter Mill districts.

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Change Through Communal Voice

Local high school students join Black Lives Matter movement.

Leaders of Change Coalition held a Black Lives Matter March in front of the Herndon Municipal Center Sunday, June 7.

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Obituary: A Life Well-Lived

Robert A. Shawn of Herndon dies shortly after 100th birthday.

Robert A. Shawn passed away at home on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Born May 6, 1920, "Colonel Bob" celebrated his 100th birthday two and half weeks before his passing.

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A Series of Fortunate Events in Herndon

Serendipity scores for a print school newspaper.

When Michael Wemyss, Herndon High School Class of 2020, sat down on day one in his junior year journalism class, he assumed that the course focused on the school yearbook.

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A Sea of Blue Seahawk Strong in Reston

SLHS graduates Class of 2020.

On what would have been Graduation Day, June 3, 2020, at Eagles Bank Arena, seniors at South Lake High School pulled up to the front of their school for a drive-thru pick up.

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Herndon, Reston Communities Protest Against Racial Injustice and Police Brutality

Thousands take to local streets and sidewalks in solidarity.

"We need to take this moment and make it our moment. We need to use our breath for those who have no breath," said Rev. Dr. Debra W. Haffner of Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston.

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Celebrating Reopening in Great Falls

Great Falls food establishments, old and new, open under Phase One.

At the Village Centre in Great Falls near the corner of Georgetown Pike and Walker Road, The Old Brogue stood reopened for outdoor canopy dining on its courtyard and continued curbside pickup and delivery.

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Fairfax County Police Department Officer Charged with Assault Against Community Member

Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Police Chief: ‘These acts are unacceptable.’

"The body-worn camera video I am releasing shows a Fairfax County police officer deploying force in violation of our use of force policies … They are criminal acts which violate our oath of office, and they ignore the sanctity of human life," said Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Police Chief, the day after one of his officers deployed an "electronic control weapon," multiple times on an African American male who did not appear to be a threat.

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A Call to End ‘White Silence’

Demonstrators converge at Public Safety Headquarters in Fairfax.

After seven days of nationwide protests, escalating riots and looting by some in the fallout from the death of African-American George Floyd while being arrested by a white officer in Minneapolis, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Northern Virginia held protests at two northern Virginia police headquarters.

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Let’s Get This Right: Mask Up NOVA

It’s Phase One and Executive Order 63 for Northern Virginia’s reopening.

On May 29, The Northern Virginia Regional Commission announced that it produced a Public Service Announcement emphasizing the importance of wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces.

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One Artist Two Hashtags and VIRGINIA STRONG in Reston

Public Art Reston connects community.

It seemed right. In the first hours after dawn on the day Northern Virginia began to reopen, a masked artist knelt and chalked an image of the Virginia state bird and flower on the brick plaza in front of Mercury Fountain in Reston. Below, in vibrant blue block letters, he wrote VIRGINIA STRONG.

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Senator Favola Hosts Virtual Town Hall Centered on COVID-19

Panel of local elected officials weigh in.

Virginia Senator Barbara Favola (D-31) hosted a Virtual Zoom Town Hall Meeting with panelists, Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34), Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust (D).

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Honoring Fallen ‘in a Smaller Way’ in Herndon, Reston Area

Memorial Day 2020

Michael Cutler is 2nd Vice Commander and Avenue of Flags coordinator at The Wayne M. Kidwell American Legion Post 184 Herndon-Reston. In preparation for Memorial Day Observances, he and others usually gathered at dawn at Chestnut Grove Cemetery in the Town of Herndon. In two-person teams, in all types of weather, Veterans and volunteers dropped poles into the ground. Then they raised the 64 casket flags in their care donated by families of interred veterans, creating an Avenue of Flags, a patriotic feature flanking the entrance into the cemetery: 2020 was different.

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Lake Anne House Senior Housing Project in Reston Closes

Long-awaited $86 million project commences this summer.

Christy Zeitz is CEO of the Fellowship Square Foundation (Fellowship). The nonprofit organization owns and operates the two aging 1970s era buildings that make up the Lake Anne Fellowship House on North Shore Drive in Reston. On Friday, May 22, Fellowship and Enterprise Community Development (Enterprise) announced they closed on the innovative $86 million development plan for the New Lake Anne House in Reston, built along North Shore Drive near the intersection with Village Road.

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Swastikas Amidst Pandemic in Reston

Cowardice feeds hate crime.

"Hate is contagious," said Rabbi Michael G. Holzman of Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston. "We have to address it before it spreads.

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Great Falls Looks Forward to 2025

Great Falls Citizens Association releases ‘Looking Forward to 2025’ survey.

In its first survey since 2007, the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs of the Great Falls Citizens Association, a 100 percent volunteer 501(c)4 organization without paid staff, released findings of its Looking Forward to 2025 Survey, meant to gather feedback from the community on what was important to them and where the Association should direct its efforts and resources now through 2025.

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Fairfax County School Board Celebrates Class of 2020

Superintendent Scott Brabrand releases Board decisions.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand dashed any remaining hopes of summer in-person commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020. After receiving results from high school students and parents on his Survey on Graduation Preferences, Brabrand said the School Board agreed on his recommended approach. They committed to celebrating the seniors "in the safest and most personalized manner possible."

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Fairfax County School Board Considers Fall 2020 Options

Three back-to-school scenarios presented.

What might school look like to children in Fairfax County Public Schools this fall — remote learning or social distance learning with masks and temperature checks? Which students would schools bring back first — the older ones or most vulnerable? And what might students face when they get there — a climb back to grade level or multi-age classes?

Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Budget Plan, Fairfax RISE

Highlights of May 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Some of the first words Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay Fairfax County Board of Supervisors said at the May 12 Board of Supervisors meeting were for county families; in particular, those who lost loved ones or had family members hospitalized with the coronavirus. "If we could keep them and their entire families in our thoughts and prayers," McKay said. "As a reminder, our County flag continues to fly at half-staff, throughout the County at our facilities, in honor of the residents who sadly died as a result of COVID-19 and in recognition of our many essential workers who are responding to the pandemic," he said.

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A Click Worth $40K for South Lakes High School Senior

Awarded ‘Opportunity Scholarship’ in monthly drawing.

One little click set Imani Irons of Herndon and senior at South Lakes High School in Reston on a path that eventually led her to be among 25 students who, after completing six key college planning steps, each at valued dollars, the College Board awarded $40,000 in its chance Opportunity Scholarships Program.

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Remediate, Demo then Build in Herndon

Comstock edges toward redevelopment of Historic Herndon.

Comstock Herndon Venture LC has yet to ink its purchase of 4.675 acres of town-owned land in the Herndon Historic District after it and the Town signed a Comprehensive Agreement approximately two and a half years ago for the Herndon Downtown Redevelopment Project, a partnership between the Town and Comstock Herndon Venture LC.

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Great Falls Helps with ‘Stuffing the Bus’ in Reston

Stepping up ‘Stuff the Bus’ COVID-19 style.

For nine years, the Stuff the Bus food drive served to fill the quickly emptying food pantry shelves of local Fairfax County nonprofits. On Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fairfax County Government and the community came together once again to support the biannual campaign.

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Hunkered Down to Opening Up in Virginia

Northern Virginia leaders urge regional approach to reopening state.

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Northern Virginia Reopening Should Occur When Metrics Met

Regional mayors and chairs send letter to Gov. Northam.

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Col. ‘Bob’ Honored in Herndon on 100th Birthday

Drive-by birthday parade for centenarian, retired fighter pilot Col. Robert A. Shawn.

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‘Don't Forget About Us’ in Fairfax County

County supervisors hold public budget hearings.

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Kicking Off National Nurses Week and Hospital Week 2020 in Reston

A ground and air salute to healthcare workers at Reston Hospital Center.

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Herndon Cares, Deliciously

First Baptist Church of Herndon spearheads a new program.

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Mourning the Passing of Darryl “Smitty” C. Smith, Sr.

Herndon and Purcellville Police Departments say goodbye to the man with a big heart.

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'Fair Winds and Following Seas'

Presentation and drive-by parade held for Commander Franco Neto, United States Navy, Retired.

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Gourmet Food for Front-Line Fighters in Reston

Pica Deli stands up against COVID-19.

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Reston Hospital ER: Safe Place to Receive Care

Fear of COVID prevents heart attack and stroke patients from going to the ER.

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Restaurant Rolls Out Local Chefs Market in Reston

Fresh groceries offered at McCormick and Schmick’s.

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Fairfax County’s Sparse Budget Proposal

Supervisor Alcorn holds the second budget town hall.

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Bracing for Fairfax County’s Revised Budget Proposal

Supervisor John Foust presents a virtual town hall.

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Who Earned the F in Best Practices?

Distance Learning goes awry for FCPS.

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Covering Fairfax County Concerns

Twitter Q & A with Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

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Herndon Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author Wins International Contest

It's 'The Voice' for amateur writers.

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